Lawyers appeal for support on Iftikhar Day.

KARACHI: Youm-e-Iftikhar will be held January 31 in honour of chief justice of Pakistan (retd) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to draw national and international attention, said Justice (retd) Rasheed A. Razvi, president of the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA).He said this Tuesday while addressing a joint press conference managed and attended by the Karachi Bar Association (KBA), SHCBA, Malir Bar Association (MBA), Sindh Bar Council, Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP). Razvi was accompanied by KBA Honorary Secretary Naeem Qureshi, KBA President Mehmood-ul-Hasan and members of the newly elected KBA Managing Committee at Shuhda-e-Punjab Hall. He said that Chaudhry and ten judges of the apex court have been in custody since November 3, when the emergency was imposed. “Ninety days have passed but the superior court judges are still in detention along with our leaders, such as Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood,” he said.Giving details on the programmes planned for Iftikhar Day, he said that a joint general body of members from all the representative lawyer bodies would be held at the SHCBA’s premises on January 31, which he added is being observed as Iftikhar Day all over the country. The PBC has also endorsed the call by the SHCBA and KBA. Strike, protest meetings and marches would be arranged in every nook and corner of the country, he said. He said that besides the guests from Lahore and Rawalpindi, a number of retired judges from Sindh would also attend the joint general body meeting and address it, but, their names cannot be disclosed right now to prevent law enforcers from taking action. Some of the most wanted criminals such as Rashid Rauf flee from custody or are allowed to slip away, but, the personalities who are symbols of patriotism and who always fight for the rule of law are in illegal dentition, the SHCBA president told the reporters. KBA Honorary Secretary Naeem Qureshi earlier stated that the joint press conference was aimed at endorsing the joint decision to observe January 31 as Youm-e-Iftikhar. As per the programme, all elected members of the KBA would meet at the SHC where a joint general body meeting will be held, he added.The lawyers will then march up to the Karachi Press Club where leaders would address them. Members of the representative lawyer bodies will bring with them placards and banners demanding an independent judiciary, etc, he said, vowing to continue the struggle till the restoration of the judiciary’s pre-November 3 state. “We have approached all the trade unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and student organization to make the day a success, he said. The nation needs free, fair and transparent elections and full scale democracy, which is not possible without an independent judiciary, he added. To a question, he said that all the major political parties support the lawyers’ demands regarding the judiciary and judges.

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