Lawyers extend rally to Governor’s House.

* Protesters tear down hoardings of the PPP en route

LAHORE: In order to infuse momentum into their movement after the month of Ramazan the city’s lawyers extended their protest rally beyond Charing Cross to the Governor’s House on Thursday.

During the rally, a minor increase in the number of protesting lawyers, as compared to recent rallies, was observed. However, the number of political activists and members of civil society was very small. A few members of the Tehreek-e-Khaksar, Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan were seen among the protesters. However, members of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz were absent from the rally.

The protesting lawyers also did not stage any sit-in, despite a call for it by the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Zahid Sabri advocate said that Ramazan had been an excuse for the lawyers who had announced postponing the sit-ins, as several did not want to continue with the practice. There had also been an apparent difference in opinion among lawyers who did not want to continue the march to the Governor’s House.

LHCBA former president Firdous Butt criticised the bar leadership, saying that it had made a non-democratic decision. She said that the leadership should have taken this decision with the consent of all bar members. She also said that this had been a futile practice and would cause lawyers to suffer.

Another lawyer, Asif Ali advocate, said that aged and ailing lawyers had been participating in the rally, adding that bar representatives should limit the walk to Charing Cross and did not go any further.

The protesters held placards inscribed with slogans against the government, and in favour of the sacked judges. Lawyers were also enthusiastic in pledging to continue their struggle until the reinstatement of sacked chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Participants in the rally were seen attacking and taking down banners and hoardings of the Pakistan People’s Party hanging on the mall. Upon reaching the Governor’s House, the lawyers gathered in different groups and delivered anti-government speeches and chanted slogans.

During the march, traffic was jammed on The Mall and all other roads leading towards it.

link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C10%5C10%5Cstory_10-10-2008_pg7_42

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