Nawaz warns Zardari of indefinite agitation.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) chief Nawaz Sharif has warned President Asif Ali Zardari that agitation will continue if he fails to restore the judiciary to its pre-Nov 3, 2007 position.
Speaking at the lawyers’ ‘National Conference’ on Wednesday, Sharif said the country was still in the grip of a few generals and judges despite the February 18 polls and return to democracy.
He appealed to people to participate in the lawyers’ long march and sit-in.
Earlier, a large number of speakers, belonging to various political parties, retired generals, and members of civil society including Jamaat Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Pakistan Tehrik Insaf chairman Imran Khan and others expressed their solidarity with the lawyers’ movement and the upcoming long march.
The conference adopted a resolution that called for a peaceful and sustained long march followed by a sit-in until the fulfillment of its objectives.
The resolution said: ‘This conference is of the view that the actions of November 3, 2007, by former Gen retd Musharraf were unconstitutional which need to be repealed and the judiciary that existed on November 2 ought to be restored’.
The conference also decided that the long march would begin simultaneously from Quetta and Karachi on March 12 and reach Sukkur in evening. The caravan of lawyers would reach Lahore from Multan on March 14.
They will leave for Lahore from Rawalpindi on March 15 and reach Islamabad on March 16. The participants of long march will start staging sit-in on Constitution Avenue for an indefinite period of time on the same evening, an announcement said.
Sharif accused the chief justice of Pakistan for allegedly sending him a message that if the issue of Justice Dogar’s daughter regarding illegal additional marks was hushed up, the disqualification case involving him and Shahbaz would be set aside.
He also repeated the allegation that President Asif Ali Zardari had offered a ‘business deal’ to Shahbaz Sharif in the presence of a federal minister and that an offer was made that the disqualification case would be turned in their favour if they supported the legislation to extend upper age limit of Justice Dogar.
Both these offers, he said, were rejected because ‘we are aware that Pakistan cannot flourish and go forward as long as it gets an independent judiciary.
He said ‘we would have been bestowed with higher ranks in the government and additional ministries in the federal cabinet if we had backtracked on our pledge for the restoration of judiciary, but we refused to compromise’.
Sharif, however, defended the stance of his party for taking part in the February 18 polls since they were able to throw out the dictator, Musharraf and today we are resisting all illegal acts of the government because we are sitting in the parliament.
He said we were given the word after the no confidence move against Musharraf that the judiciary would be restored within 24 hours of his ouster, but that promise also went unfulfilled.
He claimed that had we boycotted the polls, the PPP led government would have given indemnity and would have entrenched Musharraf in power saddles.
Earlier in his speech, JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed said if they succeed in getting one hundred thousand people at the long march, it would be sufficient to make the regime bow down. He claimed that Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was deposed because of the NRO and missing persons.
The main demand of the long marchers, he said, would be restoration of the pre-November 3 judiciary and trial of Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Imran Khan termed the lawyers movement ‘a national movement’ and its timing as a defining moment which the nation needs to make it successful at all costs.
He said ‘Our agitation will be peaceful and if it meets police violence, its responsibility will lie President Zardari.
Earlier, addressing the conference, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan said the peaceful long march would not let the national leadership down. He said Benazir Bhutto also promised to restore the deposed judges.
Former DG ISI Gen. Hameed Gul, chairperson Pakistan missing person’s society Amena Masood Janjua, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith chief Prof. Sajid Mir, former AJP Prime Minister Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan and Brig. Mehmood Hassan of ex-servicemen society and Eng. Salimullah Khan of JUP also spoke on the occassion.

link: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/long+march-sit-in-schedule-announced-nf

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