Protestors gather on The Mall in support of judiciary.

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* Walk from Aitzaz Ahsan’s residence to The Mall-Canal Road Intersection

* Demand restoration of judges and release of detained lawyers

* Shout anti-govt slogans

* PPP and PTI workers join rally; are stopped from shouting party slogans

Staff Report

LAHORE: More than 200 people walked from Aitzaz Ahsan’s house to The Mall on Sunday to protest the government’s treatment of the judiciary and the detention of lawyers.The protestors consisted of doctors, lawyers, students, workers of non-governmental organisations and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers took part in the protest for the first time.The protest was taken out on the call of the Concerned Citizen of Pakistan (CCP) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).The protestors first demonstrated outside detained SCBA president Aitzaz Ahsan’s Zaman Park residence and demanded the government revive all deposed judges and President Pervez Musharraf quit politics.Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal, former Lahore High Court Bar Association finance secretary Rabbiya Bajwa, Pakistan Medical Association president Dr Zahid Mohiyuddin and Labour Party leader Farooque Tariq also took part.After getting together outside Aitzaz’s house, the protestors marched on the Canal Road to The Mall. They shouted slogans against the government and demanded the release of all detained lawyers. The protestors carried placards and banners with pro-democracy slogans.Protestors – men and women – also distributed pamphlets amongst passers-by and vehicles.The protest was mainly for the judiciary and democracy, and PTI and PPP workers were stopped from shouting slogans in favour of their parties and leaders. However, PPP workers continued holding party flags and wore caps with their party colours. They, however, did not shout party slogans after being stopped from doing so.The protestors got to The Mall-Canal Road Intersection and sang the Pakistani anthem. They continued shouting pro-judiciary slogans. The protest returned to Aitzaz Ahsan’s house 20 minutes after getting to The Mall.People talking to the mass gathered in front of Aitzaz’s residence before the march to highlight the importance of an independent judiciary.CCP activist Hamid Zaman said, “Every step of ours is for the independence of the judiciary and for Pakistan’s safety. Our country is on the verge of disintegration.”A pamphlet distributed at the gathering read: “The CCP is a non-political group consisting of teachers, doctors, lawyers, students and business professionals. This group aims to give voice to those wishing to steer Pakistan towards democracy and towards the establishment of the rule of law. The restoration of the judiciary is the only way to achieve this.”

link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C01%5C28%5Cstory_28-1-2008_pg13_4

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