Justice Iftikhar to address meetings in big cities
After six-hour long in camera meeting at the Karachi Shuhada Hall of the Lahore High Court, PBC Vice Chairman Saad Rehman along with Supreme Court Bar Association President Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan has made the announcement while addressing a news conference.
A committee has been formed to finalise details regarding the starting point, routes and other matters for launching the Adliya Bahali Long March, Saad said. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would be the chief guest three decisive conventions which will be held on May 24, May 31 and June 9 before the long march.
“The route and venue for long march will be decided by the implementation committee within next few days. It may start from Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta or any other major city including Multan,” Saad said. Before start of the long march, the convention would be held in Faisalabad, Peshawar and Lahore respectively.
On the occasion, lawyers continued to shout slogans in favour of Justice Iftikhar and against President Pervez Musharraf for a long time in a way of chorus. “Pakistan Bar Council in consultation with the representatives of bar associations has decided to start long march for restoration of judiciary from June 10 positively,” Saad said.
Speaking on the occasion, Aitzaz said all capabilities and energies of legal community would be used for mobilising the general public for the long march. “Bar associations and lawyers will mobilize trade unions, traders, students, teachers, doctors and general public till June 9 by convincing them that progress of the country is not possible without independent judiciary,” he added.
Aitzaz said the decision of the long march had been made in a democratic manner with majority of votes of members of the Bar Council after the insistence of representatives of the bar associations from all over Pakistan. He said boycott of courts would continue as usual according to the schedule of the Bar Council and that was complete boycott of every Thursday and one-hour boycott daily in addition to hunger strike camps at bar associations.
Aitzaz said the Pakistan Bar Council and the convention of lawyers has allowed his to contesting by-elections but he would announce his decision about it in the next two days whether or not to contest elections. To a question, Aitzaz said that if Justice Iftikhar and other judges were restored by June 10, lawyers would dance with happiness and they convert their march into jashan, a merry making festivity and sweets will be distributed all over the country.
Insiders said that out of about 300 representatives of bar associations and members of the Pakistan Bar Council only Pervaiz Anayat Malik opposed the proposal of the long march and he suggested that the lawyers should wait for the parliamentary resolution being tabled in the parliament by the government. According to the sources, PBC member Sardar Latif Khosa did not participate in the convention and Khurram Latif Khosa was present but he remained silent and did show his reservations about march.
Talking to a private news channel, the SCBA president reiterated that the judges restoration could be resolved through an executive order. He said judicial system would not be allowed to function through peaceful protest, if deposed judges were not restored. The lawyers would not accept less than the reinstatement of the deposed judges and that could be done in three minutes through an executive order, he said.
“The Supreme Judicial Council had the authority to remove a judge and no one else could amend the constitution, removing judges or putting them behind bar,” he said. Aitzaz said he stood by lawyers in their struggle over reinstatement of deposed judges and would not contest polls if PPP did not give him ticket. He hailed appointment of Salmaan Taseer as Punjab governor but said he (Taseer) had been more close to the president than the PPP in recent days.