PM in Function of the LBA held at Alhamra Hall.

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LAHORE: Lawyers stunned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani by shouting slogans against President Asif Ali Zardari and in favour of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at a function of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) held at Alhamra Hall on Saturday, as the PM said he could not be cowed down by the prevailing political scene in the country.
The LBA arranged a dinner for lawyers in connection with its elections and the prime minister was the chief guest on the occasion. Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) Chairman Asif Hashmi and Khurram Latif Khosa were also present on stage.
As soon as Governor Khosa said in his speech that the lawyers of Lahore played an important role in the restoration of the judiciary, a large number of lawyers started shouting slogans in favour of the chief justice. Looking at the riled up lawyers, Khosa cut short his speech and the organisers of the function had to request the lawyers again and again to calm down, but the lawyers kept shouting slogans in favour of the chief justice. During the entire episode, the prime minister was a bit stunned but kept his cool.
Gilani then approached the dais and the lawyers intensified their slogans, this time chanting “Go Zardari Go”. However, Prime Minister Gilani faced the lawyers bravely and began his speech.
“It is the beauty of democracy that everyone is free to say whatever they like,” the prime minister said in his address, adding that the judiciary and media was free and that was because of democracy.
The lawyers continued to shout anti-Zardari slogans but the prime minister continued his speech. “We respect the judiciary and the freedom of people,” Gilani said, adding that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto started Pakistan’s nuclear programme and Benazir Bhutto established missile technology. He said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was a symbol of federation and had deep roots in all provinces.
The prime minister later calmed the lawyers down by announcing a housing society for them, which earned him a round of loud applause. The PM announced further that the children of lawyers would have 10 percent quota in schools run by the EPTB. He also announced Rs 2.5 million in aid for a lawyer suffering from cancer.
Reiterating the PPP’s commitment to continue working for the solidarity of the country, Gilani challenged detractors and said he could not be cowed down by the prevailing political scene in the country, APP reported.
The prime minister said there was a supreme constitution, an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant society in the country, adding that had there been no constitution, it would have been difficult to keep the federation intact.
He said the PPP was the custodian of the constitution and it restored the 1973 Constitution to its true spirit. Gilani said the PPP favoured elections and safeguarded the right to sloganeering and political activism. “I congratulate President Asif Ali Zardari as his prime minister has been invited to address the largest bar association of Asia,” he said. Hailing the role of lawyers in various eras of the country’s history, the prime minister said lawyers were at the forefront of the Pakistan Movement under the dynamic leadership of
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, adding that PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had the unconditional support of lawyers in his movement for the empowerment of the people.

link: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/01/pm-%E2%80%98won%E2%80%99t-be-cowed-down-by-detractors%E2%80%99/

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