Pakistani lawyers to march for return of deposed judges

May 18th, 2008 - 7:29 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, May 18 (IANS) Pakistani lawyers are to begin a “long march” across the country June 10 to demand the reinstatement of Supreme Court and High Court judges who were dismissed after President Pervez Musharraf declared an emergency last November. Representatives of the Pakistan bar council, the Supreme Court bar association, provincial bar councils, High Court bars and district bar associations decided after six hours of discussions in Lahore Saturday to hold three All Pakistan Lawyers’ Conventions May 24, May 31 and June 9, respectively.

It was also decided that deposed Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other dismissed judges would be invited to the conventions as chief guests.

About 300 lawyers attended the conference and except for one dissenting voice, the others unanimously supported the resolution for the long march and the conventions, The News reported Sunday.

The restoration of the sacked judges has been a sticky point with Pakistan’s ruling coalition, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) pulling out its ministers after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Zardari refused to agree on Chaudhry’s reinstatement.

Briefing reporters after the conference, Pakistan bar council vice chairman Haji Syed Rehman said it had also been resolved to constitute a committee of senior members to decide the modalities of the three conventions as well as the route of the long march.

According to Supreme Court bar association president Aitzaz Ahsan, the march had been named “Adlia Bahali (Long March) - long march for the restoration of the judiciary”.

In response to a query, he said if the government restored the judges before June 10 the lawyers would turn the march into a celebration.

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Posted in South Asia |