Officially, 500 people arrested in emergency crackdown in Pakistan

November 14th, 2007 - 8:27 am ICT by admin  
In a press conference held here today, a day after a state of emergency was declared in the country, the Dawn quoted Aziz as saying: “There have been 400 to 500 preventative arrests in the country.”

These are the first official figures about the large-scale detention that was launched with the imposition of emergency on Saturday evening in all the major cities of the country-Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and Multan.

Meanwhile, reports from Karachi indicate that a large number of lawyers and senior members of the Bar Council have been arrested by security officials.

Apart from few well known personalities, like the acting president of PML-N, Javed Hashmi, Chief of Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, noted Human Rights activists Asma Jehangir and former ISI chief Hamid Gul, who have been detained, President Pervez Musharraf’s regime is selectively targeting lawyers, who had led a huge campaign, earlier this year, against the General.

During his midnight televised address to the nation, Musharraf had held judiciary responsible for the current situation, and his tussle with the country’s one of the three-pillars led him to impose the state of emergency in the country.

No sooner the emergency was declared, police detained the Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, which was followed by the arrest of noted Supreme Court lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan.

Ahsan had represented Justice Chaudhry at the Supreme Judicial Council and helped him reinstated that led to the tussle between the judiciary and President Musharraf.

Tariq Mehmood, another anti-Musharraf lawyer, has also been detained.

Mehmood said that most of the lawyers who protested against the General have been detained or are kept under house arrest.

Police have arrested Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) President Abrar Hasan, and has reportedly sent him to Karachi jail for 90 days.

Most of the lawyers have termed Musharraf’s imposition of emergency worse than a state of martial law in the country. (ANI)

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