KARACHI / SUKKUR / HYDERABAD: Lawyers boycotted the court proceedings throughout the province for the third consecutive day on Monday.
Expressing unity with the Supreme Court of Pakistan and its judges, lawyer fraternity took out rallies to condemn the alleged conspiracies against the independent judiciary.
Meanwhile, a “pro judiciary” rally, organised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, was greeted with water cannons and baton-wielding police as it reached Fawara Chowk in Karachi, and multiple PTI leaders, including its general secretary Dr Arif Alvi, were detained.
Police registered cases against 12 PTI members, including Alvi, the party’s Karachi president Ashraf Qureshi, Karachi general secretary Shireen Khan, Shahnawaz Jadoon and others, and lodged them in the Clifton police station.
Nearly 200 of the PTI’s youth wing members, led by the party’s city chief Subhan Ali Sahil, later blocked Shahrah-e-Faisal near Nursery area while protesting against the highhanded attitude of law enforcement personnel.
PTI chairman Imran Khan, on the other hand, condemned the attack on his party workers, and warned that “those who want to throw water on the PTI tsunami will themselves be swept away by it.”
Three PTI workers were injured as the rally’s progress was halted by police near Zainab Market.
ASP Usman Ejaz Bajwa claimed that police were ready to provide an alternative route for the procession. “The PTI leadership insisted that it wanted to cross the red zone area [which contains the Chief Minister House and the Governor House], despite our repeated requests to maintain their distance.”
The lawyers, on the other hand, responded to the call of Sindh Bar Council and other bar associations of Sindh, and staged demonstrations in almost all cities in the province in support of the superior judiciary.
The Karachi Bar Association held a general body meeting in the afternoon where the lawyers’ representatives reiterated their commitment to safeguard the integrity and independence of Judiciary and to resist any move to malign the superior courts and its judges.
President KBA Mehmoodul Hasan, Secretary Khalid Mumtaz, Member Sindh Bar Council Naeem Qureshi, Shamroz Khan and Hanif Kashmiri advocate addressed the general body meeting held in Shuhda-e-Punjab Hall of KBA.
Addressing the meeting, Khalid Mumtaz said that those harping on the tune of democracy including the President, Prime Minister and the forces behind the issue of missing Pakistanis’ are the real elements responsible for recent tirade against the judiciary. “The present saga is to undermine the independent judiciary and judges,” he said.
Later, the lawyers took out a rally which started and culminated at the KBA premises after a round of busy M.A.Jinnah Road.
In Sukkur, the lawyers, led by the general secretary Sindh high court bar association Sukkur Qurban Malano and president district bar association Sukkur Hadi Bux Bhatt, organized a protest meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Qurban Malano criticised the elements, which were hatching conspiracies against the independent judiciary and the Chief Justice of Pakistan. He claimed that Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary’s son Arsalan Iftikhar has been implicated in a fake and baseless case.
In his address, Hadi Bux Bhatt said that these elements on their failure to find something negative about the Chief Justice have planned to malign him by implicating his son in a fake case.
Lawyers also boycotted court proceedings in most of the districts of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions. Bar associations in Hyderabad held a combined general body meeting. “We were with the chief justice (Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry) in the past and we still are behind him,” said SHCBA’s president advocate Allah Bachayo Memon.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.