LAHORE: In a sense, you could say Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s worst nightmare came true on Saturday evening. The democratic leader of Pakistan was indeed replaced … by dancing girls.
Speaking at the annual dinner of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) at the Alhamra Arts Council, the prime minister reiterated his determination to protect democracy against all threats. However, a rowdy crowd of young lawyers – who, sources later alleged, were backed by some judges – shouted him off stage and eventually danced to Indian film songs along with dancing girls specially hired for the event.
Gilani did, however, get some of his message across. He said that some misguided elements are trying to develop the impression that the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government does not respect institutions in the country. He denied this and also emphasised that the PPP government had restored the real constitution and urged everyone to protect it.
Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, LBA President Shehzad Hassan Sheikh and Peoples Lawyers Forum Punjab President Khurrma Latif Khan Khosa were the main organisers of the event, held in Gilani’s honour.
The hall was full of youthful lawyers, who through their slogans forced Khosa and Gilani to shorten their addresses and then eventually make a hasty exit.
When Khosa started to deliver his speech, he was greeted with critical voices. Khosa tried his best to continue his speech amid loud chants of “Chief Tere Jaan Nisar Beshumar Beshumar” (Chief [Chief Justice] you have uncountable loyalists), a reference to where the lawyers’ allegiance firmly lies.
When Khosa started to recount the lawyers’ sacrifices and his head injuries on the front line of the movement to restore the chief justice, the clamour from the lawyers forced him to leave, as they termed him a ‘black sheep in a black coat’, among other things.
The lawyers started to throw campaign cards towards the stage as they gradually approached. The organiser of the event immediately called Gilani to deliver his speech, but this only brought slogans of ‘Go Zardari Go’.
Gilani tried his best to reason with the unruly crowd. He said that such behaviour should be saved for elections. He listed previously restrained institutions which were now free under the PPP government, such as the media and judiciary. He also recalled the PPP’s contribution to the lawyers’ movement. He even mentioned the party’s founding of nuclear technology in the country. He also thanked the LBA for his invitation of chief guest.
His argument, however, was met with further shouts; some lawyers even starting dancing on their seats. The PM’s security called for back-up and signaled for him to wind up his address.
When lawyers almost reached the stairs of the stage, Gilani immediately started to announce a different package for them , sanctioning a housing society. This did not pacify the crowd, and the PM left the stage.
Sources in the legal fraternity, the PPP and in Governor House told The Express Tribune that Khosa, along with his son Khurram, sent a message to Gilani that he should address the LBA in response to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s Friday address at the Rawalpindi Bar Association.
However, as soon as a large group of young lawyers heard about the plans, they tried to invite Justice Chaudhry to the event. After this failed and Gilani showed up, they disrupted proceedings.
Some sources at Governor House even claimed that Gilani’s address was disrupted on directions of some judges.
The best – or at least most bizarre – was seemingly saved for last. Lawyers danced to songs, including the Bollywood hit ‘Sheela Ke Jawani’ along with dancing girls apparently hired by the event organisers.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2012.
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nthng bad they did wot dey thought right
Pakistan's lawyers are most indisciplined and pampered lot. They earlier committed a cardinal mistake and also brought disrepute to their proffession by supporting a killer and throwing petals on him. Had this incident happened in India a criminal cases would have registered against them along with cancellation of licence to practice in courts. They have further damaged their proffession's reputation by insulting the country's PM and then dancing with dancing girls on Indian songs which many Pakistani would brand them as unpatriotic.
This is the beginning of the END
Bad bad move on the part of lawyers! We may not plan to vote for the PM but we must respect a democratically elected executive of the Govt.
Petals for a murderer and no respect for the PM - shameless act!
This is shameful behaviour and attitude by lawyers.Punjab Bar Council should arrange a course for lessoning its lawyer how to behave their guests.
Very amusing and shocking. Dancing girls! At such an important event. The LBA must be bonkers. That's where the loyalty of lawyers is.........Sheela Ki Jawani. Salams to Pakistan
Lawyers, while rowdy, are ruthlessly ambitious class too, aspiring to make their way into politics. This is the reason why they have gradually lost the honor and respect they once enjoyed.
Pakistani lawyers love PCO CJ and Qadri at the same time, how is that possible? They hate India but they love most provocative Indian songs and dance, how about that? During the last few years the lawyers have been out of control and have beaten even police. I am sure their own kids would follow this hypocrisy of their fathers.
This is our elite and highly educated class that know the meaning of law and order in a democracy and they are so called law-abiding people. It is so sad to see at least one half generation gone down the drain due to narrow mindedness, fanaticism and bigotry.
Mr Gilani got what he deserved, but the lawyers could do better. They should, whenever the opportunity arises, as a first step require the withdrawal of all legislation designed by our colonial masters to maintain status quo. We now require legislation to ensure citizens of thier rights and an easy interim way would be to replace it with the legislation our previous colonial masters have today. This step is within the range of experience andthought. of the Pakistani legal community.
I admire the enthusiasm of the lawyers, my inly fear is that they will be systematically bought off by the Govt. like last time, why has it taken them so long to support the SC and the CJ? Now stand steadfast and don't waiver.
At the end lawyers danced along with a hired dancer to melodies of Sheela Ke Jawani.
Really didn't see that coming at the end of this news piece loll
The last para has said it all ; "At the end lawyers danced along with a hired dancer to melodies of Sheela Ke Jawani."
They should have chanted Go Sheela Go instead of Go Zardari Go.
Whatever happened to the professional conduct code?
To put it straight, the lawyers of Lahore Bar Association have lost it!
They think just because they have got judges backing them, they have a free pass to hooliganism. People protest corrupt and inefficient governments everywhere, but such hooliganism is only appreciated or tyrants and illegitimate rulers. Clearly these lawyers with an agenda have neither interest nor patience for a democratic system.
I also was there and i could not even hear anyone chanting such slogans. This is exactly what the problem with our media is, they deliver the spicy story even if nothing went on but don't cover what actually happened. Shame on the media for reporting such bogus information to manipulate the public opinion about our elected Prime Minister.
When ever PPP is in trouble they tell us Z.A.Bhutto and BIBI did this and that.Gillani and Zardari should us what they have done in last four years.Time for election.
Slap on face. A bitter ground reality which government must acknowledge and a lesson for the nation. Nation can retreat them from office collectively as done in LBA event
Dancing to ‘Sheela Ke Jawani’ – an Indian (Hindu) item song. That is blasphemy. Anyone asking for a loooong noose?
I was glad till I read
They deserve Gilani and Zardari at helm!!
How low can we go? Shameless..simple shameless...
I guess Pakistani lawyers haven't heard of the concept of "free speech" and giving the PM a chance to articulate his position. Not surprising - this is the same bunch that bemoaned OBL death and put garlands around the thug who assassinated Taseer.
At least they got a dance party out of it. Isnt that an indian song?
dunno why..but i dont respect black coats anymore..i guess it has something to do with beating police constables and showering petals on qadri...
their oft-exhibited hooliganistic tendencies can give an illiterate mob a run for its money :@
why cant these lawyers wait for the elections that the Constitution specifies ?