The Lahore Bar Association (LBA) will observe ‘black day’ on Thursday (today) to protest the contempt of court ordinance passed by the National Assembly, describing it as “an attempt by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to protect President Zardari’s ‘black money’.”
The bill, passed on July 9, will give the prime minister, the president, federal ministers, chief ministers, provincial ministers and governors immunity from contempt charges.
Lawyers will appear before the court but with black arm bands. Black flags will be hoisted at bar rooms and lower courts. This was announced on Wednesday by the association’s general secretary Jawad Akbar Gill at a press conference.
Gill said the government seemed bent upon challenging the Supreme Court and “derailing an independent judicial system” by adopting the contempt of court ordinance. He described the bill as a “conspiracy against the Supreme Court”.
It’s an attempt to protect Asif Ali Zardari’s money in Swiss banks, he said. “Will the common man benefit from this ordinance?” he asked. Those who voted for the bill, said Gill, are also corrupt.
The general secretary said the association also condemned the dual nationality bill, which if passed would allow dual nationality holders to hold public offices. He warned the government that lawyers would take to the streets if the government pushed the legislation through.
People with dual nationalities should not be allowed to contest elections, he said, because the loyalties of such people will always be divided.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
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