Lawyers boycotted court proceedings across the country on Thursday to express support for democracy and denounce the protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) outside parliament in Islamabad.
On the call by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the Sindh Bar Council (SBC) also announced a province-wide boycott of courts. Members of the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) requested Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar to suspend proceedings as part of their protest. The request was granted, therefore, hundreds of cases fixed on the day at the high court were adjourned.
Also irked by the political standoff, lawyers in Sukkur and Hyderabad also stayed away from work and staged rallies to express their anxiety, where they shouted slogans against the protests that have brought the country to a halt. “The lawyers will stand against any move against democracy or subversion of constitution,” said advocate Ayaz Tunio, the general secretary of SHCBA.
Separately, lawyers of the District Bars of Islamabad and Rawalpindi also boycotted court proceedings. Complainants from far-flung areas had come to the courts but their cases could not be heard. Lawyers of both bars made it clear that their boycott is not for the government or PML-N rather for democracy and strengthening of institutions.
Barrister Afzal Hussain said, “As per Article 5, every citizen is duty bound to remain loyal to the state of Pakistan and obedient to the Constitution and law.”
Meanwhile, the lawyers’ wing of PML-N AJK chapter organised rallies in support of the Constitution and PM Nawaz Sharif.
Like other parts of the country, the Peshawar High Court Bar Association, K-P Bar Council and Nowshera District Bar Association also observed a complete strike in the high and lower courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2014.
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