LAHORE: In just over three years' time, the black coats are back on the roads in support of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to foil another attempt to stifle and ridicule the judiciary, as was done by the former dictator Pervez Musharraf.
The bar premises are resounding with the same popular slogans “Chief Tairay Janasar Beshumar Beshumar (Chief, you have countless devotees). The Lahore High Court Bar Association and Lahore Bar Association witnessed the same scenes of the past on Thursday. Highly charged lawyers, especially the young ones, were at the forefront of venting their anger against the anti-judiciary elements and were firm in their stand.
Both the bars also took out a combined rally to pledge support for the judiciary against the onslaught on the judiciary.The LBA also banned the entry of Advocate Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Malik Riaz, into the bar premises for an indefinite period. Through a resolution, the bar assured its full support to the Supreme Court and announced a two-day complete boycott of courts. The resolution said no lawyer would appear before any court on Thursday and Friday.
The Lahore High Court Bar Association members forced their president Shahram Sarwar Chaudhry to lead the rally as he was reluctant to take out the rally and made an unsuccessful attempt to convince the lawyers not to take out the rally. over-crowed with lawyers much before the start of general house meeting and they were chanting slogans in favour of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The lawyers also continued demanding their president to take out the rally.
As the general house meeting started, the president asked members to listen to speeches at first and a decision about taking out rally would be made later. Considering these comments objectionable, the lawyers burst into slogans in favour of the CJP and against Wyne. A pandemonium took place as most of the participants were not ready to listen to any speech against the CJP and were demanding a rally.
President Shahram, who belongs to Asma Jahangir Group, struggled to calm down the lawyers to keep the house in order. The president invited Advocate Rana Zia Abdur Rehman for a speech, who termed the statements of Malik Riaz against Arsalan Chaudhry a conspiracy against the judiciary and said lawyers would defend the judiciary at any cost.
But the charged lawyer paid no heed to his speech and continued chanting slogans in favour of the CJP.Amidst the resonating chants, Shahram invited Advocate Ahmed Awais to rostrum.
Awais said the lawyers should be united and act collectively to defend the legal system and respect of legal community. The lawyers started sloganeering and did not let him complete his speech.Shahram Sarwar took to the rostrum and tried to convince the lawyers that taking out a rally would not be an effective step as they are small in numbers at the time.
However, no lawyer paid heed to his assertion and kept on insisting to take out rally. They were sloganeering “Rally hoge rally hoge” (go for rally at all costs).
The president asked lawyers they could take out a rally on their own as he would not be part of it. He announced adjournment of the meeting and said he would put the resolution before the house for which he had called it. He put the resolution before the house and most of lawyers raised their hands in the favour of rally. As the situation was slipping out of his hands, Shahram decided to lead the rally, but only up to the GPO Chowk.
As the lawyers went out of the hall, some pro-government lawyers tried to stop them from going for the rally but failed in their attempt. Sloganeering lawyers reached The Mall, GPO Chowk, and Shahram Sarwar followed them.
However, Sarwar did not go along with the protesting lawyers, who were advancing to the Lahore Bar Association at Aiwan-e-Adl. A group of about 100 lawyers joined the LBA general house meeting followed by protest rally to the Lahore High Court.
Later in a press release, Shahram Sarwar and other office-bearers of LHCBA said they are standing by the judiciary like a rock wall. They said LHCBA rendered countless sacrifices during lawyers’ movement which was not meant for a personality. They demanded that a high-level commission should be constituted to probe the issue which will expose the real culprits behind the conspiracy against the Supreme Court.