LAHORE: Lawyers observed a complete boycott of courts across Pakistan on Friday to express solidarity with the Supreme Court and protest against the allegations of corruption against the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, levelled by property tycoon Malik Riaz.
Adhering to the Punjab Bar Council’s call for a two-day strike on Friday and Saturday, lawyers on the first day did not appear before the courts. The judges at the Lahore High Court and district courts adjourned the cases without any proceedings.
In a joint statement, representatives of both the Punjab Bar Council (PBC) and Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) strongly condemned all conspiracies being hatched against the judiciary.
PBC Vice-Chairman Ghulam Abbas Naswana and LHCBAPresident Shehram Sarwar said they would foil all attempts to ridicule the judiciary and offer all sacrifices for the supremacy of law and independence of the judiciary.
The Pakistan Bar Council executive committee on Friday unanimously passed a resolution and reiterated its firm commitment to support an independent judiciary besides hoping for a high-level transparent inquiry into the scam involving Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz without further politicisation of the matter.
BUREWALA: The Burewala Bar Association (BBA) observed a complete strike to express solidarity with the Supreme Court. The lawyers boycotted the court proceedings and took out a rally. They blocked the Multan Road to register their protest and vowed to foil conspiracies being hatched to tarnish the image of the judiciary.
Addressing the protesting lawyers, BBA General Secretary Zahoor Dogar, Muhammad Iqbal Gujjar, Muhammad Rehman, Rao Habibur Rehman, Hafiz Atif Riaz, Ali Iqtidar, Mobeen Bhatti and others said that a conspiracy was being hatched to scandalise the Supreme Court.
KASUR: Lawyers took out a rally to express solidarity with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The lawyers, led by DBA President Sharif Zahid, Secretary General Shahid Nadeem, Lala Majeed, Ch Ishaq and Raja Liaquat marched from the bar room to Kutchery Chowk.
JARANWALA: Lawyers observed a complete strike to express solidarity with the judiciary and did not appear in courts. In a meeting, the lawyers said they were with the judiciary and would fight for the cause of an independent judiciary and the rule of law.
TOBA TEK SINGH: Lawyers observed a complete strike to express solidarity with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and condemn the insulting attitude of Attorney General Irfan Qadir in the Supreme Court. Presiding over a general body meeting, DBA President Amir Nadeem Sindhu said the lawyers and civil society would foil every conspiracy against the chief justice and independence of the judiciary.
JAUHARABAD: Lawyers observed a complete strike to express solidarity with the Supreme Court against the unfounded allegations levelled by a property tycoon. An emergency meeting of the Tehsil Bar Association will be held today (Saturday). TBA President Malik Mian Khan Sahal will chair the meeting.
CHAKWAL: Lawyers observed a complete strike and boycotted the court proceedings to express solidarity with the Supreme Court judges and against the indecent remarks of the attorney general. All the judicial work remained suspended at Chakwal, Talagang and Choa Saiden Shah.
NANKANA SAHIB: The District Bar Association members observed a complete strike to express solidarity with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. No lawyer appeared in the courts to register their protest.
PAKPATTAN: The District Bar Association members observed a complete strike to show solidarity with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the judiciary. The lawyers boycotted the court proceedings to express their solidarity and vowed that they were ready to sacrifice for dignity of the judiciary.
Agencies add: A meeting of the Lawyers National Coordination Council was held at Islamabad High Court with Hamid Khan in the chair. Representatives of various bar associations and councils attended the meeting. The speakers lauded the Supreme Court verdict in Malik Riaz’s case and said that the judiciary has been independent and stronger than before.
In Karachi, lawyers observed complete strike at the Sindh High Court (SHC), city court, Malir district and session court and lower courts. No cases could be heard due to the boycott. Lawyers bodies organised a protest meetings at their respective bars.
Addressing the protest meeting, Karachi Bar Association President Mehmood-ul-Hassan said that the lawyer community across the country is united. He said lawyers would not allow anybody to harm or defame the superior judiciary. The participants of the meeting also expressed solidarity with the apex court.
A joint meeting of all bar associations of Sindh will be held today (Saturday) while the boycott of courts will continue on Monday.
Lawyers in Rawalpindi and Islamabad also observed the strike and did not appear in courts. The Islamabad Bar Association observed strike for the consecutive second day on Friday showing solidarity with the Supreme Court. Islamabad District Court Bar Association (IDCBA) General Secretary Chaudhry Muhammad Ayub Arbab Gujjar said that the IBA had given two-day strike call on the directive of the Punjab Bar Council. He said the legal fraternity had full confidence in Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
Lawyers also held rallies on the call of the Lahore High Court Bar Rawalpindi Bench and District Bar Association.
Like other parts of the country, lawyers also took out a rally in Peshawar and other cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A decision to boycott court proceedings in the province is, however, yet to be made. The lawyers pledged that every conspiracy against the apex court would be frustrated.
The lawyers also hoisted black flags on courts in Quetta with no activity in the courts.