While condemning the continuous ‘house arrest’ of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, his ten companion judges as well as legal fraternity leaders, lawyers announced that they will observe January 31 as “Iftikhar Day”.
The Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA), on the recommendation of its President Rasheed A Razvi, decided to hold “Iftikhar Day” on January 31 and authorised its managing committee to invite members of political parties, civil society and other international organisations to participate in the event.
Lawyers on Thursday boycotted court proceedings in the Sindh High Court against the removal of the Chief Justice and other judges of the superior courts. They also observed a token hunger strike in this regard.
A protest meeting was held at the SHCBA hall which was addressed by the Pakistan Bar Council member Yasin Azad, Sindh Bar Council’s Salahuddin Gandapur and SHCBA’s President Rasheed A Razvi.
The speakers lauded the role of lawyers who continued their struggle for the independence of the judiciary. They urged civil society, political parties and professional bodies to support the cause of the legal fraternity for the restoration of deposed judges and independence of the judiciary.
The general body reiterated their pledge to continue their struggle in the light of guidelines given by the Pakistan Bar Council.
The two lawyers that observed a token hunger strike were Hashim Padhiyar and Adnan Ahmed
KBA: The Karachi Bar Association (KBA) has also announced to observe January 31 as ‘Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Day’ in order to honour him as a ‘courageous judge’ who was facing a tough time since March 9, when he was first deposed by the the president of Pakistan.
This was endorsed at a general body meeting of the KBA which was held on Thursday with Naeem Qureshi its Secretary General in the chair. The Pakistan Bar Council has announced to observe the day, which was endorsed by all the courts association of the country.
On the day a ‘peace rally’ will be taken out from the City Courts which will march towards the Sindh High Court (SHC). The final destination of the rally would be announced on the day. Every lawyer participant will hold a placard in his hand with the portrait of the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The speakers at a general body meeting foresee a massive protest movement which soon be started, as they said that the speech of Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas at an oath-taking ceremony of KBA has given a message to the legal community, which stated that the desposed judges would soon be reinstated.
They said that lawyers would finalise a future strategy with regard to the movement in light of the speech delivered by the retired justice, which they termed a ray of hope to the community.
The speakers, however, cautioned the legal representatives to maintain solidarity as some anti-judiciary elements may try to sabotage the ongoing peaceful movement, which started in March last year.
They strongly condemned the detention of SCBA President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Ali Ahmed Kurd and demanded their immediate release.
The lawyers, on Thursday, completely boycotted the courts proceedings as per schedule announced for the day.
About 400 UTP (under trial prisoners) were not brought and thousands of cases deferred for the next date. The 150 people arrested from different city areas for allegedly disturbing the law and order situation were waiting for remand and left the courts without any hearing.
The hunger strike plan schedule was postponed due to the absence of KBA President, Mehmood-ul-Hasan. On the first day of hunger strike, two of the main office-bearers — KBA’s Secretary General, Naeem Qureshi, and its President — were supposed to sit on the two-hour token hunger strike. Now, the hunger strike schedule will be revived after Ashura, Naeem Qureshi said.