The Legal fraternity resolved to remobilise civil society and pro–lawyers–movement political parties for the restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other deposed Judges of the superior courts and announced to observe November 3 as a black day throughout the country.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting of the steering committee of the National Coordination Council (NCC), Supreme Court Bar Association President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan also urged political activists, students, labourers, traders, civil society and all citizens to share the aspirations of lawyers’ movement to head for Islamabad and join them in their protest on Constitutional Avenue Islamabad on November 3.
“Lawyers have given people of this country a dream of independent judiciary and an egalitarian economy and the brave lawyers and people will not let go it to in vain,” Ahsan vowed. The lawyers also named Ali Ahmed Kurd as candidate for the post of President in forthcoming election to Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
“The struggle shall continue until the supremacy of rule of law is established and until every Judge, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who was made non–functional on November 3, is returned to his office with honour and without conditions,” the committee resolved in its resolution.
The committee also resolved that, notwithstanding the betrayal of the movement by Pakistan Bar Council, the NCC is determined to continue fighting no matter what the odds, for the aspiration of people in general and legal fraternity in particular.
“Although it is a matter of disappointment that some deposed Judges have taken fresh oath to resume their offices, we shall continue to oppose any fresh oath and are determined to carry out the struggle to its logical conclusion,” it resolved.
“The Lawyers movement has not withered away but it is in its phase of reconsolidation and remobilisation,” adding that lawyers would renew the democratic mandate by working for the election of those who have been in forefront of the struggle and are now candidates for various offices in bar associations, including the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Giving details of future line of action, Aitzaz Ahsan said that members of NCC shall individually and collectively visit and address bar association throughout the country to rally support for the elections of the candidates who have been in the forefront of the struggle and such candidates shall coordinate with the central leadership towards this end.
The meeting also endorsed the decision of the Hyderabad High Court Bar Association and the Bar Associations of Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Sanghar and Naushero Feroz to invite deposed CJP Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to address the members of the bars at Hyderabad on October 18 or any other suitable date.
It was decided that for mobilizing the bars and to acknowledge the individual sacrifices of the lawyers, the NCC would hold appropriate functions at the seat of all High Courts beginning with a function at Lahore on October 23 where the Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry shall be invited to distribute awards to lawyers of Lahore Division who were arrested during the course of the movement.
The steering committee of the NCC also condemned the PBC for its disassociation from the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of all deposed judges of the superior courts. “PBC is opposing the lawyers’ movement for restoration of deposed judges in full strength and I ask lawyers throughout the country to only act upon the call of NCC,” he said. The committee also condemned the decision of seven members of PBC who invited Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar for an inauguration ceremony and termed it violation of the January 13 unanimous decision of the PBC that termed the November 3 steps illegal and Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
“The reappointment of deposed Judges had not affected the lawyers struggle,” Ahsan said. However, he admitted that lawyers pressure on the new PPP-led government had reduced regarding restoration of deposed Judges due to fresh oath by certain deposed Judges of the superior courts. The meeting also endorsed the holding of a national convention of lawyers by the legal fraternity of Gujranwala division on November 1.
Ahsan said that the judicial system had been paralyzed due to suspension of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. “Had Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry been in the Supreme Court he would have taken strict notice of selected load-shedding and the wheat crisis, among other things” he said.
The meeting also paid rich tributes to lawyers who sacrificed their lives for the cause of an independence of judiciary and rule of law in the country. The meeting also expressed concerned over the worsening law and order situation in Balochistan and the NWFP, wheat, electricity crises, and the price hike in the country and termed it failure of the rulers. It also condemned the attack on the ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.
Answering a question regarding the slow pace of the lawyers’ movement, Ahsan said that the struggle would gather momentum in the next few weeks.To a question regarding his affiliation with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) while also leading the lawyers’ movement, he said that he was still with the PPP and many of lawyers belonging to the party were supporting the cause of legal fraternity. He said that he himself raised a voice for the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry from the platform of the PPP’s highest body and would continue to do the same.
He deplored the fact that the elected government also reneged on its promises for restoration of the deposed Judges that it made on March 9 and August 5 and 8 despite the fact the it was the very lawyers movement which compelled the dictatorship out from the country.
The Sindh High Court Bar Association President Rasheed A Razvi said that lawyers are united and would continue the struggle until the restoration of all deposed Judges including CJP Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. PBC members Ali Ahmed Kurd, Hamid Khan, and lawyers representatives from different bar associations also attended meeting that lasted for more than four hours.
|Iftikhar nominated for Nobel Prize
|By By our correspondent
“Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has been nominated for the Nobel Prize”, said SCBA President, Aitzaz Ahsan, which, he added, was a great honour not only for him but for the entire country.
The SCBA President said that the entire world had acknowledged the services of desposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry for the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.
Besides this, the “Medal of Freedom” has been conferred on him by one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard, which is an honour bestowed only on two other persons before him – South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and Thurgood Marshal – in the over–two hundred year history of the university. He added that the New York Bar, the world’s largest bar, had also awarded a lifetime honorary membership to the desposed CJP in recognition of his services to the rule of law.
He said that it was cruel irony that at a time when the world was acknowledging the deposed CJP’s services and showering honours and laurels on him, he was kept non–functional in his own country by two successive governments.