A warm welcome
* Hundreds of banners displayed to welcome CJP
* PPP activist threatens of committing suicide, if CJP not reinstated
* Workers say struggle would continue
By Faizan Bangash
LAHORE: Hundreds of banners were displayed with welcoming remarks and slogans to appreciate Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in the city on Saturday.
Lahoris including activists of various political parties, businessmen and general public expressed their solidarity with the CJP. They demanded that the CJP should be reinstated. Various areas of the city, from the Lahore High Court (LHC) building to Lower Mall, Saggiyan Bridge, Minar-e-Pakistan, Shahdara, McLeod Road, Anarkali were decorated with banners, flags and posters.
The banners carried various slogans such as “Democracy Needed”, “CJ must be back, Musharraf must go”, “Judiciary is respectable”, “Till the independence of Judiciary, restoration of democracy, end of dictatorial rule, the struggle will continue.” “We pay tribute to Chief Justice Iftikhar”, “No compromise with the general” “People will rule”.
The banners displayed in the city belonged to various parties including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, the Jamat-e-Islami, the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf and the Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees.
These parties had also set up their camps outside the LHC building. The Joint Action Committee had also set up a camp. The PPP and the PML-N activists, however, dominated the proceedings.
The national songs of various renowned singers including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Alamgir and Allan Faqir were continuously being played in the PML-N lawyers’ forum camp. The lawyers and other party workers were chanting slogans for their party leaders and the CJP.
The lawyers had also displayed black bands on their arms and foreheads with slogans for the revival of democracy and reinstatement of the CJP. Hayat, a PPP activist from Krishen Nagar, said, he would commit suicide on The Mall if the government would not reinstate the CJP. “I warn the government that I will burn myself outside the GPO chowk if the CJP is not reinstated.” “The CJP is a good man.” He said. The PPP workers had sacrificed their lives for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and democracy.
Tariq Ali, a PML-N activist, said, “Musharraf’s government is more corrupt than General Zia’s regime.” Shaukat, a PPP activist from Shahkot who came on a wheel chair, said, “I want to meet the CJP.” “The CJP is a good man, so Pakistanis should support him.” Apart from the LHC surroundings, the people from other parts of the city were also anxious to give a warm welcome to the CJP.
Syed Farhan Zaighum, a WAPDA Town resident, said, “The government must not stop the CJP from addressing the Lahore Bar. There should be democracy in our country in its true form.” The businessmen also showed their interest in the judicial crisis. Traders of Anarkali had set up a water stall for the public.
Less activity was reported in the areas including Gulberg, Jail Road, Garden Town and fewer banners, flags and posters were displayed in these areas.