Lawyers wait overnight to cheer CJP
* Lawyers dance to national songs, shout pro-Chaudhry slogans all night
By Hassnain Qureshi
LAHORE: Thousands of lawyers who had waited through the night gave a thunderous reception to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry when he reached the Lahore High Court building to address the Lahore High Court Bar Association on Sunday morning.
Cries of “Go, Musharraf go” rang out as Chaudhry entered Lahore at the head of a caravan consisting of supporters and the media, more than 20 hours after setting out from Islamabad. The trip takes four hours but took him more than 20.
The CJP’s caravan took time reaching Lahore via the GT Road becauselawyers from various district and tehsil bar associations hosted receptions for him on the route.
A large number of lawyers had started converging at the main venue – the LHC building – since Saturday morning and the emotionally-charged legal fraternity continued shouting slogans for the supremacy of the judiciary and restoration of the CJP till Chaudhry’s rally reached the LHC building. Representatives of the Nankana Bar Association were the first group of lawyers from outside Lahore to reach the venue. The enthralled lawyers danced to the beat of national songs and shouted pro-CJP slogans as they entered the LHC building.
The lawyers of Nankana were followed by delegations from more than 50 district and tehsil bar associations from Punjab, the NWFP and Sindh. Daily Times saw that there was no gender discrimination in the lawyers’ demonstration and every member of the legal fraternity was eager to express support for the CJP.
The venue was decorated with huge portraits of the CJP and banners inscribed with anti-government and pro-Chaudhry slogans. The LHCBA had set the main stage for the CJP, while separate sitting arrangements had been made for the sitting and retired LHC judges who had come to hear the CJP. Chaudhry’s vehicle entered the LHC premises at 8:40am and took 30 minutes to reach the stage, which was only a few yards away. The CJP was given a thunderous welcome by lawyers from various parts of the country. The lawyers danced and shouted slogans to show solidarity with Chaudhry. The organisers tried to calm the lawyers down, but they turned down their requests.
“We have shed our blood for this brave man…suffered in scorching heat during rallies and now that he is among us, let us express our feelings wholeheartedly,” a lawyer was heard telling an organiser.