Lawyers vow show-of-force ‘black day’ protests today
* LBA president says ‘furious’ lawyers will ‘show aggression against military’
LAHORE: Lawyers will observe a “black day” today (Saturday), completely boycotting court proceedings and taking out rallies to protest President General Pervez Musharraf’s bid to be elected president for another term, legal fraternity leaders told Daily Times on Friday.
Following the strike call, issued by their National Action Committee, lawyers in the city wore black armbands and hoisted black flags on all bar buildings.
Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Aziz Akbar Baig told Daily Times that the lawyers were sorely disappointed by the Supreme Court decision in General Pervez Musharraf’s favour in the dual offices case, but would continue their struggle against dictatorship.
He said all the country’s bars would observe a complete strike and would hold protest rallies. Another protest of a different nature will be held outside the Election Commission building, he added. Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Munir A Malik said lawyers would register a forceful protest against Musharraf’s presidential candidacy. He demanded that lawyers from across the country reach Islamabad in maximum numbers to ensure this happens. Those who cannot make their way to Islamabad should hold protest rallies at their respective bars, he added.
Malik also demanded that the government ensure the presence of the private electronic and print media when Musharraf’s nomination papers are scrutinised on Saturday. Although the government promised to grant the media access to the process, Malik said he had no faith in its promises.
Furious, aggression: Lahore Bar Association (LBA) President Sayyed Muhammad Shah said that lawyers had become “furious” after the SC decision in Musharraf’s favour, and vowed: “we will show our aggression against the military in the worst way”. He said lawyers would continue their struggle till dictatorship ended forever.
He said the LBA would take out a protest rally from the Aiwan-e-Adal courts culminating in a sit-in at the PMG Chowk, and also planned to send many lawyers to Islamabad to protest outside the Election Commission office on Saturday while Gen Musharraf’s nomination papers are scrutinised.
Lahore High Court Bar Association President Ahsen Bhoon said lawyers would completely boycott the courts, but a decision on taking out a rally had not been made yet.
The Punjab Bar Council Vice Chairman Tariq Javed Warraich said lawyers would hold protest meetings, take out protest rallies and burn effigies of Gen Musharraf.