Lawyers’ protest outside Parliament House

AFP

Islamabad: In a dramatic scene, a group of lawyers breached the security lines and entered the most sensitive areas of the capital on Monday. They tried to enter the Parliament House in a bid to disturb the session which was scheduled at 4:00pm.
Tearing down signboards, breaching the security lines and chanting anti-government slogans, lawyers unexpectedly broke through the security barriers of the Red Zone and reached the main gate of the Parliament House. Soon after the incident, police rushed to the scene and stopped the agitated lawyers. 
Lawyers then started to protest in front of the Parliament House demanding relocation of the district court from F8 to G10.
The protesting lawyers also demanded cases against the Islamabad police IG and SSP for failing to foil the attack on the district courts on March 3 and urged the government for appropriate compensation for the victims of F8 courts terror attack. 
The protesters claimed that the police statements about the number of assailants were misleading, and objected to interior minister’s statement about Judge Rafaqat Awan being killed by his own guard.
The agitated legal fraternity on Monday firstly rejected a set of proposals presented by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Tariq Fazal that included the temporarily relocation of the District Courts out of the congested F8 Markaz and blocked the Constitution Avenue for hours by burning tyres on the road and disrupting vehicular movement and compelling the capital police to close the gates of Parliament House and seal the entry and exit routes to the city’s Red Zone.
The lawyers, during their protest, urged the Islamabad administration and the federal government to take initiatives for early shifting of the District Court to G10 custom building, which is currently occupied by the Islamabad High Court. 
“Our demand is legitimate. We have been demanding the shifting of District Court from F8 to G10 since 2006 and have also submitted applications to the then government and we have been appealing to the administration on our demands,” said Islamabad District Bar Association President Naseer Ahmed Kayani.
The lawyers warned that if no steps are taken at the earliest, they will intensify their protest. A large number of police and Rangers officials were mobilised over the course of the day to guard parliament. Fazal Chaudhry, along with Islamabad District Bar Association President Kayani, Islamabad Bar General Secretary Naeem Gujjar and the information minister met the deputy speaker to address the protesters’ concerns.
During the meeting the federal government accepted the demands put forward by the legal fraternity and vowed that the judicial complex would be moved from its current location and funds will be allocated in the next budget. Regarding the lawyers allegations against the IG and SSP, it was agreed that legal proceedings would follow in accordance with the report of the inquiry headed by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui.
It was also decided that Rangers personnel will be stationed at the district courts in Islamabad to improve security.

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