Pakistan lawyers set schedule for long march, sit-in over judges issue

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Rage, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Rage

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    Pakistan lawyers set schedule for long march, sit-in over judges issue

    2009-03-04 18:56:59


    ISLAMABAD, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The lawyer leaders of Pakistan on Wednesday announced the schedule for long march and sit-in, which is set to stage next week aimed at restoring the deposed judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf.

    The lawyers' long march will begin simultaneously from different cities on March 12 and reach capital Islamabad on March 16, where the participants will demonstrate sit-in on the Constitution Avenue for indefinite period of time.

    Musharraf sacked the chief justice of Pakistan and 60 other top judges when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007.

    The lawyers had staged demonstrations, or long march, in June to call for restoration of the deposed judges.

    Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, also chief of the opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said on Wednesday in Islamabad that the PML-N "will fully participate in the long march."

    Nawaz Sharif broke up with the ruling coalition led by Pakistan's People's Party (PPP) last year due to political rift over the deposed judges.

    The PML-N decided to participate in the long march after a Supreme Court verdict banned him and his brother from holding office last month, which has triggered new political turmoil in the troubled country.

    The verdict has removed Shahbaz Sharif from the office of chief minister of eastern Pakistan's Punjab province, the country's largest and richest province where the PML-N holds power.

    The verdict also caused countrywide protests against President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the PPP co-chairman.


    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/04/content_10943174.htm

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    Separate thread opened for further updates....this is an issue of serious political significance and potentially destabilizing consequences for Pakistan's already fractious polity. Further discussion on the Lawyers' long march here...
     
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  3. Rage

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    Nawaz warns Zardari of indefinite agitation

    By Ahmed Hassan
    Wednesday, 04 Mar, 2009 | 11:44 PM PST |

    [​IMG]
    Nawaz Sharif joins hands with the President of Supreme Court Bar Association Aitzaz Ahsan - AFP photo

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) chief Nawaz Sharif has warned President Asif Ali Zardari that agitation will continue if he fails to restore the judiciary to its pre-Nov 3, 2007 position.

    Speaking at the lawyers' ‘National Conference’ on Wednesday, Sharif said the country was still in the grip of a few generals and judges despite the February 18 polls and return to democracy.

    He appealed to people to participate in the lawyers' long march and sit-in.

    Earlier, a large number of speakers, belonging to various political parties, retired generals, and members of civil society including Jamaat Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Pakistan Tehrik Insaf chairman Imran Khan and others expressed their solidarity with the lawyers' movement and the upcoming long march.

    The conference adopted a resolution that called for a peaceful and sustained long march followed by a sit-in until the fulfillment of its objectives.

    The resolution said: 'This conference is of the view that the actions of November 3, 2007, by former Gen retd Musharraf were unconstitutional which need to be repealed and the judiciary that existed on November 2 ought to be restored'.

    The conference also decided that the long march would begin simultaneously from Quetta and Karachi on March 12 and reach Sukkur in evening. The caravan of lawyers would reach Lahore from Multan on March 14.

    They will leave for Lahore from Rawalpindi on March 15 and reach Islamabad on March 16. The participants of long march will start staging sit-in on Constitution Avenue for an indefinite period of time on the same evening, an announcement said.

    Sharif accused the chief justice of Pakistan for allegedly sending him a message that if the issue of Justice Dogar's daughter regarding illegal additional marks was hushed up, the disqualification case involving him and Shahbaz would be set aside.

    He also repeated the allegation that President Asif Ali Zardari had offered a ‘business deal’ to Shahbaz Sharif in the presence of a federal minister and that an offer was made that the disqualification case would be turned in their favour if they supported the legislation to extend upper age limit of Justice Dogar.

    Both these offers, he said, were rejected because 'we are aware that Pakistan cannot flourish and go forward as long as it gets an independent judiciary.

    He said 'we would have been bestowed with higher ranks in the government and additional ministries in the federal cabinet if we had backtracked on our pledge for the restoration of judiciary, but we refused to compromise'.

    Sharif, however, defended the stance of his party for taking part in the February 18 polls since they were able to throw out the dictator, Musharraf and today we are resisting all illegal acts of the government because we are sitting in the parliament.

    He said we were given the word after the no confidence move against Musharraf that the judiciary would be restored within 24 hours of his ouster, but that promise also went unfulfilled.

    He claimed that had we boycotted the polls, the PPP led government would have given indemnity and would have entrenched Musharraf in power saddles.

    Earlier in his speech, JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed said if they succeed in getting one hundred thousand people at the long march, it would be sufficient to make the regime bow down. He claimed that Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was deposed because of the NRO and missing persons.

    The main demand of the long marchers, he said, would be restoration of the pre-November 3 judiciary and trial of Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.

    Imran Khan termed the lawyers movement 'a national movement' and its timing as a defining moment which the nation needs to make it successful at all costs.

    He said 'Our agitation will be peaceful and if it meets police violence, its responsibility will lie President Zardari.

    Earlier, addressing the conference, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan said the peaceful long march would not let the national leadership down. He said Benazir Bhutto also promised to restore the deposed judges.

    Former DG ISI Gen. Hameed Gul, chairperson Pakistan missing person’s society Amena Masood Janjua, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith chief Prof. Sajid Mir, former AJP Prime Minister Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan and Brig. Mehmood Hassan of ex-servicemen society and Eng. Salimullah Khan of JUP also spoke on the occassion.


    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect...istan/long+march-sit-in-schedule-announced-nf
     
  4. Rage

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    PML-N, JI join hands against Zardari

    Tuesday, March 03, 2009

    [​IMG]

    By Asim Hussain

    LAHORE: The PML-N and the Jamaat-e-Islami on Monday resolved to wage a joint struggle for the restoration of an independent judiciary, taking it to the logical end against all odds and tactics.

    Briefing reporters at Mansoorah, PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad said: “The National Reconciliation Ordinance is the root-cause of all the crises since it brought an illegitimate government into power that pursued General Musharraf’s agenda and misused the Supreme Court to victimise political opponents, causing the current political crisis.”

    Earlier, Nawaz Sharif arrived at Mansoorah to hold an hour-long meeting with the JI leadership to discuss the political situation. The PML-N team included its Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, Secretary General Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, Ghaus Ali Shah, Pervaiz Rasheed, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Mian Javed Latif. Qazi was assisted by JI Secretary General Munawwar Hasan, Deputy Chief Liaquat Baloch, Dr Fareed Paracha, Mian Maqsood Ahmad and Amirul Azeem.

    Former political allies of the 1990s again came closer as Nawaz Sharif visited the JI headquarters after a gap of around 16 years. He last visited the place in October 1993 on the martyrdom of Muzaffar Naeem Shaheed, the son of the then JI information secretary Chaudhry Safdar Ali, who was killed fighting against the Indian army in held Kashmir.

    Nawaz Sharif’s gesture was reciprocated by the JI leadership which rolled out a red carpet for the PML-N delegation. Both Nawaz and Qazi expressed the resolve to fully participate in the national consultation conference of opposition parties scheduled for March 4 in Islamabad and supported the country-wide strike call for March 6 against the imposition of governor’s rule in the Punjab. They vowed to stage a historic long march and sit-in in Islamabad for the restoration of an independent judiciary.

    Qazi said the nation had rejected the disqualification of the Sharif brothers by the Supreme Court formed ìunconstitutionally and illegallyî by military dictator Gen Musharraf. He said the only way to redress all the problems was to reinstate ìconscientious judgesî including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the Nov 2, 2007 position, restoration of the Constitution at Oct 1999 position and an independent Election Commission —the objectives already agreed upon by the PML-N, the PPP and the APDM, whose signatories included PPP slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

    Nawaz held President Asif Ali Zardari primarily responsible for all the present crises that he caused by violating the Charter of Democracy, going back on his promises to restore the judges, and pursuing Gen Musharraf’s agenda.

    He said: “Nothing changed after the exit of Gen Musharraf who could have stayed if no change was to come after him. I think the spirit of Gen Musharraf has possessed President Asif Zardari.”

    He accused President Zardari of going back on all the promises and objectives the PPP workers had set for themselves and rendered sacrifices. He vowed to take the movement to its logical end so as not to leave the mess in the shape of “slave Supreme Court, crippled parliament, lawlessness, price-hike and unemployment”.

    Responding to a question, he said the NRO was the main obstacle in the restoration of the judiciary and the root-cause of all problems. “For how long will the nation suffer because of Zardari’s NRO?” he asked. He said the mobile courts established through a presidential ordinance had nothing to do with providing justice to the people but meant to crush the lawyers’ long march.


    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=20689
     
  5. Rage

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    Thousands of tribals to join long march: JI

    Updated at: 1900 PST, Sunday, March 08, 2009


    JAMRUD: Thousands of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activists belonging to tribal areas will take part in the lawyers’ long march on March 16.

    This was said by JI Deputy Secretary General in tribal areas Zarnoor Afridi while addressing a gathering in Jamrud tehsil in Khyber Agency.

    He said that tribal people were ready to render any sacrifice for the country’s’ stability and defence. Afridi further said that country was in the grip of several crises, while country’s top judge was seeking justice too.


    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=70875
     

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