Aitzaz warns of protests for restoration of judges
By our correspondent: The News, December 21, 2007
LAHORE: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Aitzaz Ahsan has warned that if the new parliament fails to restore the judiciary to its pre-Nov 3 status, the lawyers would bring all the ‘deposed’ judges on the streets at the start of February. He said the lawyers would launch a massive movement and would force the Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani to undo all the “wrongdoings” of his predecessor.
Aitzaz expressed these views while addressing a hunger strike camp of journalists at the Lahore Press Club. Earlier, he visited the residences of judges of the superior courts, who did not take oath under the PCO.
Talking to journalists, Aitzaz said that nobody, even Benazir Bhutto, had questioned him on his decision to boycott the elections. “The PPP is my family and I have faced jails for my party and I cannot even think of leaving it,” he maintained.
He said that after consultation with lawyers, he would file a damages suit of Rs 2 billion against President Musharraf and the amount would be recovered after selling his national and internationals assets.
The SCBA president, whose house detention ended on Wednesday night, said the major difficulty of the regime was that it wanted to get all its unconstitutional acts approved by a two-thirds majority but the fact was that the king’s party (the PML-Q) had reached on the verge of a great disaster. He said the political scenario of the country would entirely change after January 8 and the two big political parties, which are contesting polls as protest, would stand shoulder to shoulder with lawyers for the restoration of judges.
He said the lawyers would take out these judges from every nook and corner of the country and the nation would join them. “Earlier we had one Chief Justice and one driver but now we have 45 judges and thousands of drivers,” he said, adding that the lawyers’ movement would eliminate the dictatorship once for all.
Commenting on the suggestion of Benazir to make a Judges-Party, Aitzaz said that addressing the bars was the basic responsibility of a judge. “If a judge addresses a bar, it does not mean that he is doing politics,” he said. If the government prolongs the judges’ detention, former judges including Justice Wajih, Justice Fakharuddin Ibrahim, Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqi and Justice Nasir Aslam would lead the lawyers’ movement, he maintained.
Aitzaz was accompanied by secretary SCBA Amin Javed, VP Ghulam Nabi Bhatti and other members of the bar, including Muhammad Azhar and Anwar Kamal. The deposed judges with whom the delegation met were Justice Syed Jamshed Ali Shah, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Ch. Ijaz Ahmad, Justice Sair Ali and Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman. During the meeting with the judges, Aitzaz assured them of full support of lawyers and expressed solidarity with them.