15
Mar
07

Late night crackdown on lawyers, politicians in Pakistan

Police and intelligence agencies in Pakistan arrested several opposition politicians and lawyers in raids carried out at their residences in Lahore and other cities past midnight on Thursday as protests continued against the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Opposition parties and lawyers have announced a joint demonstration in Lahore on Friday.

The raids started during the night and were at their peak at midnight. The crackdown was launched on the orders of the Punjab government, media reports said. Unnamed sources in the government were quoted as saying that the authorities gave the approval for the raids following a high-level meeting and the federal government’s nod to go ahead. They claimed the crackdown had been launched to are duce the intensity’ of the ongoing protests.

Workers from the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and members of the Lahore Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association said that ‘a few dozen people’ had been arrested and detained in various police stations of the city. A representative of lawyers and a local leader of the PPP confirmed that raids were being carried out and that people had been arrested, but the exact number of arrests could not be confirmed. The families of the arrested people had started telling others to escape from their houses to avoid being arrested.

In Bahawalpur, Civil Judge Saeed Khurshid resigned in protest against Chaudhry’s suspension. In his resignation submitted on Wednesday, Khurshid, a civil judge for six years, said the judiciary felt ‘insecure’ after the suspension and ‘maltreatment’ of the chief justice. He alleged that the chief justice and constitution had been ‘made a joke’. President Pervez Musharraf, who suspended Chaudhry, charging with ‘misuse of authority’ in influencing the selection of son, a medico to the police force, has found support from the provincial chief ministers who, in turn, have organized meetings and rallies.

In Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi accused the opposition parties of trying to gain political mileage. Pakistan Peoples Party, he said, had called the judiciary ”kangaroo courts’ in the past and only welcomed favourable judgments.

Source: Earth Times

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1 Response to “Late night crackdown on lawyers, politicians in Pakistan”


  1. March 16, 2007 at 12:59 am

    Very timely … let’s see what happens tomorrow …!


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