My choice today: Wednesday 11 June 2008

Long March, Zardari and Musharraf – Aftab Iqbal

PPP lawyers and the Long March

According to reports, lawyers belonging to the PPP in Lahore have a split opinion on whether to join the Long March in favour of the restoration of the judges and against President Musharraf. Two groups within the People’s Lawyers Forum think differently: one group, while demanding restoration of the judges, thinks that taking part in the Long March would destabilise the PPP government. The other group wants to go all the way. The lawyers’ movement is popular and there are moral and physical persuaders behind it.

According to one report, Lahore’s courts are dysfunctional these days because the lawyers are absent. There are 50,000 cases lying before the judges with no defence in sight, which affects both the civil litigant and those rotting in prisons without guilt. In Punjab and the rest of the country the number of cases thus blocked would amount to complete breakdown of the process of justice in the country. One can only hope that the lawyers’ movement will take a decision in this matter and allow the courts to function on all days except perhaps on Thursday when it stages its weekly protest. Such a plea is made because the lawyers are given to making threats against those of their community who persist in attending the courts. Like the breakaway PPP lawyers, everyone in the profession should have the right to decide whether he wants to join the protest or not. (Daily Times).