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Lawyers' Movement

The Lawyers' Movement was the name given to the popular mass protest movement started by the lawyers of Pakistan in response to the dictatorial actions of 9 March 2007, by the country's military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, when he unconstitutionally sacked Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan with the backing of politicians declared the suspension of the Chief Justice an "assault on independence of judiciary".

1 History 2 List of judges removed on 3 November 2007 3 Prominent leaders of the Lawyers' Movement 4 The Start of the Lawyers' Movement 5 Mission of the Lawyers' Movement 6 Rallies and protests 7 Crackdown on lawyers 8 Milestones 9 Timeline of Lawyers' Movement 10 Role of the media 11 Role of Political Parties 12 Lawyers' Movement anthem 13 References 14 External links

The Lawyers Movement history starts when a lawyer name Naveed Akhtar now Additional Advocate General was arrested by the Military without any cause. Lawyers and his friends went to attock to release him but the Military Personals arrogantly

refused. So, Mian Muhibullah Kakakhel Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan drafted a writ petition and by hand in the court represented it to the Peshawar High Court Judge Talat Qayyum Qureshi and he was the first ever judge who ordered the release of the lawyer detained with the Military. After words the Lawyers and Military clashes started onwards between each other on every single illegal step of Military,they started protest, Hunger Champs were initiated in a peaceful manner but onwards the Political Parties because of its interest started interference in the lawyers movement and the movement was Politicized by the Political Lawyers and the professional lawyers stepped back and their profession was ruined, political interference they abused the Judges openly in the Courts and had nuisance value. The political lawyers who protested were given Government Jobs, made few Advocate Generals, Attorney Generals and even Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan. The political lawyers who used to abusive language for the judges outside the court appeared before them as a Government Lawyers and bow their heads in front of them. Few them are now judges of the Peshawar High Court including Qaisar Rasheed who openly abused the Judges and put the documents in the fire. Presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan Munir A. Malik, Aitzaz Ahsan, and Ali Ahmad Kurd along with others lawyer leaders led the Lawyers' Movement.

On July 20, 2007, the Council (Supreme Court of Pakistan) restored Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of Pakistan and dismissed the charges against him. On November 3, 2007, dictator Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency in Pakistan and again dismissed the Chief Justice along with sixty other judges, illegally and unconstitutionally, who refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). Lawyers, civil society, human rights activists, journalists and the media and people from all walks of life took to the streets once more to protest for the restoration of the judiciary and removal of the state of emergency. The Chief Justice was eventually restored by Prime Minister Gilani. Many believe that General Kayani was behind this restoration as the US establishment became interested in the resolution of this issue.

List of judges removed on 3 November 2007

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Rana Bhagwan Daas

Khalil ur Rehman Ramday Javed Iqbal Raja Fayaz Ahmad Mian Shakirullah Jan Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmad Khawaja Sharrif Shahid Siddiqui

Prominent leaders of the Lawyers' Movement

Aitzaz Ahsa Ali Ahmad Kurd Munir A. Malik Justice Tariq Mahmood Athar Minallah Hamid Khan Latif Afridi Anwar Kamal Mian Muhammad Aslam Hamid Khan Abdul Samad Khan Bisrya

The Start of the Lawyers' Movement

The president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, Aitzaz Ahsan, and members vowed to fight and restore the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Mission of the Lawyers' Movement

The main objective of the lawyers movement was establishment of Rule of Law, Supremacy of the Constitution, and Civilian Supremacy over the military. Restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, along with sixty judges dismissed by Pervez Musharraf illegally on 3 November 2007 were secondary objectives.

Rallies and protests

On January 21, 2009 the Lahore High Court Bar Association carried out a 10 Million signature movement. As the name suggests, the purpose of the movement was to get 10 million signatures on a large white cloth which was to be presented to the parliament at the end of long march. Political party workers, concerned ci tizen and lawyers participated and signed the petition. On March 16, 2009 the Lawyers' Community had given a call for nationwide 'Long March'. Many political parties like the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Group), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and others supported and participated in the Long March. All the supporters of the 'restoration of judges' participated in the Long March despite a ban imposed on protests and rallies under Section 144 by the government.

Crackdown on lawyers
The government arrested, detained and tortured lawyers on different occasions. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, armored police vehicles entered the premises of the Lahore High Court to attack the protesting lawyers who had sought refuge within the high court building. Several lawyer leaders were kept under house arrest for several months. Munir A Malik developed serious health problems due to this confinement. In Karachi, anti-lawyers movement and ally of the government Muttahida Qaumi Movement(MQM) torched a lawyer's office in which about 7 lawyers were burnt alive. In Sahiwal, police acting on the orders of the Musharraf regime attacked the lawyers with a petrol bomb, causing several lawyers to suffer major burns.

The first achievement of the Lawyers' journey was on July 20, 2007, when the Supreme Court refused to affix its imprimatur on Pervez Musharraf's attempt to dismiss the Chief Justice, who was then restored to his office with full dignity and authority.

Timeline of Lawyers' Movement

9 March 2007 Musharraf removes Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. The removal brought months of protests by lawyers. 20 July 2007 the Supreme Court of Pakistan restored the Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry with full dignity and authority. 3 November 2007 Musharraf imposed state of emergency. Constitution was suspended. Sixty independent judges were dismissed.

5 November 2007 Police raided the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA). After baton charging and throwing tear gas into the premises, arrested more than 800 lawyers. 28 Nov, 2007 General Musharraf retired from Pakistan Army, and thus, gave up one of the two offices he was holding. 27 Dec, 2007 Prominent political leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. 18 Feb, 2008 Gen Musharraf's backed PML(Q) could only win small number of Electoral seats, while his opponents PPP and PML(N) formed majority government. 9 March 2008 leaders of political parties Asif Ali Zardari , Pakistan Peoples Party and Nawaz Sharif Pakistan Muslim League signed an agreement to restore the judges within 30 days of formation of national government. Zardari backed out and the coalition failed to restore the judges. 24 March 2008 Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered, soon after being elected Prime Minister, that all detained judges be released. 12 May 2008 was another deadline for restoring the judges but nothing was done. This was the second commitment the government backed out from after the initial deadline of 'within 30 days of formation of government' which ended on 30 April 2008. 17 May 2008 Pakistan Bar Council announced a long march from Lahore to Islamabad will be held on 10 June 2009. Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) considered it against the Pakistan Peoples Party government and did not support the long march. 14 June 2008 historic long march was held, thousands of people from all walks of life participated. 8 August 2008 ruling coalition leaders Sharif and Zardari once more agree to restore Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry as the chief justice if Musharraf resigns. But when Musharraf stepped down, Zardari backed out of the deal for the third time. 18 August 2008 Musharraf resigned. Lawyers considered the resignation a great achievement and celebrated. 25 August 2008 Sharif's party, leaves the coalition government. 6 September 2008 Asif Ali Zardari is elected the President of Pakistan by the parliament. 28 October 2008 Ali Ahmad Kurd was elected the president of Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association. This energized the struggle of restoration of judiciary. 25 February 2009 Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif and his brother

Shahbaz Sharif from holding or contesting public offices. 11 March 2009 several hundred lawyers and opposition party's political workers and leaders were arrested. Ban was placed on rallies and protests in two of the Pakistan's four provinces. 12 March 2009 lawyers, political workers and civil society gather in several cities for the Long March to Islamabad. Scuffle with police, hundred of arrests were made, none allowed to leave their cities for Islamabad. 15 March 2009 authorities placed Nawaz Sharif, Atizaz Ahsan and many other leaders under house arrest. Sharif broke through the road blocks with his supporters and came out on the roads in Lahore to begin the Long March. This is believed to be the turning point of the movement Thousands of people joined the rally. Midnight 15/16 March 2009 government gave when thousands of people moved towards Islamabad led by Nawaz Sharif. Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry was restored as Chief Justice of Pakistan and other judges dismissed by Musharraf. The long march was put to an end after the intervention and assurance of Army chief , Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani , into the matter. And as per his promise with Nawaz , Judghes including the CJ , restored the same night .

Role of the media

The print and electronic media were very active in the Lawyers' Movement. Geo News even had to face a ban. Days before the call for 16 March 2009 Long March, Geo News carried out a series of public service message campaign which was sponsored by Mir Khalil ur Rehman Foundation (MKRF) for restoration of the judges. One of the campaign's message was a 8 minutes 12 Seconds video which showed all the promises and statements, especially by Pakistan Peoples Party leaders, about the restoration of the judges but were not fulfilled. The campaign proved very successful in educating people and reminding the government of their commitments. The government even blocked Geo News in many parts of the country as the government believed the campaign was biased. This steps of Geo news makes very constructive role in lawyers` movement, and in the end there is victory of Judiciary,Media,civil-society and every Pakistani. Print and electronic media play their positive role. Critics says that , print and electronic media , at times do crossed their limits of authority and helped creating a negative sentiment about the , government among masses regarding the Chief Justice issue , however the Lawyers movement do succeeded in getting the interest of commons , television channels covered the ralleys of Judge for hours continuously

Role of Political Parties

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN), Pakhtun-khwa Milli Awami Party[5], Awami National Party and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) supported the Lawyers' Movement on different occasions.

Lawyers' Movement anthem

Aitzaz Ahsan wrote a poem while he was under house arrest. The poem later became the anthem of Lawyers' Movement.Aitzaz Ahsans contributed greatly in the Lawyers movement of Pakistan , although he faced severe pressure , being a member of PPPP CEC ....