Nawaz Sharif announces to join sit in with the lawyers
Nawaz Sharif announces to join sit in with the lawyers Nawaz Sharif announces to join sit in with the lawyers Nawaz Sharif announces to join sit in with the lawyers

PUBLISHED 7/14/2017
By Babar Dogar

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-N has announced to take part in the lawyers’ long march and sit-in in Islamabad on March 16.

The announcement was made in a joint press conference by PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, flanked by lawyers’ representatives Ali Ahmed Kurd and Aitzaz Ahsan, after a detailed meeting with them at his Raiwind residence on Friday. Nawaz Sharif, rubbishing any difference with lawyers on the issue of staging a protest, clarified that his party’s only concern was that the sit-in must be result-oriented, rather than an exercise in futility. He claimed the PML-N was even prepared to go an extra mile to achieve the targets. “We just want the protest to be decisive and result-oriented,” he said and claimed the lawyers did not need to make any request to them for taking part in it, because they were committed to the cause of judges.

He said he had given a go-ahead to lawyers to initiate dialogue with other political parties to garner support for their struggle. He said they would discuss details of the sit-in later. To a query on the eligibility case being affected by the decision to join the protest, Sharif said he did not recognise PCO judges, so their decision did not have any significance for them. He alleged the PCO judges had preferred allegiance to an individual to the constitution of Pakistan and that was why their judgment in the eligibility case was a non-issue for them.

Talking about the PML-N government in Punjab, he said they believed nothing could stop them from their struggle for the restoration of an independent judiciary in the country. He deplored that his colleagues, who were shoulder to shoulder with them during their struggle for the restoration of the judiciary, had not honoured their words. He said he felt sorry that the same LFO was in force in the country and no change had taken place even after the exit of a dictator. He termed the long march a noble cause and appealed to people to participate in it for the future of the country. “The lawyers and political parties should start their long march on foot from Lahore to Islamabad,” he suggested.

He claimed their struggle for the judiciary was not because of any personal gains but for the survival of the country. He said former President Pervez Musharraf had violated the constitution, contested a presidential election in uniform with the help of a bogus judiciary and was elected in uniform from an outgoing parliament which was unprecedented in the world. He said Pakistan had enemies within, not from outside. He also lauded deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for resisting a dictator and his orders. He said they would not let the struggle of lawyers, civil society and political workers go waste.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Ali Ahmed Kurd appreciated Mr Sharif for supporting their struggle. “PML-N leaders and workers have been participating in our gatherings and rallies and contributed to our struggle in decisive moments,” he said and termed February 20 as an important day in history, like March 16, when a leading political party had announced its complete support to them. He said he would meet Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, Imran Khan, Attaullah Khan Mengal, Mahmood Achakzai and political leaders from Sindh on the long march issue on Saturday. Kurd said they would continue their protest until the restoration of all sacked judges.

Talking to The News, Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary-General Syed Munawar Hasan said they had already decided to participate in the protest. He said they would finalise their strategy in their Saturday meeting. He said they would decide how to mobilise people, make arrangements for the protest and counter government tactics to fail it. He welcomed the PML-N for joining the protest and said they were prepared to fight the PPP government in the streets in case the PML-N government was dislodged in Punjab.