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ISLAMABAD: The ruling coalition of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) faced a fresh setback on Wednesday when lawyers launched protests in solidarity with the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

A large number of lawyers along with activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Senator Azam Swati gathered outside the Supreme Court building, holding placards inscribed with slogans in favour of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and for holding elections in the country.

The lawyers gathered outside the Supreme Court building after prominent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan – who had led the Lawyers’ Movement back in 2007 for restoration of the judiciary – gave a call to stage a peaceful protest to express solidarity with Chief Justice Bandial after the government showed reluctance to implement apex court’s verdict of holding Punjab assembly elections on May 14.

Ahsan promised that the lawyers would continue their peaceful protests outside the SC building unless the apex court’s verdict is implemented in letter and spirit.

“Today is a historic day that the lawyers and judges have come out to protect the country and the constitution like they did in the past,” said Senator Swati.

In a scathing attack on Khusro Bakhtiar and Barrister Shehzad Akber, he said that they were a “black spot” on the face of the party, and it is a huge relief they are no more part of the party.

He said that the PTI would ensure no such people will get party tickets for the next elections, adding there is a need to purge the party of people who tarnished its image.

He said that the constitution is not only for the PTI as it guarantees the rights of those living in this country, adding those behind making fun of the constitution should be tried under Article 6.

He said that if the apex court’s verdict is not implemented, it will damage the institution to the point of no return, adding there will be no compromise on the independence of the judiciary and rule of law.

He demanded the chief justice of Pakistan to apply Article 6 on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, secretaries Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), defence, adding it is a matter of the judiciary’s prestige and if its verdicts are not implemented, the people would no more trust on the courts.

“These are people who were supposed to implement the apex court’s order, but they’re still not ready to comply with the court’s orders. The need of the hour is that all those involved in this particular case of not complying with court’s orders should be tried under Article 6,” he demanded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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