LAHORE – MIAN DAWOOD - In view of the increasing criticism from different circles of Pakistan including ‘dominant houses’ by using Arsalan Iftikhar case, the Bar Councils throughout the country once again have come to save and support Supreme Court like historical lawyers’ movement in 2007 for restoration of the judiciary.
The vice-chairmen of all provincial bar councils strongly believe that Arsalan Iftikhar episode is in-fact a retaliation by the PPP government over the strict decisions announced by the apex court for the last four years.
The office-bearers of the bar councils also smelled a role of some intelligences agencies in the Arsalan’s case. They are of the opinion that the Arsalan issue was a conspiracy not only against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad but also against the apex court that was struggling to maintain the rule of law in the country.
Talking to TheNation, Supreme Court Bar Association President Yaseen Hassan Azad said the lawyers were with the judiciary. “Arsalan issue is just an attempt to devastate the Supreme Court,” Azad said.
He said the apex court should not be provoked by press conferences and decide the matter according to law and the Constitution. “No one will be allowed to curb the independence and grace of the apex court,” Azad vowed. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should not resign or go on long leave as he had already sided himself from the case against his son because the issue between two persons Arsalan and Malik Riaz, Azad added.
Punjab Bar Council Vice Chairman Malik Ghulam Abbas Nissoana said that lawyers were ready to protect the apex court from the attack of conspirators who were not happy with the bold decisions CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. “Pakistan People’s Party and some officers of intelligence agencies may behind the Arsalan’s episode as it is benefiting more to them only,” Nissoana feared in view of missing persons’ case, NRO case, PM’s contempt case and others. “Now everyone is talking about only Arsalan’s case, not about the cases against governments and missing persons.
This situation says that PPP and intelligence agencies are behind the episode,” Nissoana maintained.
Most of the lawyers were of the view that government hit back on the apex court as the government was angry with the judiciary; he said, adding that the lawyers were ready for another movement in support of the judiciary. He said the provincial bar council had called its general house meeting wherein the strategy to support judiciary would be chalked out.
Sindh Bar Council Vice-Chairman Iftikhar Javed said no one would be allowed to attack the Supreme Court or Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on the basis of Arsalan’s conduct. “Arsalan’s suo moto case is a different issue. Insulting the judiciary and the chief justice is another matter,” Javed said, adding that there was conspiracy to destroy the whole judicial system. Now, the judiciary needed most moral support as compare to 2007’s lawyers movement, he said.
“It is true that PPP’s lawyers will not come to save the judiciary, but we will bring the black coats and civil society on roads at any cost,” he vowed. He said it was a time to launch another movement against a group of corrupt rulers and land grabbers.
“Being an important institution of the country, the Supreme Court will be protected at any cost by the provincial lawyers,” Abdul Hameed Baloch, Vice-Chairman of Blochistan Bar Council, said. Baloch said there should be a detailed inquiry in Arsalan’s issue.
“The future will expose that who planted Malik Riaz for destroying the judiciary,” he added. He said the chief justice had played a noteworthy role in Balochistan’s unrest case and missing persons’ case due to which Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was being targeted through a conspiracy. “The chief justice should not be disgraced or punished owing to his son’s conducts,” he said. “The timing of Malik Riaz’s allegations is enough to understand that the intelligence agencies have planned the plot to defame and pressurise the chief justice and apex court,” he said. The lawyers were not with individuals but with an institution, he added. However, he said, the allegations on Arsalan had damaged the reputation of his father.
Fazal Tawab Khan, Vice Chairman of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council, said a meeting had been called on the Arsalan’s issue wherein the future plan would be decided.
He also believed that apex court was being targeted through a well-planned conspiracy.
“What are motives to implicate the chief justice in the issue of two individuals,” he questioned. “Those, who do not want independent judiciary, have planed this conspiracy by using the shoulders of Malik Riaz,” he said. He said the lawyers of his province were also ready to support the chief justice and the apex court.
Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) has called a general house meeting for Thursday (today) to decide the future strategy after the current crises being faced by the judiciary after Dr Arslan Iftikhar’s case. The meeting will be held in Kyani Hall at 10:30. The meeting will be attended by senior lawyers as well as office bearers of LHCBA and Punjab Bar Council.