Lawyers on rampage

WHAT Lahore witnessed on Monday is a rare scene in any civilised country as those who were supposed to uphold rule of law lavishly engaged in violence, fought with law-enforcing agencies and even mounted an attack on the Lahore High Court. Their attempt to storm the CJ block was thwarted after anti-riot police used tear gas and water cannons to force them out of the court premises. And what they were demanding — withdrawal of arrest warrants against Sher Zaman Qureshi, President of Lahore High Court Bar Association Multan Chapter in a contempt of court case. Qureshi, along with some lawyers, had misbehaved with Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan in Multan during court proceedings last month.
Unfortunately, the drama did not end at that as lawyers staged sit-in outside the court threatening to continue it until the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court was replaced and arrest warrants against Qureshi withdrawn. They also announced that black-coats would boycott courts across the province and received assurances of solidarity from Karachi as well. Lawyers were within their right to agitate the issue but this should have been done in a civilised manner but the way they resorted to violence, pelted personnel of law-enforcing agencies with stones, attacked top court of the province, made provocative statements, raised slogans and virtually held judges hostage to their unjustified demand brought shame to entire Pakistan. Some other segments of the society including young doctors and two/three political parties have also been behaving like this but instead of discouraging them, regrettably, judiciary provided them a sort of support to trample the law and we saw this as recently as the permission granted for holding of a sit-in on the Mall in Lahore and that too with instructions to provide complete security to law-breakers. Lawyers have been urging others including Mian Nawaz Sharif to accept verdict of the court, who did but the legal fraternity itself showed scant respect even for a Chief Justice. What lawyers are doing is sheer blackmail and the judiciary as well as the authorities concerned must not bow before them. If lawyers would not accept court orders then why terrorists and criminals would? This is the reasons judges are frightened to deliver fair judgements as they fear about their own lives and those of their families.

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