More Pakistan bar leaders arrested under emergency but Chaudhry defiant

[JURIST] Pakistani security services pressed ahead with arrests of leading lawyers across Pakistan Monday as the government sought to suppress dissent against Saturday's declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report] by President Pervez Musharraf. In addition to hundreds arrested after riot police clashed with lawyers at the Lahore High Court [JURIST report], at least 25 lawyers in Karachi - including the president of the Karachi Bar Association - were arrested after an anti-emergency demonstration there. Some 41 lawyers were arrested in Rawalpindi, again including the head of the local bar association. More lawyers were arrested in demonstrations and house raids in other cities. From Pakistan, the News has more. PakTribune has additional coverage.

Dismissed Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry told the News Sunday night in his first public statements [News report] since being put under effective house arrest himself on Saturday that despite the wave of detentions he was confident that the rule of law in Pakistan would be restored. He called Musharraf's Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) [text] purporting to suspend the country's constitution "illegal" and against the direction of the Supreme Court, which under his leadership had issued an order blocking the emergency measures [text] Saturday while its building was blockaded by troops and police. He said that new judges sworn in under the PCO were acting without legal authority. Chaudhry defended the judiciary against Musharraf's allegations in the declaration of emergency [PDF] that it was soft on terrorism, saying judges could not convict without evidence and that he had set up a commission to make recommendations on how to expedite terrorism-related cases.

Pakistan Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum said Sunday in an interview with Pakistan's Dawn newspaper that the size of the country's new Supreme Court under the PCO could be reduced from 19 to 13, 12 or even 10. So far the court is comprised of only four judges willing to take PCO oaths, including new Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, who on Sunday said that the Chaudhry court's order against the PCO was invalid [JURIST report] and had not been issued by the court (presumably as reconstituted). Dawn has more.

2:08 PM ET - Dismissed Chief Justice Chaudhry said Monday in a new statement reported by Dawn that he had been placed under virtual arrest after an Army major locked his residence and took away his keys. Dawn says other judges have also been confined in the Judges Enclave in Islamabad with their families and have not been allowed to leave, although some require medical assistance. From Karachi, the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court also told Dawn that security forces have prevented him from leaving his house. Dawn has continuing coverage.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.