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Pakistan lawyers leadership in disarray after ex-government minister beaten

[JURIST] Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan [PILDAT profile; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday he was resigning as head of the lawyer's association and then appeared to back away from that statement after a crowd of lawyers and other persons in Lahore beat up former Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi [Dawn report]. Ahsan, who has led the call for reinstatement of the superior court judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf [JURIST report] last year after he proclaimed a state of emergency, initially said that he was removing himself in order to distance himself from the attacks on Niazi, which he tried to personally stop, but later suggested he would defer his decision after talking with other lawyers.

Before his erstwhile resignation Tuesday, Ahsan renewed his call to reinstate the judges, saying that Pakistan's legal community would not accept any reinstatement unless dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaundry [JURIST news archive], also removed during the emergency, was among the jurists restored. Niazi was instrumental in the dismissals during his time in office. ANI has more.

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