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Pakistan: Lawyers On A Rampage

The Lawyers’ Movement in Pakistan, which started in 2007, enjoyed great public support and confidence throughout. The protests of Lawyers to uphold justice and human rights were an inspiration to the civil society, human rights activists, media and students. However the recent news of some lawyers harassing members of civil society, journalists and the police has raised a lot of eyebrows.

Adnan Farooqui at The Pakistani Spectator wonders:

The events that have happened over the past few weeks need no explanation. Every child in this beloved country of ours has witnessed the lawyers getting out of hand and literally turning into brutes, frankly this is something one could not expect out of a highly educated and sensible fraternity.

Jazba Blog reports on the incident of Five lawyers beating an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police for allegedly conducting an inquiry against their client.

On 6th of August, after the hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to the attack on the ASI, some lawyers led by Lahore Bar Association vice-president M.R. Awan attacked and manhandled reporters and cameramen on the premises of the Lahore High Court. The following video was released in YouTube by GEO TV showing the lawyers’ attack on policemen and journalists.

Rana Tanveer at Lahore Nama informs of a similar incidents in a post titled “Lawyers go unbridled, breaking rules in routine“:

Last year in April, lawyers beat former federal minister Dr. Sher Afgan Niazi in front of the LHC. The LHCBA office-bearers called lawyers and media saying they had trapped Niazi and would teach him a lesson for supporting former president Pervez Musharraf and giving statements against their movement. [..]

A few days ago, a traffic warden was beaten by a group of lawyers for stopping a lawyer’s motorcycle for a traffic violation on The Mall.

Faisal Kapadia on Deadpan thoughts criticizes the incidents in a post titled “Lawyers gone wild“:

It seems that the lawyers movement has now committed suicide by falling on its own saber. Where lawyers who are supposed to guarantee the law effectively beat up police and press. Where they now seem to think of themselves as some form of terminators roaming the street dispensing vigilante justice according to their own blinkered vision, there can be no hope for this institution.

Mahir Sheikh Nisar at Pakistan First demands immediate action suggesting that the “Cheif Justice of Pakistan Lahore High Court should resign“:

The people of Pakistan and its lawyers must wake up to these ill practices within the judiciary before the common man loses complete confidence in the legal system. The judiciary is dangerously becoming an alter ego to popular opinion and political stances rather than maintaining its impartiality.

Adnan Farooqui puts things in perspective claiming why the media do not call for those policemen to be dismissed from their duties who manhandled the Chief Justice during the Lawyers movement.

He concludes with some questions:

Has that same group of people returned to now tarnish the popular image of lawyers in front of the country? Or is it really that the lawyers are now considering themselves above the law?

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