LAHORE: Lawyers of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) are observing a countrywide strike today against the sit-ins held by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Islamabad saying the campaigns were putting the parliamentary democratic system in peril.

Lawyers from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Peshawar are scheduled to hold rallies and sit-ins in several areas of Lahore and Karachi against the protests by PTI and PAT.

The decision to hold a countrywide strike was taken at a joint meeting of the premier lawyers’ bodies — the PBC and the SCBA — who took exception to Imran Khan’s call for civil disobedience and urged the PTI chief to recall it.

Balochistan Bar Association, Balochistan High Court Bar Association and Peshawar High Court also gave a call for boycott.

"Lawyers stand by Constitution and rule of law," Baz Muhammad Kakar, a senior lawyer leader told Dawn.

"We will resist any move against democratic system in the country", Bilal Kasi, the President Balochistan Bar Association told Dawn.

Wednesday’s meeting was attended by the PBC’s Vice Chairman, Muhammad Ramzan Chaudhry, SCBA President Kamran Murtaza, rights activist Asma Jehangir, PBC executive committee chairman Ibrar Hassan, former SCBA chief Yasin Azad and others.

The meeting had urged the political parties to make all endeavours to resolve the political crisis without compromising the constitutional and legal norms.

Clients remained the worst sufferers of lawyers strike in Quetta. They waited for many hours but no lawyer turned out to appear in court proceedings.

"Every day's strike has badly affected us," Ghullam Haider, a government employee waiting for his lawyer in Balochistan High Court told Dawn.

Separately, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) summoned an all Pakistan lawyers' meeting on Thursday to decide on a strategic plan to resolve the political crisis which has come about as a result of protests by PAT and PTI in the capital.

The Lahore bar president Shafqat Mahmood Chohan was expected to chair the meeting against the protest marches and sit-ins of both parties that has also damaged the country’s economy badly. Presidents of bar associations across the country are expected to attend the meeting.

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