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Rule of law key to stability: Iftikhar

January 18, 2009

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KARACHI, Jan 17: Lawyers will continue their struggle for the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution and an independent judiciary, which are essential for the country’s stability, according to the deposed chief justice of Supreme Court Justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

Speaking at the city court building after administering oath to the office-bearers of the Karachi Bar Association on Saturday, he said that the action of rulers on Nov 3, 2007, had sabotaged the judiciary to prolong their grip on power because they did not have the courage to keep an independent judiciary.

He said that the judges of the Sindh High Court were punished because they had taken up the matter of the May 12 mayhem, adding that the case was not being pursued because no one had the moral courage to bring the culprits to justice.

He said that despite having ordered the release of detained judges by the prime minister in his first speech in parliament, no action was taken against elements who had unlawfully detained judges and lawyers.

He condemned the kidnapping of a Baloch woman, who is reportedly in intelligence agencies’ detention since 2005, and deplored the apathy of domestic human rights groups and said the case had been taken up by a foreign group. He urged the Human Right Commission of Pakistan to pursue the issue.

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Aitzaz Ahsan, Ali Ahmed Kurd also spoke on the occasion.