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On the rampage: Lawyers run amok


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Anti-Musharraf lawyers throw stones towards supporters of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is the head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). -Photo by Reuters
Anti-Musharraf lawyers throw stones towards supporters of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is the head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). -Photo by Reuters

RAMPAGING lawyers are back in the news. Over the past few days members of the legal fraternity have featured in a number of violent attacks. A melee erupted outside the Rawalpindi district courts on Tuesday when some black coats clashed with supporters of Pervez Musharraf. Both groups came well-prepared as they attacked each other with rods and projectiles. Some lawyers have made it a point to protest — often violently — when-ever the retired general, or his counsel, makes a court appearance. On Saturday, a number of lawyers had given supporters of Gen Musharraf a hiding in Islamabad. Meanwhile, the beginning of the week saw lawyers in Lahore scuffle with an income tax official. In fact, policemen, political workers and journalists have all tasted the wrath of the lawyers, some of whom have been accused of threatening witnesses and obstructing justice. Not even fellow legal practitioners and members of the judiciary have been spared, with reports of judges being mishandled and locked up in their chambers. Evidently, the success of the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of the judiciary has gone to the black coats’ heads, and many members of the legal fraternity now resort to violence at the slightest provocation.

Meanwhile, it is unfortunate that this tendency is hardly criticised by a society that has become inured to violence and condones thuggish beha-viour in general. Bar councils have taken action, but their efforts have been a drop in the ocean. Apparently, senior lawyers and bar councils do not take serious note of the antics of their more violent colleagues due to reasons of bar room politics; often it is the same hotheads who are most effective in rallying support when bar elections come around. It is high time the higher judiciary and the bar councils took steps to end this hooliganism. With the faces of lawyers clearly visible in video footage and photographs, it should be fairly easy to identify at least some of the errant black coats who must be made to answer for their violent tendencies.

Comments (8) Closed

SAL Apr 25, 2013 03:18pm
Who says they are educated people, more then half has forged Degrees, and, wearing a Black Coat does not make them a Lawyer?
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Apr 25, 2013 10:30pm
It is in the interest of the lawyers' themselves that they proceed to the Election Day in a non-violent and democratic way. If things remain peaceful and the election campaigns are conducted fairly, it will be great for Pakistan's democratic evolution.
Balwanjee Apr 25, 2013 09:59pm
Lawyers are doing injustice to the legal system, through which they earn their holly meal.
Salman Ali Apr 26, 2013 02:02am
Journalists are no different. The large PRESS stickers/boards on their vehciles is a clear sign to intimidate others.
Iqbal Apr 25, 2013 05:42am
are they above law? where is the infamous suo-moto?
farmerdr Apr 25, 2013 08:49am
Lawyers are as much a threat to peace and justice inside Pakistan as other criminal elements including Sectarian religious men.
ali ahmed Apr 25, 2013 01:33pm
It is because supereme court and High has been converted to political party..and lawyers are their poliical worker
Iftikhar Husain Apr 25, 2013 11:43am
It is a great shame that the educated people behave like this.