Pakistani lawyers: "United States of Al Qaeda, Allah willing" 

Pro-Al Qaeda signs at lawyers’ rally

Pakistan Daily Times  

By Rana Tanveer

LAHORE: Protesting lawyers on Thursday were seen holding placards bearing pro-Al Qaeda slogans for the first time since their protests for an independent judiciary began.

The lawyers’ National Co-ordination Council called the weekly protest rally, demanding the reinstatement of the sacked judges. Lawyers from the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) and the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) held their general house meetings and emerged from the High Court building and Aiwan-e-Adl to merge at GPO Chowk, where they were joined by activists from various political parties. Members from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, who claim to be staunch supporters of the lawyers’ movement, were however, absent from the rally.

Anti-PPP: During the rally, an activist from the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Tariq Dar, was seen holding a placard stating ‘United States of Al Qaeda God willing very soon’. Dar told Daily Times that he was hopeful that the US would be converted to an Al Qaeda state soon. He said that anti Muslim elements were wrongly branding it as a terrorist organisation. LBA Secritary General Latif Sarra said that Al Qaeda was a phenomenon, which was gaining momentum and support due to the anti-peace policies favoured by the US. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakhtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) activists chanted slogans against the Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, however, the usual chant of “Go Musharraf Go” was missing from the rally. The protesters reached Charing Cross where their leaders gave speeches and the procession dispersed peacefully.

Support: Earlier that day, while addressing the general house meeting of the LHCBA, advocate Masood Ranjha said that lawyers should support the coalition government because they were sincere in their aim of reinstating the judges. Also addressing the meeting, Pakistan Bar Council member Abdul Rehman Insari and Advocates Raja Zulqarnain, Wali Muhammad Khan, Nisar Safdar, Shaista Qaisar and Ahmed Awais pleged that lawyers would fight until all the judges were reinstated. They said that because of the lawyers’ movement, exiled leaders of both mainstream political parties were able to return to Pakistan and free and fair elections were held. They added that politicians no longer had any excuses to prolong the issue.

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