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Pakistan bar leaders say Musharraf plotting high court endorsement of emergency

[JURIST] Two Pakistani bar leaders warned Sunday that the government of President Pervez Musharraf is drafting papers to get Musharraf's declaration of emergency [PDF text] and Provisional Constitution Order [text] validated by the new Supreme Court put in place by Musharraf after proclaiming emergency rule. Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Hamid Khan [Wikipedia profile] and Vice Chairperson of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) [profession website] Mirza Aziz Akbar Beg claimed in a press release that

the government is vigorously following a policy of deceit. The Musharaf [sic] regime has no intentions to restore democracy or respect the rule of law...The leaders of the bar have credible information that Mr Iqbal Tikka, who has been notoriously hosting General Musharaf at his residen[ce], has filed one such decoy petition. The Bar Associations have no doubt that it is being filed to wangle a stamp of legitimacy to the illegal acts of this government. Any rubber stamp judgment of the PCO judges will not be accepted by the legal fraternity and they will continue to oppose this judicial farce. The leaders of the bar have called upon the lawyers to remain watchful of such nefarious acts of the government.
The latest statement follows a PBC call [News report] Friday for lawyers across Pakistan to continue their boycott of the Supreme Court and the high courts until all judges appointed under the PCO are removed and all dismissed judges are allowed to resume their constitutional duties. Last week the new Supreme Court of Pakistan issued an order purporting to set aside [JURIST report] an order by a bench of the previous court led by ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] against the emergency and accompanying PCO.

Observers have suggested that the capacity of Pakistan's bar to mount effective opposition to Musharraf's emergency declaration may be limited as many leading lawyers - including the heads of many local bar associations - have been taken into custody or otherwise detained [JURIST report] after house raids and demonstrations. The current presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association, the Lahore High Court Bar, the Sindh High Court Bar, the Lahore Bar Association, the Karachi Bar Association, and the Balochistan High Court Bar have all been arrested.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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