Chaudhry Attorney: Pakistan’s Lawyers Will Not Cease Until Musharraf Removed

Chaudhry Attorney: Pakistan’s Lawyers Will Not Cease Until Musharraf Removed

HONG KONG -- Pakistan's main lawyer's organization plans to fight until Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is removed from power, according to an attorney representing Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry, whose dismissal from Pakistan's Supreme Court earlier this spring sparked a nationwide backlash that threatens Musharraf's grip on power.

Musharraf suspended Chaudhry March 9, leading to the largest political protests Pakistan has seen in 24 years. Pakistan's lawyers, or "blackcoats" as Pakistanis have taken to calling them, were among the first to protest in the wake of Chaudhry's suspension. Television images of lawyers battered by government police forces helped galvanize the nationwide backlash against the Musharraf government. Violence between anti-government protesters and members of the pro-Musharraf MQM party saw 41 people killed over a two-day period in Karachi in early May.

During a conference organized by the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong last week, Rasheed Razvi, a former justice of the Sindh High Court who is now a member of Chaudhry's defense team, slammed Musharraf's dictatorial actions and outlined the Pakistan Bar Council's two-pronged strategy for keeping the pressure on Musharraf.

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