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Lawyer to file FIR against Musharraf

world Updated: Mar 03, 2008 19:49 IST

PTI
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Top Pakistani lawyer and a known Musharraf critic, Aitzaz Ahsan, freed after four months of detention, on Monday said he will file an FIR against the President for "illegally detaining" deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Ahsan, who is president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and a former minister, told a news conference here that the FIR will be filed under sections of the Pakistan Penal Code that mainly deal with illegal detention.

"We know that Article 248 of the constitution protects Pervez Musharraf but we will not let him get away," he said.

Aitzaz Ahsan, who led the massive lawyers protests in Pakistan last year against President Pervez Musharraf, was released from house arrest in Lahore on Sunday.

FIRs would also be lodged against caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro, former premier Shaukat Aziz, the interior minister, interior secretary and senior civil and police officials of Islamabad, he said.

Ahsan, a senior PPP leader, said he would lodge the FIR against Musharraf in Islamabad after visiting Gari Khuda Baksh in Sindh province to pay homage to slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, whose funeral he could not attend.

He said Musharraf was standing at the "exit door" as the nation had rejected him during the February 18 general election.

Besides the FIRs, suits seeking billions of rupees as damages will be filed against the authorities that had kept lawyers and judges under "illegal detention" since last year's emergency rule, Ahsan remarked.

The detention of deposed Chief Justice Chaudhry is a shameful act on the part of the government and there is no example anywhere in the world of the illegal detention of 60 judges of the superior judiciary, Ahsan said.

A plan by lawyers to launch a long march on March 9 to press for the reinstatement of the deposed judges had been put off for some time to allow the new government to take action on the issue, he said.

Instead, the legal fraternity will observe "black flag week" during March 9-16 to express solidarity with the deposed judges.

If the new government does not take tangible steps for the reinstatement of the deposed judges, the lawyers will launch a "forceful protest" against the government, Ahsan said, adding that it is in the interest of the new parliament to stand up for the independence of the judiciary.

He said there is no hurdle to the reinstatement of the judges and it is "only a matter of a single phone call to the administration to end the detention of the judges".