Hundreds of lawyers across Pakistan on Monday protested against judicial appointments made by President Asif Ali Zardari without consulting Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, even as the government moved to avert a showdown with the judiciary over the judges row.
Lawyers organised rallies and protests in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar and cities across the country on Monday and boycotted court proceedings.
The Supreme Court had on Saturday struck down two judicial appointments made by Zardari that went against the recommendations of the fiercely independent Chief Justice.
The apex court's move triggered fears that the PPP and the judiciary could be headed for a showdown that could destabilise the government.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has launched efforts to distance himself from the appointments made by Zardari, with members of his camp telling the media that his advice on the issue was not considered by the presidency.
Sources told PTI that Gilani's camp had even sent feelers in this regard to the judiciary.
During a meeting yesterday with Chief Justice Chaudhry, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor delivered a message from the premier that the government respected the Supreme Court's order quashing the judicial appointments and did not want any confrontation between institutions, the Dawn newspaper reported.