Lawyers clash with police in Karachi; 9 arrested
Pakistani lawyers clashed with police in Karachi on Thursday when they tried to organise a protest march to demand reinstatement of judges deposed during last year's emergency rule, leaving at least three members of the legal fraternity injured and nine arrested.
Police fired teargas and resorted to baton-charge to disperse a large number of lawyers who gathered at the city courts to take out a rally to the busy M A Jinnah road. The lawyers hurled stones at police and shouted slogans.
Nine lawyers were arrested and three others injured in the police action, members of the local bar association said. The arrested lawyers were bundled into vans and whisked away.
The clashes erupted as deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry addressed lawyers of the Sindh High Court over phone.
Amidst reports that he might be freed from house arrest following the victory of the opposition PPP and PML-N in the general election, Chaudhry referred to President Pervez Musharraf's actions and said if one person could change the Constitution, there would be no need for a Parliament.
Chaudhry urged the new Parliament not to endorse actions taken during last year's emergency. If this was done, there would be bad consequences for the country, he said.
The people had spoken out in the polls against Musharraf's actions during emergency, he said.
An official of the Karachi Bar Association said among those arrested was its Secretary General Naeem Qureshi.