Statement by Democratic Lawyers Association Pakistan
The Democratic Lawyers Association Pakistan affiliated with International Association of Democratic Lawyers issued the following statement;
The executive order passed today, March 16, 2009 by the Prime Minister of Pakistan for restoration of superior judiciary and the chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to assume charge of office from 21st March, 2009 and become functional again is the first step towards the independence of judiciary, rule of law and supremacy of the constitution that the legal fraternity in Pakistan had been demanding for the last two years. The lawyer's struggle was fully supported by the democratic forces including political and human rights activists and civil society and of course strong force of the print and electronic media. We are also thankful to the support extended by the overseas members and the organization of the legal fraternity especially IADL and its affliated organizations through this period of two years.
We strongly feel that it is the will of the people of Pakistan and their struggle for a democratic dispensation in the country with which this victory has been achieved. We are of the strong opinion that democracy is not mere holding of elections. The democratic dispensation could only be had if the parliament is allowed to function without let or hindrance and its supremacy is not infringed through any kind of manipulation or maneuver. Unless democratic institutions are allowed to function democratically there could not be a democratic order.
And in case the independence of judiciary is not maintained the democratic dispensation could not be attained as it is through judiciary that all acts of usurpation of power, and accesses of authority are checked and declared ultravires of the country's constitution. The judiciary is supposed to act without fear or favor as it is the custodian of the constitution of the state or federation.
We are of the opinion that with functioning of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of the country, who had become a symbol of independence of judiciary, the state functioning would be brought under rule of law and due process of law would be guaranteed by the courts. The struggle for building a democratic order is a long drawn struggle that must be carried forth by all democratic forces.
The Democratic Lawyers Association salutes the lawyer's movement in Pakistan that has been spearheading the struggle for independence and restoration of judiciary.