We demanded that President Musharraf should immediately withdraw the Emergency Declaration of November 3, 2007 , the Provisional Constitutional Order No.1 of 2007 ( PCO )putting the Constitution of Pakistan in abeyance.
Since November 6, 2007 the military has continued its repression. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has been taken to Baluchistan, and many more Judges and lawyers as well as workers and human rights activists have been arrested.
IADL was informed by its Deputy Secretary General, Akhtar Hussain, that on November 12, 2007, the Sindh High Court Bar Association in Karachi, of which he is a leader and former president, unanimously passed a resolution reiterating its earlier resolutions to fully support the call of Pakistan Bar Council, Supreme Court Bar and other Associations of lawyers throughout the Country in condemning the proclamation of Emergency and PCO.
The resolution also gave support to those Judges of Superior Courts, who have not taken Oath under PCO and the lawyers resolved not to appear before the persons Occupying the Supreme Court and High Courts by taking Oath under PCO violating the Constitution and the Judgment of Supreme Court, until the 16th November 2007 and thereafter in consultation with and consensus of lawyers leadership decide about the future course of action. They appealed to the members of the Bar to socially boycott those persons who have taken Oath under PCO and also those lawyers who are not following the decisions of the Bar.
The resolution further stated that any elections called while the Emergency PCO is in effect will be a meaningless fraud played on the people of Pakistan.
They further condemned the amendment made in Pakistan Army Act whereunder Military Courts were established to try Civilians, and agreed to resist the proposed amendments of the Bar Council Act empowering Judges to grant, suspend or cancel licenses of Advocates.
IADL is informed that Bar Associations throughout Pakistan have supported similar strongly worded resolutions, appealing to the community of lawyers and judges to resist these orders and appealing to the international community and civil society to support the aims of the resolution.
IADL is informed that shortly after the meeting of the High Court Bar in Sindh, Mr. Akhtar Hussain was arrested along with several others under three month detention orders.
IADL salutes the lawyers of Pakistan on their principled stand for upholding the Constitution, independence of judiciary and the rule of law. IADL condemns the continuing arrests of leading lawyers and judges and demands the immediate end of the state of emergency, and release of all those detained.
Issued on the 13th of November 2007