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Why Are Lawyers Protesting In Lahore?

Lawyers in Lahore were protesting against the transfer of civil courts and terrorism cases against lawyers at GPO Chowk when they were lathi-charged and shelled by the police. The Pakistan Bar Council called for a nationwide strike in response to the violence. During the protest, lawyers attempted to enter the High Court by removing barriers but were met with force by Punjab police officers who used lathis, shells, and water cannons to disperse the crowd.

The police have also arrested more than 50 lawyers, while one Superintendent of Police and two Station House Officers were injured in the clashes. The situation has severely impacted traffic flow on Mall Road and surrounding areas, with long queues of vehicles forming. The Metro Bus Station at GPO Chowk has also been closed. The Pakistan Bar Council has announced a strike in response to the police violence.

Lawyer leader Ahsan Bhawan has announced protests across the country for tomorrow and has urged all lawyers not to appear in court. Bhawan stated that rallies will be held by lawyers all over the country tomorrow. A significant number of lawyers are currently gathered at the O Ranj Line station steps in GPO Chowk to avoid police tear gas shelling.

They have declared that they will not go back until they have held a General House meeting in the High Court. DI G-Operation Faisal Kamran has confirmed that the lawyers have now dispersed, and the police are detaining provocateurs to prevent them from reassembling. Kamran has also stated that Ahsan Bhawan was not detained. President of Lahore Bar Munir Bhatti has said that their demand is for the rule of law, provision of justice, and an independent judiciary in the country.

He also said that they are open to negotiations. A large number of lawyers have entered the Lahore High Court and have started emptying the courts, with civilians being thrown out of Justice Anwar-ul-Haq Pannu’s court. The police have started shelling and using lathi charges against the lawyers, and arrests of lawyers are being carried out. So far, over 50 lawyers have been detained, while in the clashes, one SP and two SHOs have been injured.

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