Pakistan

Lawyers observe countrywide strike to push PM to step down

Lawyers' strike call

LAHORE: The legal fraternity is observing a countrywide strike today to ramp up pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down from office in the wake of the findings of the Panama Papers Joint Investigation Team (JIT), ARY News reported.

The lawyers associations including Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), had given a strike call a day earlier, which was backed by the provincial associations of the lawyers.

Speaking to a press conference, PBC vice chairman Ahsan Bhoon urged the top court hearing the case with regard to the Panama JIT findings, to take the case to its logical conclusion and show the premier, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar MNA, the exit door.

SCBA secretary Aftab Ahmed Bajwa also announced a countrywide strike, and asked lawyers to boycott the court proceedings.

Islamabad High Court Bar Association president Arif Chaudhry backed the strike call given by SCBA and said the strike will be observed at the high court

Earlier, the Sindh Bar Council had passed a resolution calling on the PM to step down, or else it would launch a protest campaign throughout the province. It said the Bar would launch a campaign and observe hunger strikes, take out rallies and boycott the court proceedings across the province.

The meeting, presided over by vice chairman Qurban Ali Malano, resolved that the two senior judges of the apex court have already disqualified PM Sharif and ordered the ECP to de-notify his membership of the National Assembly.

The remaining three judges of the court had ordered the formation of JIT to look into the allegations of the Panama Papers.  Afterwards, the JIT carried out an investigation and submitted its report on July 10 revealing that the prime minister was involved in money laundering.

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