| Major crisis
Islamabad, March 19 (PTI): A Lahore high court judge and six lower court judges resigned today over the government’s attempts to sack the country’s top judge.
President Pervez Musharraf admitted committing mistakes on the issue but ruled out emergency or deployment of the army to tackle the situation. “The general elections will be held on time and neither emergency will be clamped nor the army will be called,” he said.
Mahmood-ul Hasan, a council member and former president of the Karachi Bar Association, said the judges had sent their resignations to their respective district heads who will forward them to the provincial chief justice.
“They will continue to function until their resignations are accepted by the chief justice,” Hasan said.
One of the judges who resigned today was Ramesh Chandra from Pannu Aqil, Sindh. He is the son-in-law of Justice Bhagwan Das.
“I have waited a few days before addressing you, in the hope something will be done to remedy the harm done to the judicial organ of the state. It seems I have waited in vain,” Lahore high court Judge Jawad S. Khawaja said in a resignation letter sent to Musharraf today. It was read out to reporters by Khawaja’s wife.
In Karachi, 1st Senior Civil Judge Ashraf Yar Khan said that he was leaving his post because of “the present situation in the country” regarding the judiciary.
Two more civil judges resigned in Karachi, a judicial official in Karachi said on condition of anonymity because he did have permission to speak to the media.
About 1,000 lawyers chanting “Go, Musharraf, go!” and “Free the chief justice!” rallied in Karachi.
Lawyers in the city boycotted court proceedings today and announced a strike for Wednesday, when a judicial complaint council will resume hearing Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary’s case, said Ali Ahmed Kurd, deputy chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council.