Sharif demands immediate release of detained activists

LAHORE - Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif today demanded immediate release of the lawyers, representatives of civil society and politicians arrested by police for participating in the lawyers’ long march.

Meanwhile, police baton-charged lawyers and political activists and manhandled dozens into vans at Karachi Toll Plaza on Thursday.

Police also arrested several lawyers and leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-N, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, National People’s Party and Sindh United Party who gathered at Toll Plaza to leave for Sukkur, The News reported.

Those who have been arrested include President of Sindh High Court Bar, Rasheed A. Rizvi, former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Munir A. Malik, JI leader Dr. Mairaj-ul-Huda Siddiqui, Sunni Tehreek leader Shahid Ghauri and Muslim League leader Captain (Retd.) Haleem Siddiqui.

According to police sources, arrest warrants of 11 political leaders have been issued and orders were passed to stop the long march protestors at Toll Plaza.

Police baton-charged activists and manhandled dozens into vans in Karachi, as thousands defied the government in a mass protest.

The Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Prof. Ghafoor Ahmad, Asadullah Bhutto and Mohammad Hussain Mehenti, president Karachi Bar Muhammad Ali Abbasi, general secretary Naeem Qureshi and many other political workers have been arrested from Karachi.

Earlier, a large number of lawyers gathered outside Sindh High Court (SHC) from where long march was kicked off. A rally of lawyers, headed by Rasheed A. Rizvi, left for Mazar-e-Quaid at 12pm from Sindh High Court Bar room. Police had sealed all the routes leading to City Court before the protestors arrived there.

Lawyers in black suits and opposition party activists carrying flags and punching their fists in the air marched in Karachi and Lahore, demanding that President Asif Ali Zardari reinstate sacked judges.

Hundreds of thousands of lawyers, opposition supporters and civil activists will join a four-day convoy on the 1,500 kilometers (940 miles) route from Karachi to Islamabad, where it is intended to arrive Monday.


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