Lawyers of the world unite!
November 5, 2007 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone with knowledge of Pakistani politics tell me what's going on with the lawyers' protests? Are the protesting lawyers part of a particular political faction, or are they protesting as a profession in general? Is there anything being done by the legal profession world wide to support them, even symbolically?
posted by footnote to Law & Government (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This would suggest it's not just one political faction against another, just because of the numbers involved: More than 60 judges, out of a total of 97, have declined to take oath under the new Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). I appreciate you're looking for more than this, though.
posted by tiny crocodile at 7:17 AM on November 5, 2007

To my knowledge, they are protesting because Musharraf is trying to change the constitution so that he can stay in power indefinitely, while still maintaining the guise of democracy.

Musharraf also recently tried to remove the chief justice of the Supreme Court, which raised the lawyers' ire.

To this point, I don't know that these people are being supported by any groups from other parts of the world.

As a Pakistani though, it's disheartening to see that the country is once again slipping into dictatorial rule.
posted by reenum at 7:20 AM on November 5, 2007

No such group exists as far as I can tell. The lawyers and judges in Pakistan are keepers of the law and Musharraf's actions undermine their profession, democracy, and rule of law in general. This has resulted in massive protests over the last few months by those who work in the law.
It will be difficult to do anything other than express solidarity with the movement, an important action to be sure.
So Start Something!
I used to organize things like this professionally. So if you need help, drop me an e-mail and I'm there.
posted by willie11 at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

I asked a graduate student friend of mine whose in-laws all live in Pakistan. His wife's uncle is a lawyer, and narrowly avoided being arrested today. This is what he told me:
Pakistan had a dictatorship til 1988, then they had a series of corrupt and incompetent democratic governments. Musharraf took over in 1999, supposedly to straighten things out,
but he has rigged the only election that happened since then (in order to give himself a veneer of "democracy") but he's really just a military ruler.

There has been this issue for ages of whether he would "take off his uniform" (the slut) which is basically about whether he would relinquish his control of the military and just be a civilian leader.

The supreme court was going to rule that he couldn't be head of military and gov't simultaneously, and that his abuses of civil rights were wrong, so he removed the chief justice last spring
which led to all these protests against him, and he eventually had to let the judge, Chaudry, come back.

The S.C. was going to rule today about the legitimacy of his "election" to be president, so he suspended constitution, imprisoned all the activists and opposition party leaders, and imposed martial law on Saturday.

Musharraf says that this is necessary to fight the Taliban, and the Bush administration supports him. They both maintain that Musharraf's measures are necessary to prevent terrorists from taking over and using Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 1:57 PM on November 5, 2007

Best answer: As far as lawyers specifically leading the protests, you might find this Slate article useful. What it talks about is pretty much specifically what you asked: "Why are lawyers leading the protests in Pakistan?"
posted by librarylis at 5:20 AM on November 6, 2007

Tomorrow there is a rally in San Francisco by lawyers in support of lawyers in Pakistan.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:48 PM on November 8, 2007

« Older It's not you it's me   |   Help me doodle pretty. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.