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Pakistan Protest: Gov’t Seals Top Atty’s Office

Posted May 9, 2007 4:29 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In the latest developments in a continuing lawyer-led protest in Pakistan, government officials closed the Karachi office of a top attorney representing a suspended Supreme Court judge whose recent motorcade from Islamabad to Lahore reportedly drew a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters.

However, that closing on Wednesday by a local building authority was quickly was followed a court ruling in the province of Sindh that Munir A. Malik, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, could re-open his law office, reports the BBC. Other senior lawyers involved in the anti-government protests led by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry reportedly say they also have been targeted by the government.

Chaudhry, 59, has become a national hero in recent weeks, due to his rapidly increasing reputation as a supporter of the rule of law rather than -- as the judiciary here is traditionally known for -- a supporter of the country's military-dominated government, explains Time. "We used to have a toothless and boneless judiciary," says lawyer Aslam Butt, 50. "Not any more."

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