pakistan
Saturday May 20 2017
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Opposing parties' lawyers clash at Lahore High Court

LAHORE: Chaos ensued in the Lahore High Court on Saturday over a convention related to the Panama Leaks case.

Groups of lawyers, allegedly affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami, clashed with each other over the lawyers' convention on the Panama Leaks case, which was scheduled to start at 9am. 

The lawyers, affiliated with PML-N, led by Additional Attorney-General Naseer Ahmed Bhutta stormed into the venue to 'occupy' it which eventually led to clashes with those organising it. 

The ruling party's lawyers said that a similar convention was held recently and so there was no justification for holding another convention on the same issue. They vowed not to let the convention take place. 

However, the lawyers affiliated with the opposition parties wanted to hold the convention and so started chanting slogans against the ruling party. 

During the ruckus, some lawyers also broke the glass windows of the venue and thrashed the arrangements. Others continued to chant slogans against the convention.

A suspended member of the Supreme Court Bar Association Aftab Bajwa was also injured after he was pushed from the stage while another lawyer fainted in the chaos. 

Supreme Court Bar Association President Rasheed A Rizvi alleged that the convention was attacked with the support of the state. "PML-N has also attacked the Supreme Court before," he claimed, adding "We will hold this convention for sure." 

He further said that the government cannot take criticism. If the government can’t take criticism how can we expect it to let the Joint Investigation Team [of the Panama case] continue its investigation, he added. 

The lawyers in favour of the convention also decided to hold a rally against the 'reaction of the government'.  

Lawyers from across the country had reached Lahore for the convention, which was eventually held after the delay.