PU teachers & IJT join hands to welcome CJP

LAHORE, June 25(Daily Times): The Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) and a few hundred activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) joined hands on Saturday to welcome Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in the city enroute to Multan.

The Punjab University New Campus Bridge was the CJP's first stop in the city after he left the Judges' Rest House in the Government Officers Residence-I (GOR-I). The CJP had arrived in the city by airplane from Islamabad on Friday night. His caravan, consisting of dozens of vehicles, left for Multan at 6:30am on Saturday in Advocate Kazim Raza Khan's car.

Hundreds of IJT activists, who had come from various parts of the city, along with dozens of PU teachers, lawyers and citizens welcomed the CJP's caravan at the bridge. However, the IJT activists succeeded in making most of the show with the help of the PUASA, which is an elected body with overwhelming majority of IJT sympathisers.

The CJP's caravan moved at snail's pace and covered the one kilometre from New Campus Underpass to the Allama Iqbal Medical College, in more than an hour because the IJT activists led the vehicles on foot.

The PUASA and IJT activists placed large banners, posters and stickers along the Canal inscribed with slogans for an independent judiciary and democracy in the country. The IJT also took advantage of the event by chanting slogans against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which had allegedly killed IJT nazim Wasif Aziz in Karachi recently.

The IJT and the PUASA also chanted slogans against the PU administration for holding music classes in the university.

The PUASA had made a Chief Justice Coordination Committee within the campus that set up a stage on a trolley on the Canal Road to receive the CJP. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaqat Baloch and many other JI leaders addressed the function on the stage.

PUASA president Prof Mumtaz Salik received the CJP and told him that the PU teachers would continue to support the CJP as part of the civil society. He added that this struggle would continue in all other pro-democracy issues. He also called for appointing a teacher as the vice chancellor of the PU and also in other varsities. IJT activists presented the CJP a bouquet and a copy of the Quran. They also showered flower petals on the CJP's car. The IJT gave the caravan a brief farewell at the Allama Iqbal Medical College from where the caravan gained speed.

At Thokar Niaz Beg, Advocate Mian Jahangir and his companions had arranged a reception for the caravan and offered its members cold drinks and water. The camp also played anti-Musharraf songs.

Tight security was also observed on the CJP's route. Traffic wardens placed pickets, blocked roads and diverted traffic to other substitute roads. The traffic was generally a mess and caused inconvenience to the commuters.

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