Harvard Law School to honour Pak's ousted chief justice

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New York, Nov 16 (UNI) Harvard Law School will honour Pakistan deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry with the prestigious Medal of Freedom award.

''As lawyers who value freedom and the rule of law, we at Harvard Law School want Chief Justice Chaudhry and all of the courageous lawyers in Pakistan to know that we stand with them in solidarity,'' Law school dean Elena Kagan said.

''We are proud to be their colleagues in the cause of justice, and we will do all we can to press for the prompt restoration of constitutionalism and legality in Pakistan,'' she added.

The Medal of Freedom was established by the Massachusetts-based school to honour achievements of individuals who have worked to uphold the legal system's fundamental commitment to freedom, justice and equality.

Past recipients of the honour included Nelson Mandela.

The dean spoke to the ousted chief justice and expressed optimism that he would be able to receive the award in person soon.

In another show of solidarity to the striking lawyers in the South Asian nation, a demonstration was held here at which more than 500 people participated.

The prominent speaker at the demonstration was Ali Ahsan, a 31-year-old lawyer whose father Aitaz Ahsan, a Cambridge-educated lawyer himself, was arrested in Pakistan. The senior Ahsan had fought for the re-instatement of Chaudhry, who had been ousted by Gen Musharraf earlier as well.

Ali Ahsan, who is a speechwriter for UN chief Ban Ki-moon, urged the gathering to extend support to the striking lawyers and demanded the restoration of democracy there.

''You probably can make more of a difference than I can or any Pakistani,'' he said, and urged the demonstrators to contact their local elected officials for putting pressure on Paksitani authorities to lift the state of emergency and reinstate the constitution.


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