Ahsan defers resignation till tomorrow on Niazi issue

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Islamabad, Apr 9 (UNI) Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan has said he will decide about his resignation tomorrow on the issue of manhandling of former Federal Minister Sher Afghan Khan Niazi by a mob of furious lawyers.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore last night, Mr Ahsan said his resignation along with those of presidents of Peshawar Bar, Lahore High Court Bar and Lahore District would lead to collapse of lawyers struggle for judiciary.

Mr Ahsan alleged the incident of manhandling occurred due to poor security and deployment of police personnel in less quantity at the spot, adding it was a plot to disrupt the lawyers movement. Lawyers were not solely responsible for the incident, he said.

The SCBA president had earlier announced to quit from his office after he failed to convince the lawyers to give safe passage to Dr Niazi. ''It is condemnable to manhandle Sher Afgan and I announce to resign from my office,'' he said.

The incident occurred when the former minister had gone to meet a local advocate Malik Noor Muhammad Awan in Lahore for some personal matter where a large number of angry lawyers gathered and tried to attack him.

The enraged lawyers tore up Dr Niazi's clothes and attacked him by throwing stones, shoes and rotten eggs. He was forced to escape and took shelter in a nearby local hotel for more than three hours.

He was assaulted again after he came out from the hotel. Even as Mr Afghan was being shifted in an Edhi Ambulance, the mob broke the sidescreens of the ambulance.

President Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the act of hooliganism and directed the authorities concerned to enquire into the incident.

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