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Rise up, Chaudhry tells lawyers

“Time to restore Constitution”

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry urged lawyers on Tuesday to defy the police and protest against President Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of the Emergency rule.

“Go to every corner of Pakistan and give the message that this is the time to sacrifice,” Mr. Chaudhry, who is under virtual house arrest here, told them by mobile phone. “Don’t be afraid. God will help us and the day will come when you’ll see the Constitution supreme and no dictatorship for a long time.”

“The Constitution has been ripped to shreds. The lawyers should convey my message to the people to rise up and restore the Constitution,” he said.

Almost immediately, some mobile phone services in the capital city were cut. According to a PTI report, Mr. Chaudhry’s line was also cut. Pakistan’s top government lawyer told the Supreme Court that the general elections would be held as scheduled while the President’s Constitutional Adviser ruled out such a possibility. The elections are due in January.

The Cabinet on Tuesday discussed the question of holding elections. The meeting endorsed Gen. Musharraf’s decision to declare the Emergency and issue the Provisional Constitutional Order to suspend key fundamental rights.

The former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, who arrived here from Karachi to hold talks with the Opposition leaders , claimed that the government had decided to delay the polls by a year. — AP, PTI

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