Pakistan warns of attack on chief justice’s rally


Islamabad : Pakistan’s interior ministry has requested the Supreme Court to stop suspended chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry from undertaking a rally by road to Lahore as there might be possible suicide attacks.

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In a letter to the Supreme Court registrar, the ministry said intelligence reports revealed that several suicide bombers and vehicles packed with explosives had been sent to various areas in Punjab to target VIPs, Geo Television reported late Thursday evening.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema told the channel that the government had received reports of possible terror attacks and suggested that Chaudhry travel to Lahore by plane instead.

Opposition leaders have, however, vowed to give Chaudhry a warm welcome at every town along GT Road when he heads from Islamabad to Lahore to address the Lahore High Court Bar Association, the Daily Times said.

Demonstrations outside the Supreme Court have continued for the last two months after Chaudhry’s suspension on March 9 by President Pervez Musharraf triggered nationwide protests.

While supportive of Chaudhry and campaigning against the government, the opposition parties are doing so separately, holding separate rallies, owing to their political and ideological differences.

They also warned the government of “serious consequences” if it did not allow the chief justice to travel to Lahore by road.

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, journalists were barred from entering the apex court building Thursday when the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) was hearing the presidential reference against Chaudhry. This led to clashes that left three reporters injured.

Journalists later met Registrar Muhammad Ali and asked whether he had banned them from entering the court. While replying in the negative, he also admitted that he did want to restrict their entry, the newspaper said.