Pakistani police use water cannon to disperse anti-Musharraf rally


Islamabad : Police in the Pakistani capital used water cannon and fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse lawyers in a rally against President Pervez Musharraf.

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Police arrested several lawyers and members of civil society as hundreds of lawyers marched to the residence of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who has been under house arrest since November 3rd when he was sacked by President Musharraf.

Police sprayed water cannon several times to disperse a crowd of about 500 protesters chanting slogans outside a 5-star hotel and government buildings guarded by over 100 riot police.

The lawyers wearing black coats chanted slogan “we will fight till the independence of judiciary and restoration of deposed judges?.

They also chanted anti-Musharraf slogans and were holding portraits of the deposed chief justice.

Police clashed with lawyers when the angry lawyers tried to remove the barricades on the route to the judges colony where the deposed Chief Justice is placed under house arrest.

Several lawyers and members of civil society were injured and were also taken into custody during more than an hour of hide and seek.

The lawyers threw stones at the police and the hide and seek was continued for over an hour.

The participants were also demanding release of the President Supreme Court Bar Association Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and other lawyer leaders who are also under house arrest since November 3rd.

The lawyers earlier held a convention and adopted resolutions, demanding restoration of all judges who were sacked after they refused to show allegiance to President Musharraf.