Lawyers protest Northern Areas reform package
23 October 2007
The Daily Times
Gilgit: Lawyers in Gilgit led a rally on Tuesday to protest against the new political package for the Northern Areas announced by President General Pervez Musharraf. The lawyers rejected the package, saying it did not reflect the genuine aspirations of the local people. Addressing the rally amid tight security, Northern Areas High Court Bar Association President Ehsan Ali, Peoples Lawyers Forum Chairman Amjad Hussain and senior lawyer Muhammad Essa said the new package had been tailored by bureaucrats including the regional chief secretary, Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (KANA) federal secretary, KANA additional secretary, KANA federal minister, and Northern Areas chief executive who are not locals.s. No NA public representatives consulted They said that no public representative from the Northern Areas Legislative Council was consulted while devising this so-called reforms package for the people of the Northern Areas who have been living without any fundamental rights for the past six decades. Regional judiciary overlooked They said the reforms package completely overlooked the regional judiciary. They asserted that the Legal Framework Order (LFO), instituted in 1994, was itself illegal, and needed to be replaced with a constitutional set-up, with constitutional courts replacing the existing subservient courts in the region. They said the LFO is a trap and President General Pervez Musharraf has only loosened its jaws. They demanded that the Supreme Courts May 1999 verdict on the region be implemented instead of recycling reforms packages.