Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan this week appeared to call for a new lawyers’ movement, stressing the legal fraternity must ensure the rights of Pakistanis are upheld, particularly their fundamental right to vote.
This isn’t the first time Khan has called on lawyers to launch a “movement” since his ouster as prime minister through a vote of no-confidence last April. In various speeches and interviews prior to his arrest in August, he had repeatedly lamented at the lack of consensus among the legal fraternity, while his party had sought to organize public events encouraging lawyers to take to the streets against the former government.
“It is the fiduciary duty of the judiciary and the lawyers to protect the Constitution, upon which rests the progress of our nation,” Khan was quoted as saying during a meeting with his family at Adiala Jail on Oct. 31 in a message posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Therefore, the legal fraternity must start and lead a movement for upholding the rights of the people of Pakistan, foremost their fundamental right to vote, to choose their leaders and to define their future themselves,” he continued.
Maintaining that the people’s choice of leader was “secondary,” he said they “must be given their basic and fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution to choose their representatives.”
Alleging that Pakistan currently stands at the crossroads where “we are watching the steady destruction and dismantling of our justice system,” he called for immediate action to “prevent its complete collapse.” He added: “If we do not fight for justice and stand behind our judges, we will not be able to establish constitutional supremacy in this country or stand up against this rule of might, where only the fittest and the richest survive.”