Tens of thousands rally in Lahore despite mass detentions

Suspended Pakistani judge warns against dictatorship LAHORE, Pakistan,

May 6 (Reuters) - Pakistan's suspended chief judge, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, told thousands of cheering supporters on Sunday that ictatorship was a thing of the past and states that ignored the rule of law and basic rights got destroyed. Justice Chaudhry arrived in Lahore early Sunday morning after tens of thousands of supporters turned out to greet him as he travelled by road from Islamabad. The trip normally takes four hours but took him more than 20. An exhausted-looking Chaudhry, 58, made an open-air address in the compound of the provincial high court. His speech was carried live on private television stations.
Speaking in the compound of the Lahore High Court to thousands of lawyers, 17 of Punjab province's 23 judges, and opposition activists outside on the street, Chaudhry made no direct reference to President Pervez Musharraf or his government. But his message was clear. “Nations and states which are based on dictatorship instead of the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law and protection of basic rights get
destroyed,” Chaudhry said. “The idea of dictatorship and collective responsibility are over,” he said. “They are chapters from the past and those nations which don't learn lessons from the past and repeat those mistakes, they have to pay a price.” “Basic human rights are a backbone in the formation of a civilised society,” said Chaudhry, who added that he had never been involved in politics. (Posted @ 12:48 PST)

Pakistanis throng streets to greet suspended judge LAHORE, May 6 (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Pakistanis who had waited through the night gave a tumultuous reception on Sunday morning to the judge who defied President Pervez Musharraf as he arrived in a long motorcade in the city of Lahore. The cry of “Go, Musharraf go” rang out as Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry entered Lahore at the head of a caravan carrying supporters and media, more than 20 hours after setting out from
the capital, Islamabad. Well-wishers clambered over his four-wheel-drive car, a familiar sight throughout the judge's marathon journey from the capital. As the sun rose over the suburbs of Lahore, it revealed the scale of support for the judge Musharraf charged with misconduct. People lined the streets and peered from flyovers to glimpse the man who has been transformed into a symbol of resistance since his suspension on March 9 plunged the country into a judicial crisis The size of the procession swelled as it approached Lahore. Huge crowds, waving flags of
opposition groups and chanting anti-Musharraf slogans, took to the streets. Chaudhry entered the Lahore city limits at day-break and got an unprecedented welcome as he reached the precincts of the Lahore High Court buildings. He appeared on the dias at about 9 a.m. local time to address Lahore's legal community . Media reports said about 17 of the high court judges were amongst the thousands present on the occasion.