Islamabad: Pakistani lawyers on Monday began a nationwide boycott to pressure Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to reinstate senior judges he sacked under a state of emergency more than three months ago.
The boycott of the courts was called by the Pakistan Bar Council, the country's main lawyers' organization, and is set to continue through next weeks parliamentary elections.
In Karachi, the country's biggest city, hundreds of lawyers milled around the courthouse while judges stayed in their chambers.
Mahmudul Hasan, president of the Karachi Bar Council, said lawyers would remain on strike until the February 18 elections.
"We demand restoration of the judiciary. It is a single point demand to restore the judiciary as it was on November 2," said Qazi Mohammed Anwar, chairman of the council's executive committee.
Musharraf declared the state of emergency on November 3, citing deteriorating security in the country and a fight against Islamic militants as his reasons.
He also sacked Supreme Court judges and other top independent-minded jurists.