Lawyers' march due in Islamabad
To put more pressure on President Pervez Musharraf for restoration of sacked Judges, Lawyers in Pakistan are descening in capital Islamabad today from all over the country.
Lawyers have spearheaded a campaign over the past one year to remove President Musharraf for dismissing Chief Justice of Supreme Court and several other judges when the president declared emergency rule in November.
Lawyers in Pakistan are due to converge on the capital, Islamabad, to demand the reinstatement of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf in November.
They left the eastern city of Lahore in a convoy of vehicles on Thursday on the last leg of a nationwide protest.
The lawyers are angry that Pakistan's new coalition government has yet to give the judges their jobs back.
This despite promises to do so by both coalition partners after they defeated Mr Musharraf's supporters in elections.
The government parties are divided on how to reinstate the judges.
Correspondents say that the motorised convoy - which has been dubbed the "long march" - is passing through different towns during its 270km (170-mile) journey from Lahore to Islamabad
The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan says the march has reached Jhelum district in northern Punjab province and is expected to reach Islamabad on Friday evening.
Thousands of people have gathered outside the courts along with several dozen buses to join the march, our correspondent says.
Pakistan's deposed Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, and former PM, Nawaz Sharif, are expected to address the protesters.
The protesting lawyers and their supporters are expected to stage a peaceful sit-in outside parliament on their arrival in Islamabad.
Security so far has been tight, with a heavy police presence outside key facilities in Islamabad along with razor wire and CCTV cameras.
Organisers said the struggle of the lawyers had now reached a "decisive phase". The lawyers have been joined by some civil society activists and supporters of political parties.
Lawyers have spearheaded a campaign over the past year to remove President Musharraf for dismissing Mr Chaudhry and several other judges when the president declared emergency rule in November.
President Musharraf said in a recent press conference that he would not resign and the judges should not be restored.
The protests are expected to present the first real challenge for Pakistan's fragile coalition government.