ISLAMABAD Thousands of lawyers across the country on Monday went on strike following the confrontation between President Asif Ali Zardari and the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the appointment of judges in superior judiciary. The furious lawyers under the leadership of Supreme Court Bar Association President, Qazi Muhammad Anwar, gathered in front of the apex court and chanted slogans in favour of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The confrontation started over the notification regarding elevation of Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif and Justice Saqib Nisar issued by Ministry of Law on the instructions of President Zardari. After issuance of notification, the Chief Justice took notice of it and constituted a special bench which suspended presidential order, saying that the Federation had violated Article 177 of the Constitution by not consulting the Chief Justice about the selections. Lawyers National Coordination Council made the call of strike here on Saturday night. Following the call, the lawyers stayed away from the courts including Supreme Court of Pakistan. They also demanded removal of Federal Minister for Law and Justice Dr Babar Awan. Meanwhile, the President Pakistan Bar Council, who did not attend the meeting, told TheNation that the boycott call was unnecessary. He turned down the strike call, saying there were differences between the lawyers ranks. Due to drizzling, the general body meeting of the lawyers that was scheduled to be held at the Constitution Avenue of the Federal Capital was held in the Supreme Court building. During the meeting, it was decided that lawyers would boycott court proceedings for one-hour daily until the Government resolved judges issue. President SCBA told TheNation that the 'ambush on judiciary would not be tolerated at any cost. The lawyers across the country have staged boycott of courts proceedings, which should be seen as an attempt to express solidarity with judiciary, he added. While talking to media persons, the President SCBA said, A successful strike was observed in Supreme Court today. I am happy to know that a clean and successful strike was observed in all provinces, which speaks volume about the unity of lawyers community. The lawyers fraternity would force the Government to ensure rule of law, he said while asking lawyers to keep vigil eyes on black sheep among their ranks. He urged the rulers to respect the rule of law, as the lawyers were also against Armys interference in politics. The rulers, he admitted, have also sacrificed a lot for the cause of independent judiciary but they should not repeat former president Pervez Musharrafs mistake. He asked the lawyers to ensure their presence in front of the Supreme Court on February 18, as the hearing of case with regard to appointment of judges would be held. Shahid Rao from Rawalpindi adds: The lawyers observed complete strike and boycotted court proceedings to register their protest against the governments order about the appointment of judges. A large number of lawyers also took part in the protests in other cities of Rawalpindi division including Jehlum, Gojar Khan, Taxila and Talagang. President Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Rawalpindi Malik Shehzad Ahmed Ghaiba and other leaders of lawyers led the rally from the District Court premises to Katchehri Chowk in Rawalpindi. Our staff reporter from Chakwal adds: The lawyers of district Chakwal boycotted the courts on Monday and all the judicial work remained suspended at Chakwal, Talagang and Choa Saiden Shah. The judges remained in their courts, however no lawyer appeared before them. District Bar Association Chakwal condemned the notification issued by President Zardari and termed it unconstitutional. Member Punjab Bar Council Chaudhry Asad Masood, President District Bar Haroon Irshad Janjua and other lawyers vowed to struggle for the supremacy of law. Our Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Lawyers high-pitched 'go Zardari go slogans echoed for hours on Monday at the Lahore High Court Bar, District Bar and The Mall despite efforts of PPP lawyers to disrupt the protest against the Zardari government. The pro-judiciary lawyers boycotted the courts and took out a rally in the City to express solidarity with the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while condemning orders of President Asif Ali Zardari on judges elevation and appointment. The Lahore High Court judges heard cases of urgent matter only that too in their chambers in view of the call of protest by the lawyers community. However, the pro-government lawyers, mostly belonging to PPP, stayed away from the protest and attempted to foil the boycott call given by National Coordination Council (NCC) headed by President Supreme Court Bar Association Qazi Anwar. The judges abandoned judicial work on the request of protesting lawyers. Earlier, a general house meeting was convened at Kiyani Hall of LHCBA to appreciate and support the refusal of LHC Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to take oath as per notification issued by President Asif Ali Zardari. As the meeting started, members of Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) entered the hall and created a rumpus by standing on chairs and tables. They chanted full-throated slogans in favour of President Asif Ali Zardari and against the superior judiciary. The panic caused indecisive adjournment of the House and both factions of the lawyers left the hall to take out the rally. President LHCBA Nasira Iqbal told The Nation that PLF lawyers hijacked the general house meeting and created rumpus by chanting slogans in favour of President Asif Ali Zardari. As uproar overtook the meeting, it was adjourned. Later, the lawyers gathered at GPO Chowk where they chanted slogans. The PLF lawyers disappeared from the scene when they saw massive rally of LBA coming from Aiwan-e-Adl. Later, the rally of pro-judiciary lawyers started its journey towards Punjab Assembly. Earlier in general house meeting of LBA, its President Sajid Bashir opposed the demand of lawyers of taking rally in favour of the CJP but failed in his attempt. Aggressive lawyers ignored the advice of LBA President and came out on the road while chanting slogans and holding placards. Later Sajid Bashir also joined the rally. On reaching the Assembly Chowk, the lawyers leaders delivered speeches and condemned 'illegal and 'unconstitutional notifications issued by President for elevating Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif as judge of the Supreme Court and appointing Justice Saqib Nisar as acting Chief Justice of the LHC. They said the notifications were not issued in accordance with Article 177 of the Constitution which asks President to consult CJP in judges appointment. The speakers urged the government to act in accordance with the Constitution and avoid confrontation with the judiciary. Our staff reporter from Karachi adds: A complete boycott has been observed in City Courts on Monday against presidential orders about the appointment of judges without consulting the Chief Justice of Pakistan Ifitikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Responding the call given by the lawyers National Coordination Council, Karachi Bar Association (KBA) and Malir District Bar Association MDBA boycotted the courts proceedings to express solidarity with judiciary. The lawyers did not appear before the courts. The lawyers supreme governing body had gave the call as part of their campaign against the notification regarding the appointment of judge in Supreme Court and Lahore High Court, issued on February 13 by the president. The lawyers fraternity showed utmost unity of action and completely boycotted the legal proceeding in the city court. The judges were present at their chambers, while the lawyers requested them not to conduct the hearing of the cases. Though, a partial strike was witnessed in Malir District Court, where the lawyers affiliated with Peoples Lawyers Forum PLF opposed the strike call. Meanwhile, the general body meeting of the Karachi Bar Association was held in Shuhada-i-Punjab Hall of the city courts, but the proceeding of the meeting was distracted by the sound and furry of opposite lawyers groups. Addressing the protesting lawyers in the SHCBA meeting, the lawyers condemned the presidents notification of appointing the two judges in Supreme Court and Lahore high court and termed the said action as unconstitutional. President SHCBA Rasheed A Rizvi said that the judiciary had became independent after a long struggle wherein the lawyers had scarified a lot for the movement, adding that the lawyers still ready to launch another campaign if the President would not change his attitude towards the judiciary. He demanded the government and the parliament to play their vital role against unlawful actions over the appointment of the judges. The meeting also passed a resolution unanimously against the appointment of judges in the supreme and high court. On the other side, KBA held its general body, wherein Vice Chairman of Sindh Bar Council Mehmood-ul-Hassan addressed that the lawyers movement had not been launched to strengthen only one person; rather it was for the independence for judiciary, leading to consolidation of democratic culture in the country.