LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said an independent judiciary guaranteed democracy and as long as such judiciary stayed there would be no threat to democracy. The lawyers struggle for independent judiciary shares the credit for democracy today, the chief justice said while addressing a big gathering of lawyers at a reception hosted in his honour by the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Saturday. He said the legal community proved its mettle by setting an example of resistance to the authoritarian overtures of a usurper. People expect from the Bench and the Bar to sustain this spirit and transform it into positive change based on the principles of rule of law ensuring good governance, creating equal opportunity for all to realise their dreams, he added. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice, judges of the superior judiciary attended the reception. LHCBA President Asghar Ali Gill presented welcome address wherein he grumbled the attitude and competence of certain judges, while referring to a letter he addressed to the LHC CJ in this regard. On his arrival, the chief justice was presented a heroic welcome by the city lawyers. The chief justice said energies of the judicial organs are being consumed because of the inability of other state institutions and public functionaries to carry out their constitutionally mandated duties. In such eventuality, he said, the judiciary has to act not because of choice but compulsion to discharge a duty. The judiciary often comes across the situations where the executive shows intransigence in submitting to the principles of rule of law and acts in an arbitrary manner. And in that eventuality when people take recourse to the judiciary. The CJP said that the judicial organ of the state neither had the ability nor the mandate to reform other pillars. However, it is prime and constitutional duty of the judiciary to enforce fundamental rights and ensure that the state and society is governed under the strict application of constitutional norms and legal spirit. No deviation from this premise will ever be countenanced, he maintained, adding that a reformed and developed governance system goes to enormously reduce the burden of the courts, improve administration and usher in an era of economic development and political stability. He said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as a modern, progressive, democratic country drawing its inspiration from the true, dynamic, pristine revolutionary Islam of its early years with its emphasis on egalitarianism, social justice and accountability. And the Quaids charter will remain a beacon for the nation. He said today, the people are looking to the lawyers community and the judicial organ of the country to provide much-needed vision and support to steer the ship of the state towards safer shores. Addressing the concerns raised by Gill, the chief justice took exception to Gills publicly made grievance which he could have otherwise been discussed with him in private. CJ Chaudhry said he has great admiration for lawyers and if they have any petty disputes with the bench, they can sort them without playing them by projecting them publicly. He said the courts are well discharging their duties of administration of justice and assured Gill that in the next lot of judges, Lahore lawyers will also be given due consideration. He lamented in the same breath that some flourishing lawyers were reluctant to become judges while some others were sending him applications to become judges which in fact was a proper manner. He said his endeavour has been to pick up the best of the lot without compromising on merit. The LHC CJ, in his address, assured the Bar President of taking up the matter of grant to bar with the government. He said judges were diligently performing their duties, which deserve appreciation.