KARACHI - Deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on Wednesday said that rule of law and freedom of judiciary was important for genuine democracy and unity of the county. He added that rampant corruption is shaking the very foundations of Pakistan and freedom of judiciary is the only force that can rid the country of this menace. Addressing a meeting of the Sindh High Court Bar, he maintained that independence of judiciary was inevitable for good governance. He said a judiciary free from any influence of the rulers could take initiative to provide relief to the poor and help sustain the rule of law in the country. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that during his tenure, he had taken thousands of suo motto actions in the cases related to the basic rights of the poor people. He continued that he was the biggest hurdle in the way of unquestioned privatisation of national assets and also allowed right of vote to more than 30 million people on the appeal of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. The deposed CJP further said that it was lawyer who created Pakistan and a free and independent judiciary is would be guarantor of smooth functioning of this country. Paying tribute to the civil society, media, students, labourers and political workers, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that due active support of these people, lawyers' movement attained unprecedented popularity in the country and is continuing its struggle. He said the people want rule of law in the country that could guaranty the protection of their basic rights and that is the sole purpose of their enthusiasm towards the lawyers' movement. He lamented that unrestrained corruption has shaken the foundations of Pakistan as all and sundry from an ordinary government servant to those occupying higher offices are plundering the national wealth. The deposed CJP lauded the efforts of senior lawyer and President Sukkur Bar Association Imdad Ali Awan and others who scarified their lives during the ongoing lawyers' movement particularly on 12th May and 9th April 2007. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that he felt a shock on hearing the news of Advocate Imdad Awan's death. He said that he personally knew the deceased Ali for years and could never forget him. Deposed chief justice said that Imdad Ali was a key-player in the movement and the legal community was deeply grieved on his demise. He added that monuments should be built in the memory of the lawyers of Sindh who sacrificed their lives during the ongoing movement.      He said that the movement for the restoration of judges is gaining momentum with the passage of time and it has further energized. He applauded the heroic role of media during the ongoing struggle movement. Meanwhile, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry unveiled the Sindh High Court Bar Hall named after him. Earlier, President SCBA Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsen said that he had told Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that present government would not continue if the judges were not restored. He strongly rejected the so-called minus-one formula saying the lawyers' movement was launched for the restoration of pre-November 3 judiciary and reinstatement of all deposed judges. Aitzaz warned that if any deposed judge takes fresh oath for re-appointment, he would be deemed as a PCO judge. He said that being the representative of the PPP, he will make all out efforts to fulfil the promise of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, she had in her address outside the residence of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry regarding the reinstatement of the judges. Speaking on the occasion, deposed SHC Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed denied the rumours that sacked judges are ready to take fresh oath, clarifying that none of them will part ways with his colleagues. Hamid Khan of Pakistan Bar Council, Khawaja Sharif, deposed Justice Tariq Parvez, Anwar Kamal, President Sindh High Court Bar Association Rasheed A Rizvi and others also spoke on the occasion.