MULTAN -  The lawyers continued their sit-in against the arrests of their comrades and shifting of courts to New Judicial Complex for the fifth consecutive day at Chowk Kutchehry on Monday.

The District Bar Association Multan sources claimed that the LHC Chief Justice had invited a delegation of lawyers to listen to their issues and demands but the protesting lawyers pledged to continue their strike and sit-in till acceptance of their all demands.

The lawyers sit-in caused severe traffic jam in the city area, causing serious trouble for the citizens moving towards or around Kutchehry area. Police mounted barricades on the roads leading to Chowk Kutchehry, blocking the traffic.

The lawyers are on strike to protest shifting of courts to New Judicial Complex despite non-availability of basic facilities like lawyers' chambers and washrooms at the premises. Many lawyers including current and previous presidents of District and High Court bars of Multan were arrested by police following lawyers attack on new judicial complex in which they shattered glass windows, damaged furniture and smashed the doors of the courts a few days back.

Bar sources said that the delegation would meet the Chief Justice at 2pm in Lahore on Tuesday (today) and present lawyers' demands.

Meanwhile, Sessions Judge Multan inaugurated women bar room, dispensary and shuttle service here at new judicial complex. The judge said on this occasion that the courts were functioning and the lawyers could appear for the cases.

PCGA REPORT ON COTTON ARRIVAL

A fortnightly report released by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) disclosed on Monday the arrival of seed cotton (phutti) at ginning factories observed 5.30 per cent increase during first fortnight of December 2017 compared to the corresponding period last year.

According to the report, seed cotton (Phutti) equivalent to over 1,06,85,981 bales reached ginneries across Pakistan as of December 15th, 2017 compared to 101,47,941 bales received during the same period last year. The ginneries in Punjab recorded arrival of 6,549,612 bales against the last year arrival of 6,444,847 bales showing an increase of merely 1.63 per cent. Similarly, ginning factories in Sindh recorded arrival of 4,136,369 bales while last year Sindh received 3,703,094.

Ginneries in Sindh recorded an increase of 11.70 % as compared to corresponding period last year.

Textile mills have bought 8,849,011 bales while exporters bought 213,630 bales. The total bales sold out so far were calculated at 9,062,641 bales.

While 1,623,340 bales are lying unsold because some ginners are waiting higher prices of cotton.

According to the breakup, Multan received 262,491 bales 9.15 % decrease than last year, Lodhran 143,065 bales 21.07 % decrease, Khanewal 652,712 bales an increase of 17.08 %, Muzaffargarh 320,565 bales an increase of 5.12 %, Dera Ghazi Khan 401,457 an increase of 22.80 %, Rajanpur 433,873 bales, 31.48 % increase, Layyah 276,057 bales 5.86.% increase, Vehari 549,734 bales 50.17 % increase, Sahiwal 248,994 bales 22.15 % more than last year, Pakpattan 38,259 bales 7.92% decrease, Okara 15,775 bales- 17.35 % short, Toba Tek Singh 1,56,203 bales, 2.85 % increase, Faisalabad 34,749 bales 3.02 % less than last year, Jhang 20,800 showing a decrease of 30.90 %, Mianwali 1,84,169 a decrease of 27.07 %, Bhakkar 80,455 (30.96 % more) Sargodha 7,293 (25.28 % decrease), Rahimyar Khan 9,71,260 bales (10.27 % decrease), Bahawalpur  9,31,773 an increase of 1,81 %,and Bahawalnagar 8,22,228 bales, a decrease of 19.97 %.

In Sindh province: Hyderabad 2,48,125 bales 9.47 % more than last year, Mirpur Khas (Thar) 2,20,257 bales 18.25 % less, Sangarh ,13,73,389 bales 12.43 % increase, Nawabshah 3,44,146 bales (7.5 % increase), Naushero Feroze 3,64,073 bales (10.06% increase), Khairpur 3,28,618 (16.49 % increase) Ghotki 3,61,540 (22.72 % increase),Sukkur 5,70,377 (13.04 % increase), Dadu 62,300-(51.78 % increase, Jamshoro 1,29,909 bales (17.85 % more), Badeen 17,335 bales 35.86 % less) and Baluchistan 1,16,300 bales (an increase of 52.45%). Total 960 ginning factories are operational in the country.

Of them 666 in Punjab and 294 in Sindh. Total 18,57,827 bales are lying in unsold stock.