LAHORE - Deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that constitutionally he was still the Chief Justice of Pakistan and other deposed judges are also constitutional judges. Addressing as chief guest at All Pakistan Lawyers Convention organised by Punjab Bar Council here on Saturday night, he said no country can progress when the judiciary is dependent and rule of law does not exist. He said Pakistan badly needed an independent judiciary which was dire need of the common man while the powerful and the elite did not want such courts. He said judiciary is free when judges of independent mind are appointed who have courage to see eye to eye to the rulers to protect rights of the poor and oppressed. He said every dictator subverted the Constitution and came to power and it was judiciary which validated their actions. He said first time in the country's history on November 3, 2007 a failed Martial Law was brought in by a dictator as it was the not accepted by the lawyers and the masses. He said enough is enough and no more violations of the Constitution and defiance to the rule of law would be tolerated. The deposed Chief Justice said the lawyers movement is being recognised worldwide as their struggle stands for rule of rule. He said judiciary is only independent when it applied law on everybody without discrimination. He said over the last 62 years we have failed to translate the slogan of justice for all into a reality. He said the State is responsible for the protection of life and property of the citizens. He said before March 9, 2009, judiciary was subservient but the decision on July 20, 2007, turned its course and on November 3, 2007, it rose up to defy the Martial Law introduced as PCO by a dictator. He criticised validation of the November 3 PCO by the judiciary after the dictator himself had termed it an extra-constitutional measure. He said the judiciary after November 3, 2007, protected the PCO only to the save their jobs and service. He said at present 17th Amendment was under debate for abrogation as it was approved by the then Parliament. As to the PCO of November 3, he said, it was never approved by the Parliament and a unique feature about it was that never any military dictator in the past termed his action wrong. He questioned the formation of Islamabad High Court and amendment in Article 41(a) which provided for Musharraf to contest election in uniform and they all were validated by the judiciary after November 3, 2007. He asked the lawyers that their destination was not far away and they just need to keep united. He said not only the help of Allah Almighty but 160 million people of Pakistan were with him. Earlier, Ali Ahmad Kurd in his address while succumbing to strong pressure of the lawyers , announced to continue sit-in at Islamabad on March 9 till reinstatement of Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as Chief Justice of Pakistan and other deposed judges. The mammoth gathering of lawyers from all over the country chanted slogans against President Asif Ali Zardari and the slogans against him were so strong that at one point in his address, Aitzaz Ahsan had to ask lawyers to shun such slogans and be decent. President Zardari remained a target of even those lawyers who recited poems at the convention. Deposed senior judge of the Supreme Court Khalilur Rahman Ramday, deposed senior judge of Lahore High Court Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, former Presidents SCBA Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir A. Malik, and Hamid Khan and President Peshawar High Court Abdul Latif Afridi among others also spoke on the occasion while Vice Chairman Punjab Bar Council Aslam Sindhu presented welcome address. Iftikhar Chaudhry also administered oath to the newly elected body of Lahore Bar Association while he was given shield by the Vice Chairman. Deposed judges including Justice Ch Ijaz Ahmad of SC, LHC judges Sheikh Sair Ali and M.A.Shahid were also present. The attendance at the convention was unprecedented in the lawyers history of the movement. Thousands of lawyers demonstrated a huge enthusiasm. Aitzaz Ahsan in his address said that despite many sufferings in the two-year long movement, he was still committed to the cause of independence of judiciary. He said that those persons who did not know about the meaning of democracy were opposed to movement of the lawyers. He said it was the decisive time of their movement and he wished that during the current tenure of SCBA body, the objective is achieved. He asked the lawyers to solidify their relationship with the people and make them understand about the significance of the movement so that they support them in the Long March in a big way. Kurd said that he said was not afraid of anyone except Allah Almighty and the time to come would prove it. He said that they did not expect that after election Musharraf policies will continue terming the sitting Parliament 'duff and dumb'. He said the sit in on March 9 would aim at infusing life to sitting 'dead' Parliament. He asked the govt to see reason and reinstate deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and others before the long march and sit in. At one point, he said, the duration of the sit-in would be determined by the National Coordination Committee on which the lawyers went into a long spell of slogans insisting that sit in will continue till deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry's reinstatement. Justice Khalilur Rahman Ramday said lawyers movement was bound to succeed as they enjoyed help and blessings of Allah Almighty for having a sincere and true stance. He said today the 160 million people of Pakistan stand testimony to their success. Alluding to the deposed judges, he said, they were put into a test by Allah Almighty.