Benazir Bhutto, a former Pakistani prime minister, on Monday said that the deteriorating situation could destabilise the whole region.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Bhutto said: "The attention of the country has been diverted from the militants who are trying to control the tribal areas of Pakistan, who are knocking on the doors of our frontier province and have their eye on Islamabad.
"Our internal security should be protecting our citizens from bomb blasts and instead, we find that the internal security is busy rounding up members of bar associations, civil groups and political groups."
About 1,500 people have been detained in a crackdown on opposition to the president's decision.
Around 2,000 lawyers gathered in the eastern city of Lahore despite police warning them not to violate a ban on rallies across the country.
Hundreds of police entered the city's high court and fired tear gas as they attacked lawyers inside the building.
Several lawyers were wounded when police launched a baton charge, witnesses said.
"Police lobbed more than a dozen tear gas shells at lawyers who had gathered in the high court and then beat them with batons," Sheikh Faisal, a lawyer at the court, told the reporters by telephone.