PBC urges action against Aitzaz, Qadir -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PBC urges action against Aitzaz, Qadir

ISLAMABAD: In a surprise move, the Pakistan Bar Council has decided to take action against prominent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan and former National Accountability Bureau prosecutor general Irfan Qadir.

The primary accused in the Haris Steel Mills case had accused the two lawyers of having acted as agents for judges. And the PBC wants its disciplinary committee to take appropriate action against Ahsan and Qadir.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the executive committee of the PBC chaired by Muhammad Nasrullah Warraich. Also in attendance were members Muhammad Ashraf Wahlah, Haji Syed Rehman, Muhammad Yaseen Azad as well as special invitees Dr Khalid Ranjha and Abdul Hakeem Khan Kundi.

The resolution was passed at the request of lawyer Hashmat Habib, who argued that the charges against Ahsan and Qadir were identical to those leveled against senior lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada, law minister Babar Awan, prominent lawyer Waseem Sajjad, Ali Waseem Sajjad and former attorney general Malik Qayyum. As such, said Habib, Ahsan and Qadir’s cases should also be passed on to the PBC’s disciplinary committee.

The executive committee also took serious exception to what it saw as ‘unforgivable, disparaging remarks’ made by senior lawyer Akram Shaikh against the PBC while arguing a petition challenging the procedure for judicial appointments contained in 18th amendment before the Supreme Court. Lawyers have long wanted to have a say in judicial appointments, agreed the attendees, and the provision for a PBC nominee in the judicial commission is a welcome addition to the constitution. The committee now wants Shaikh to withdraw his arguments criticising the inclusion of the PBC in the judicial commission and to tender the council and unconditional apology.

Supreme Court registrar Dr Faqir Hussain also earned the ire of the committee for having deployed security personnel who allegedly misbehaved with and harassed a PBC member regarding identification procedures at the main entrance of the SC building. The committee said the arrangements were humiliating and went against the concept of courts being open to all concerned. It now wants the registrar to review security protocol.

However, most lawyers conversant with bar politics are not too impressed with the PBC. “The day law minister Babar Awan appeared before the SC bench in the case regarding the implementation of the NRO verdict, he awarded Rs 30 million to the PBC for the ‘welfare’ of its members,” reminds one lawyer.
Source: The Express Tribune
Date:6/9/2010