President appoints 23 new law officers
By: Amir Riaz
LAHORE: The President of Pakistan and PPP’s Co-chairman Asif Zardari on Monday sacked 18 federal law officers, most of them appointed by former law minister Babar Awan, and appointed 23 new law officers.
Ousted law officers include five deputy attorney generals (DAGs) and 13 standing counsels, who were serving at the Lahore High Court. Out of them, two DAGs are said to be diehard workers of the PPP while 15 belong to the group of Senator Babar Awan. Shaista Qaiser, wife of PPP’s founder member Ch Hanif Qaiser, Muhammad Ashraf Khan, also a founder worker of the PPP and friend of President Zardari.
Other 16, who have been sacked through a clean-up operation by Babar Awan’s opponents, are Ziaul Qamar Bhatti, Muhammad Ilyas Khan, Malik Mushtaq Awan, M. Akram, Sajjad Rabbani, Rana Abdur Rehman, Abdul Waheed, Mazhar Lila, Malik Akram, Badar Munir Malik, Agha Ali Imran Qazalbash, M. Mansha, Rai Rafique, Ghiasul Haq Sheikh, Muhiuddin Chishti and Syed Ashfaq Hussain.
Replacing the sacked ones, six deputy attorney generals and 17 standing counsels have been appointed what the insiders believe on the recommendations of three lawyers groups – former Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir group, former PCO judge Ahsan Bhoon group and Shafqat Abbasi group. Some of new appointees also belong to People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF).
New DAGs are: Ahmad Shahzad Farooq, Ch Ishaq, Iftikhar Shahid, Naveed Inayat Malik, Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema and Yasmin Sehgal, who is ex-wife of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer. New standing counsels are: Muhammad Nawaz Waseer, Ishaq Masih Naz, Nasir Javed Ghumman, Farrukh Riaz Chaudhry, Malik Shafqat Mahmood, Syed Naveedul Ahsan, Muhammad Nazim Khan, Rana Muhammad Arif, Khalid Nawaz Shehzad, Ghulam Sarwar Saif, Rao Shafqat Ali, Shahid Riaz, Khalid Pervaiz Warraich, Abdul Sattar Junaid, Naeem Tariq and Ambreen Anwar Raja, sister of PPP MNA Mehreen Anwar Raja and sister-in-law of Shafqat Abbasi. “No lawyer belonging to the camp of Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa has been accommodated during these political appointments,” insiders told The News on condition of anonymity.
Though they are happy over ousting the Babar Awan group and Latif Khosa group from these appointments, but they say PPP’s co-chairman should not have neglected the party’s old workers like Shaista Qaiser, Ashraf Khan and others. The appointments are also seen as a political stunt to gain the support of lawyers who are now criticising various Supreme Court verdicts against the federal government.