The ban on Shezan drinks on the district courts premises initiated by the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) has split the association.
The Khatme Nabuwat Lawyers Forum (KNLF) started pasting stickers at the canteens of the sessions and district courts on Wednesday. The stickers warned the faithful against drinking Shezan drinks.
After rights activists and lawyers criticised the ban on Shezan products, a split has occurred with the LBA. KNLF president Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, who inititated the resolution seeking a ban on Shezan products as they were Ahmadi owned, was pasting stickers in the canteens.
Some LBA office bearers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune, that they found the decision to ban Shezan products condemnable. They had said they had not been present when the ban was decided on. They said such a ban would promote secretarianism.
Speaking with The Express Tribune, Lahore Bar Association Vice President Rana Javed Bashir Khan said he had not been involved in the sticker campaign.
He said canteen managers at subordinate courts would be directed over next three days to stop buying or selling Shezan drinks. He said strict action would be taken against those who did not heed the ban.
LBA President Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said that no resolution in this had been passed by the LBA general body.
He clarified that Shezan drinks had been banned in subordinate courts by the bar executives as they were the products of Ahmadis. Ali added that a resolution in this regard would be discussed in the general body but considered it unlikely that the ban would be lifted.
Jamate Ahmadia Pakistan spokesperson, Saleemuddin, condemned the decision and wondered what sort of message this sent out to the international community.
Canteen owners said while stickers had been pasted on their counters and freezers, they had not received clear directions from the LBA.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2012.