ISLAMABAD: Renowned jurist and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Asma Jahangir is facing severe criticism by representatives of her own Democratic Group for her recent remarks against the top court’s July 28 verdict in Panamagate case.
The group, which has a majority in the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), issued a statement, expressing concerns over Asma’s statement.
According to sources, former SCBA presidents Yasin Azad and Kamran Murtaza are backing Asma’s stance on the Panamagate judgment. However, most group members, like Ali Zafar and Abid Saqi, hail the SC’s July 28 verdict which resulted in the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister.
Asma Jahangir censures SC
A senior advocate said the PPP’s lawyers, who are also part of the Democratic Group and hold key posts in the superior bars, are supporting the judgment. PBC office-bearer Syed Kalb-e- Hassan, who also belongs to Asma’s group, admitted that there were divergent views in the group on Panamagate verdict but called it the ‘beauty of democracy’.
However, PBC Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon and Chairman Executive Committee Hafeezur Rehman expressed utmost concern on ‘vilification campaign’ against the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court.
“[We] particularly deprecate the recent statements of some individuals targeting the Supreme Court, generally acclaimed for having demonstrated, in the recent past, its independence in giving judgments and verdicts in many important cases,” said a statement issued by the two representatives.
Asma slams ‘judicial dictatorship’
“The statements [by Asma] also tried to malign the institution of armed forces which has always performed exemplary role in defending the homeland against foreign aggression, maintaining law and order situation and defeating the menace of terrorism,” it added.
The lawyers claimed that ‘calculated and motivated’ move and onslaught by individuals with vested interests at the behest of the ruling party culminated in amassing ill-gotten money of billions of rupees over the period of 35 years of being in power.”
Bhoon told The Express Tribune that the lawyers were very concerned over the malicious campaign against the five judges particularly Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. “If the malicious campaign against Justice Khosa is not stopped then I will be compelled to announce countrywide lawyers protest,” he said.
Incumbent SCBA president Rashid A Rizvi, who is associated with Hamid Khan Group, also rejected the impression that the Panamagate verdict was an outcome of any ‘conspiracy’
“If someone believes that there are errors in the verdict then he should challenge it, but should not level allegations of conspiracy,” Rizvi said, talking to media in the Supreme Court’s premises on Friday.
However, Rizvi questioned the court’s decision to nominate ‘monitoring judge’ to oversee the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) proceedings with regard to its references against Sharif’s
“The monitoring will prejudice proceedings of the accountability court. The chief justice may form larger bench to hear Sharif family’s review petition against the ruling,” he added.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ