ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Monday rejected the Punjab Bar Council’s (PbBC) resolution against Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
The decision, which was taken at an emergency meeting of the PBC Executive Committee in Islamabad, came hours after various bar associations in Sindh issued a joint declaration criticising the PbBC resolution against Justice Isa.
“The Sindh Bar Council, Sindh High Court Bar Association, Karachi Bar Association and Malir Bar Association strongly condemn the resolution [dated 20.4.2019] passed by the Executive Committee of the Punjab Bar Council,” read the joint statement released on Monday.
“We must express our severe disappointment with the six members of the PbBC who were elected to be the voice of the legal fraternity but have chosen, instead, to become puppets of the puppet master.”
“Indeed, the resolution passed by the PbBC Executive Committee actually strengthens the perception that there are unknown forces seeking to influence and pressurise the judiciary and it strengthens the resolve and commitment of all genuine representatives of the legal fraternity to counter and resist all such moves.”
On Saturday, the PbBC’s executive committee adopted a resolution demanding the removal of Justice Isa for his judgement in the Faizabad sit-in case.
It demanded proceedings against Justice Isa under Article 209 (5) of the Constitution for his removal as a Supreme Court judge. The council also described the removal of Justice Shaukat Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court by the Supreme Judicial Council as a “correct measure”.
The bar associations of Sindh criticised the resolution, saying “it is unfortunate that the PbBC Executive Committee has tried to sabotage the unity of the legal fraternity across Pakistan”.
“Most unfortunate of all, however, is the PbBC Executive Committee’s accusation that Justice Qazi Faiz Isa has strengthened the narrative of RAW and India by criticising the role of intelligence agencies in the Faizabad dharna judgment and its demand that he be removed as judge of the Supreme Court,” reads the statement by Sindh bar associations.
“Justice Qazi Faiz Isa enjoys an unblemished reputation for competence, integrity and independence and his only flaw seems to be his readiness to speak the truth and unwillingness to take instructions in the performance of his official functions, whether it be the Quetta Carnage Commission Report or the Faizabad dharna judgment.”
On the issue of Justice Shaukat Siddiqui, the statement said the Karachi Bar Association “rightly calls for a full inquiry and investigation to be conducted into the allegations of Mr Shaukat Siddiqui regarding interference by intelligence agencies in judicial matters”.
The declaration states it was unfortunate that “the Supreme Judicial Council failed to conduct such inquiry during the course of the proceedings against Mr Shaukat Siddiqui”.
The statement was signed by Muhammad Azam Khan, chairman of the executive committee of the Sindh Bar Council; Muhammad Aqil, president of Sindh High Court Bar Association; Naeem Qureshi, president of Karachi Bar Association; and Fida Muhammad Khan, general secretary of the Malir Bar Association.