A condolence reference organised for late Begum Nusrat Bhutto by the People Lawyers Forum at the Lahore High Court Bar Association became a battleground as some speakers tried to use the stage for the Supreme Court Bar Association election campaigning and for personal attacks against rivals.
Advocate Khurram Latif Khosa, the Punjab governor’s son, while addressing the participants announced that Yasin Azad, their presidential candidate for the SCBA, was present and all lawyers should vote for him.
PPP Punjab president Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, gesturing towards Aitzaz Ahsan, said lawyers like him had initiated a movement for one judge but never a movement to oust dictators. He said the elected governments of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were toppled by dictators but no lawyers initiated a movement against the dictators.
Ahsan said in his speech that if Azad was present at the venue, so was Rasheed A Rizvi, the other SCBA presidential candidate. He said Begum Nusrat Bhutto was a non-controversial figure and the condolence reference for her should have avoided controversy.
He said lawyers had initiated the movement against Ayub Khan.
He said lawyers had also struggled against Ziaul Haq. It was also the lawyers’ movement which ousted Musharraf, Aitzaz said. He said that lawyers were an important part of the country and the PPP should not become distant from them.
Former presidents of the SCBA Ali Ahmed Kurd and Asma Jahangir also addressed the gathering.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2011.