LAHORE: The Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) has called for a boycott on Saturday (today) to protest the withholding of Rs10 million, an annual grant for the bar, by the provincial government.
Malik Ghulam Abbas Nissoana, vice chairman of the council, said that the Punjab government had already withdrawn lawyers’ medical insurance. He said that bar was providing financial assistance to lawyers through its Benevolent Fund Committee, to which the annual grant had not been released.
“When parliamentarians, political advisers and assistants of PML-N leaders can use national exchequer for health coverage, what is Khadim-i-Aala’s bias against poor lawyers?” Mr Nissoana said.
He said their demand for the grant was legitimate. “The amount for the annual medical grant is allocated in the provincial budget,” he said. He said the bar had not received the grant for the second consecutive year, adding that the lawyers had “no other option but to go on a strike”.
“We have sent at least 10 requests to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. But no one has bothered to reply,” Nissoana said.
Lawyers will boycott court proceedings across the province every week if the chief minister does not take notice, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2012.