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LAHORE: In anticipation of popular opinion, Syed Ali Zafar of Asma Jahangir-led Independent Group on Thursday notched the slot of president of the Supreme Court Bar Association for the year 2015-16 by defeating Peer Kaleem Ahmad Khurshid of the Professional Group of Hamid Khan.

Mr Zafar polled 1,182 votes, while Mr Khurshid got 904.

It was the first election of Barrister Zafar, who is a son of senior lawyer and one of the authors of the Constitution, S. M. Zafar.

However, Asad Manzoor Butt of the Professional Group clinched the slot of Secretary, defeating his rival Aftab Ahmad Bajwa of Independent Group by a close margin of 30 votes. Mr Butt bagged 1,038 votes and Mr Bajwa 1,008.

Tabinda Islam of the Professional Group was elected vice president on Punjab seat with 1,019 votes against her rival Bakhtiar Ali Sial, who got 1,009 votes.

Abdullah Kakar was elected vice president from Balochistan, Syed Sardar Hussain from Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Ziaul Haq Makhdoom from Sindh.

As the election board announced the result at Lahore registry of the Supreme Court, supporters of Ali Zafar started dancing to drumbeats and chanting slogans in favour of their group. They showered their winning candidate with rose petals.

In his victory speech, Mr Zafar said he would try to live up to the expectations of the legal fraternity. He said independence of the judiciary would be his central aim. The lawyers’ movement was started in order to protect the legal system and independence of the judiciary, he added.

Mr Zafar said the bar would not allow independence of the judiciary to get affected if it was ever threatened by the establishment. He, however, said the independence of the judiciary did not mean that a judge should be biased.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2015

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