LAHORE: The stage is set for annual election (2018-19) of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) being held on Wednesday (today) with candidates of two main rival groups - Independent and Professional - vying for the top office of president.
Both opponent candidates for the presidential slot – Amanullah Kanrani and Ali Ahmad Kurd - hail from Balochistan province as per rotation policy.
Mr Kurd was a prominent figure of the 2007 lawyers’ movement for the restoration of deposed judiciary and democracy in the country. He is contesting the election of SCBA for the second time as he has already served the bar as its president in 2008.
PML-N Lawyers Forum supports Ali Ahmad Kurd for SCBA head
However, he had contested his previous election from the platform of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Hamid Khan-led Professional group. This time, Kurd has been fielded by Independent group formed by late Asma Jahangir. After the death of Ms Jahangir early this year, Ahsan Bhoon and Azam Nazir Tarar are formally heading the group now.
Previously, Mr Kurd has also been vice the chairman of Pakistan Bar Council, top regulatory body of the lawyers.
Among lawyers’ wings of political parties, PML-N Lawyers Forum is backing Mr Kurd while Insaf Lawyers Forum of PTI, Peoples Lawyers Forum of PPP and Islamic Lawyers Front of Jamat-i-Islami are supporting Mr Kanrani. Reformers Group, formed by removed judges of PCO regime, has also thrown its weight behind Mr Kanrani. LHC former judge Syed Shabbar Raza Rizvi heads this group.
Mr Kanrani is also vying for the president’s slot for the second time as he had lost his previous election to Kamran Murtaza in 2013.
Shamimur Rehman Malik of Professional group and Azmatullah Chaudhry of Independent group are contesting for the slot of secretary. PML-N lawyers’ forum is divided on the secretary’s slot as many of its members have been canvassing for Mr Malik.
Insiders claim that the Independent group put its efforts to win slot of secretary more than the president.
Eight candidates are vying for four seats of vice presidents -- one each from four provinces. Kamran Ali Malik and Tayyab Nasir Jafri are from Punjab, Naseebullah Achakzai and Syed Saleem Akhter from Balochistan, Khaleeq Ahmad and Salahuddin Khan Gandapur from Sindh while Khalid Anwar Afridi and Khan Afzal Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
For one slot of additional secretary, Ahsan Hameed Lilla, Javed Masood Tahir and Kazi Sheharyar Iqbal are in the field. Ali Ahmad Khan Rana and Mehmood Ahmad Sheikh are contesting for the slot of finance secretary.
As many as 3,047 members would exercise their right to vote in the polling to be held in all the four provinces. Lahore station has maximum number of voters that is 1,291 while 203 in Multan, 89 in Bahawalpur, 484 in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, 504 in Sindh province, 280 in KP and 196 in Balochistan. Chairman election board Chaudhry Afrasiab would conduct the polling from 9am to 5pm.
Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2018