QUETTA: The legal fraternity in Balochistan on Friday strongly condemned the filing of a reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and termed it a conspiracy against the federation and the independent judiciary.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Balochistan Bar Council vice chairman Ataullah Langove, Balochistan High Court Bar Association senior vice president Iqbal Kasi and Quetta Bar Association president Asif Reki announced that they would launch a countrywide protest movement against the federal government’s move. “This act of the federal government will prove very damaging for the federation,” they said.

Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Balochistan Bar Association Rahib Khan Buledi, Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s member Munir Ahmed Kakar and a large number of lawyers were also present on the occasion.

Announce countrywide protest against government move after Eid

The leaders of the lawyers’ community announced that they and members of the legal fraternity would be present during the hearing of the reference against Justice Isa by the SJC on June 14.

Mr Langove said a joint emergency meeting of all the three lawyers’ bodies had adopted a resolution strongly condemning the filing of the reference against the senior judge of the apex court and decided that the countrywide protest movement would be launched after Eid from Balochistan after consulting other representative bodies of lawyers.

“Lawyers would boycott courts across Balochistan on Monday,” Mr Langove announced, adding that Justice Faez Isa belonged to Balochistan and the filing of the reference against him would increase sense of deprivation among the people of the province. “It’s not a reference against a judge but against the entire independent judiciary,” he said.

The lawyers’ leaders said that a conference of the legal fraternity would be convened after Eid to chalk out a strategy for the protest movement. They said Justice Isa had an impeccable character who wrote judgements with honesty and in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

“The people behind the filing of the reference against Justice Isa could not stomach his independent verdicts in the Quetta Civil Hospital blast, Faizabad sit-in and some other cases,” they added.

Iqbal Kasi said the lawyers’ community and the people of the country had rendered great sacrifices for the independent judiciary and their sacrifices would not go in vain.

Munir Kakar said all conspiracies against the judiciary would be foiled with the help of the people and lawyers’ community. “The people of Balochistan always stood by the supremacy of law and Constitution and once again they will play their role in this regard,” he said, adding that if the reference was based on assets then the assets of all judges should be made public.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2019