ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Bar Council (IBC) on Thursday suspended a controversial notification issued by the Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) that made it mandatory for lawyers to submit affidavits regarding their faith.

IBC Vice Chairman Qazi Rafiuddin Babar confirmed to Dawn that the outgoing vice chairman Haroon Rasheed suspended the notification a couple of days ago.

He said the suspension of the IBA notificationwas notified on Thursday.

He added that the IBC, a regulatory body, has issued a notice to IBA President Zafar Khokhar and sought his response. Mr Babar said the IBC will issue a final order after hearing from Mr Khokhar.

Sources in the IBC said that the district bar was asked not to issue the notification because a large number of senior lawyers were against the proposal. However, they said, Mr Khokhar issued the notification despite the opposition of senior lawyers, sparking criticism.

Mr Khokhar was elected earlier this month. On Jan 15, he issued a notification asking IBA members to submit an affidavit regarding their faith by Jan 31.

He warned lawyers that their membership would be suspended if they did not submit the affidavit.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020