LAHORE: The Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) Vice Chairman Akram Khaksar and members of its executive committee on Monday demanded the federal government to seek resignation of Law Minister Dr Farogh Nasim in the wake of controversy generated in the reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court.
The vice chairman and other members also distanced themselves from a statement issued in favour of the law minister by PbBC executive committee chairman Jamil Asghar Bhatti. They said the statement by Mr Bhatti the other day did not represent the opinion of the whole bar council.
The executive committee members who joined Mr Khaksar were Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar Nehang, Changez Khan Kakar, Syed Farhad Ali Shah and Habib Nawaz Tiwana.
They said all bar councils and associations of the country had a consensus view that the presidential reference against Justice Isa was based on mala fide intention and was a failed attempt to create division in the judiciary.
They said the role of Mr Nasim in the whole episode of reference against the Supreme Court judge had been “very malicious and vindictive”.
They further said the legal fraternity of the country stood by the demand for the law minister’s resignation made by the Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Abid Saqi.
“We also urge the government to protect itself from further embarrassment and remove the law minister forthwith,” the joint statement said.
On Sunday, Mr Bhatti had in his statement condemned the demand for Mr Nasim’s resignation. He alleged there had been a targeted campaign against the law minister since he took brief of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to represent him before the apex court in his (COAS’) extension case.
Mr Bhatti said the case of Justice Isa should not be politicised like, what he claimed, that of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
The law minister came under fire since he denied a controversial statement by former attorney general Anwar Mansoor Khan before a ten-judge bench hearing Justice Isa’s petition against the reference. Mr Khan, however, said whatever he stated before the court was on the instructions from the government.
Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2020