LAHORE: The executive committee of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Sunday decided that three senior lawyers would attend the hearing of the case against Jang group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman.
The committee, on a motion submitted by PBC member Akhtar Hussain, expressed concern over “unjustified arrest and detention” of Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman by the National Accountability Bureau.
At its meeting, the committee termed Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman’s arrest in a matter pertaining to the year 1986 a mala fide act.
The committee requested its members — Abid Saqi, Syed Kalb-i-Hassan and Tahir Nasrullah Warraich — to attend the hearing of the case as requested by some senior journalists to show solidarity with the journalist fraternity.
Lawyers body terms Jang group editor-in-chief’s arrest a mala fide act
Besides, the committee observed that July 5 would remain a “black day” in the history of country because on this day in 1977 a military dictator overthrew a democratically elected government led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The committee expressed its resolve that the legal fraternity would always protect and safeguard the democratic system and values in Pakistan.
It praised and prayed for thousands of heroes who had sacrificed their lives or liberties in opposing the dictatorial regime of General Ziaul Haq.
Azam Nazir Tarar, the chairman of the executive committee, presided over the meeting which was attended by its members Ahsan Bhoon, Abid Saqi and Chaudhry Hafeezur Rehman. PBC members Syed Kalb-i-Hassan, Akhtar Hussain and Tahir Nasrullah Warraich attended the meeting as special invitees.
The committee condemned the suspension of licence of a private news channel, 24 NewsHD, by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), terming it a glaring violation of fundamental right of expression as enshrined in the Constitution.
It called upon the government to immediately lift the ban on the TV channel and allow it to resume its transmission without any interference from any government agency.
The executive committee also considered proposals of some of the provincial bar councils and bar associations about recent amendments to the Pakistan Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Rules, 1976 regarding qualifications and criteria of candidates for contesting elections of provincial and Islamabad bar councils and the condition of two-year practice for an advocate to exercise his/her right of vote in elections of the bar associations.
The committee sent the recommendations for relaxing and modifying the criteria to the PBC general house for its consideration and approval.
The committee, on a proposal of Mr Bhoon, expressed its concern that some of the provincial bar councils were granting enrolment as advocate to persons not qualified as per the rules, particularly in respect of passing the LAW GAT examination (law graduate assessment test).
The meeting authorised PBC vice chairman Abid Saqi and chairman of the executive committee Azam Nazir Tarar to take up the matter with the provincial bar councils and ask them to furnish data of advocates enrolled by them during the past three years.
On receipt of the data, the executive committee would further consider the matter and take appropriate action in the cases where it found non-observance of the rules in respect of enrolment of advocates, said the statement.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2020