ISLAMABAD: With superior courts repeatedly asking for who is representing the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP), the federal government is weighing options to whom it should nominate for the coveted post.

Potential candidates include Advocate Feisal Hussain Naqvi and Barrister Shehzad Ata Elahi, both young and from Lahore, an informed source told Dawn.

The AGP office has been vacant since last October when Ashtar Ausaf Ali resigned, citing health reasons. In his place, Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Aamir Rehman has been appearing to represent the government before the Supreme Court.

The federal government’s previous pick — Mansoor Usman Awan — finally gave way when he expressed his inability by writing a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif due to the government’s failure to issue notification despite his nomination approved by President Dr Arif Alvi on Dec 23.

Feisal Naqvi, Shehzad Ata Elahi said to be potential candidates

The absence of any officer to represent the AGP office had even caught the attention not only of the Supreme Court but also of the Islamabad High Court, which has even sought a proper explanation from the law ministry in this regard.

Feisal Naqvi, senior partner at the law firm Bhandari Naqvi Riaz, is a known corporate lawyer and recently represented Barrick Gold Corp­oration — the Canada-based firm working on the Reko Diq gold and copper mining project — to assist senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan before the Supreme Court in a settlement deal for the project.

He also assisted Mr Khan when the latter was serving as the AGP during the tenure of former president Pervez Musharraf.

He has also participated in several international arbitrations and disputes like the Indus Waters Treaty against India.

Likewise, Shehzad Elahi is a grandson of former president Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry and enjoys a good reputation for his hard work, integrity and understanding of

legal issues. Barrister Elahi belongs to the famous law firm Cornelius, Lane & Mufti.

He is also a corporate lawyer who has rich experience in commercial, tax and banking laws, civil, commercial, corporate, constitutional litigation, etc.

Earlier, what had perturbed the superior courts was the non-issuance of notification of Mansoor Usman Awan, who was appointed as the 37th AGP after the approval of President Alvi, but he later resigned and the office has remained vacant since then.

The PML-N government is expected to soon nominate a person qualified for the coveted position to the president.

Highlighting the significance of the AGP office, Justice Qazi Faez Isa recently authored an order stating that the attorney general was a constitutional post, and it could not be left vacant since there was no mention of an acting AGP in the Constitution.

The order also noted that neither a deputy attorney general nor an additional attorney general was a substitute, but when they do attend court, they do so on instructions of the AGP.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...
Losing grip
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Losing grip

The state and the government are responsible for providing Imran with the security he deserves as a former prime minister.
Telling silence
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Telling silence

THE silence of the Sindh government over the recent exposé in this paper about Karachi’s water tanker mafia ...
Palestine escalation
29 Jan, 2023

Palestine escalation

THE fire of conflict once again threatens to envelop the land of Palestine, as the growing cycle of violence refuses...