Mansoor Usman Awan appointed new attorney general

Published March 27, 2023
New AGP Mansoor Usman Awan. Photo by author
New AGP Mansoor Usman Awan. Photo by author

President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday appointed Mansoor Usman Awan as the new attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) after accepting the resignation of Shehzad Ata Elahi.

A statement issued by the Aiwan-i-Sadr said that the president had accepted the resignation of Elahi — who had quit the top law last week for “personal reasons” — and had appointed Awan as the AGP under Article 100 of the Constitution on the advice of the prime minister.

The Ministry of Law and Justice subsequently notified Awan as the new AGP. The notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said Awan would have the rank and status of a federal minister.

In his resignation letter that he addressed to the president on March 24, Elahi had cited “personal reasons” for tendering his resignation. However, he later issued a clarification denying that he had been asked to resign.

Elahi was appointed as the AGP on February 2 after Awan, who’s nomination for becoming the country’s principal law officer was approved by the president in December last year, expressed his inability to take charge as the AGP.

Awan had conveyed his intention to not take the office in a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. “Due to unavoidable professional commitments, I will be unable to serve as the AGP at this time,” he had said at the time.

A source close to him had told Dawn that Awan was frustrated by the inordinate delay on part of the law ministry to issue the notification of his appointment.

Ex-AGP denies being ‘asked to leave’

Elahi on Saturday had clarified that it was “absolutely incorrect” that he was asked to resign as AGP.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah earlier told a private news channel that Elahi had been asked to resign since he could not present the federal government’s stance in a strong manner before courts in some cases.

“In fact, when I communicated my intention to resign to senior members of the government I was requested to defer sending the resignation to the president and at their request I handed the original resignation over to a senior minister,” so that the government send it to the president at its convenience, Elahi said in the clarification.

“Unfortunately, some facts were selectively leaked to media yesterday (Friday) and while I avoided engaging with the numerous reporters and media channels who contacted me repeatedly a distorted narrative is being created which is why I am now constrained to send this clarification,” he added.

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