ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Farooq H Naek and Attorney-General Sardar Latif Khosa have now been banned by all the major bar associations of Pakistan because of their “negative stance” on the judges’ restoration.
With the Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association ban on Thursday, both these legal wizards of the PPP regime cannot enter any major bar, including Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi. On August 8, 2008, the Karachi Bar Association, the largest bar association of the country, had banned the entry of the law minister and had declared that the minister was part of a conspiracy against the lawyers’ movement.
The Multan Bar Association forced the attorney-general out of the premises when Khosa entered the building of the Lahore High Court in Multan. Mehmud Ashraf, President, High Court Bar Association, Multan, told this correspondent that the bar association had banned the entry of the attorney-general but he did try to hold a function of the People’s Lawyers Forum in the building.
“It was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that premises of a high court was used for a purely political function as the People’s Lawyers Forum is a political wing of the PPP’s lawyers,” said the president High Court Bar Association Multan.
He added: “The general-secretary of the bar association, along with a few lawyers, were ready to blacken the face of the attorney-general with spray but with the intervention of veteran lawyer and former speaker of the National Assembly Sahibzada Farooq Ali Khan, the lawyers did not spray paint on the attorney-general’s face but forced him to leave the building.”
He said Khosa was neither invited to address the bar association of Dera Ghazi Khan, his hometown, nor in Muzaffargarh where the president of bar association was the PPP general-secretary.
A senior member of the People’s Lawyers Forum of Rawalpindi told The News that he was ashamed of being with the party which had refused to restore the symbol of independence of the judiciary, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
He said he had attended the ceremony of Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar’s address in the Supreme Court building where only about a hundred lawyers were present. “Last year when deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry came to address the Supreme Court Bar Association, there were lawyers all over the Constitution Avenue and the auditorium of the Supreme Court was jampacked but this time the hall was not even half-full.”
He said had Latif Khosa and Farooq Naek been sincere with the judges’ issue, the PPP workers would not have been so ashamed. The spokesman of the deposed chief justice of Pakistan, Athar Minallah, said the ban on entering the bar associations was symbolic but it must be shameful for a senior lawyer like Latif Khosa and for a law minister. He said it was like a journalist being stopped from entering a press club.
“Khosa and Naek have been banned from entering the bar associations all over Pakistan for their efforts to validate Pervez Musharraf’s unconstitutional steps,” said Athar, adding: “This law minister and the attorney-general are worse than the previous regime because expectations were high from this elected government whereas nothing was expected from Sharifuddin Pirzada and Malik Qayyum.”
“Unfortunately, what Khosa and Naek are doing is unimaginable as no member of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s party could have been expected to destroy the supremacy of the Constitution and to undermine independence of the judiciary because ZA Bhutto had been the biggest victim of judiciary,” Athar added.