On Friday, the lawyer community decided to abstain from launching a protest movement to call for the resignation of the Prime Minister. As a result of the conference organized by Pakistan Bar Committee (PBC), the decision was reached after a majority of lawyers voted to wait for the Panama JIT to conclude its investigation before launching any protest campaigns.
“Launching a movement at this stage was premature and would be detrimental to the democratic system of Pakistan”
The PBC had invited lawyers from all over the country to participate in the conference in an attempt to reach a consensus over how the community should proceed in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict regarding Panamagate.
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A total of 84 representatives spoke on the occasion. 24 of them adamantly demanded the Prime Minister to resign citing the SC verdict as proof his loss of moral authority. 48 advised the lawyer community to allow the JIT to conduct its investigation unhampered by pressure from protests while vigilantly observing the ongoing process of investigation. They were of the view that launching a movement at this stage was premature and would be detrimental to the democratic system of Pakistan. 12 abstained from giving their views.
The conference also decided to formulate a committee under PBC which would observe the proceedings of the Supreme Court implementation bench.
Before the declaration was approved, Mr. Ahsan Bhoon, vice chairman of the PBC, offered to resign because the majority had voted to wait for the conclusion of the JIT’s investigation whereas he personally believed that the Prime Minister had lost his moral authority to rule. However, all those present rejected his offer and reassured him that they were confident of his capacity to lead.
The conference also decided to formulate a committee under PBC which would observe the proceedings of the Supreme Court implementation bench. The final declaration of the committee stated that the legal fraternity firmly believed in the democratic institutions and their continuity as per the constitutional scheme.
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The Supreme Court Bar Association’s president Rasheed A. Rizvi and secretary Aftab Ahmed Bajwa, who have called their own conference on 20th of May, were absent though other members of the body were present.
There had previously been a row between members of the SCBA on the matter of attending the conventions called by the Pakistan Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association.
“We will request the PBC as well as the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) to consider postponing their conventions of May 5 and 13, respectively, instead both like others should attend SCBA’s meeting of May 20,” SCBA President Razvi had previously stated.