|President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)|
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Yasin Azad has been elected as President of Supreme Court Bar
Association (SCBA) for the year 2011-12. Azad received 940 votes while
his opponent Justice (r) Rashid Rizvi bagged 858 votes.
The PPP and Asma
Jahangir-backed candidate Muhammad Yasin Azad has won the seat of
president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for the year
2011-2012 by defeating Professional Group’s candidate Rashid A Razvi
with a margin of 93 votes.
As per unofficial results, Azad
secured 954 votes while his opponent Razvi bagged 861 votes. Out of nine
polling stations across the country, Azad won in six including Lahore,
Peshawar, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, and Quetta. Razvi stood winner
from Abbottabad, Islamabad/ Rawal-pindi and Karachi only.
Lahore, Azad got 457 votes and Razvi obtained 422 votes. In Islamabad,
Azad secured 138 votes while Razvi received 147 votes. In Karachi, Azad
and Razvi got 102 and 122 votes, respectively. They secured 68 and 45 in
Peshawar, 12 and 23 in Abbottabad, 25 and 2 in Hyderabad, 35 and 18 in
Bahawalpur, 57 and 49 in Multan, 59 and 33 in Quetta. It is for the
second consecutive year that Professional Group, led by Hamid Khan,
faced defeat for the covet slot of SCBA’s president. Last year, Asma
Jahangir beat Ahmad Awais.
The result proved all predictions
wrongs. Independent observers were of the view that Razvi would win with
ease as things were different from last year’s elections. They said in
Asma’s election four former presidents of SCBA - Munir A Malik, Aitzaz
Ahsan, Justice (R) Tariq Mahmood and Ali Ahmad Kurd - were staunch
supporters of her. But this year, Aitzaz and Malik were supporting Razvi
while the other two former presidents stayed away from whole election
The result also made it clear that a candidate could
not woo the voters by only claiming that he is a hero of lawyers’
movement. Azad won the election despite all allegations that he was
being supported by PCO judges and Babar Awan was using state resources
to entice the voters. As a sitting member of Pakistan Bar Council, Azad
had the support of 12 members out of total 22. Prominent among them were
Ahsan Bhoon, Azam Nazir Tarar, Maqsood Buttar, Ramzan Chaudhry and
Popularity of Professional Group, which was the
strongest group in bar politics particularly during lawyers’ movement,
has started to decline. Last year, the group also tasted defeat in the
Lahore Bar Association election once Asma notched the SCBA top slot.
Asghar Ali Gill had saved the group from total disaster by winning
president’s seat of LHC Bar Association. Now it would be much harder for
Hamid Khan and his group to revive glory days of group because the PPP
had strong roots in lawyers’ community epically after the tactics
employed by Babar Awan.
As result was announced at Lahore polling
station, supporters of Azad burst into cheers. They started shouting
slogans and dancing to drumbeat. Outgoing SCBA President Asma Jahangir
was prominent among them. Ahsan Bhoon, Azam Nazeer Tarar, and Ramazan
Chaudhry also showed enthusiasm.
Prominent lawyers visited the
Lahore Registry to cast their votes, however, presiding officer barred
Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood Khan to exercise his right
to vote, saying he was holding a constitutional post and could not cast
vote unless he relinquishes that office.
In his victory speech,
Azad said his victory had proved that lawyers of the country were with
him. He dismissed the allegations that government machinery was used to
secure victory for him. He thanked Asma Jahangir and said he would not
compromise on principles. “I am thankful to you for the support you have
rendered to me,” he said and added that he was not affiliated with any
political party except Tehrik-e-Istiqlal. He said he belonged to
lawyers’ community and they were his party.
On the issue of PCO
judges, Asma Jahangir said they were members of the bar. She said
opponent group criticised them for securing support of PCO judges but
surprisingly they (Professional Group) also invited a PCO judge -
Zulfiqar Bokhari - on the stage for Rizvi’s campaign. She said such
double standard should be shunned.
According to unofficial
counting, Aslam Zar has been elected as secretary of the SCBA. Imran
Parveen Baloch of the Professional Group has become the vice president
of SCAB on Punjab seat.
Sardar Abdul Hameed Khan and Fayyaz Ahmad
Rana have won the seats of additional secretary and finance secretary,
respectively. They both belonged to Professional Group which had also
secured vice president seat of Khyber Pakhthunkhwa. Returning officer
Afrasiab Khan Chaudhry will announce official result on November 2.
various political and bar leaders have congratulated Yasin Azad on his
election as the SCBA president. Those felicitating him include President
Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, PML-N President Nawaz
Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Law Minister Maula Bakhsh
Chandio, former law minister Senator Babar Awan, PML-Q leaders Chaudhry
Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Pakistan Bar Council Vice
Chairman Latif Afridi, ex-senator and Member Balochistan Bar Council
Kamran Murtaza, ex-senior vice-president SCBA Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry,
Member Pakistan Bar Council Muhammad Ramzan Chaudhry and former Sindh
Education Minister and ex-judge of the Sindh High Court Dr Qazi Khalid
In their separate messages, they said the victory of Yasin
Azad was a manifestation of the confidence reposed by the country’s
legal fraternity and lawyers in the professional and leadership
abilities of Yasin Azad.
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