Won’t allow Sharif nominee to be Supreme Appellate Court judge: Gilgit lawyers

Pakistani lawyers chant slogans during an anti-government protest in Rawalpindi March 13, 2009. Pakistani lawyers challenging the government will step up their cross-country protest campaign despite beatings and arrests by the police, a protest leader said on Friday. REUTERS/Stringer (PAKISTAN CONFLICT POLITICS BUSINESS)

Gilgit [Pakistan]: Supreme Appellate Court Bar Association and the High Court Bar Association of Gilgit-Baltistan lawyers have said they will go on strike if the government elevates a lawyer from Mansehra who has the backing of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Captain Safdar to the vacant seat of judge in the Supreme Appellate Court.

Demanding that a competent lawyer from the bar be elevated to the post, Supreme Appellate Court Bar Association President Ahsan Ali Advocate, Senior Vice President Javed Iqbal and High Court Bar President Asadullah told media at the Gilgit Press Club here that attempts were on to elevate a lawyer from Mansehra and resolved that no such attempts would be allowed to succeed.

The local legal fraternity also expressed apprehension about the inclusion of Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Justice Shahab Khan’s name in the summary which was against the Good Governance Ordinance.

The lawyers’ representatives said that hundreds of cases were pending in chief judge’s court and added that his elevation would bring court proceedings to a standstill.

According to Article 175A of The Constitution of Pakistan, the appointment of judges to in higher judiciary should be done on merit and the Supreme Judicial Council, comprising of the Chief Justice, senior justices and a member of Pakistan Bar Council finalizes the nomination of judges.

However, in Gilgit-Baltistan, the government retains the power to elevate and appoint judges in Supreme Appellate Court, Gilgit-Baltistan.

The lawyers of Gilgit-Baltistan warned that failure on the government’s part would lead to province-wide protests and the whole responsibility would lie with the government.

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