ISLAMABAD: Under the rotation system, the next president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) is expected to come from Punjab following the October 29 annual election.
Asma Jahangir’s group has fielded Ali Zafar for the top slot while the group led by Hamid Khan has nominated Kareem Ahmad Khursheed for the same post.
Nearly 2,800 lawyers will exercise their right to vote. Of these, 1,400 lawyers alone belong to Lahore. Therefore, the victory of any candidate is dependent on the Lahore chapter.
Members of the two groups are already claiming victory. Some independent observers believe that Ali Zafar will win the election because he is backed by a strong group that has been winning the polls consecutively for the last five years.
Lawyers belonging to PPP, PML-Q, MQM, JUI-F and ANP are backing Ali Zafar. On the other hand, lawyers associated with PTI and JI are supporting Kareem Ahmad Khursheed.
The PML-N is likely to remain neutral in the SCBA elections because Hamid Khan group candidate has been associated with it. However, Asma Jahangir’s group is banking on most of the PML-N lawyers voting for Ali Zafar in Lahore.
Likewise, lawyers associated with former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry are campaigning for Kareem Khursheed. In view of their support, the position of Khusheed is better in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Around 100 judges, who were ousted through the July 31, 2009 verdict, have been backing Asma Jahangir group in the election.
Ramzan Muhammad Chaudhry, active member of Asma group while talking to The Express Tribune, claims that Ali Zafar will win the upcoming election easily due to a number of reasons.
He says that the Asma group has also worked for the welfare of lawyers’ community, adding that in other superior bars including Pakistan Bar Council, Lahore High Court Bar Association, the same group is dominant.
Sheikh Ahsanuddin, a senior member of the Hamid Khan group, expects his group to pull off an upset win due to the poor performance of their opponents. The Asma group, according to him, could not take a stand on core issues such as the establishment of military courts, etc.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2015.