Bakhtiar Ali Sial and Tabinda Islam are running for the Punjab vice president seat
As many as 2,697 Supreme Court lawyers will cast their vote for 18 candidates vying for the eight elected seats of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Thursday (today). The candidates are contesting for the slots of president, four vice presidents (one for each province), a secretary, an additional secretary and a finance secretary. These are separate from the seats for members of the executive body.
The toughest competition is expected between the candidates vying for the top slot. Syed Ali Zafar, from the Asma Jahangir-led Independent Group, and Pir Kaleem Khurshid, from the Hamid Khan-led Professional Group, will battle it out.
Like every year, Lahore is expected to be the hub of SCBA election activity as it has more Supreme Court lawyers than any other high court – there are 1,174 voters in Lahore, 436 in Karachi, 392 in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, 256 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 170 in Balochistan, 185 in Multan, and 84 in Bahawalpur.
Syed Ali Zafar, son of SM Zafar, is a new entrant in bar politics. The lawyer wings of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and the Awami National Party have announced support for Zafar. Pir Kaleem Khurshid, candidate for the Professional Group, has had a long career in bar politics. He has been president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association and a member of the Punjab Bar Council. He is currently a member of the Pakistan Bar Council. Besides some smaller groups, the lawyer wings of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam are supporting him. The PML-N Lawyers’ Wing, headed by Advocate Naseer Ahmad Bhutta, had supported candidates of the Independent Group in previous elections.
Independent Group’s Aftab Ahmad Bajwa and Asad Manzoor Butt of the Professional Group are vying for secretary. Butt is known for his affiliation with the Jamaat-i-Islami. Bar elders are of the view that Bajwa is going strong and is most likely to be secretary.
Bakhtiar Ali Sial and Tabinda Islam are running for the Punjab vice president seat.
Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam Ghumman and Syed Rifaqat Hussain Shah are contesting for the seat of additional secretary.
Ali Ahmed Khan Rana, Arshad Zaman Kayani and Syed Anwar Ahmed Shah are contesting for the finance secretary seat.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.