Both president, secretary from group claim victory
LAHORE: In the annual elections of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for the year 2017-18 held on Tuesday, Independent group led by renowned lawyer Asma Jahangir clinched top slots of president and secretary, as Pir Kaleem Ahmed Khursheed and Safdar Hussain Tarar stood winners at both seats, respectively.
The polling process was held at 11 polling stations established in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sukkur, and Hyderabad.
According to details, Pir Kaleem Ahmed Khursheed of Independent Group bagged 1,145, defeating Hafiz Abdur Rehman Ansari, his rival from Hamid Khan’s Professional group, who could only secure 1,062 votes. Independent Group’s Safdar Hussain Tarar secured 1,098 votes, while his rival candidate Mian Muhammad Aslam of the Professional Group only bagged 638 votes for the seat of secretary.
Former Chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani; former governors of Punjab Shahid Hamid, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, and Khawaja Tariq Rahim; former chief justice of LHC Khwaja Muhammad Sharif; retired justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum; Ali Ahmad Kurd; Asma Jahangir; Hamid Khan; Aitzaz Ahsan were among the notables who cast their votes at Lahore registry, where the polling started at 9am and concluded at 5pm.
Both the candidates contesting for the slot of president Pir Kaleem Ahmed Khursheed and Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari have earlier worked together in the Professional Group led by another former president of SCBA Hamid Khan.
The victory of Khursheed was being expected, keeping in view his old influence over the Professional Group, as he himself was once a member of the group before joining Asma Jehangir’s Independent Group last year.
Khursheed has earlier served as the president of Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) and was also a member of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) during the regime of former president Parvez Musharraf. It is worth mentioning here that Khursheed had earlier lost the election of SCBA’s president in 2015, when Syed Ali Zafar of the Independent Group clinched the coveted slot.
Khursheed had the backing of many leading and prominent lawyers—including PBC’s Executive Committee Chairman Hafeez-ur-Rehman Chaudhry, former Punjab governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, PBC Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon, former SCBA president Asma Jehangir, Azam Nazir Tarar and Abid Saqi.
As per the rotation policy of the presidential candidates, Punjab gets the coveted office of the president every second year.
With the interval of a year, Independent Group marked a landmark victory in the country’s top bar, as last year it was the Professional Group that clinched victory.
As the supporters of Pir Kaleem Khursheed came to know about the victory of their candidate through unofficial result announcement, they lifted him on their shoulders and started dancing on the drum beats. Leading lawyer and former president of SCBA Asma Jahangir was also present on the occasion at the Lahore Registry, where supporters of the group started chanting slogans after the landmark victory, vowing to work for the betterment of the legal fraternity.
A very close contest was observed between the presidential candidates, as the winning candidate marked victory with the narrow margin of 83 votes.
On the slot of vice-president from Punjab, Qamar Zaman Qureshi became successful, securing 1,159, while his rival Malik Imtiaz got 886 votes.
Addressing his supporters, the newly elected president said he would fulfil the promises he made with the lawyers and would protect their rights. He said he would continue the struggle for supremacy of law and the constitution.