In a crucial gathering organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Thursday, a clarion call was made to bar associations across the country to stage a nationwide strike on September 9, advocating for the upholding of the rule of law, the release of political prisoners, cessation of military intervention in politics, and strategic approaches to tackle the prevailing economic downturn. Key figures including Hamid Khan, Latif Khosa, Aitzaz Ahsan, and SCBA President Abid Zuberi fervently addressed the audience at the convention held by the SCBA’s 25th Executive Committee at the SCBA complex. Notably, the Pakistan Bar Council was absent from the event, a point highlighted with regret by Mr. Zuberi.
The convention passed a significant resolution underscoring civilian supremacy and urging bar councils to organize peaceful protests in the form of rallies and marches to safeguard the Constitution and maintain the rule of law. The resolution vehemently opposed the trial of civilians in military courts, highlighting that such trials contradict the principles of fair trial and due process stated in the Constitution.
Moreover, the resolution demanded the transfer of civilians held by military or intelligence agencies to the custody of civil law authorities for appropriate trial processes. The SCBA fervently condemned recent incidents of the harassment of women and lawyers and urged legal action against those responsible.
A Unifying Voice Against Constitutional Transgressions
Veteran lawyer Hamid Khan took a firm stance, asserting that the legal community would not stand for any institution overstepping its constitutional boundaries. Emphasizing the vital role of adherence to the law and the Constitution, he pointed out that the armed forces are a creation of the Constitution and should strictly follow their defined roles without engaging in political activities. Hamid Khan urged senior army officials to frequently revisit their oath of office, which binds them to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
SCBA President Abid Shahid Zuberi raised concerns over the non-implementation of the Supreme Court’s directive for holding elections in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, suggesting invoking Article 6 against the chief election commissioner. He also remarked on the conspicuous absence of the Pakistan Bar Council at the convention. Other notable speakers, including Sardar Latif Khosa and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, stressed the necessity of upholding court judgments and emphasized the critical role of the judiciary in maintaining a balanced power structure. They called for the initiation of contempt proceedings against individuals and ministries responsible for the non-compliance of court orders regarding elections and urged decisive action on pending cases pertaining to military courts.
In conclusion, the convention appealed for a unified approach to address the economic crisis, inviting all stakeholders to engage in a constructive dialogue aimed at finding sustainable solutions. It emphasized the necessity of treating all citizens equally under the law and advocated for the withdrawal of concessions granted to various office holders, promoting fairness and equality. The forum also highlighted the urgency of addressing the significant rise in the prices of essential commodities to provide relief to the common populace. The SCBA offered its platform for facilitating such crucial discussions, fostering a cooperative approach to navigate the nation through its current challenges.