LARKANA: During her scheduled visit to Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto on December 27, a group of lawyers headed by the vice president of the High Court Bar Association opposed inviting PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz to address the bar and urged the Sindh High Court registrar to cancel the invitation “to avoid complications.”
At a press conference at the local press club on Thursday, HCBA vice-president Mazhar Ali Mangan and senior lawyer Qadir Bakhsh Bhatti said that the bar’s general secretary, Ashfaque Abro, had extended the invitation without the confidence of the general body. Maryam Nawaz’s invitation to address the bar was contrary to by-laws and regulations, so it should be revoked or cancelled, they said.
They said the leadership of PML-N was fostering an anti-state narrative and speaking against law enforcement agencies. The coming of Maryam Nawaz to the bar could lead to an uncomfortable situation, they warned.
They dismissed the General Secretary’s argument that 400 lawyers had signed the invitation and claimed that many of the signatories were law students and were not even registered as members of the bar.
Displaying a copy of the application sent to the president of the bar bearing the signatures of the vice-president, the joint secretary, the secretary of the library and the members of the management committee, they claimed that it had been communicated to the president that it was contrary to by-laws and regulations to give an invitation to Maryam Nawaz to address the bar. It can, thus, be excluded.
They urge SHC registrar to cancel the invitation ‘to avoid complications’
In a letter to the SHC registrar dated 23 December, Advocate Qadir Bakhsh Bhatti claimed that the signatures on the invitation request were “managed.” Besides, the matter was not taken up before the owners of the pub.
Therefore, the registrar was asked to look into the matter directly and withdraw the invitation in order to prevent any problems, he added.
In a letter on December 18, the general secretary had invited Maryam Nawaz to address the bar at her convenience as she was scheduled to visit Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto to attend the death anniversary of slain PPP chief Benazir Bhutto on December 27. Nisar Ahmed G. Abro, a bar member, had the requisition transferred.
General Secretary Ashfaque Abro told Dawn that the letter of invitation had been released only after the president of the bar had given him a copy of the requisition properly lodged by Nisar Abro.
All was done in compliance with the association’s by-laws and the requisition bore 400 lawyers’ signatures, he stated. Once the invitation was approved by Maryam Nawaz, the lawyer who moved the requisition would notify the association and arrangements would be made for her address only then, he added. “We have not received any reply yet, however,” he said.