- PBC also announces countrywide strike on Sep 9 for polls date.
- Lawyers pass resolution seeking president’s intervention in matter.
- PBC urges president to exercise his constitutional authority.
ISLAMABAD: As the conduct of general elections in the country remains uncertain, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has urged President Dr Arif Alvi to announce a date for polls by exercising his constitutional authority under Article 48 of the Constitution.
During the All-Pakistan Lawyers Representatives Conference in the Supreme Court, the PBC on Tuesday also announced that lawyers will observe a nationwide strike on September 9 to demand the announcement of election date, The News reported.
The lawyer’s conference was aimed at discussing critical issues, including the conduct of general elections, challenges facing the legal community, and the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
In a presser outside the court, Haroon Rashid and Hassan Raza Pasha — vice-chairman and chairman PBC Executive Committee — informed journalists about a resolution passed by the conference seeking the president’s intervention in the matter.
In another resolution passed by the conference, Pasha said that it was demanded that all the facilities of free electricity, gas, and telephone bills being provided to judges, generals, and bureaucracy be withdrawn, and the caretaker setup should ensure this within a week.
He said the conference demanded that missing persons be produced before the courts, adding that the conference has expressed grave concern over raids being made on the houses of legal fraternity. They said that lawyers are discharging their duties by the law and the Constitution.
Pasha added that hearings on references filed against judges should be conducted at the earliest, and urged the designated chief justice, Qazi Faez Isa, to proceed with the references filed against judges.
He said that lawyers will bring out peaceful rallies on September 9 and there will be a complete strike, adding the Punjab Bar Council will also hold a convention in Lahore.
“Under Article 48 of the Constitution, the President of Pakistan is competent to announce the date for holding general elections, and they should be held within the stipulated 90 days,” Pasha said.
Rashid, meanwhile, spoke about the country’s constitutional crisis, adding that despite the dissolution of national and provincial assemblies, elections do not seem to be held within the stipulated time of 90 days.
Therefore, he said it is incumbent upon the president to play his constitutional role and announce the date for general elections in the country. “The president is not required to hold any consultation with anyone; hence, he should play his constitutional role and announce the date for general elections forthwith,” Rashid added.
He demanded the withdrawal of incentives like free electricity, gas, and telephones being provided to judges, generals, and government officials, adding that these facilities should not be provided by the national exchequer.
He said that their next agenda item is the price hike, adding that the rise in daily use of commodities such as gas, electricity, and petroleum has made the lives of people miserable. Therefore, he said that they have to protect the interests of the nation.
Rashid said that apart from Balochistan, the issue of missing persons is increasing in other provinces of the country and, therefore, they demanded that the Bill for Protection of Lawyers be implemented at the earliest, adding that illegal raids being made on the houses of lawyers should be stopped forthwith.