Not A Single Woman Among 13 Names Recommended For LHC Additional Judges
LAHORE: There is not a single woman among the 13 names recommended by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim for appointment as new additional judges.
Among the recommended names, 10 are practicing lawyers and three serving district and sessions judges.
The lawyers considered for these appointments are: Abdul Rehman Aurangzeb, Muhammad Asif Saeed Rana, Khalid Waheed Khan, Nasir Mahmud, Malik Waqar Haider Awan, Ansar Nawaz Mirza, Muhammad Zubair Khalid, Khalid Masood Chaudhry, Mushtaq Ahmed Mohal and Muhammad Ilyas Sheikh.
On the other hand, Chaudhry Humayun Imtiaz, Shakil Ahmad and Safdar Shamim Shahid are currently working as district and sessions judges.
Unfortunately, Pakistan is the only country in South Asia to have never appointed a woman as Supreme Court judge.
The very few women have been appointed in the superior judiciary of Pakistan are: Justice Khalida Rashid Khan (Peshawar High Court), Justice Majida Rizvi (Sindh High Court) and Nasira Iqbal (Lahore High Court), Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar (Balochistan High Court), Justice Ayesha A Malik (Lahore High Court), Justice Aalia Neelum (Lahore High Court), Justice Ashraf Jehan (Federal Shari’at Court), Justice Mussarat Hilali (Peshawar High Court) and Justice Kausar Sultana Hussain (Sindh High Court).
Erum Sajjad Gul was appointed to the Lahore High Court in 2015, but not confirmed. Meanwhile, Women In Law Initiative spoke out against the exclusion of women and minorities from the nomination list, terming the move “non-inclusive” and “non-diverse”.
“It has been brought to our attention that the proposed nomination list for judicial appointments in high court has been in circulation which is non-inclusive and non-diverse as it fails to mention any #womeninlaw and other minorities. Last year a woman’s name was dropped last minute from the list,” their statement read.
The organisation which stands for gender equality and diversity criticised the nomination process, saying that it “appears arbitrary as no criteria or benchmark calexists on the basis of which these nominations are made,” called on the bar and legal fraternity to support and show solidarity by standing with them.