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Islamabad Bar Council Suspends Notification Seeking Declaration Of Faith From Lawyers

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The Islamabad Bar Council has suspended the operation of the notification earlier issued by the district’s Bar Association, requiring all members to submit an affidavit concerning their individual religious beliefs. According to that notification, a failure for any member to comply would have resulted in the suspension of their membership.

Speaking to the Express Tribune, Qazi Babar of the Islamabad Bar Council announced not only the suspension of that notification but also that representatives of the District Bar are now required to submit their reply within 15 days regarding the original notification.

The Islamabad Bar Association President Malik Zafar Khokhar had claimed that the purpose of the notification was not to remove non-Muslim lawyers, but only to identify which were from the Ahmediyya community.

A number of lawyers and other commentators had expressed concerns about the direction being taken by the Bar Association, claiming that it threatened the rights of Pakistani citizens, especially religious minorities. In fact, the PPP’s Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar had even announced that he would not comply with the notification, even if it meant the suspension of his membership as a lawyer.

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