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(Late) Asma Jahangir Group Trumps Hamid Khan Group In SCBA Elections

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Elections for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) 2020-21 resulted in a landslide victory for the Independent group (more famously known as the late Asma Jahangir Group), with Abdul Latif Afridi being elected as the President, and Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana as the Secretary.

Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana

Abdul Latif Afridi, labelled his win as that of one against dictatorship, and for strengthening democracy.

He pledged to fight, relentlessly, to correct the civil-military imbalance that has for decades weakened the constitutional process. Mr. Afridi has served as president of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association four times, and has been at the forefront of the lawyers’ movement that culminated in the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. He is also a former member of the Pakistan National Assembly.

The slot of SCBA’s Secretary was comprehensively won by Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana, with one of the highest ever margin of 866 votes recorded in SCBA’s electoral history. A close ally and comrade of the late Asma Jahangir, Mr. Rana dedicated his win to Asma Jahangir and wowed to continue her struggle for upholding the ‘rule of law’ and ensuring the supremacy of civil institutions. Mr. Rana further affirmed his opposition to the regressive forces that operate to weaken the supremacy of civil institutions, challenging the establishment’s unrestrained authority to deter the country’s democratic processes. Mr. Rana formerly served as the Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan.

According to unofficial results Mr. Latif Afridi was elected President with 1210 votes, while his rival Abdul Sattar Khan got 956. Mr. Rana Shehzad was elected secretary with 1,485 votes, while his rival Aamer Sohail Saleemi got 619.

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As the results were announced at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry, supporters of the winning candidates burst into chants. They showered rose petals on the winners and danced to the beat of drums.

Polling stations were set up in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Quetta, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sukhur, Abbottabad, Hyderabad, and D.I. Khan.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, former president SCBA Hamid Khan, retired Justice Nasira Iqbal and former provincial minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan were among the prominent members who cast their votes at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry, where a total of 939 voters, out of 1329 registered voters (in Lahore), exercised their right to elect a new cabinet.

Police took strict security measures outside the Supreme Court registry for the polling process.

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Naya Daur