LAHORE: President Asif Zardari has fired 18 federal law officers, most of them appointed by former law minister Babar Awan, and appointed 23 new law officers.
Ousted law officers include five deputy attorney generals (DAGs) and 13 standing counsels, who were serving at the Lahore High Court. Out of them, two DAGs are said to be diehard workers of the PPP while 15 belong to the group of Senator Babar Awan.
The other 16 who have been fired through a clean-up operation by Awan’s opponents, are Ziaul Qamar Bhatti, Ilyas Khan, Malik Mushtaq Awan, Akram, Sajjad Rabbani, Rana Abdur Rehman, Abdul Waheed, Mazhar Lila, Malik Akram, Badar Munir Malik, Agha Ali Imran Qazalbash, M. Mansha, Rai Rafique, Ghiasul Haq Sheikh, Muhiuddin Chishti and Syed Ashfaq Hussain.
Replacing the sacked ones, six deputy attorney generals and 17 standing counsels have been appointed what the insiders believe on the recommendations of three lawyers groups — former Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir group, former PCO judge Ahsan Bhoon group and Shafqat Abbasi group. Some of new appointees also belong to People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF).
“No lawyer belonging to the camp of Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa has been accommodated during these political appointments,” insiders revealed on condition of anonymity.
Though they are happy over ousting the Babar Awan group and Latif Khosa group from these appointments, but they say PPP’s co-chairman should not have neglected the party’s old workers like Shaista Qaiser, Ashraf Khan and others. The appointments are also seen as a political stunt to gain the support of lawyers who are now criticising various Supreme Court verdicts against the federal government.