LAHORE - Rashid A Rizvi, the candidate of PTI-backed Professional group of Hamid Khan, Monday became president of the country’s top bar for 2017 by defeating his rival candidate former Chairman Senate and PPP law minister Farooq H Naek of Independent group.

It is a remarkable victory for the Professional group as it has succeeded to grab bar’s top slot after six years of continuous defeats from the Independent group led by Asma Jahangir.

Rizvi bagged 1289 votes while his rival Naek could get1060 votes. The lawyers wing of Jamat-i-Islami and some lawyers from the PML-N faction supported Rizvi while lawyers wings of PPP, PML-Q, ANP, JUI-F and majority of the PML-N lawyers supported Naek.

The victory of Rizvi at this moment when the PTI is protesting against the federal government has huge significance as it will have strong impact over the prevailing political situation in the country.  Rizvi had been former Judge of the Sindh High Court who refused to take oath under 2000 PCO promulgated by former President Gen (r) Pervez Musharaf. He had also been SHCBA president for four years and a sitting member of Pakistan bar Council. His rival candidate Farooq H. Naek had been former Chairman of Senate and former law minister during PPP regime led by former PM Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. He is also close relative of Defence Minister Khwaja Asif.

Professional group also snatched the slot of secretary as its candidate Aftab Ahmad Bajwa defeated Safdar Hussain Tarar of Independent group. Bajwa secured 1060 votes while rival candidate Tarar could bag 945 votes.

The polling started exactly at 9 am and continued till 5 PM at all the polling stations. The lawyers’ enthusiasm was exiting. They fully exercised their power to vote and thus, the turnover remained 81 per cent.