LAHORE - The Punjab government Wednesday removed Advocate General Asma Hamid and gave the charge of the slot to Additional Advocate General Muhammad Shan Gull until the appointment of a new advocate general.

Asma Hamid , the first female advocate general of the Punjab, was appointed as the principal law officer on May 28, just three days before the end of the PML-N government in the province.

“Governor of the Punjab is pleased to depute Additional Advocate General Muhammad Shan Gul to look after the work of the advocate general till the appointment of a new advocate general,” said a notification issued by the Punjab Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department yesterday.

It is an old convention that every interim government appoints advocate general of its own choice. Perhaps, it was for this reason that Shakilur Rehman Khan resigned as AGP on the evening of May 26 and called on former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif at a farewell gathering held at his Model Town office.

Additional Advocate General Muhammad Shan Gul, born on November 1, 1973, is a senior law officer who was appointed as assistant advocate general Punjab on June 24, 2009.

Asma Hamid , the daughter of former Punjab Governor Shahid Hamid and niece of former federal law minister Zahid Hamid, was the first woman AGP. Various groups, including some political parties, had expressed reservations over her appointment, condenting since her family had close connection with PML-N leadership, Asma, being the principal law officer, could influence the elections.

However, Lahore High Court Bar Association has rejected the removal of Asma Hamid , terming the decision of the interim government unjustified. According to a press release, the bar leadership said Asma Hamid , being the first female AGP, had proven to be a professional and capable law officer. “Her removal in this arbitrary manner from a constitutional post that has no direct nexus with the political/electoral process is an abuse of discretion and a blatant violation of the due process,” the Lahore High Court Bar Association said.