LAHORE - Asif Ali Malik of pro-movement, Hamid Khan Group, Thursday won as Vice Chairman of Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) defeating a potential candidate of anti-movement, Sardar Latif Khosa Group, Imran Masood. At the top elected office of the 75-member General House of the Council, which represents over 45,000 lawyers all over Punjab, Asif bagged 39 votes leaving Masood at 36 hence notching the victory with a thin margin of three votes only. Khosa Group candidate Rana Arif Kamal Noon has been elected as Chairman Executive Committee of the Council with a margin of seven votes over his rival Tahir Shabbir Ch of Hamid Khan Group. They respectively secured 41 and 34 votes. The candidates have been elected for one year by the General House which itself was elected for five years ending next year. The whole General House of the Council took part in the election held at the PbBC office under the supervision of Additional Advocate General Muhammad Hanif Khatana and outgoing Vice Chairman Muhammad Aslam Sindhi and Chairman Executive Committee Syed Intikhab Shah. This time the election results on the top slots of the biggest provincial Council of the country were divided the same way it was witnessed previously in January 2008 when the whole lot of the legal fraternity was one on restoration of the judiciary. After February last general elections and formation of PPP Government in the Centre, the General House of the Council also got divided into two on political basis tilting markedly in favour of the PPP, being represented in the Council through Khosa Group supported by many other stalwarts of the community. Particularly the Council members from non-urban areas were backing the Khosa Group thus it was expected that Hamid Khan Group would need extra power to clinch the top seat this time round. The winners in their short immediately made address on the occasion somewhat showed divergence on the lawyers movement. Asif Ali Malik was loud and clear to lead the cause of independent judiciary and restoration of the deposed judges and to take the whole community along on it while Rana Arif Kamal made it clear that no one would be allowed to exploit the lawyers for his personal interests. The reaction of the PbBC members to the victory of their respective candidate was very strong and instant at the Council's main Hall which was also the polling venue. Even before announcement of the official results, the members got divided to chant for and against slogans about lawyers movement as well as PPP and PML-N leadership. Sandwiching the election committee, pro and anti movement groups got stood up right and left raising deafening slogans to glorify theirs and vilify others cause and political leadership. They used very strong word in respond to each other setting the tempo of future course on the issues before the Council. It may be mentioned here that Advocate General Punjab is the ex officio chairman of the Punjab Bar Council. Newly-elected Vice Chairman Asif Ali Malik belongs to Attock while the newly elected Chairman Executive Committee, Rana Arif Kamal Noon from District Lodhran.