LAHORE - The stage is set for the annual elections of the Supreme Court Bar Association for year-2017 to be held tomorrow.

The 22-member faculty is elected annually to manage the affairs of the Supreme Court Bar Association. The executive committee consists of the president, four vice-presidents (one from each province), secretary, additional secretary, finance secretary and 14 members elected from throughout Pakistan (at least two from each province).

As many as 2951 registered voters will exercise their power to vote to elect their new leadership for year-2017.

This year’s presidential slot is reserved for the Sindh province. Farooq Naek advocate from Independent group of Asma Jahangir and Rasheed Rizvi advocate of Professional group of Hamid Khan are vying for the top slot.

Naek is former chairman senate and former PPP law minister. He is a close relative of Defence Minister Khwaja Asif. Rasheed Rizvi is former judge of the Sindh High Court and is very popular among the lawyers as he refused to take oath under first PCO (provisional constitutional order) promulgated by former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf in 2000.

For the slot of Secretary, there is one to one contest between Aftab Bajwa advocate and Safdar Tarar advocate. Bajwa is the candidate of Professional group of Hamid Khan while Tarar is of Independent group of Asma Jahangir. The contest is expected tough as both candidates have strong supporter from their supporters.

Safdar Tarar is junior of renowned lawyer Khalid Ranjha and brother of Akhtar Tarar who is additional prosecutor of NAB.

For four slots of vice president (one from each province): Bakhtiar Ali Sial and Tariq Malik are in run from Punjab; Jafar Raza Khan and Wasim Khan Jadoon from Balochistan; Ghulam Shabbir, Shakil Ahmad and Sohail Hayat from Sindh; while Ajmal Khan, Habib Qureshi and Tehmina Mohibullah from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

At the moment when the government of the PML-N is facing huge political pressure from the opposition parties, the SCBA elections have great significance. The country’s top bar has always great impact on the political system of the country because of the legal community.

The lawyers community would strongly oppose the PML-N government if Professional Group led by Hamid Khan, the leader of PTI, won the elections.

Like every year, the election will be held with traditional fervour and zeal. The roads and streets leading to the Supreme Court Bar Association and premises of the high courts’ bars have been decorated with posters and banners of the contesting candidates. Campaigns are going high. Dinner parties and lunch programs are being held for the members of the bars. The contesters are trying their best to attract maximum voters.

The candidates who are contesting election this year are using ‘residential plots’ as slogan for the members of the bar. They are promising to provide plots to the member lawyers. Provision of health and education facilities to the lawyers and their families as well as other welfare programs are also slogans of their election campaigns.