Pakistan shakes up law officers

Pakistan's President has sacked 18 federal law officers and recruited 23 replacements in an apparent political move that also saw significant changes to the roster of the Lahore Supreme Court made on Monday.
Lahore: conern over Supreme Court

Lahore: conern over Supreme Court

All but three of the 18 sacked officers – of whom five were deputy attorneys general (DAGs) and 13 standing counsel – are understood to be loyal to former law minister Babar Awan. In May, Senator Awan was stripped of his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) role following his refusal to testify at the contempt of court hearing for former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. The current president – Asif Ali Zardari – is also a member of the PPP.

Political motiviation

An anonymous insider told The News International that the new appointments were primarily political, and that ‘no lawyer belonging to the camp of Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa has been accommodated during the appointments’.
The 23 new law officers consist of six DAGs and 17 standing counsel. The engagements are believed to have been based on the recommendations of three lawyers’ groups.
The appointments have also been interpreted as an attempt to gain the support of lawyers critical of Supreme Court verdicts against the federal government. Although insiders suggest the move has been largely successful, there has been some disapproval of the decision to oust two long-term dedicated members of the PPP.

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