Inside NWFP Today: Aftermath of Swat Deal
By Akhtar Amin, Daily Times, March 23, 2009
PESHAWAR: Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Muhammad’s ban on district courts and the lawyers’ appearance in Qazi courts in Swat has rendered around 500 lawyers jobless, a law practitioner said on Sunday.
Shaukat Saleem, a Swat-based lawyer, told Daily Times that establishment of Qazi courts was a welcome move, as it would ensure speedy dispensation of justice to the people through disposal of cases after two or three days of hearing.
He, however, said the new judicial system had deprived around 500 lawyers of jobs by stopping district courts from functioning and lawyers from appearing before Qazi courts. Saleem said locals didn’t support lawyers and judges of regular courts, but Qazi courts and Sufi Muhammad. He said while non-local lawyers had left Swat for safe districts of the province, local law practitioners were undecided about future course of action.
“We’re uncertain about whether to move out of the valley or stay put until the government decides the regular courts’ fate,” he said. Meanwhile, Ahmed Farooq of NWFP Bar Council met Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Tariq Pervez and apprised him of the problems of Swat lawyers. Farooq said the PHC chief justice had promised to take up the matter with the provincial government. Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) Secretary General Essa Khan said after March 23, an emergency meeting of the association’s general body would discuss the situation arisen out of the Qazi courts’ establishment in Swat.
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