In a late-night development and hours after the Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s meeting on Monday, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar tendered his resignation.
According to some TV channels, Tarar tendered his resignation citing ‘anti-establishment slogans’ raised at the Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore on Sunday.
However, his resignation has so far not been accepted.
Tarar was also said to be under immense pressure for casting his vote in favour of some ‘junior judges’, along with Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, who were being elevated to the Supreme Court.
However, a lawyer close to Tarar revealed that he was not comfortable with the government’s decision, therefore, he decided to tender his resignation.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Ahsan Bhoon welcomed Tarar’s resignation. He said that Tarar showed loyalty to the party by following the government’s instruction, but he stood with the bar by tendering his resignation.
On the other hand, it is learnt, some powerful circles were upset at the sloganeering during the Asma Jahangir Conference the other day, in his presence. This resignation is seen in the context of that episode.
Azam Tarar is close to the Sharif family since the Panamagate case proceedings. When PML-N leaders, especially the Sharif family, were facing a tough time during the PTI regime, Tarar managed to get relief in the courts. The PML-N gave him the Senate seat in return for his services to the party.
Tarar is one of the key members of the Independent Lawyers Group which is known as the Asma Group. Senior lawyers believed that the superior bars’ support of the present regime was due to Tarar’s efforts.
However, they wondered, as to why the government was so weak that it was not resisting establishment pressure regarding the resignation of the law minister. Even PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif did not intervene in this matter.
On Sunday, some people in the audience started shouting slogans against the army in the presence of key ministers, legal eagles and journalists at the event held in Lahore.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the “unjustified sloganeering” against Pakistan Army, saying it was unfortunate that such forums were being used to target the institutions.
The premier said that the coalition government and his party were firmly committed to ensuring the freedom of expression of every citizen as per the Constitution but regretted that the conference was used for partisan political interests.
“It is unfortunate that such forums are being used to target state institutions, especially the armed forces, for partisan political interests,” PM Shehbaz said in a statement issued hours before he departed for Saudi Arabia to attend Saudi Future Investment Initiative Summit.