Fallout of the SCBA elections
In the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) elections, Babar Awan’s campaign has been crowned with success, helped in no small measure by the tens of millions he distributed to the bar associations across the country, using the aircraft of Pakistan air force.
Dear reader, where in the world have you ever heard of air force planes being used to distribute money to bar associations ahead of their elections? With due respect, Awan Sahib has set a bad precedent. In future, if the Minister for Water and Power wants to distribute money to WAPDA’s labour unions ahead of the union elections, perhaps, he will also ask for the PAF planes. We, certainly, are all in favour of civilian ascendancy over the military, and the air force probably did not want to disobey the civilian government. However, this is not the type of civilian ascendancy we want. With power comes responsibility, and power should be used with propriety, otherwise it makes one like a bull in a china shop.
Moreover, the margin of victory is so narrow, that it is safe to say that if all these million had not been distributed to the bars, the results would have been different. Asma Jehangir, indeed, has a great deal of prestige and popularity at home and abroad for her human rights work. But if, in spite of this and despite Babar’s millions, a relatively unknown opponent has secured almost the same number of votes as her, it shows the government’s popularity in poor light. The government would be well advised to do something about this, and not to rest on its laurels.
One must remember that the country’s lawyers staged a valiant fight for the restoration of the judiciary – a struggle that was crowned with success. But, perhaps, because of their victory, some of them had delusions of grandeur. They have started exhibiting aggressive, nay violent behaviour with the judges and other members of the civil society i.e. media. As a culmination of this phenomenon, they attacked the courtroom of the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court. In this deplorable action, they were egged on by those, who wanted to humiliate the judiciary for personal gains. The lawyers ought to realise that their belonging to the legal profession imposes grave responsibilities on them to behave with the utmost decorum, even under provocation. If jurists start behaving like outlaws, how will the ordinary folks behave?