Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Amjad Shah has said that Law Minister Farogh Naseem, who on Tuesday resigned from office to fight for an extension to the army chief in the Supreme Court (SC), cannot legally represent General Qamar Javed Bajwa because the minister’s practice licence was suspended by the council a few months ago.

In a video tweeted by senior journalist and analyst Hamid Mir, Shah said that if Farogh appeared in court to represent chief of the army staff (COAS) with his suspended licence, they would raise objections and anyone practising law with a suspended licence could face up to one-year imprisonment.



According to the PBC, Naseem, having joined the federal cabinet as the law minister, was required to get his licence suspended under Rule 108-O of the Pakistan Legal Practitioners & Bar Councils Rules, 1976, but failed to do so.

Moreover, another reason for the suspension of his licence was filing a reference against an honest top judge, Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The attorney general (AG) had subsequently quashed the PBC ruling. However, the council had said it was not AG’s jurisdiction to nullify the ruling. The former law minister will have to approach the council for renewal of his licence.

Naseem’s resignation Tuesday came soon after a meeting of the federal cabinet. The meeting was summoned to discuss the petition filed by the Jurist Foundation against Gen Bajwa’s extension.

The cabinet said it was a unanimous decision to give General Bajwa the extension for another three years. The participants of the meeting were of the view that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, being the chief executive of the country, had the authority to extend the army chief’s tenure.

Earlier in the day, the SC had suspended the official notification extending the tenure of the army chief. The apex court said the AG was asked under which law an army chief’s tenure could be extended or he could be re-appointed. But the country’s top lawyer failed to explain it, the court added.


On Wednesday, a three-member bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, resumed hearing the petition challenging the extension of the COAS.

Naseem submitted his power of attorney as the CJP Khosa asked AG Anwar Mansoor Khan if they had accepted the points raised by the court Tuesday.

To this, the AG replied that they have not accepted the mistakes. “This is not a suo motu case, media did not understand it correctly,” CJP Khosa remarked. “We are hearing the case on the petition filed by Raiz Riahi.”

He then asked the AG to present the summary approved by the federal cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday. “I informed the court yesterday as well that we are waiting for some ministers to respond on the extension notification,” the AG said.

“If there is no answer, so we assume the answer is yes?” the CJP inquired.

To this, the AG replied that according to the law, that is correct.

The top judge then said that this course of action was only acceptable when the answer has to be given in a certain time period. “If this was an open mandate we would have let it go. The cabinet has accepted the mistakes that we pointed out,” he added.

The attorney general then submitted the documents pertaining to Tuesday’s decisions by the federal cabinet to the court and the hearing was adjorned till 1 pm.