Inclusion of NAs in access to justice plan urged
5 August 2004
Islamabad: The Northern Areas High Court Bar Association (NAHBA) has said the region should be included in the Access to Justice Programme being implemented in the country and Azad Jammu and Kashmir with the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank. The demand was made by a six-member delegation of the association led by its president Asadullah Khan at a joint press conference with Supreme Court Bar Association vice- president Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry at the Supreme Court Building here on Thursday. The delegation, comprising Mr Khan, Mohammad Farooq (general secretary), Javed Iqbal (vice- president) and members Ajmad Hussain, Munir Ahmed and Mohammad Aslam, is on a visit to the federal capital. Speaking about the judicial system of Northern Areas, Mr Khan demanded of the federal government to appoint civil judges and magistrates in all the 13 subdivisions of the NAs to provide justice to people at their doorsteps. He also demanded of the Northern Areas chief executive to fill the post of third member of the Chief Court, which has been vacant for months. The SCBA vice-president assured the delegation that NAHBA representatives would be invited to attend the forthcoming meeting of the joint action committee of the Pakistan Bar Council scheduled to be held on August 7 in Karachi. Meanwhile, in a meeting with parliamentary secretary for Kashmir Affairs, Northern Areas and SAFRON Sardar Shahjehan Yousaf, the delegation discussed the impediments and hindrances in the dispensation of justice in the Northern Areas. The president of the NAHBA informed the secretary that the judiciary was facing various problems which obstructed smooth dispensation of justice in the area. The delegation also demanded implementation of the Supreme Court judgment and establishment of an independent judiciary for the Northern Areas. The NAHBA president also emphasized the need for amending the Establishment Rules of the Northern Areas as well as that of chief court and the court of appeals. The parliamentary secretary assured the delegation of his full support and said the matter would be taken up with the authorities concerned. He recommended for filling and appointment of civil judges and judicial magistrates, construction of a judicial complex in Gilgit, financial assistance for the bar association and upgradation of the bar library.