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Punjab govt locks up AGP office, removes 19 law officers

’Sacked AGP’ Ahmed Awais claims his position still intact after Jawad Yaqoob appointed new AGP

The Punjab government on Tuesday barred Advocate General Punjab Awais Ahmed from sitting in the office and also removed 19 law officers.

The Punjab Law and Parliamentary Affairs issued two notifications, termination of the services of 15 assistant advocate generals and four additional advocate generals.

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“The competent authority is pleased to dispense with the services of following assistant advocate general(s) Punjab with immediate effect,” read a notification issued by the provincial law department carrying the name of Law Secretary Ahmed Raza Sarwar and Admin Officer Muhammad Rehman’s signature.

The services of assistant advocate generals Fayyaz Ahmed Mehr, Safdar Hayat Bosal, Mian Shakeel Ahmed, Fayyaz Ahmed Basra, Mudassar Elahi Warraich, Muhammad Arsalan Khan Sihar, Mukhtar Ahmed, Sikandar-e-Azam, Farhat Majeed Chaudhary, Javed Ali Dogar, Muhammad Ayyub Buzdar, Muhammad Shahid Riaz, Haji Dilber Khan and Malik Altaf Hussain Rawn were terminated.

Moreover, the services of additional advocate generals Anis Ali Hashmi, Umair Khan Niazi, Nadir Manzoor Duggal and Rai Shahid Saleem Khan were also terminated.

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Also, the Punjab government locked up the office of Advocate General Punjab and barred Ahmed Awais from sitting there, who claimed that his position was still intact.

On Monday, the provincial government barred Ahmed Awais from appearing in the courts on its behalf.

The provincial government issued a notification and appointed Additional Advocate General Punjab Jawad Yaqoob as the new AGP.

The situation turned interesting when Ahmed Awais and Jawad Yaqoob appeared before an LHC larger bench seized with the hearing of PTI appeals against the administration of oath to Hamza Shehbaz.

Jawad Yaqoob told the bench that he has been given the charge of advocate general Punjab and was asked to represent the government in the courts.

At this, the bench observed that it had nothing to do with the “personal matter” and asked them to keep it away from the bench.

Talking to Minute Mirror, Ahmed Awais said he is still advocate general Punjab.

He said Hamza Shahbaz and his father Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had violated the constitution.

He added that the Punjab chief minister had no authority to remove him as his appointment was made under the constitution and it was only the Punjab governor, who could remove him from the post.

“I’m still advocate general Punjab but they [the Punjab government] locked (up) my office. I have also heard but am not sure that they have removed 19 law officers. I simply say that the firing and hiring authority rests with the Punjab governor. But you know they don’t accept Omar Sarfraz Cheema as Punjab governor,” said Awais.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s decision on a presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63-A of the constitution, he said: “We had been saying from the very first day that Hamza’s election was unconstitutional.”

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