The situation may be tense between India and Pakistan in the political front, but Chandigarh-based lawyers and their counterparts in Lahore are trying to send a message of peace by crossing the border. A team of lawyers from Lahore is currently on a visit to Chandigarh on an invitation from the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association and in December there will be a reciprocal visit from city-based lawyers to the other side. The advocates on Tuesday met the High Court judges and are expected to meet Panjab University officials on Wednesday.
“We do not want war. We want friendship,” said Advocate Khalid Jamil, who is part of the six-member delegation. “We want to continue coming here and support each other when there are problems. We want to give a message to everyone that we do not want war,” he added.
Assistant Advocate General of Pakistan’s Punjab state Mahmood Lasbari said there are elements in both India and Pakistan who are against any peace process between the two countries. “But ultimately the will of general public should prevail and not those in power. I feel happy to be able to visit India again,” said Lasbari, who had earlier been to Agra in 2003.
Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association president Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu said the visits between the lawyers of the two countries began in 2003 and he would it to continue in the future. “The question is whether to improve relations by taking these small steps or continue spending on defense and increase hostility,” said Sidhu.
The delegation from Lahore High Court Bar Association comprises six advocates including Khalid Jamil, Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Mahmood Lasbari, Assistant Advocate General, Punjab, and Lahore High Court lawyers Rana Mahmood Ahmad Joyia, Waseem Iqbal Butt Advocate, Muhammad Tayyab and Muhammad Latif.
When asked about the ongoing investigation into the Panama Papers case and any imminent threat to Nawaz Sharif’s prime ministership, Pakistan SC lawyer Khalid Jamil said the threat is not immediate and one cannot take news reports at face value. “JIT has to submit a report and Supreme Court has to take a final decision about it. There is no immediate threats to Sharif because SC cannot disqualify him as it has to go through a process,” he said.