BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi 28 Oct, 2012: A delegation of comprising of 80 members of Supreme Court Bar Association led by its President Mr. Pravin H. Parekh attended the International Conference on “Peace through Law” in Pakistan. The conference was inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr. Iftikhar Muhammad, Chief Justice of Pakistan. The Hon’ble Chief Justice, Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chief Justices and Judges of different High Courts in Pakistan and about 8000 members of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan attended this conference.
According to the press release issued by the Supreme Court Bar Association the ‘main achievement from this visit was that the Hon’ble Interior/Home Minister had accepted the request made by Mr. Parekh to give one year multiple visa and also that legal fraternity should be exempted from police registration. For 65 years, the relations of the two countries have not improved. It is therefore, necessary to take a new route so as to solve the problems by negotiation i.e. give and take by both the countries.’
In the conference Mr. Parekh talked about the similarities between the judicial systems of India and Pakistan and said that both countries have a common cultural, same social and legal background and draw inspiration from the same source of jurisprudence. He said that Pakistan and India are among those two nations whose very existence was made possible primarily because of the visionary leadership of their founding fathers who were also distinguished jurists of their times. He further observed that even today, the role of lawyers and jurists could not be underestimated in terms of providing a strong leadership in both the countries.
Mr. Parekh further explained that lawyers constitute the most active and knowledgeable segment of the society as they play a leading role in molding public opinion on important issues of public policy. People of the two countries have now realized that they have fought enough and it is time to settle all disputes bilaterally by mutual understandings, he added. Mr. Parekh appreciated the movement of the members of the bars of the two countries. There is no problem which cannot be solved by mutual dialogue as Mr. Parekh pointed out that both the countries are spending huge amounts on arms and the army. He regretted that unfortunately, both India and Pakistan have not been able to maintain normal neighborly relations since their inception. He said that both the countries have nuclear power which is one more reason why we must solve our problem by negotiation. He pointed out that both the countries need funds for their welfare activities. There are starvation deaths in both countries; both the countries need resources for education, medical relief and for development for common citizens. He also said that there are countries which would be happy to see our two countries fighting with each other. Mr. Parekh narrated the story of a monkey doing justice to two cats and in the process eating up everything. He said that there are many monkeys who are interested in eating up both our countries. However, he said there was no issue in the world which cannot be resolved through peaceful negotiation and that the jurists could play their role in not only creating the environment for peaceful interaction between the two neighbors, but also ensuring that such interaction was translated into real time trust and harmony between the two countries. He added that it is very important that we solve our problem ourselves so that no one can take undue and wrong advantages. We have wasted more than 65 years and now we should waste no more time.
“Our law enforcement agencies are striving hard to fix the problem and the Courts are geared to handle cases swiftly and dispense justice in a transparent manner,” Mr. Parekh said.
The SCBA, India President Mr. Parekh expressed his views that the governments of Pakistan and India should take immediate steps for release of prisoners. He said that the release of prisoners was necessary to prove that both countries do not want Human Rights violations. “It is futile to declare each other a terrorist country”, he added.
On 19th October, 2012 the Governor of Punjab, Sardar Muhammad Latif Khosa organized a function followed by dinner at Raj Bhavan which was attended by more than 9000 advocates with Mr. Pravin H. Parekh and Mr. Muhammad Yaseen Azad, President, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
On 20th October, 2012, 6 working sessions took place in which the judges of the Supreme Court chaired and Senior Advocates of the Supreme Court of both the countries co – chaired to address the gathering. Later that day, a dinner was hosted by Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Shahbaz Shairf. Mr. Parekh in his speech requested Senator A. Rehman Malik, the Hon’ble Interior/ Home Minister that we should host a new visa regime. Members of the legal profession of the two countries must get visa easily. To begin with, members of the Supreme Court Bar Association who are recommended by the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of the respective country, may be granted one year multiple visa for entire country. Mr. Parekh also requested that the cities of Panja Sahib and Nankana Sahib should be declared as holy cities.
On 21st October, 2012, a lunch was hosted by Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Hon’ble Mr. Justice Umar Ata Bandial at Lahore and a function followed by dinner was also organized by the Union Interior (Home) Minister Mr. Rehman Malik in Islamabad, where Mr. Pravin H. Parekh, President, Supreme Court Bar Association of India and Mr. Muhammad Yaseen Azad, President, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan addressed the gathering.
As per the press release on 22nd morning there was a function organized by District Court Bar Association of Rawalpindi. Addressing the District Court Members of District Court Bar Association of Rawalpindi Mr. Parekh pointed out that the District Court Lawyers lay the foundation of every case; they work maximum and they are paid least. High Court lawyers work less than District Court lawyers but they are paid more. The Supreme Court lawyers work the least and are paid the most. This system requires some changes. He also said that junior lawyers require to be encouraged by the Bench and the Bar Associations. Junior lawyers, who do not have any contacts or who belong to a poor family do not get any work and get entangled in a vicious circle. They do not get any work because they have no experience and they have no experience because they don’t have any work. Mr. Parekh requested senior members of the Court to look after the junior members to give them experience, work and reasonable remuneration. Lady lawyers also need special attention and care.
Reacting to the speech of the President of the Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association Mr. Parekh pointed out that there is no point in making allegations and counter allegations. The Supreme Court Bar Associations of the two countries have decided to move forward to create proper atmosphere for settlement. Both the Bar Associations have been working towards it. They first organised an International Seminar in Lahore in November, 2011. Thereafter 217 members of Pakistan Bar Association visited India in the third week of March, 2012 and now 80 members of the Bar from India under the leadership of Mr. Pravin H. Parekh visited Pakistan from 19th to 25th October, 2012. This has been a positive step and the members of the Bars in both the countries have expressed their resolution to go ahead.
Later in the day on 22nd October, 2012, the delegation visited the Supreme Court of Pakistan and attended the court function which was organized in the auditorium of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Pravin H Parekh – President Supreme Court Bar Association of India, Muhammad Yaseen Azad, President, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan addressed the gathering. Thereafter, the Supreme Court of Pakistan hosted a lunch in honor of Indian delegates at Islamabad. In the evening on the same day, dinner was hosted in honor of Indian delegates by Mr. Arif Chaudhry, Legal Consultant, Ministry of Interior (Home) Pakistan. On 23rd President of Supreme Court Bar Association of India had a meeting with Mr. K. M. Siddiq Akbar, Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Pakistan. On 24th evening a dinner was hosted by the Punjab Government at Lahore in honor of the Indian delegates.