Qayoom re-elected Kashmir Bar Association President

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member

Senior High Court lawyer, advocate Mian Qayoom, was today re-elected President of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association by winning the elections a record 19th time.
During the polls held here today, Qayoom defeated his former colleague GN Shaheen by a margin of 197 votes. Advocate Ajaz Bedar was elected Vice-President, whereas Bashir Sidiq was chosen General Secretary.
The polls to choose the new executive body of the Kashmir Bar was held today at the lower court complex, Bemina, where a large number of lawyers exercised their franchise.
After being declared the winner, Mian Qayoom, in his address to his jubilant lawyer supporters, said, “Upholding the Bar Constitution and striving for achieving the freedom of Kashmir will be one of my first priorities as the Bar President.”
He added that welfare and providing legal counsel for incarcerated political prisoners and jailed militants would also be his priority and that he would also strive for shifting the Srinagar district courts to the new courts complex coming up at Moominabad, Bemina.
The voting started at 9 am today and concluded at 4 pm. After the voting was over, the election results were announced by Bar election officials.
As per the details given by the officials, a total of 664 votes were cast by the Bar members. At the end of the counting held today, Qayoom received 429 votes, defeating his rival Shaheen by a margin of 197 votes, who got 232 votes. Three votes were declared rejected by the officials.
For the post of Vice-President, the contest was between advocate Ajaz Bedar and his rival Abdul Ahad Rather and a total of 674 votes were cast for this position by Bar members. As per the result figures, Bedar got a total of 496 votes, whereas Rather could manage only 176 votes.
For the post of Bar General Secretary, an important position, the contest was between advocate Bashir Sidiq and Muhammad Ashraf Wani. Out of the total 659 votes cast for this position, Bashir got 416 votes, whereas Wani received 239 votes.
The post of Bar Joint Secretary was won by Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen, who was polled 374 votes out of total 637 votes, whereas his rival Shafaqat Nazir got 256 votes.
As there was only one candidate in the fray for Bar Treasurer’s post, lawyer Hamid Shafi Hakim was declared elected unopposed for this position.
Know the elected body
Mian Qayoom - President: A senior HC lawyer, Mian Qayoom, has held the post of the Kashmir Bar Association president for over a period of 18 years since 1986
Being a votary of UN resolutions for solving the Kashmir dispute, Qayoom was one of the important members of the committee, which drafted the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference Constitution in 1993
Having ideological affiliations with Jamaat-e-Islmai, Qayoom has remained closely associated with the separatist politicians in Kashmir and has been very active at the Bar
He was detained for over nine months during the 2010 summer unrest under three consecutive Public Safety Acts and released in April 2011
Ajaz Bedar - Vice-President: Hailing from the Pattan area of Baramulla in north Kashmir, Ajaz Bedar is considered a soft-spoken lawyer by his nature and demeanour
Being close to Qayoom, Bedar has served as Bar Vice-President on several occasions and in fact held the position during the 2010 unrest, when both Qayoom and Shaheen were booked under the PSA
Bashir Sidiq - General Secretary: Hailing from the Dalgate area of Srinagar, Bashir Sidiq is one of the most vocal lawyers
He has served in the Bar executive body at several positions in the past and was considered close to the moderate lawyer and former Bar President Nazir A Ronga, who did not contest elections this time