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February 4, 2018
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An academic pleads and wins his case in the court

Peshawar

February 4, 2018

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PESHAWAR: An academic did such a terrific job pleading his own case in the court that he has started receiving offers from litigants of becoming their lawyer.

Professor Dr Yaseen Iqbal, chairman of the department of Physics at the University of Peshawar, successfully argued his case in the Peshawar High Court when his plea for removal of Dr Habib Ahmad as vice-chancellor of the Islamic College University was accepted. On January 31, the court declared Dr Habib Ahmad’s appointment as unlawful and illegal.

“Yes, a few people approached me and asked me to plead their cases in the court. I remarked that I plead my own cases only!” Dr Yaseen Iqbal replied when asked if it

was true that he now has a choice to become a lawyer after having served for years as a teacher.

Dr Yaseen Iqbal, who is foreign qualified and is founder of the Materials Research Laboratory, said that some lawyers told him that he should proceed to the United Kingdom to study law and then embark on a career as a lawyer.

Presently though, Dr Yaseen Iqbal has no intention of becoming a lawyer. Instead, he would like to continue his struggle to seek justice as he feels he was wronged and deprived of his right to become the vice-chancellor of the historic Islamia College University.

When reminded that Dr Habib Ahmad is likely to appeal against the

Peshawar High Court judgement in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he confidently replied that the outcome would be no different.

It took Dr Yaseen Iqbal months of preparations and determination to pursue this case. He first asked senior Peshawar lawyer Ijaz Anwar to plead the case. The arrangement lasted briefly and things didn’t work out the way he was hoping. Before long Ijaz Anwar was appointed a judge of the Peshawar High Court.

Latif Afridi, a well-known lawyer and politician, offered to represent Dr Yaseen Iqbal and plead his case free of cost. As the case kept getting delayed for one reason or the other, Dr Yaseen Iqbal told Latif Afridi that he wanted to plead his case himself. And thus began the legal journey of the professor who had spent years teaching physics.

With the help of friends, Dr Yaseen Iqbal started preparing his legal notes. One of his friends asked him to consider him a judge and appear

before him as a lawyer. When the session ended, his friend told Dr Yaseen Iqbal that he presented his arguments as a good lawyer.

The case was heard by a division bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

While Dr Yaseen Iqbal was his own lawyer, there were four lawyers, all barristers, pleading the cases of their clients. One lawyer represented vice-chancellor Dr Habib Ahmad, another the Islamia College University, the third was the public prosecutor for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, and the fourth appeared on behalf of the University of

Engineering and Technology, Peshawar because Dr

Yaseen Iqbal had also challenged the appointment of its vice-chancellor.

Dr Yaseen Iqbal had challenged the appointment of several vice-chancellors on the plea that merit was violated by the search committee headed by Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, the former Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman, while making its recommendations. However, his focus was on getting the vice-chancellor of Islamic College University removed. His clinching argument was that Dr Habib Ahmad managed to pass two examinations in third division only and was even then

made vice-chancellor of Islamia College University where students with more than 90 percent marks fail to get admission on merit due to the stiff competition.

In his petition, Dr Yaseen Iqbal didn’t forget to mention that he was a qualified person for the post of vice-chancellor and deserved to be given a chance. That no doubt is his goal and his struggle hasn’t ended yet.

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