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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has appointed Ashtar Ausaf as the new Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP). The sources said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday approved the summary for the appointment of Ausaf as the new AGP.

Former attorney general Khalid Jawed Khan, after the ouster of Imran Khan as prime minister through a no-confidence motion, had resigned. He served as the AGP for two years. Ausaf is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court. He has served as the attorney general for Pakistan during the tenure of Nawaz Sharif from 2016 to 2018. He also served as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Law and Justice with the charge of Minister of State from 2015 to 2016.

He has previously served twice as the advocate general of Punjab, from 1998 to 1999 and 2012 to 2013, and as prosecutor general of the province from 2011 to 2012. He has also served as Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights in 1999. He came to prominence for successfully representing the Sharif government in 1993 before the Supreme Court that had overturned the dissolution of parliament by late president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

Ausaf had also supported the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of an independent judiciary and remained under detention in Lahore when General Musharraf proclaimed the state of emergency on November 3, 2007.

At the end of his previous tenure, he received praise for persuading the government to split the attorney general’s office from the Law Ministry and establishing it as an independent institution.

As convener of the Treaty Implementation Cell, he was also able to win the renewal of the GSP Plus economic package offered by the EU, in exchange for the implementation of the core conventions.

Legal experts have credited Ausaf with salvaging the GSP Plus package that allowed a much-needed boost to Pakistan’s exports.

The Supreme Court also relied on his submissions in a landmark decision, authored by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, which ruled against the registration of multiple FIRs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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