LAHORE: The legal fraternity of the country seems to be divided over the issue of seeking resignation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif following the Supreme Court verdict in the Panamagate case. An All Pakistan Lawyers Representatives Conference organised by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) in Islamabad on Friday believed that pushing the PM to tender his resignation “may harm the functioning of the democratic system in the country”. However, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) rejected the PBC’s decision of not demanding resignation from the premier, a sentiment shared by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Secretary Aftab Bajwa, who also declined to accept any resolution passed by the PBC convention. LHCBA President Ch Zulfiqar Ali, while addressing a press conference on Saturday, said that the lawyers’ body stood firm on its demand of seeking the PM’s resignation. He also said that the bar association would hold the ‘All Pakistan Lawyers’ Convention’ on May 20 in Lahore. He said that the Supreme Court had given a landmark verdict and the lawyers were united over the PM’s resignation. He said the PBC convention was not legal, as it “lacked representation of lawyers from across the country”. He said that no representative from Balochistan took part in the convention, and claimed that about 70 percent of the lawyers present on the occasion had demanded the PM’s resignation. He said that the declaration issued by the PBC had damaged the lawyers’ cause. LHCBA Secretary Amir Saeed Rawn also rejected the PBC declaration and said that the Islamabad convention was a move to divide the lawyers. He said that their convention on May 20 would raise the issue. LHCBA Vice President Rashid Lodhi said that no one would be allowed to disturb the convention on May 20. He said that the lawyers had every right to run a movement if the PM failed to give resignation until the 20th. He said that the legal fraternity was united against corruption in Pakistan. Meanwhile, SCBA Secretary Aftab Bajwa said at a press conference that the association would stand by the declaration of lawyers’ convention scheduled for May 20. Rejecting the PBC decision, he said that the council had no power to hold any convention. He said that the PBC was the top regulatory body of lawyers and had not authority to call such a convention. He said that the PBC was a regulatory body, and they would only “follow the decisions made by lawyers’ elected representative” from all over the country. It may be mentioned here that May 5 conference – attended by more than 200 representatives, including presidents, general secretaries and other office-bearers from high court bars and district bars – resolved not to seek resignation from Nawaz Sharif. The conference was presided over by Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry, chairman executive committee, and Muhammad Ahsen Bhoon, vice chairman of PBC. According to Bhoon, a total of 84 representatives expressed their views and made suggestions during the conference. Of those 84, only 24 representatives argued in favour of seeking resignation, he claimed.