Dr. Zaheer-ud-din Babar Awan (born 27 January 1957) is a senator in Pakistan’s upper House, he is a leading practising lawyer and a member of Pakistan Peoples Party Central Executive Committee. Babar Awan won the Senate election in 2006 unopposed on the ticket of PPPP which was a parliamentary name of Benazir’s PPP
He has done a 4 year long Sharia Law course in Saudi Arabia. He has also done B.A. and LLB. He is also a senior lawyer of Supreme Court. He first come to limelight in 1990’s when soon after second Benazir government was ousted several leading Pakistan Peoples Party figures were implicated in corruption cases by their then rivals Nawaz Sharif Government and many of the former used Babar Awan as their legal advocate . It was an uneasy time to side with PPP and several lawyers avoided protecting PPP leaders or civil servants associated with them.
Sheikh Afzal, the main accused in the Rs9 billion financial scam at the Bank of Punjab (BoP), on Tuesday revealed before the bench of the Supreme Court that he paid Rs35 million to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Babar Awan for winning the case in the apex court.
He alleged that Dr Babar Awan took Rs40 million, Sharifuddin Pirzada Rs10 million, Malik Muhammad Qayyum, the then attorney general, Rs20 million and Ali Waseem, the son of Waseem Sajjad, Rs7.5 million.
Afzal said Dr Babar Awan took Rs5 million as fee and Rs35 million for getting a favourable verdict from the then Islamabad High Court.
In-house investigations, investigators found no evidence against senior lawyer Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan as he had taken legal fees against which he had also paid the income tax. “However, seeing the dubious role of rest of the lawyers, including Babar Awan, Wasim Sajjad, Sharifuddin Pirzada, they were summoned to appear before the NAB investigators so that investigations could be concluded,” a NAB official said.
But, these lawyers instead of appearing before the investigators said in the media that they were only answerable to the Pakistan Bar Council and would not appear in courts to prove their innocence.” The NAB officials say that these lawyers, especially Babar Awan, was pressurising NAB to keep silent on the issue. “However, after the Friday’s clear orders of the chief justice of Pakistan to initiate proceedings against these lawyers, the NAB top brass took up the issue but due to the latest government instructions was left with no option but to instruct us to abstain from contacting any of these lawyers,” an official revealed.
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s chief Nawaz Sharif on Saturday claimed that Law Minister Babar Awan had been “roaming with cash-filled briefcases…trying to create a group of lawyers against Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.
The law minister has distributed over Rs200 million among bar associations in the past few months, and made public announcements to the effect during his visits to the PBC offices and different bar associations all over Pakistan. He accelerated this campaign in the last some weeks in view of the fast approaching elections to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) that the government is determined to get a candidate enjoying its support win.
The official said that the Law Ministry would pay to the Pakistan Air Force out of the funds assigned for the bar associations for providing a special plane to the law minister for his recent visits to different cities to announce funds for lawyers’ bodies. The airforce plane is being chartered for at a rate of 10,000 dollars per hour for Babar Awans use.
Informed circles say that the record raise is meant to put a colossal sum at the disposal of the law minister to dish out among the bar associations in a bid to win over the support of the lawyers so that they stand with the government if such a need arises.