ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Justice Aamer Farooq, along with Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Judge & Session Judge Islamabad Nasir Javed Rana, visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) and inaugurated the Mediation Council Office.
They congratulated the ICCI for opening the office, which has been established in accordance with the amended Rent Restrictions Act 2023. The Mediation Council Office will play a mediation role in resolving commercial rent disputes within the business community and contribute to the out-of-court settlement of such disputes.
Addressing the business community, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Aamer Farooq said that the business community is the backbone of the economy and assured that the judiciary would decide commercial and rent disputes on priority.
He said that a mechanism including special bench would be considered to adjudicate the commercial disputes of the business community to facilitate them in business development. He said that arbitration and mediation is getting popularity as a cost-effective mechanism for settlement of cases as litigation is an expensive and lengthy process. He acknowledged that the prevailing laws in Pakistan are not supportive of business and investment and stressed that legislative should amend them to facilitate the entrepreneurs and investors. He stressed that the business community should play role to boost business activities to steer the country out of current crisis.
Justice Tariq Mehmood said that inauguration of a mediation council in ICCI is a commendable initiative for the out-of-court settlement of rent disputes of the business community and said that IHC would also forward such cases to the council for mediation.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that an effective commercial dispute resolution mechanism is vital for sustainable economic growth of Pakistan. However, the arbitration & mediation laws, court procedures, dispute resolution and mechanism for enforcement of different types of contracts including commercial and investment in Pakistan are weak, time taking, outdated and a cause of concern for the local and foreign investors. He said that on average, it takes around 3 years to settle a commercial dispute in courts in Pakistan and a contract case takes many years to be decided. He stressed that the government should amend and upgrade and align business laws with the needs of current times to facilitate the growth of local and foreign investment in the country. He stressed that the government should establish a network of commercial courts across the country and evolve an effective alternate dispute resolution system for timely settlement of commercial disputes and promote a healthy environment for business and investment activities in the country.
Senior Vice President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Faad Waheed, Vice President Engr. Azhar ul Islam Zafar, Group Leader Khalid Iqbal Malik, former President of the ICCI and Secretary General of the UBG Pakistan Zafar Bakhtawari, Vice Chairman of the Islamabad Bar Council Raja Aleem Abbasi, President of the Islamabad High Court Bar Naveed Malik, and former Senior Vice President of the ICCI Khalid Chaudhry also spoke at the event. President of the Islamabad District Bar Qaiser Imam and a large number of representatives from the legal and business communities were present on the occasion.