One of the most prominent lawyers Pakistan produced, and longest serving Attorney General of Pakistan, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada passed away on Friday at the age of 94.
The prominent lawyer served as a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
He was the prime advisor to General Pervez Musharraf against maintaining the status quo regarding the 1973 constitutional oath given to the judges prior to the general’s coup d’état. He advised Musharraf who then later included Aziz Munshi as a law minister to seek the consent of the Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui for the legitimacy of his rule.
Siddiqui was called upon by Musharraf earlier in October and it was made clear that the oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order shall not be administered to any judge of the court.
Musharraf had agreed, later when asked by Munshi, Siddiqui refused and rejected the notion that judges of the courts be administered any other oath and that to contrary to the ones under the 1973 constitution. Later Siddiqui refused to take oath and resigned with 4 years remaining in office.
He was a highly-controversial figure amongst political and judicial circles in Pakistan due to his regular legal work in ensuring the legitimacy of Pakistani military rulers, as well as offering his services to a wide variety of entities seeking on ensuring the status quo in the country.
For such reasons, he is regarded as a maverick lawyer with no firm stance on political matters. In addition, he is a member of the Pakistan Civil Service, having served as both Foreign Minister under Ayub Khan and the Attorney-General under Zia-ul-Haq.
Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada was born in the city of Burhanpur, in what is today Madhya Pradesh, to parents Mir Niazi Pirzada and his wife, Fatima. His father was a noted barrister as well, serving in the Indian Civil Service at the time and posted in the state.
He passed away on June 2017.