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Wednesday Jan 11, 2017

Profile: Justice (retd) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui


KARACHI: Governor Sindh Justice (retd) Saeed-uz Zaman Siddiqui, who passed away on Wednesday, took path as the Sindh governor on November 11. For nearly two months of his governorship, Siddiqui remained ill most of the time.

Born to an educated, middle-class Urdu-speaking family on December 1, 1938, Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui received his early education from Lucknow and then from Dhaka, then East-Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh.

He passed Matriculation from the Board of Secondary Education from Dhaka, East-Pakistan in 1952. In 1954, Siddiqui obtained intermediate in engineering sciences from the University of Dacca. He then moved to Karachi and attended Karachi University in 1954.

Here, at Karachi University, Siddiqui obtained B.A. in Philosophy and L.L.B in 1958. He began legal practice at the High Court of Sindh in 1960.

He was a prominent Pakistani jurist and legislator, who formerly served as the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Notably, Siddiqui served as the chief justice when former army chief General (retd) Pervez Musharraf staged the 1999 military coup.

He defied Musharraf's request, which he gave via the then Law Minister and Legal Adviser Sharifuddin Pirzada, to take a new oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) saying, "Taking an oath under the PCO, in my opinion, will be a deviation from the oath I had taken to defend the constitution of 1973".

In 2008, he ran for the presidential election as a candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamaat-e-Islami to replace Pervez Musharraf as president, but lost the September 6, 2008 presidential election to Asif Ali Zardari by 153 votes.

Justice Siddiqui was again picked for presidency in 2013, but at the last moment his name was replaced with Mamnoon Hussain's as Siddiqui never joined the PML-N and was a neutral candidate.

He was awarded honorary membership of the Judicial fraternity of Australia and Canada after the news of his resignation from the office of the Chief Justice was made public in Jan 2000, when he refused to take oath under the PCO.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif nominated Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui as Sindh governor, after which he took oath on November 11, last year. He was the 31st governor of Sindh.

Justice Siddiqui, however, passed away on Wednesday after nearly two months of ailment, since he took oath as Sindh governor.

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