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Justice Javed Iqbal passes away

October 04, 2015


LAHORE: Retired Justice Javed Iqbal, son of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and an intellectual in his own right, passed away on Saturday morning, two days before turning 91.

He was a lawyer par excellence and later a judge and politician of integrity and dignity. As if all this were not enough, he took to writing in the later phase of his life. He was also translator of the thoughts of his father.

Born in 1924 in Sialkot, he was educated at prestigious institutions like Government College, Cambridge and Lincoln’s Inn.

It was cardiac arrest following a second surgery after the removal of colon tumour at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital that brought him down.

Justice Iqbal, who had retired as a senior judge of the Supreme Court, is survived by his sons Waleed Iqbal and Munib Iqbal and wife retired Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal — a former judge of the Lahore High Court.

Mr Waleed and Mr Munib are both lawyers. However, Mr Waleed works as a teacher at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and Mr Munib is vice president of the Iqbal Academy.

Mr Waleed is also a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and had contested National Assembly elections in 2013.

He said his father’s surgeries had been successful and he wanted to celebrate his 91st birthday at home on Oct 5, when he was scheduled to be discharged from hospital.

Justice Iqbal had earned his own identity through hard work and dignity despite facing two major challenges — being the son of an internationally renowned personality and losing his parents at young age. He was 11 when his mother Sardar Begum passed away and 14 at the time of his father’s death.

He earned a BA (Honours) degree from Government College, Lahore, in 1944 as well as masters in English and philosophy in 1948.

Like his father, he earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of Cambridge, in 1954, and Bar-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn.

He was also conferred honorary PhD degrees by the Villanova University, the Unites States, and Jordan’s Seljuk University.

Justice Iqbal entered politics by working as polling agent of Fatima Jinnah in Jhang during the 1965 presidential elections amid pressure tactics employed by the dictator, Gen Ayub Khan.

He himself contested elections against the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on a PML ticket in 1970, but eventually left politics.

He later declined Prime Minister Bhutto’s offer to join his party.

Justice Iqbal was appointed an LHC judge in 1971 and elevated as Chief Justice in 1982. He was elevated as a Supreme Court judge in 1986 and retired on Oct 5, 1989.

In 1968-69 he was elected president of the LHC Bar Association. His wife was also elected LHCBA president in 2009.

Justice Iqbal was elected to the Senate on a technocrats’ seat on a PML-N ticket in 1994 and continued to serve as a senator till Gen Pervez Musharraf took over on Oct 12, 1999.

He was the author of several books on Islam, philosophy and Pakistan’s ideology. He translated Allama Iqbal’s Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam as well as Javed Nama, which had been written in Persian.

Justice Iqbal wrote his autobiography, Apna Girebaan Chak, in 2002. The book turned out to be a great success and subsequent editions have been published. His other well-known books are Quaid-i-Azam ka virsa, Afkar-i-Iqbal, Nazria-i- Pakistan, Islam aur Pakistan, and Islam mein Riyasat ka Tasawar.

He earned Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2004 for his services in law, literature, philosophy and Iqbaliyat.

In his political and judicial career, he participated in many international conferences as keynote speaker.

He was an avid follower of his father’s teachings and advocated a modern Islamic approach, always promoting Ijtehad instead of fundamentalism in his writings, presentations and speeches.

He participated thrice as a member of the Pakistani delegation at the United Nations.

CONDOLENCES: Justice Iqbal’s death has been widely condoled.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Zardari, former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former deputy prime minister Pervaiz Elahi, Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri, senior lawyer and rights activist Asma Jahangir and others condoled his death and prayed that his soul rest in eternal peace.

Justice Iqbal was buried at Hazrat Ihsan graveyard, Baghbanpura. A large number of people attended the funeral.

Among others, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, former president Rafique Tarar, LHC Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, former Supreme Court judge Khalilur Rehman Ramday and PTI leaders attended the funeral.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2015

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