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ISLAMABAD: Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court is likely to become the chief justice of the BHC in September and she will be the first woman chief justice of any high court in the country. Justice Safdar may be elevated to the position after the retirement of the incumbent Chief Justice Mohammad Noor Meskan­zai on Aug 31.

A source told Dawn that the Judicial Commission, which is expected to meet on July 30 under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, may consider elevation of Justice Safdar as the BHC’s chief justice.

Justice Safdar, who was born on Oct 5, 1957 in Quetta, is the daughter of reno­wned lawyer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Baqri Hanafi.

She made history when she became the first woman civil judge in Balochistan in 1982. Currently, she is the senior puisne judge and upon her expected elevation will become the first woman chief justice of any high court in the country.

Justice Safdar is a member of the three-judge special court which is conducting the trial of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for committing treason by proclaiming state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007. The special court was constituted under Section 4 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976.

She received her basic education from the Cantonment Public School, Quetta, and went on to complete her Bachelors’ degree from the Government Girls College, Quetta. Justice Safdar did her Masters in Urdu literature from the University of Balochistan, and completed her degree in law from the University Law College, Quetta, in 1980.

Justice Safdar was successful in the competitive examination held by the Balochistan Public Service Commission. Subsequently, she was promoted as senior civil judge on June 29, 1987, as additional district and sessions judge on Feb 27, 1991, and as district and sessions judge on March 1, 1996.

She has also worked as a presiding officer in the labour court. She was appointed as a member of the Balochistan Services Tribunal on Oct 22, 1998, and worked on the post until she was appointed chairperson of the Balochistan Services Tribunal on July 10, 2009.

While working as chairperson, Justice Safdar was elevated to the position of additional judge of the high court on Sept 7, 2009 and confirmed as BHC judge on May 11, 2011.

Published in Dawn, July 17th , 2018