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Justice Tahira Safdar nominated as first woman chief justice of a Pakistani high court

Updated July 23, 2018

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Justice Tahira Safdar. Photo: Balochistan High Court website
Justice Tahira Safdar. Photo: Balochistan High Court website

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday announced Justice Tahira Safdar as the first ever woman chief justice of a Pakistani high court.

Addressing the launch for Justice retired Fakhrun Nisa's new book, Justice Nisar said that the retired judge had recently said to him that there was an injustice served to her [when she was overlooked for the position of Lahore High Court chief justice]. "Today I am trying to right that wrong — as that was an injustice done to women and not just an individual — and nominate Justice Tahira Safdar as the first ever female high court chief justice in Pakistan."

Justice Safdar will take charge of her new role following the retirement of incumbent Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Noor Muskanzai, who reaches superannuation on August 31.

According to her biography, as recorded on the Balochistan High Court website, Justice Tahira Safdar, born on Oct 5, 1957 in Quetta, is the daughter of renowned lawyer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Baqri Hanafi.

She made history in 1982 when she became the first woman civil judge in Balochistan.

She received her basic education from the Cantonment Public School, Quetta, and went on to complete her bachelor's degree from the Government Girls College, Quetta.

Justice Safdar later earned a master's degree in Urdu literature from the University of Balochistan, as well as a degree in law from the University Law College, Quetta, in 1980.

After attaining success in a competitive examination held by the Balochistan Public Service Commission, she was appointed as a senior civil judge on June 29, 1987. She was made additional district and sessions judge on Feb 27, 1991.

On March 1, 1996, she was promoted to district and sessions judge. She also worked as a presiding officer in the Labour Court.

She was appointed a member of the Balochistan Services Tribunal on Oct 22, 1998, and worked in that capacity till she was appointed chairperson of the Balochistan Services Tribunal on July 10, 2009.

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

She is currently a member of the three-judge special court conducting the trial of former president Pervez Musharraf for committing treason by proclaiming a state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007.