The Honorable Justice (R) Nasir Aslam Zahid (Urdu: ناصر اسلم زاہد; Barrister-at-Law), is believed to be one of the most prestigious names of Pakistani judiciary. Son of the 1st Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Zahid Hussain, Nasir Aslam Zahid has remained the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court and then a judge of the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan and Supreme Court of Pakistan. He earned more honor and respect when he gave resignation from the Supreme Court of Pakistan rather than taking oath of the office in accordance to Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).
Nasir Aslam Zahid was born in the area of Mussoorie, near Delhi, British India. His father, Zahid Hussain was a finance officer, and also was appointed as the chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, and after that been Pakistani High Commissioner in India.
Education of Nasir Aslam Zahid
Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid matriculated from the institute of Karachi’s St Patrick’s High School, did his BA at Government College Lahore and went on to institute of University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam House) to study law and gain an Honours Degree. In the year of 1956, he was called to the Bar from the Middle Temple.
Career of Nasir Aslam Zahid
Barrister Zahid enrolled as an advocate of the Sindh High Court in the year of 1957, and of the Supreme Court in the year of 1962. He was elevated to the Bench of the SHC as an Additional Judge in the year of 1980, and in 1983 was made a permanent judge. The second of the Pakistan Peoples Party government temporarily removed him from the Bench in the era of 1988 to send him off on deputation as the federal law secretary, a post he held until the month of June 1990 when he came back to the SHC. From the year of January 1991 to the end of April of that year he shifted to the Supreme Court as an ad hoc Judge. He had various spells acting as Chief Justice of Sindh, during the absence of the sitting Chief Justice, and in May 1992 took over as permanent Chief Justice. By the time of 1994, Justice Zahid s independence could be tolerated no more by the harsh law enforcement organizations, backed by the executive. A relief-giving judge, he afforded no quarter to the organizations or the government prosecuting authorities. He was shifted to the Federal Shariat Court on the day of 16 April of that year, without his consent, for a period of 2 years. A tribute to the man. By right and in accordance to the Supreme Court judgment of 20 March, in April of this year he should have came back to the SHC to resume the chief justiceship. But, he was rather elevated as a permanent judge of the Supreme Court. Although, he sustained his contribution towards the dispensing of justice to the people of Pakistan up to the year 2000, and gave resignation from the Supreme Court of Pakistan rather than taking oath of the office according to Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), which would have needed the judges never to find illegality in the new government, no matter its actions.
Contribution and activities
He is engaged in human rights problems and judicial education, and has spent much of his time since retirement on dealing with legal concerns of women. He serves as Dean, Faculty of Legal Studies and Head of Hamdard School of Law at the Hamdard University, Karachi city since the year of October 2000.
Justice Zahid had collaboration with the Government of Sindh, Pakistan for the development of a Committee for the Welfare of Women Prisoner of Special Prison for Women at Karachi city. Although, in 2009 the work was expanded to involve Juveniles and Male Prisoners of all 22 prisons of Sindh.