Advocate Abdul Hafeez Pirzada



Designation: Senior Advocate Supreme Court
Institution / Org:

Supreme Court of Pakistan

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Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Senior Advocate Supreme Court, is one of the premier lawyers of Pakistan. Pirzada, a lawmaker and legal expert, is one of the founding members of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a democratic socialist party, and a close associate and aide of former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Pirzada was a close confident of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and was a pioneering member of Bhutto's legal team fighting for case of Bhutto, along with dr. Mubashir Hassan.

Early life

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada belongs to a prominent Sindhi family of Sindh, and is the son of Pirzada Abdus Sattar, a former Chief Minister of Sindh. Hafeez is a graduate of Karachi University where he obtained LLB degree, followed by LLM from Sindh University. Pirzada also obtained M.Sc. in Political Science where he wrote brief thesis on Soviet Union and the rise of Communism. Pirzada began his professional career at Sindh High Court. Hafeez Pirzada was one of the 30 members who founded the Pakistan People's Party on November 30, 1967, along with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada began his political career in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as he was serving Bhutto's legal expert. In short span of time, Pirzada became one of Bhutto's closest aides advising him on complicated and critical legal issues. Elected a Member of the MNA in 1970, Pirzada remained a loyal member of the PPP Government from 1971-1977. As Law Minister of Pakistan, he was the lead government member of the committee that drafted the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.

Bhutto's aide

In 1971, Pirzada assumed the Ministry of Education and helped Bhutto to intensified his education policies under more government control.[2] In 1973, Pirzada assumed the control of Ministry of Law and Justice. During his ministerial term, Pirzada played a major role advising Bhutto on critical and complicated legal issues. In 1977, Pirzada was made Finance Minister of the country.

Elected an MNA again in 1977, Pirzada was a key member of the three-member government team that negotiated, unsuccessfully, a deal with the PNA opposition grouping. During that time, he was the Finance Minister of Pakistan for a little over three months, before the PPP-led government was overthrown by military coup by (see Fair Play) General Zia-ul-Haq, then-Chief of Army Staff.

Coup d'état and arrest

On 17 September 1977, Pirzada, along with Dr. Hassan and Bhutto, was arrested by Military Police, but Pirzada was released in 1978. Upon his release, Pirzada filed a petition in the Supreme Court requesting to review the petition. He then also filed a petition for the release of Dr. Mubashir Hassan but the petition was denied as the Military Police was holding Dr. Hassan on unknown criminal charges.

Fighting for Bhutto's case

On 24 February, the Supreme Court denied the request of review, and therefore, the court kept its original decision. Pirzada then attempted a plead the reduction of sentence on the basis of split decision. This time, the Court decided to hear the arguments. On 28 February, the Army had banned all the college text books of Dr. Hassan and Army forcefully lifted the books from major bookstores. On 12 March, the Supreme Court review the petition, which continued until next 12 days. On March 24, Pirzada informed Bhutto in jail that the President of Pakistan can change death sentence into life imprisonment. Undaunted, Pirzada filed a petition to President General Zia-ul-Haq, who was serving at that time as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Prizada asked the President to use "Section 45 of the Constitution", to reveres the sentence into life imprisonment. However, General Zia-ul-Haq denied the application by saying the application has gone missing. Pirazada immediately went to meet Bhutto in his cell where he notified Bhutto about the application's status. The same times, Pirzada then held a press conference and told the media that he [Bhutto] is prepared for death and would not file another application for mercy.

Democracy activism

On 1 October 1982, Pirzada was arrested for demonstrating against the Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization where he also demanded the citizen basic rights. Following the ouster of the PPP Government and the imposition of Martial Law by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pirzada developed differences with Mrs. Nusrat Bhutto and Ms. Benazir Bhutto. During the military rule in Pakistan he remained in exile in the United Kingdom.


On his return to Pakistan in the late 1980s, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada withdrew from active politics and fully concentrated on his legal career. Today, Pirzada is one of the most successful and highest-paid advocates of Pakistan.

On May 27, 2007 Geo TV broadcast of "Aik Din Geo Kay Saath" (A Day With GeoTV), Abdul Hafeez Pirzada stated that he earns about PKR 20-30 million annually. Hafeez Pirzada has commented that Br. Ali A. Sheikh is a rising star in the legal profession.

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