|Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan|
|19th Minister of Law and Justice|
October 21, 1993 – November 5, 1996
|Prime Minister||Benazir Bhutto|
|Preceded by||Rana Sanaullah Khan|
|Succeeded by||Ashtar Ausaf Ali|
|25th Minister of Interior|
December 4, 1988 – August 6, 1990
|President||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Prime Minister||Benazir Bhutto|
|Preceded by||VAdm Malik Nasim Ahmad|
|Succeeded by||Ch. Schuja'at Hussain|
|President of Supreme Court Bar Association|
25 November 2007 – 28 October 2008
|Preceded by||Munir A. Malik|
|Succeeded by||Ali Ahmad Kurd|
27 September 1945 |
Murree, British Indian Empire
|Political party||Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)|
|Relations||Ahsan hails from Punjab's Waraich clan of jats.|
|Alma mater||Government College University
Downing College, Cambridge
(LLM and JD)
|Cabinet||Bainazir Bhuttoo Government|
Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan (Urdu: چودھری اعتزاز احسن; born 27 September 1945) is a notable left-wing statesman and intellectual, currently serving as the senator to the Senate of Pakistan and the former president of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
A senior and high-ranking member of the Central Executive Committee of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Ahsan started his statesmanship in the government of Prime minister Benazir Bhutto as minister of Interior ministry from 1988 until 1990. Prior to that, Ahsan also served as the minister of law and justice ministry from 1993 until 1996. In public circles, he is notable for his long advocacy for social democracy and represented the case of former prime minister Navaz Sharif in 1999. In 2007, he successfully represented the case of chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, followed by his arrest by the former president Pervez Musharraf.
Early life and education 
Aitzaz Ahsan was born in Murree, Rawalpindi District of British-controlled Punjab Province to an educated and financially stable family, on 27 September 1945. Ahsan educated at the expensive private high school and attended the Aitchison College and matriculated from there. He proceeded to Government College University of Lahore and obtained LLB degree in law. In 1965, Ahsan was accepted at the Cambridge University and studied law at the Downing College where he obtained LLM in 1967. Upon graduating, Ahsan was called at Gray's Inn in 1967.
Professional life 
Political career 
Since 1975, Ahsan has been an active member of Pakistan Peoples Party and has been a strong proponent of left-wing politics in Pakistan. On peoples party's platform, Ahsan secured a seat at the Punjab Assembly after Chaudhry Anwar Samma, a member representing the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was murdered. After his election, Ahsan was invited to join the cabinet and given the portfolio of information, planning and development. After the police opened fire on a rally of lawyers during the PNA demonstrations against the alleged rigging of elections by the PPP government in 1977, Ahsan resigned as a cabinet minister in protest, and was later expelled from the PPP.
Following the 1977 coup d'état of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Ahsan became involved in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, and rejoined the PPP following the declaration of martial law. For his participation in the MRD he was repeatedly imprisoned. Ahsan was elected to the National Assembly as a PPP candidate in 1988, serving as Minister for Law and Justice, the Interior and Narcotics Control before winning re-election in 1990 and losing in 1993. In 1994 he was elected to the Senate of Pakistan, where he sat as Leader of the Opposition until 1999. He was re-elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan as a Peoples Party candidate in the 2002 General Elections.
As a lawyer 
A Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and senior partner of the firm Aitzaz Ahsan & Associates Ahsan is a well-respected Pakistani lawyer, consistently given the highest rank by Chambers and Partners ranking of legal professionals. He also made legal history by having defended three Prime Ministers in the court of law. Having previously fought cases in defence of Benazir Bhutto in 2001 he took up a case in defence of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. recently in 2011 he fought case of yousaf raza gillani
During his most recent tenure as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan he was a member of the Standing Committee on Interior and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Chief Justice case 
Recently Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and his team consisting of Shahid Saeed, Gohar Khan and Nadeem Ahmed successfully represented Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry's case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan [PLD 2007 SC 578]. They were pitted against a team consisting of 16 senior lawyers representing the Federation in this misadventure. The hearing was being conducted by a full court headed by Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, and the 13-member panel reinstated the Chief Justice declaring his suspension by Pervez Musharraf regime "illegal."
Contempt of Court case and subsequent disqualification of PM Gilani 
Unequivocally, this was a controversial case for Barrister Ahsan. Contrary to the case of Chief Justice, he did not have the wind of his fraternity at his back. To his defense, history was on his side; John Adams represented British soldiers, yet he was considered patriotic enough to be elected 2nd President of the United States. During the trial in Court his objections including jurisdictional and on merit were rejected and Gilani was convicted with punishment to remain in Court until the rising.(Dawn TV April 26,2012). Mr. Ahsan (AAJ TV) disagreed with the ruling, claiming the decision for scandalizing and ridicule of court were not in the ambit of charges put forth by Supreme court of Pakistan. The Speaker of Pakistan Parliament declared (PTV) the conviction and sentence of PM of Pakistan was not on a matter of 'moral turpitude'. The sentence, she maintained, did not rise to a level of disqualification for a sitting MNA; dismissing the verdict altogether. Mr. Ahsan, announced (Dunya TV May 24, 2012) that his client will not further appeal this matter. This ruling by the Speaker was challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and on June 19, 2012, the highest court of Pakistan ruled that Mr. Gilani stands disqualified as a member of Parliament as of April 26, 2012 and also as PM of Pakistan (Dunya TV).
During and after Emergency 
Aitzaz Ahsan was arrested soon after the declaration of emergency/martial law,. At the time he and his team [Shahid Saeed, Gohar Khan and Nadeem Ahmed] were arguing against the eligibility of General Musharraf to contest the 2007 Presidential Elections before a full bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. There have also been rumours that he is being kept in solitary confinement and being tortured. Recently, 33 US Senators wrote to President Musharraf to release Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan immediately, as he is widely respected all around the world. He withdrew his papers of nomination to run for the National Parliament, this in deference to National Lawyers' Convention decision to boycott elections under Mr. Musharraf. It has lifted his stature by putting the lawyers cause above his own.
Barrister Ahsan was succinct in his resolute to restore democracy and pre-emergency judiciary in Pakistan with peaceful resistance. He was rearrested during his three days reprieve for celebrating religious holiday; when he decided to offer prayers with Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry and was heading to Islamabad. He has served detention in his house for 90 days and has declared his detention as illegal. It is reported (Nawaiwaqt 19 Jan 2008), with a dour determination he refused to abandon restoration of judiciary movement and was reluctant to negotiate when approached by Attorney General. His role in PPP after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto will be pivotal since he commands the respect of representatives of Punjab, the nations lawyers; elected President of Supreme Court Bar Association by an overwhelming majority, and public at large.
Aitzaz Ahsan, has been awarded the Asian Human Rights Defender Award by the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) along with Munir A Malik (past President SCBA)(Dawn 23 Jan 2008). The annual Award for Distinction in International Law and Affairs will be presented to Aitzaz Ahsan in asbentia as more than 5,000 lawyers gather for the annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). Freed for two days, Mr. Ahsan was rearrested for 30 days on 2 February 2008 before he was to board a flight to Sindh to offer his condolences to Benazir Bhutto's husband (Dawn 2 February 2008).
Literary contribution 
He has also authored the book The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan and its Urdu translation, Sindh Sagar Aur Qyam-e-Pakistan which presents the cultural history of Pakistan.
He has also co-authored the book Divided by Democracy with Lord Meghnad Desai of the London School of Economics.
Aitzaz Ahsan has been admitted to an Honorary Fellowship at Downing College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge. In an Internet poll of the US magazine Foreign Policy, Ahsan was voted one of the top 10 public intellectuals in the world in May 2008.
In 2008, in an open online poll, Ahsan was voted the 5th topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States).
See also 
- "Aitzaz Ahsan : AitzazAhsan.com". Aitzaz Ahsan. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- "PPP - Aitzaz Ahsan's profile". Pakistani People's Party. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Aitzaz Ahsan Firm profile
- youtube video 1
- youtube video 2
- Aitzaz Ahsan representative for NA-124 , Lahore-VII
- Divided by Democracy/Meghnad Desai and Aitzaz Ahsan. New Delhi, Roli, 2005
- Aitzaz Ahsan Honorary Fellow - Downing College Cambridge
- Foreign Policy: Top 100 Intellectuals
- New York Times story, Nov 2007
- New York Times story, July 2007
- 2003 Interview
- PILDAT profile
- Read Columns for Aitzaz Ahsan at IBITIANS.com (Urdu)
Malik Nasim Ahmed Aheer
|Interior Minister of Pakistan
1988 – 1990
Mian Zahid Sarfraz