Abdul Hafiz Pirzada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Abdul Hafiz Pirzada
11th Finance Minister
In office
30 March 1977 – 5 July 1977
President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Preceded by Rana' Hanif Khan
Succeeded by Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Ministry of Justice and Law
In office
14 August 1973 – 30 March 1977
President Fazal Illahi Chaudhry
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Ministry of Education
In office
20 December 1971 – 13 August 1973
President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Personal details
Born Abdul Hafiz Pirzada
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)
Alma mater Karachi University
(LLB and MSc)
Sindh University
Occupation Statesman
Profession Lawyer, legal expert
Religion Islam

Abdul Hafiz Pirzada, (Urdu: عبد الحفیظ پیرزادہ ‎) Senior Advocate Supreme Court, is one of the premier lawyers[1] 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 confidant of Bhutto and was, along with Mubashir Hassan, a member of the legal team representing Bhutto in the murder case against him.

Early life[edit]

Abdul Hafiz 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 MSc 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. Hafiz Pirzada was one of the 30 members who founded the Pakistan People's Party on 30 November 1967, along with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Abdul Hafiz 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[edit]

In 1971, Pirzada assumed the Ministry of Education and helped Bhutto to intensify his education policies under government control.[2] In 1973, Pirzada assumed the control of Minister 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.[2]

Coup d'état and arrest[edit]

On 17 September 1977, Pirzada, along with Dr. Hassan and Bhutto, was arrested by the Military Police, but was released in 1978.[2] 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 were holding Dr. Hassan on unknown criminal charges.[2]

Fighting for Bhutto's case[edit]

On 24 February, the Supreme Court denied the request of review, and so the court upheld its original decision.[2] Pirzada then attempted to attain a commutation of Bhutto's sentence on the basis of split decision.[2] This time, the Court decided to hear the arguments.[2] On 28 February, the Army banned all the college text books of Dr. Hassan and forcefully lifted the books from major bookstores.[2] On 12 March, the Supreme Court started to review the petition, and did so for the next 12 days.[2] On 24 March, Pirzada informed Bhutto in jail that the President of Pakistan was able to change a death sentence into one of life imprisonment.[2] Undaunted, Pirzada filed a petition to President General Zia-ul-Haq, who was serving at the time as Chief Martial Law Administrator.[2] Pirzada asked the President to use "Section 45 of the Constitution", to commute the sentence to one of life imprisonment.[2] However, General Zia-ul-Haq denied the application, saying the application had gone missing.[2] Pirzada immediately went to meet Bhutto in his cell where he notified Bhutto about the application's status. After that, Pirzada held a press conference and told the media that Bhutto was prepared for death and would not file another application for mercy.[2]

Democracy activism[edit]

On 1 October 1982, Pirzada was arrested for demonstrating against the Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization where he also demanded the citizen basic rights.[2] 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 Hafiz 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 27 May 2007 Geo TV broadcast of "Aik Din Geo Kay Saath" (A Day With GeoTV), Abdul Hafiz Pirzada stated that he earns about PKR 120–130 million annually.


  1. ^ "Govt on collision course with SC". The Nation. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Kazi, Ghulam Nabie. "Education Minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada visits an educational institution in 1974". Retrieved 2011. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Rana Mohammad Hanif Khan
Finance Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Ghulam Ishaq Khan