The Balochistan High Court (BHC) may have its first woman chief justice following the retirement of incumbent BHC Chief Justice Mohammad Noor Muskanzai, who is reaching superannuation on August 31.
The Dawn Newspaper has learned that the Judicial Commission, which is expected to meet on July 30 under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, may consider the elevation of Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar as BHC chief justice.
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.
If elevated to the top post of the provincial high court, she will make it to the history books for the second time.
Justice Tahira Safdar is also a member of the three-judge special court which is conducting a trial of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for committing treason by proclaiming the state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007. The special court was constituted under Section 4 Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976 for trial of offence of high treason.
She received her basic education from Cantonment Public School, Quetta, and went on to complete her Bachelors’ Degree from the Government Girls College, Quetta.
Justice Tahira Safdar did her Masters in Urdu Literature from the University of Balochistan and completed her degree in Law from the University Law College, Quetta, in 1980.
Justice Safdar was successful in the competitive examination held by Balochistan Public Service Commission. Subsequently, she was promoted to the rank of Senior Civil Judge on June 29, 1987, and as Additional District and Sessions Judge on Feb 27, 1991.
On March 1, 1996, she was promoted as District and Sessions Judge. Justice Tahira Safdar also worked as a presiding officer in the Labour Court. She was appointed as a member of the Balochistan Services Tribunal on Oct 22, 1998, and worked as such until she was appointed the 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 BHC judge on May 11, 2011.