Thursday, April 17, 2008

A U TO - B I O G R A P H Y

I was born on April 8, 1950. My mother was illiterate and my father had only 10 years of schooling. My parents had emigrated to Pakistan on the partition of the subcontinent of India. Their own educational backgrounds notwithstanding, my parents sent me to one of the finest boarding school in Pakistan, Lawrence College situated in the hills of Murree in northern Pakistan. I was always an outstanding student and I passed my “O” levels in 1964 in First Division. I thereafter passed my Intermediate Science Examination in 1966 from Karachi securing First Division and then enrolled at the NED Engineering College. Barely four months into the term, in January 1967, I proceeded to United States to study Chemical Engineering. I was soon realized that my primary ambition was to be a lawyer. For my undergraduate degree, I chose Accounting as my major field of study and in 1971 I received by Bachelor’s Degree from San Jose State University, San Jose, California. I enrolled at Santa Clara University to study law and was awarded the Faculty Minority Scholarship. I received my J.D. in June 1974 graduating magna cum laude. I passed the California Bar exam in December 1974 and at the same time qualified to be a Certified Public Accountant.

I returned to Pakistan in 1975 to practice law and I was soon to make a mark in my chosen profession. In 1980 I was elected General Secretary of the Karachi Bar Association and was one of the leaders of the movement for the restoration of democracy against the dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq. I was incarcerated in Central Prison in Karachi in 1981 on the substantive charge that my activities were causing disaffection against members of the armed forces in the eyes of the people. I alongwith 17 other lawyers, was tried before a Summary Military Court but under the heat of international pressure, the charges were dropped and I was released. In 1986 I was elected President of the Karachi Bar Association and in 1990 I was elected as a member of the Pakistan Bar Council for a five year term. The Pakistan Bar Council is the apex body regulating the legal profession in Pakistan. I served on a number its committees, including the Human Rights Committee.

In the years 1986 to 2002, I was invited to attend several international conferences on Human Rights and if my memory serves me correctly, I had drafted the declaration passed by human rights groups at Hong Kong calling for the establishment of the Asian Human Rights Commission. I have been an active member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and have worked for it on a number of assignments, including observing the fairness of the polls held in 1988. In 2002, I was elected as President of Sindh High Court Bar Association and was one of the leaders of the movement launched by the legal fraternity against the Legal Framework Order promulgated by General Pervez Musharraf. In 2006 I was elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and was one of the leaders of lawyers’ movement for the reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. I represented the Chief Justice of Pakistan before the Supreme Judicial Council that was hearing charges of misconduct against him. The authorities tried to intimidate me in a number of ways, first by sealing my office, then spraying gunfire on my residence (my daughter narrowly escaped injury), mistreating me in Attock jail and through anonymous phone calls threatening of dire consequences.

I practice law at Karachi and Islamabad and am senior partner in the law firm of Malik, Chaudhry, Ahmed & Siddiqi. Scores of my cases in which I appeared as counsel are reported in the law journals. I have contributed articles to the leading national daily English newspaper, the daily Dawn. I have represented the print media in a number of constitutional cases where the freedom of press has been in issue.

In 2006 I was conferred the Dorab Patel Human Rights Award by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and I have been awarded the Asian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Defenders Award jointly with Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan.

By Muneer Malik


law in Pakistan said...

Munir Malik is also one of the hero's of lawyers movement in Pakistan.

blogchi said...

Muneer is a great role model for us all and is a true patriot of Pakistan.

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