Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim passes away

From Zeeshan Mirza
KARACHI: Former chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim passed away in Karachi on Tuesday, his family confirmed. He was 91. The former judge was under treatment at home when he passed away. His funeral prayers will be offered in the evening today and he will be laid to rest at the Mewa Shah graveyard. Ebrahim, who served as the CEC during the 2013 general elections, was an eminent Pakistani jurist, constitutional expert, senior advocate Supreme Court, former federal law minister, former attorney general of Pakistan, former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and former governor of Sindh. He was born on February 12, 1928, in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat. Ebrahim attended the Gujrat Vidyapith and received an undergraduate degree in law in 1949. He also studied courses based on philosophy and attended lectures given by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It is believed that his advocacy for non-violence and peace came from Gandhi’s teachings. In the year 1950, Ebrahim migrated to Pakistan and attended Sindh Muslim Law College. He received LLM degree and an honorary Juris Doctor in 1960 and later established his own law firm by the name of Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim& Company. Ebrahim also served as the Attorney General of Pakistan during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s regime and later as the Governor of Sindh. In the March of 1981, he was amongst the very few judges who refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) drafted by General Zia-ul-Haq, along with Justice S. Anwarul Haq, Justice Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain and Justice Dorab Patel. The PCO not only negated the independence of the judiciary but also prolonged martial law by nullifying the effect of a judgment giving Gen Zia’s regime limited recognition. The establishment of the Citizen Police Liaison Committee in 1989 remains one of Ebrahim’s prolific achievements. In 1996, Ebrahim served as law minister in the caretaker cabinet of President Farooq Leghari, following the dismissal of the government of prime minister Benazir Bhutto. It is believed that Ebrahim always possessed positive sentiments for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and announced various verdicts in the favour of Pakistani sportsmen including Saleem Malik, Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif. Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his “deep sorrow and grief” over Ebrahim’s death. In a condolence message, the prime minister said the invaluable services rendered by the late judge in the field of law and the provision of justice would be remembered for a long time. He prayed for the eternal peace of the deceased and for the fortitude of the bereaved family. Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and other judges of the Supreme Court also expressed sorrow and grief over Ebrahim’s demise, a statement issued by the apex court said. The judges “have extended their heartfelt condolences and sincere sympathies to members of the bereaved family of the departed soul”, the statement added. President Arif Alvi condoled Ebrahim’s death in a tweet, remembering him as a “very enlightened, honest decent person”. “May his soul rest in peace, and may his family have the strength to bear this loss. A great man is gone.” Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed grief over the demise of Ebrahim, the military’s media wing said in a tweet. “May Allah bless the departed soul and gives strength to the bereaved family,” the army chief was quoted as saying. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also condoled the death of the former judge, who was one of the founder members of the HRCP.