Wasim Sajjad is a Pakistani conservative politician and lawyer who served as the acting President of Pakistan for two non-consecutive terms and as the Chairman of the Senate between 1988 and 1999. Wasim Sajjad is a Pakistani lawyer as well as a legal educator. He was declared as Chairman Senate of Pakistan for the fourth sequential term on 21st March 1997. Previously, he had been constantly holding this office since 24th December, 1988 to 20th March, 1997. He also functioned as a President of Pakistan from 19th July, 1993 to 13th November, 1993 and again from 2nd December, 1997 to 1st January, 1998. Presently, he is a member of PML-Q as well as the Leader of the Opposition in Senate of Pakistan.
|In Urdu:||وسیم سجاد|
|Education:||Punjab University BA, MA Oxford University LLB, MA Inns of Court School of Law Barrister-at-Law|
|Date:||30 March 1941|
|Political Party:||Pakistan Muslim League (Q)|
|Other Political Affiliations:||Islami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan Muslim League (N)|
|Role:||Chairman of the Senate|
|Dates:||24 December 1988 – 12 October 1999|
|Preceded By:||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Succeeded By:||Mohammad Soomro|
|In Office 2|
|Role:||President of Pakistan|
|Dates:||2 December 1997 – 1 January 1998|
|Prime Minister:||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded By:||Farooq Leghari|
|Succeeded By:||Rafiq Tarar|
Born in Jalandhar, British India, Sajjad’s father went on to serve on Supreme Court. Sajjad studied at the Army Burn Hall before moving to Lahore where he studied law at the Punjab University. As a Rhodes Scholar, he moved to Oxfordshire, where he received his Bachelor of Civil Law followed by a graduate degree in Jurisprudence from the Wadham College, Oxford in 1967. He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1968. On return to Pakistan, Sajjad was admitted as a lawyer in Pakistan and joined the Punjab Law College as served as a taught constitutional law between 1967 and 1977.
Sajjad was Elected
Sajjad was elected as to the Senate in 1985 as a member of the center-right Muslim League and served as the Minister for Law and Justice from September 1986 to December 1988, until December 1988 when he was elected as Chairman of the Senate where he remained until 1997. During which he was elevated to the presidency twice during the general elections. In 1999, Sajjad joined a defecting group that supported General Musharraf’s coup and became the Leader of the House in the Senate of Pakistan in 2003, remaining until his political retirement in 2008. After retiring from the politics, he has been serving as chancellor of the National University.
Wasim Sajjad was born on March 30, 1941 in the village Jalandhar of the Punjab province. He was the son of late Mr. Justice Sajjad Ahmed Jan who served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and later as the Chief Election Commissioner. He spent his early childhood in his native village Jalandhar.
Wasim Sajjad spent his childhood days at Army Burn Hall College which is situated at Abbottabad. He completed his O and A Levels from Army Burn Hall College. The complete detail of his academic career is given below.
- He was graduated from the Punjab University Lahore in 1961while obtaining 1st Class with Honours in English.
- He stood first in F.E.L. and LL.B. Examinations of the Punjab University which were held in 1962 and 1963 respectively, winning Gold Medals.
- He stood first in Jurisprudence in the F.E.L. Examination of the Punjab University held in 1962 awarded Gold Medal.
- He also stood first in M.A. (Political Science) Examination of the Punjab University held in 1964 and was awarded Gold Medal.
- He was additionally awarded three Gold Medals for Public speaking during University career.
- He won the Ruchi Ram Sahni Declamation Prize from the Punjab University.
- He also won the Krishan Kishore Grover Declamation Prize of the Punjab University.
- He was placed on the Roll of Honour of University Law College, Lahore, in 1963 for outstanding performance as debater, sportsman and student.
- He was also selected RHODES Scholar from Pakistan for studies at Oxford University in 1964.
- He secured Honours in Jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1966 and the degree of B.C.L. (Bachelor of Civil Laws) from Oxford University in 1967.
- He became Barrister-at-Law from the Inner Temple London.
- He also remained President, Oxford University Islamic Society – 1966 as well as President, Oxford University Pakistan Society — 1965 to 1966, and President, Oxford University Birkenhead Society — 1965 to 1967.
- He became Secretary, Wadham College Oxford (Junior Common Room) — 1966.
- He was elected Honorary Fellow Wadham College Oxford.
Wasim Sajjad has a long and extended career in public service. Wasim Sajjad is the only practicing advocate in Pakistan holding a Bachelors of Civil Law from Oxford University. He served as a lecturer of Constitutional Law at University Law College for a year. He appeared in a large number of cases of constitutional and legal importance before the High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan, in matters relating to constitutional validity of Martial Law. He attended the International Asian Cricket Conference at New Delhi, in September 1983, to draft the Constitution for the Conference. He headed Pakistani delegation to the Inter Parliamentary Union Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. He was President of Pakistan Tennis Federation and also held the position of Secretary Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Pakistan. Wasim Sajjad was awarded Diplomatic Civil Award by the President of South Korea. The Wadham College, Oxford, elected him as Honorary Fellow for his contributions in education and politics, in 1992. This Award is an old tradition of Oxford, which symbolizes the institution’s pride in an old member.
- Appeared in a large number of cases of Constitutional and Legal importance before the High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan in which human rights issues were involved.
- Requested to appear as Amicus Curiae by Full Bench of the Lahore High Court in matter relating to Constitutional validity of Martial Law.
- Lecturer in Constitutional Law at University Law College Lahore from 1967 to 1977.
- Head of the Law Firm: Sajjad Law Associates, Islamabad-Pakistan.
Wasim Sajjad was Elected Member of Senate in 1985
Wasim Sajjad was elected member of Senate in 1985 as a professional. He also held the office of Minister for Justice and Parliamentary Affairs from September 1986 to December 1988. He was elected Chairman of Senate on December 24, 1988. Wasim Sajjad was reelected as Senator for three years in 1991. Wasim Sajjad, as the Chairman of Senate, on several occasions served as the acting President of Pakistan during the absence of the President. He served as acting President in 1993 when the National Assembly was dissolved due to confrontation between Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Nawaz Sharif.
Resignation of President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari
He himself contested for President as a P. M. L. candidate in 1993. Some of the leading political figures like former President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Balakh Sher Mazari and Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari contested the election for President. Later on, however, only two candidates were left in the race; Wasim Sajjad and Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari. The P. P. P. candidate Farooq Ahmad Khan Legahri won by 274 votes against 168 votes polled for Wasim Sajjad. After the resignation of President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari on December 2, 1997, Wasim Sajjad, as the Chairman of the Senate, once again took the charge as acting President.
President of Pakistan
His political career began in the 1980s when he was elected to the Pakistani Senate. He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs, and also held the case of the Federal Minister for Interior, under the Government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo. He moved up to Chairman of the Senate in 1988, and served his first term as President in 1993, following the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan. As acting president, Sajjad was essentially a placeholder for the office until elections were completed. He would run in the election for President, but was defeated by Farooq Leghari. In 1997, Sajjad was again made interim President and stepped down upon the election of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. Sajjad continues to serve in the Pakistani government, and is known for his conciliatory nature among parties.
Visited Several Countries
He visited several countries including U. S. A., Britain, Canada, France, West Germany, China, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand as leader of parliamentary delegation for Pakistan.
Wasim Sajjad as Chairman of Senate 24 December 1988 12 October 1999
Wasim Sajjad as Chairman of the Senate, had a reputation of being tolerant, moderate and a democrat. He did not indulge in violent language against the opposition and on various occasions tried to mediate between various political factions in the Government.
Mr. Wasim Sajjad Established the Federal Judicial Academy
As Law Minister, Mr. Wasim Sajjad established the Federal Judicial Academy in Islamabad, the purpose of which was to train Lower Court Judges, in Case Handling and Management so as to expedite the disposal of cases. The Academy has now become an important centre for this purpose.
Rejoined Sajjad Law Associates as its Head and Senior Partner
After an absence of some years on account of his responsibilities in the Federal Government, Mr. Wasim Sajjad has now rejoined Sajjad Law Associates as its Head and Senior Partner.
Overall History in Political Field
His political career began in the 1980s when he was elected to the Pakistani Senate. He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs, and also held the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Interior, under the Government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo.
He moved up to Chairman of the Senate in 1988, and served his first term as President in 1993, following the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan. as interim president, Sajjad was essentially a placeholder for the office until elections were completed. He would run in the election for President, but was defeated by Farooq Leghari. In 1997, Sajjad was again made interim President and stepped down upon the election of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar.
In 2002, Sajjad was accused of mis-use of government vehicles and phones, amounting to millions of rupees. He was ordered to pay a fine, but served no time in jail.Sajjad continues to serve in the Pakistani government.
Political career and President of Pakistan
His political career began in the 1980s when he was elected to the Pakistani Senate.
Federal Minister for Law
He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs, and also held the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Interior, under the Government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo.
Chairman of the Senate in 1988
He moved up to Chairman of the Senate in 1988,
President of Pakistan 1993
He served his first term as President in 1993, following the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan. As interim president, Sajjad was essentially a placeholder for the office until elections were completed.
Election for President December
He would run in the election for President, but was defeated by Farooq Leghari.
Interim President December 1997 to January 1998
In 1997, Sajjad was again made interim President and stepped down upon the election of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar.
Leader of the House
Leader of the House in the Senate of Pakistan from March, 2003 to March, 2008.
Member of Senate
Presently he is a Senator Tenure = March 2006 to March 2012
Member of Standing Committees
- Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Human Rights and Parliamentary Affairs.
- Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir Affairs, and Northern Areas.
- Standing Committee on Planning, Development, and Population Welfare.
- Finance Committee.