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HAIDER SYED IQBAL (1946

HAIDER, SYED IQBAL (1946- ) Born in Agra, India, Iqbal Haider migrated to Karachi, Pakistan, after the partition of British India and the emergence of Pakistan He entered Punjab University Law College, in Lahore, in 1964 and became active in student politics He was present at the meeting in Lahore’s YMCA hall in 1966 when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto made the first public statement against the Tashkent Declaration He went to London’s Lincoln’s Inn to study law It was during his stay in London that he developed a close relationship with the Bhutto family Iqbal Haider returned to Pakistan in 1971 and began to practice law in Karachi Although given a ticket by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), he lost from Korangi district in Karachi in the National Assembly elections of 1977 and 1988 It was during this period that he turned his attention to another area of interest-human rights In 1985, he joined with Asma Jehangir and other human-rights activists to establish the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider’s loyal service to the PPP was rewarded in 1991 when Benazir Bhutto, the party’s chairperson, gave him the ticket to contest for a safe seat in the Senate



He won the seat and was brought into the cabinet by Prime Minister Bhutto as law minister in 1993 He resigned from the cabinet in December 1994 over differences with the prime minister concerning her approach toward governance He was back in the cabinet in September 1995, however, as minister in charge of human rights, a new ministry created as a result of the recommendations made to the prime minister by a commission headed by him In October 1996, the prime minister appointed him attorney general as the controversy concerning her government’s reluctance to implement the Supreme Court decision in the judges’ case increased Benazir Bhutto was dismissed by President Farooq Leghari a month later, and Iqbal Haider went back to Karachi to resume his law practice In 1997, his term in the Senate was renewed by Bhutto, who retained a safe PPP seat for him Iqbal Haider continued to agitate for human rights, in particular, the rights of women In May 2005, he was arrested briefly in Lahore along with Asma Jehangir when he was about to lead a procession protesting the government’s action, under the pressure of Islamists, to ban the participation of women in public sporting events

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