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Women performing good in NWFP judiciary

PESHAWAR – Female judges and lawyers across the NWFP, which has always been wrongly criticised for injustice with woman folk, are performing much better in judiciary and have become role model for those youngsters who are keen to play their role in providing justice to the public.

The NWFP is the first province of the country from where a female has been appointed judge of an International Court. Justice Khalida Rashid of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has been at present serving as judge of the International Court in Rwanda for about 14 months. She earlier became the first ever-female judge of the PHC when she was inducted along with the incumbent Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Javed Nawaz Gandapur, chairman of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees these days.

The fist female judge of the PHC would be the chief justice, due to her seniority, if she continued her job in the PHC.

Justice Khalida Rashid was among the five females who managed their induction into an apex court in the history of Pakistan. Four other females who served as judges of the high court in different times were Justice Fakhrunnisa and Justice Majida Rizvi of the Sindh High Court and Justice Nasira Iqbal, daughter-in-law of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and Justice Talat Yaqub of the Lahore High Court.

No lady could make her entry into the Balochistan High Court so far. At present there is no female judge in any of the four high courts after the retirement of Justice Fakhrunnisa on June 26 this year.

Even in recent past, many believed women only can perform well in some specific fields, like teaching and medicine. However, the thought has been changed now and the fair sex is actively participating in every part of life, including the toughest professions of police and judiciary.

Females are also serving in judiciary at every level in NWFP, which is wrongly being considered a province where women have been given no basic rights.

Ishad Qaisar is a fortunate lady who is serving as district and sessions judge in Charsadda. The list of female additional sessions judges, senior civil judges and civil judges in the province is too long.

The senior civil judge of the provincial capital is also a female, Munira Abbasi while Farah Jamshed and Rozina Rehman are among the senior civil judges who earned much fame for their work. 12 among the recently inducted civil judges in the NWFP through the Public Service Commission were also females, while the number of women was eight when 38 civil judges were appointed through the high court last year.

Peshawar, Nowshera, Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra are considered comparatively better stations to work for females. That is why the ratio of females in these stations always remained higher.

Last year five of the total ten civil judges stationed at Abbottabad were females. In the recent postings and transfers three females, Hussan Bano, Mahjabeen and Abida Sajjad have been posted as civil judges in Peshawar, while Saima Irshad, Hina Mehwish and Javeria Sartaj were transferred and posted in Nowshera.

More female judges were already working on both these stations. Similarly Wadia Mushtaq and Lubna Zaman were posted at Haripur and Zeba Rashid and Aysha Babar were appointed as civil judges in Mansehra.

Phool Bibi was one of the two females who have been posted as civil judge/Ilaqa Qazi in Swat, a station where very few females have been appointed so far due to strict laws of the area.

Interestingly many female judges, who have a commitment with local traditions and customs, are performing their duty while wearing a veil and they never faced any problem with it.

Among lawyers, the ratio of females is also higher as hundreds of women are practising in the Peshawar High Court as well as lower courts across the province.

One female has also served as secretary of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association, while females have also earned popularity as additional and deputy advocate generals of the province whenever they could get a posting at the prestigious post.

Source: The News

Date:8/5/2004

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