KARACHI: Sindh governor and former chief justice of Pakistan Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui passed away at a local hospital at the age of 79 on Wednesday evening.
Siddiqui was sworn in as governor on November 11 after removal of Dr Ishtratul Ebad Khan. The Governor House spokesman confirmed the death of Governor Sindh Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui as he had been hospitalised earlier today.
Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani will serve as acting governor of Sindh until the appointment of the new governor. Siddiqui, as retired chief justice of Pakistan, was sworn in as the 31st Governor of Sindh in November 2016, just days after the federal government decided to end the 14-year tenure of former Sindh governor Ishratul Ibad.
Siddiqui had been hospitalised soon after his appointment due to a chest infection and breathing problems. He was discharged from hospital over a month later after an improvement in his health. Siddiqui was born in Lucknow on Dec 1, 1938 and his family migrated to what was then East Pakistan.
He acquired his early education from Dhaka and then moved to Karachi, then capital of Pakistan. He received admission at Karachi University from where he graduated and then studied law. He enrolled as an advocate of the high court and then the apex court in 1963 and 1968, respectively. Siddiqui also contested bar elections and held various positions until he was appointed a judge of the Sindh High Court in May 1980.
He was appointed chief justice of the Sindh High Court after 10 years and in May 1992 elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court. His tenure as the 15th chief justice of Pakistan began on July 1, 1999, and ended on Jan 26, 2000. Siddiqui was the chief justice of Pakistan during the 1999 military coup by General Pervez Musharraf and refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). Siddiqui was also among aspiring candidates for the post of president in 2003 and 2008.
According to his family he will be buried at Gizri Graveyard on Friday. Siddiqui was the third officiating governor who died after Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah as first governor general of Pakistan and Salman Taseer governor of Punjab.