By Muhammad Luqman
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on Friday took oath as 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan in the capital, Islamabad.
The new chief justice was sworn in by President of Pakistan Arif Alvi at a ceremony, attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, services chiefs, former and serving judges of Supreme Court , Governors of four provinces, federal ministers, senior lawyers and members of civil society.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and other attendees congratulated Justice Khosa for assuming the office of Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa , born on December 21, 1954 in central Pakistan Dera Ghazi Khan district, will serve as the top most judge for almost eleven months and retire on December 20 this year.
According to the rules the senior most judge automatically stands elevated as the chief justice and is formally sworn in as such after the superannuation of the incumbent chief justice.
Asif Saeed Khan Khosa belongs to Khosa Baloch tribe.
Asif Khosa passed his matriculation in 1969 from the Multan Board, securing fifth position.
He was admitted to Government College University (Lahore) for intermediate and secured first position in the Lahore Board.
Then in 1973 he appeared for the B. A exams from Government College Lahore at Punjab University and secured first position.
He secured a National Scholarship Award as well.
He did his masters in English Language and Literature at the University of the Punjab in 1975. He was then admitted to Queens’ College, Cambridge and did his Master of Laws with specialization in Public International Law.
Later he was called to the Bar on 26 July 1979 at the Lincoln’s Inn, London.
Barrister Khosa was elevated to the Bench and appointed as Lahore High Court Judge in May 1998. When General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November 2007, suspending the Constitution and demanded the judges of the superior judiciary retake their oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), Justice Khosa like then-Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and many other senior judges, refused to retake the oath. They were suspended from their duties.
On 18 August 2008, he was restored to his prior position as High Court Justice as a result of a lawyer’s movement to restore the “deposed judges.” On February 18, 2010, Justice Khosa was elevated to the position of a Supreme Court judge.
He was among the larger bench of seven Supreme Court justices that was hearing Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s contempt of court case.
He also headed the larger bench of the Supreme Court that was hearing the “Panama Case” related to the alleged money laundering and off-shore illegal investment by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.
Justice Khosa was also part of two important cases; he headed the bench which upheld the conviction of Mumtaz Qadri in 2015 for the murder of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer and last year in October, he was part of the bench that acquitted Aasia Bibi.
On 2 January 2019, President Arif Alvi approved Khosa’s appointment as the next Chief Justice of Pakistan.