KARACHI: Legal luminary Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada breathed his last here on Friday morning after a protracted illness at the age of 94.

Born on June 12, 1923 in Burhanpur, British India, in what is today Madhya Pradesh, to parents Mir Niazi Pirzada and his wife, Fatima. His father was a noted barrister as well, serving in the Indian Civil Service at the time and posted in the state.

Pirzada started his political career by working for Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah as an assistant in Bombay in 1941 and it was at Jinnah's behest that he chose the legal profession before moving to the newly created Pakistan.

Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, NI, Barrister-at-Law (Lincoln''s Inn) and a graduate in Law from Bombay University (British India) in 1945, Senior advocate Supreme Court, is widely regarded as Pakistan’s leading jurist and constitutional expert with an iconic status. He is also considered an authority on the Pakistan independence movement.

He was the longest serving Attorney General of Pakistan. He remained AGP from 1968-1971 and 1977-1985 respectively. He also served as Foreign Minister under Ayub Khan and Attorney General under Yahya Khan and Gen Zia-ul- Haq regime.

The veteran jurist, who was recently the counsel for former president General (Rtd) Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case against him, was considered the top constitutional expert of the country owing to his experience stretched over a span of over five decades.

He served as Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference 1985-1988 and was a member of Committee of Eminent Jurists to review the OIC Charter 2007. For his best performance in the legal field with honesty and dedication, he was awarded Nishan-i-Imtiaz in 1998.

Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada had served on a variety of senior government posts during the military regimes in his long career. Until recently (March 2008) served as Honorary Senior adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign affairs, Law, Justice and Human Rights with the status of Senior Federal Minister.

Mr Pirzada has published several books on the Pakistan movement and aspects of constitutional law in Pakistan.

After the news of senior lawyer’s demise, the Sindh High Court decided to discharge all the boards. Important cases in the high court will be heard inside the judges’ chambers. All leading proceedings were temporarily suspended in the Sindh High Court after the news of his death.