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Wasim Sajjad is a Pakistani lawyer as well as a legal educator. He was declared as Chairman Senate of Pakistan for the fourth sequential term on 21st March 1997. Previously, he had been constantly holding this office since 24th December, 1988 to 20th March, 1997. He also functioned as a President of Pakistan from 19th July, 1993 to 13th November, 1993 and again from 2nd December, 1997 to 1st January, 1998. Presently, he is a member of PML-Q as well as the Leader of the Opposition in Senate of Pakistan.
Wasim Sajjad was born on March 30, 1941 in the village Jalandhar of the Punjab province. He was the son of late Mr. Justice Sajjad Ahmed Jan who served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and later as the Chief Election Commissioner. He spent his early childhood in his native village Jalandhar.
Wasim Sajjad spent his childhood days at Army Burn Hall College which is situated at Abbottabad. He completed his O and A Levels from Army Burn Hall College. The complete detail of his academic career is given below.
- He was graduated from the Punjab University Lahore in 1961while obtaining 1st Class with Honours in English.
- He stood first in F.E.L. and LL.B. Examinations of the Punjab University which were held in 1962 and 1963 respectively, winning Gold Medals.
- He stood first in Jurisprudence in the F.E.L. Examination of the Punjab University held in 1962 awarded Gold Medal.
- He also stood first in M.A. (Political Science) Examination of the Punjab University held in 1964 and was awarded Gold Medal.
- He was additionally awarded three Gold Medals for Public speaking during University career.
- He won the Ruchi Ram Sahni Declamation Prize from the Punjab University.
- He also won the Krishan Kishore Grover Declamation Prize of the Punjab University.
- He was placed on the Roll of Honour of University Law College, Lahore, in 1963 for outstanding performance as debater, sportsman and student.
- He was also selected RHODES Scholar from Pakistan for studies at Oxford University in 1964.
- He secured Honours in Jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1966 and the degree of B.C.L. (Bachelor of Civil Laws) from Oxford University in 1967.
- He became Barrister-at-Law from the Inner Temple London.
- He also remained President, Oxford University Islamic Society – 1966 as well as President, Oxford University Pakistan Society — 1965 to 1966, and President, Oxford University Birkenhead Society — 1965 to 1967.
- He became Secretary, Wadham College Oxford (Junior Common Room) — 1966.
- He was elected Honorary Fellow Wadham College Oxford.
Political career and President of Pakistan
His political career began in the 1980s when he was elected to the Pakistani Senate. He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs, and also held the case of the Federal Minister for Interior, under the Government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo. He moved up to Chairman of the Senate in 1988, and served his first term as President in 1993, following the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan. As acting president, Sajjad was essentially a placeholder for the office until elections were completed. He would run in the election for President, but was defeated by Farooq Leghari. In 1997, Sajjad was again made interim President and stepped down upon the election of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. Sajjad continues to serve in the Pakistani government, and is known for his conciliatory nature among parties.
In 2002, Sajjad was blamed of misuse of government vehicles and phones, amounting to millions of rupees. He was ordered to pay a fine, but served no time in jail.