Renowned Lawyer SM Zafar Passes Away

Condolences pour in from President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and the legal fraternity

Renowned Lawyer SM Zafar Passes Away

Renowned lawyer, legal expert and former federal minister Syed Muhammad (SM) Zafar passed away on Thursday after a protracted illness, his family said. He was 92 years old.

SM Zafar was born in Rangoon, Burma, in 1930. 

He served as the law minister in President Field Marshal Ayub Khan's government when the 1965 war broke out between Pakistan and India. He was just 35 years old then.

Towards the end of hostilities in the war, it was SM Zafar who linked a resolution for a ceasefire with India to the resolution of the Kashmir issue in the United Nations Security Council. At the moment, he had addressed the UN Human Rights Council as well.

During his long career, SM Zafar was involved in key legal cases, whether locally or internationally. 

He served two terms in the Senate, from 2003 to 2012.

Apart from being a senior lawyer and legal expert, SM Zafar has authored several books and regularly wrote for national and international publications.

He was also associated with the academia, serving as the chancellor of Hamdard University from 2004 to 2012.

In 2011, President Asif Ali Zardari awarded him the civil award Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 2011. 

SM Zafar was the father of Senator Ali Zafar.


As news of his passing spread, condolences poured in from the legal fraternity and elsewhere.

President Arif Alvi, in a message posted on the social media website 'X' (formerly Twitter), offered his condolences to "friend and lawyer Senator Ali Zafar and his family" over the demise of Dr SM Zafar.

Alvi termed SM Zafar an "outstanding constitutionalist author and brilliant advocate."

"When I finished reading his book 'Democracy and Islam in History' that he had graciously sent to me, I had recently sent a message to him on his excellent treatise."

Similarly, Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar expressed shock and grief at SM Zafar's passing. He termed SM Zafar as an expert on legal matters and an encyclopedia on affairs of law and justice. 

He added that today, Pakistan had lost a prominent legal expert and his services to Pakistan will always be remembered.

Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi on Thursday expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise of renowned lawyer and intellectual S.M. Zafar. In his condolence message, the minister expressed condolences to the bereaved family and prayed to the Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace. Solangi said the news of the demise of S.M. Zafar had saddened him as he was not only a distinguished lawyer but also a humble person.