The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province will achieve a significant milestone with the appointment of its first woman Chief Justice.
This opportunity arises as two senior Peshawar High Court (PHC) justices prepare to retire this week: Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid on 30 March and Senior Puisne Judge Roohul Amin Khan on 31 March.
Upon their departure, Justice Musarrat Hilali will become PHC’s senior-most judge and will be designated as the first female PHC chief justice till her retirement on 7 August.
It is worth noting that Justice Hilali has a distinguished legal career, having served as the first female elected office bearer, Additional Advocate General, Chairperson of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Tribunal, and Ombudsman for Protection Against Harassment of Women in the Workplace.
Justice Hilali was promoted to the bench as an Additional Judge in 2013, and she was confirmed as a Permanent Judge of the PHC in 2014.
Curiously, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial has yet to convene a meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) to discuss the nomination of the next PHC Chief Justice. As a result, Justice Musarrat is expected to be appointed as an acting Chief Justice first, and then nominated as a permanent PHC Chief Justice.