Justice Muhammad Rafiq Tarar English IPA is a retired associate judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and senior jurist who served as the ninth President of Pakistan from January 1, 1998 until voluntarily resigning from the presidency in the favor of General Pervez Musharraf on June 20, 2001.
A professional legislator and jurist, Tarar was a prominent activist for the Pakistan Movement, performing voluntary duty as a relief worker in camps set up by Liaquat Ali Khan for refugees, migrating from India to Pakistan.Educated and graduated from the Punjab University’s law college, Tarar elevated as 28th Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, appointed and nominated by Benazir Bhutto in 1989, and was a senior associate judge at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, subsequently retiring from the judicial authority in March 1997. Following the resignation of Farooq Leghari, Tarar was nominated as the presidential candidate by the prime minister Nawaz Sharif due to his lack of interest in national politics, and wide interests in enhancing the constitutional democracy in the country.
President Tarar was merely a constitutional and ceremonial figure, while the executive powers laid under the control of Prime minister. Tarar is the only president to have come from the judiciary of Pakistan and has also the distinction of having secured an all-time high number of votes from an electoral college, consisting of a total votes of Pakistan Parliament and the four Provincial Legislatures, making him the only president who received overwhelming support from the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.President Tarar was upset by the military coup d’état to remove the elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif.He voluntarily resigned from the presidency in favor of General Pervez Musharraf on June 20, 2001
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar (born November 2, 1929) was President of Pakistan from January 1, 1998 until June 20, 2001. During Pakistan’s independence in 1947, Rafiq Tarar performed voluntary duty as a relief worker in camps set up by Muslim Students Federation for refugees, migrating from India to Pakistan.
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar graduated from the Islamia College in Gujranwala, in 1949. In 1951, Mr. Tarar secured his Law Degree from Law College, Lahore. During the same year he was enrolled as a Pleader. He also was enrolled as an Advocate in the Lahore High Court during October 1955. After graduating, he established a practice in Gujranwala before rising to the position of Additional District and Session Judge and later District and Session Judge.In 1971 he became Chairman of the Punjab Labor Court. He was alleviated as a judge of Lahore High Court in October 1974 and later became the Chief Justice of the same court in 1989. Earlier, during his days as Judge of the Lahore High Court, he also served as member of the Pakistan Election Commission. Justice Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court in January 1991, from which he retired in November 1994 on attaining the age of 65 years.
He was brought out of his retirement by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and afterwords he was elected as member of the Senate in 1997 on the PML(N) Party ticket.Later in the same year he was elected as the President of Pakistan on December 31, 1997with record number of votes..
He has three sons and a daughter. He also has nine grand children.
In 1951, he enrolled as a Pleader. He also enrolled as an Advocate in the Lahore High Court during October 1955. After graduating, he established a practice in Gujranwala before rising to the position of Additional District and Session Judge and later District and Session Judge. In 1971 he became Chairman of the Punjab Labor Court. He was elevated as a judge of Lahore High Court in October 1974 and later became the Chief Justice of the same court in 1989. Earlier, during his days as Judge of the Lahore High Court, he also served as a member of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Justice Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court in January 1991, from which he retired in November 1994 on attaining the age of 65 years.
President of Pakistan
On 1 January 1998, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar took the oath of office as the ninth President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was born on 2 November 1929 in the village of Pir Kot in District Gujranwala near Lahore. After graduating from Islamia College, Gujranwala in 1949, Mr. Tarar secured his law degree from the University Law College, Lahore in 1951. The same year he was enrolled as a pleader. In October 1955, he was enrolled as an advocate in the Lahore High Court. Mr Tarar started his career as a judge when, in October 1966, he was appointed Additional District and Sessions Judge from the Bar. Before his election as President, he was a Senator elected un-opposed on the Pakistan Muslim League ticket in March 1997.
He is noted for his legal scholarship, honesty and devotion to justice. Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was born on November 2, 1929, in a small village Pir Kot, Ghakkar Mandi, Wazirabad Tehsil. He had his schooling in Ghakkar Mandi, from where he completed his primary eduction and did his matriculation in 1945 from Government Islamia High School, Gujranwala. In 1947, he passed FSc. from Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Gujranwala, which was renamed as Islamic College after independence and graduated from the same college. Rafiq Tarar got his law degree from Punjab University Law College in 1951 and started his legal practice in Gujranwala. In October 1966, he was appointed as Additional Sessions Judge and served in the same capacity in Bahawalnagar and Sargodha. He was elevated to the Lahore High Court in 1974, and served as a member of the Election Commission of Pakistan from 1980, until his elevation as Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court on December 13, 1989. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in January 1991, and was part of the 11-member bench, which restored Nawaz government in May 1993. He was also a member of the three-member inquiry commission headed by Justice Shafiur Rehman set up to probe the death of COAS Gen. Asif Nawaz. He retired in October 1994, and was elected as a senator on PML ticket in March 1997. Though, he is becoming president after only 10 months in active politics, he brings with him a rich experience of 31 years of public service. Tarar is noted for his legal scholarship, his honesty and devotion to justice, which is infused by a firm personal religious faith. Hailing from a relatively humble background, he will be the first elected president to have made it to the top.
He was brought out of retirement by President Nawaz Sharif and afterwards elected as member of the Senate in 1997 on the PML(N) Party ticket.Later that year he was elected as the President of Pakistan on December 31, 1997 with a record number of votes.
During his presidency, Tarar was mostly a figurehead. The Presidency of Pakistan’s powers had been slowly removed over the years, culminating in the 1997 Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan which removed virtually all remaining reserve powers, making the office almost entirely symbolic in nature as per the true spirit of the Pakistani constitution.
Tarar was not removed from office when Pervez Musharraf seized control of the Pakistani government in 1999. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was deposed, Tarar chose to remain in office until 2001,at which point Musharraf assumed the presidency.
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar Pictures