LONDON: Britain’s first-ever Pakistani-origin and Muslim Queen’s Counsel (QC) Barrister Sibghat Kadri passed away after battling cancer for more than two years.
Barrister Rashid Ahmed, who was trained at Kadri QC’s chambers and worked alongside Kadri in numerous leading cases, confirmed that Sibghatullah Kadri, QC, has passed away. He said that Sibghatullah Kadri had been suffering from cancer, lung and heart diseases besides age-related medical conditions.
He has left behind his wife Carita Kadri, son Sadakat Kadri, daughter Maria Kadri and two grandchildren. Expressing his profound grief over the demise of Sibghat Kadri, Barrister Rashid Ahmed said, “He was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, a father figure and a legend not just to myself but to a whole generation of lawyers.”
“He trained hundreds of lawyers from disadvantaged backgrounds who are today known as law experts in their areas. His contribution to the ethnic minorities in Britain was immense. He campaigned against racism, injustice and inequality when there were only voices. Without his efforts, ethnic minorities in the UK would not have the same human rights as they have today. He has left a void which will never be filled,” Ahmed added.
Sibghatullah Kadri QC started his career as a student leader in Karachi, working against Ziaul Haq’s martial law and went on to become a leading civil rights lawyer and an authority on immigration laws and race relations in Britain.
Sibghat Kadri QC, the former Chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, was called to the Bar in 1969. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989 and also a Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
He was elected General Secretary of Karachi Students Union and was arrested for opposing martial law in Pakistan and languished in prison for seven months for opposing Zia’s regime. After coming to the UK to train as a lawyer, Kadri came to the forefront of the struggle against racial discrimination both in the legal education in the profession at the Bar.
Barrister Sibghat Kadri was a permanent participant of Daily Jang’s forums for British Pakistani communities and regularly took part in debates Geo TV organized in the UK on race relations, immigration and community issues until a few years ago.
He remained active throughout in Pakistani political and legal affairs and was Chairman of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in Pakistan. Mr Kadri was the Lawyer of the Month in September 2007 and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society of Asian Lawyers in 2008. He was a leading authority on Sharia law.
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