Shahid Batalvi Speaks

with apology to Black Elk for he speaks first

Ijaz Husain Batalvi (1923 – 2004)

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Republished from: Daily Times, March 10, 2004
By: Abid Butt

LAHORE: Ijaz Husain Batalvi, one of the subcontinent’s most eminent jurists, died here on Sunday from cancer. He was 81 years old.

Born in 1923 in Punjab’s Batala, Mr Batalvi was the youngest of six brothers. Mr Batalvi’s father, Khan Ghulam Akbar Khan, was a jail warden at Lahore. After taking his bar exam from Lincoln’s Inn, Mr Batalvi returned to Pakistan in 1953. His BBC Radio broadcasts during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war made him the voice of a nation.
The wit and intellectual prowess of Mr Batalvi, a polyglot and writer, was universally acknowledged. He made friends with intellectual giants, poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ezra Pound and authors Patras Bokhari and Henry Miller. British actor David Niven and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were both among his intimates. But it was former premier Huseyn Shaheed Suherwardy who “inspired” him, he had said.
Like Abdul Hayee, Jaganath Agarwal, Bhagat Rampuri and M. Anwar, Mr. Batalvi was counted among the legal greats of the subcontinent. Mr Batalvi was one of the prosecutors arguing the case in 1977 against the then prime minister and his former peer from Lincoln’s Inn, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. After the coup that brought Gen Pervez Musharraf to power, Mr Batalvi represented his former student, the jailed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against charges of murder and treason.
Some of his other most famous cases include the Rashmi Rumal case of Allama Almashraqi, the Grenada Gardezi case and the Attock Conspiracy case.
Mr Batalvi is survived by his wife and two sons Salman, who runs an advertising company here, and Shahid, who is an engineer working in the US. Mr Batalvi was laid to rest Tuesday. His memorial service is being held today at 83-F Model Town at 4.00pm.

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Written by Shahid Batalvi

July 15, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Personal

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