In Loving Memory of Shaigan Shareef Malik
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُون
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Shaigan Shareef Malik, former Federal Secretary (Pakistan Administrative Service BS-22), Government of Pakistan, renowned for his exceptional hard work in the field and service to the country, its citizens and its legal system.
Mr Malik pursued his O Levels from St Anthony’s High School and was a law graduate from Punjab University with a Masters degree in English Language and Literature from Government College University and a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard, Kennedy School as a Mason Fellow. He attended over a score of training courses all over the world, including the Executive Leadership Program at Harvard USA, the Program in Public Policy and Management in Developing Countries at Harvard USA, the National Security Workshop of the National Defence University Pakistan, the Anti Terrorism Assistance Program of the US Government, the training on Development Administration and Functioning of EU Institutions at the Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria (ICU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Italy, and various workshops on law enforcement, governance and human rights across Europe, South Asia and Asia Pacific.
After his retirement, he served in the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and successfully completed the restructuring and reorganization of its systems for recruiting civil servants on a merit basis and in a transparent manner. His contribution has been acknowledged and rewarded by the government and the Commission. Prior to his illness, he worked with the PPSC as an independent consultant on legal and management affairs.
Mr Malik was a career civil servant belonging to the Administrative Service of Pakistan (PAS) to which he dedicated over 3 decades of his life. During this period, he held various command, staff and instructional positions in a number of cities. His service involved policy implementation responsibilities during the first 10 years and policy making positions in the last 10 years. He successfully discharged all of his obligations and rose to the highest position within the bureaucracy.
He displayed exceptional skill in legislative drafting and proposing legislative measures on significant issues like terrorism, local government, police laws and human rights laws pertaining to minorities, women and the child. He drafted the Anti-Terrorism Act, Ehtesab Ordinance, Police Order, Local Government Act, Public Prosecution Act, the law for establishing the National Commission on the Status of Women and the National Commission on the Rights of the Child, and marriage and divorce laws for Christians and Hindus. He also drafted consequential legislation required to implement the Convention Against Torture. He played an instrumental role in the Devolution Plan which resulted in the drafting of the Local Government law in 2001, Police Order in 2002 and Constitutional Amendments in the same year, where another prominent contribution was the provision of a reserved quota for women in all elected bodies at the federal, provincial and local levels.
As the first Secretary of the Public Prosecution Department in the Asian region, he established the first independent Public Prosecution Department, Government of the Punjab, in 2006 at Lahore, and managed resources for the department, drafted rules and regulations for the functions and duties of public prosecutors, recruited over a thousand prosecutors for trial and appellate levels, and ran the department successfully for 5 years. The department is still running successfully and the conviction rate has improved over the years.
Mr Malik was well versed in the criminal justice system and as Special Secretary, Home Department in the province and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior at the federal level, he was responsible for improving the working of the police and other law enforcing agencies and took many measures for reform in these agencies.
As Federal Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights, Government of Pakistan, he drafted and had the honour to present Pakistan’s reports on human rights conventions, including the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Report before a 130 Member State Committee at the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, on International Women’s Day 2013 in New York. He was also instrumental in initiating and implementing a number of projects to address human trafficking and violence against children (through SAIEVAC, a body of SAARC).
Other than his legal forte, he undertook a number of development projects during his career, the most outstanding of which was the first treatment plant at Kasur for treating the pollutants of leather tanneries in 1995 against heavy odds. The plant has been running successfully and has addressed the issue of cancer caused by pollutants that had been affecting the inhabitants of the area through contamination of the subsoil water.
During his career, he also acted as a Revenue Collector and settled thousands of disputes pertaining to agricultural lands, between individuals, and between individuals and the state.
Malik trained many civil servants at the Civil Services Academy and was frequently invited to teach at various leading universities and colleges. His passion for reading and legal knowledge earned him the nicknames of “professor” and “legal eagle” by his peers. He was known for maintaining one of the largest private collections of law books in the country and also had a rare collection of National Assembly Debates on the Making of the Constitution and the Transfer of Power (1942-47) which he had himself collected, compiled and archived. He would recommend watching movies like 12 Angry Men and Gideon’s Trumpet to all law students.
Mr Malik always stood up for the rights of the vulnerable, even at the risk of jeopardizing his job and position. The superior judiciary of Pakistan has acknowledged his decisions in legal and administrative measures, while both Houses of Parliament i.e. the National Assembly and Senate have applauded and acknowledged his contributions to various Legislative Committees in both Houses.
His career highlights and professional achievements are all available online and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaigan-shareef-malik-8b448678/
He has been an effective leader, an amiable team player and a committed civil servant throughout his career and is respected by his peers, superiors and subordinates alike:
Khawaja Harris, Advocate Supreme Court:
“Kindly accept my deepest condolences on the very sad and, in my worldly perception, untimely demise of our mutually beloved Shaigan Shareef. He was a man of exceptional talent, a doting father, a dutiful husband, a committed family man, a true friend, and excellent company, forever sharpening one’s wits, and keeping everybody on their toes because of his uniquely incisive analytical mind and his ability to see things from a totally new and innovative perception; a great conversationalist, and a man with a proclivity for cutting logic and razor edge ratiocination, coupled with the most endearing persona exuding love, affection and warmth.
He was a great friend, nay more than a brother, to me. His incisive mind and flair for the extraordinary, and the ability to think through things from a perspective totally different from what we ordinary mortals were prone to do, made him an outstanding individual, both in his everyday pursuits with friends and family, and in his work as a civil servant. He was the real McCoy, the authentic man who led an authentic life and inspired us all to do so too.
Shaigan will be sorely missed in this ephemeral world, but his spirit shall always live on, as well as all the good and the love and empathy towards others that he practised and stood for. He may have left this ephemeral world, but the joy and thrill he gave us all, his friends, his family members, his acquaintances, as much as those closest to his heart, will live on forever, as would, I’m sure, the extraordinary library of rare and choicest books that he built over time. Hold on to his legacy, for it is far too rich and instructive, and full of love, warmth and energy, to be taken lightly or readily ignored.
May Allah rest his soul in peace, may He make his sojourn easy and comfortable in the Alam e Barzakh, and may He raise his stations in the Hereafter, and consider him amongst His chosen ones, and reserve for him the highest place in jannat. May He also give you and all the family members, and those who are near and dear and closest to him, the strength and patience to bear this irreplaceable ephemeral loss with courage, fortitude and equanimity: aameen, summ aameen.
I’m always going to remember your father, my friend and brother, in my prayers, and on all occasions involving innovative thought, impeccable logic and passionate ratiocination. His physical presence may no longer be there in this transient world, but his soul and spirit, and his clarion call to all and sundry to question the seemingly given and the presumably obvious, as much as to know and understand the twain, will live on forever.”
Lt. Gen. Sajjad Akram (R):
“Shaigan Shareef Malik, my brother/colleague, passed away at 0320 hrs on Sunday, 29 November, 2020. Surely we belong to ALLAH SWT and to Him shall we return.
It’s difficult to reconcile with a very painful reality. We have lost a thorough gentleman, an intellectual, a great professional, a visionary, an affectionate friend, a beautiful human being with a golden heart!
During the funeral when so much good was being said about him by all and sundry, believe you me, I learnt so much more about him from the spontaneity of their feelings and the unbounded love and affection that poured out of their hearts! I learnt the true greatness of this pious soul, our loving friend/brother, who is no more, and yet will forever be amongst us.
It is a personal loss for me as he had a very special place and respect in my heart from day one of our association which started back in September 2017, when I was posted as Chairman PPSC where he was already serving as a Member. It was both a privilege and an honour to have worked alongside him. A very noble and well meaning person, a loving character, always displaying an “attitude of gratitude”, a no-nonsense person who would take the bull by the horns and call a spade a spade regardless.
He manifested and applied the motto “Duty, Honour and Country” in its truest sense. He was a gentleman of striking demeanour who was authentic in his integrity, deep in intellect and unfailing in his moral probity. He touched, inspired and moved all of us who were associated with him to better realms, be it in our personal friendships or professional goals. That, I reckon, was his true leadership.
A great and noble soul leaves such a remarkable trace in the world that it will continue to live in the hearts and minds of many people even after his death. A kind and compassionate person leaves behind a heritage that never really disappears – Shaigan Shareef Malik was one such man. He was an embodiment of human being par excellence.
The lesson that he leaves behind for us is to be happy regardless of one’s stock in life. Learn to look at all the good in the world and give some of it back because you believe in it passionately. Cherish the little things in life that are sometimes left in the dust of our frenetic schedules. Without the inner satisfaction that comes with them, our accomplishments will be nothing more than the stuff of resumes. And resumes are cold comfort on a winter night.
Shaigan, you will be dearly missed and fondly remembered. You will always be missed for your love, sincerity, humility, piety, selflessness, friendship, compassion and your vibrancy. And not to miss your burning desire to take any institution to the top.
May your soul rest in eternal peace and may ALLAH SWT provide you an exalted place in Jannat ul Firdous and grant sabr to us and your beautiful family to bear this irreparable loss. Ameen.”
Barrister Rafey Altaf:
“Very deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Shaigan Shareef Malik. My heart goes out to his family and I pray that the Almighty gives them the strength to bear this loss. To me personally, though senior in years, he was always a dear dear friend and he considered and treated me as such. I had the pleasure of working with him closely during his time in the Ministry of Education and later in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights. One of the last of the old guard of public servants, a person of integrity who served his country diligently, honestly and held himself to the highest standards of public service and someone who believed that his position was one of service to the people and not a position of power over them. Our country owes a debt of gratitude to him and others like him for the nation has benefited from their service provided at great personal cost. A salute to a true son of the soil, we are poorer for having lost him. Goodbye sir, may Allah bless your soul, may He forgive your sins and may your soul find peace in the hereafter.”
ex-Senator Farhatullah Babar:
“Deeply grieved to learn about the passing away of your illustrious father Shaigan Shareef Malik. The sad news had great personal significance for me. I learnt a lot from him during our interactions in the Senate Committee on Human Rights, he was then Secretary of the Human Rights Ministry and I was a member of the Senate Committee. His forthrightness and commitment to uphold human rights despite limitations imposed by government service was highly commendable. Thereafter we were also in contact even though occasionally. The last time I interacted with him was sometime back when he was in Lahore, I recall meeting his daughter at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s office.
When the Senate committee took up the issue of misuse of religion based laws, Shaigan Shareef Malik was very supportive of our view that something needed to be done to prevent the misuse. He gave me copies of some reports on the review of criminal laws relating to offences against religion and suggestions for their revision. These painstakingly prepared reports containing case laws and relevant statutes and documents came in very handy in taking the conversation forward. People like me will not only remember but also feel indebted to your father for trying to illuminate the path when we were groping in the darkness.
May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and may Allah also grant you and all bereaved sabr e Jameel. It is a transient and unsubstantial world and everyone who comes into it must one day depart it also. So did your illustrious father. No words and no metaphor and diction is powerful enough to extricate you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming as the passing away of one’s father. But I cannot refrain from offering to you some consolation that may be found in the expression of our faith that when one’s time is up and the Call comes, every soul must leave this world'
Shaigan Shareef Malik, son of Advocate Muhammad Shareef Khan Malik and Ameer Begum, was 67 years of age and died of cancer. He was the younger brother of senior Advocate Tughra Zeenat (torts and women’s rights lawyer), younger brother of Dr Danishwar Malik (senior Advocate Supreme Court and former Prosecutor General of NAB), younger brother of Professor Painda Malik, and brother-in-law of Khawaja Zaheer Ahmed (former Federal Secretary and former Special Assistant to Prime Minister).
Shaigan was the husband of Nabeela Shaigan (partner of 35 years) and father of Anoosha Shaigan (international human rights and technology lawyer), Zoraez Khan (late), Mohammad Hassan Shaigan (corporate lawyer and civil litigator) and Natasha Shaigan (art student).
Kindly pray for the dearly departed soul and remember him in your prayers.