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Pakistan's first female Supreme Court judge is sworn in

Justice Ayesha Malik’s appointment was approved this year after initially being turned down last year.
Pakistan appoints first female Supreme Court judge in Islamabad
Justice Ayesha Malik, right, was sworn in on Monday by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed at the Supreme Court in Islamabad.Reuters

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan appointed its first female Supreme Court judge on Monday, after a nomination process that proved unusually contentious.

Justice Ayesha Malik, 55, had been selected by a commission that decides on the promotion of judges. As is typical for Supreme Court judges, she was sworn in on live TV, with her oath administered by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad.

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“I congratulate Justice Ayesha Malik for becoming the first female judge of the Supreme Court,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter. “She has my prayers and good wishes.”

The nine-member body that confirmed her appointment had initially turned down her elevation last year, before voting 5-4 to approve her this year.

Some lawyers’ groups criticized the choice, arguing that she was picked despite not being among the top three most senior judges of the lower court from which she was elevated. They have called for objective criteria for the promotion of judges.