LUMS alumna, Hadiya Aziz, BA-LL.B 2011, continues to make her alma mater proud. She has recently been awarded the Chevening Scholarship – a selective and prestigious scholarship that is part of the UK government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders. The Scholarship supports the recipient’s Master’s degree at any UK university. Ms. Aziz also has the additional distinction of being awarded the Asma Jahangir Scholarship 2019 by the British High Commission. This scholarship honours the legacy of the late human rights champion, Asma Jahangir, and is awarded to the top-ranking female Chevening scholar of the year.
Commenting on her accomplishments, Ms. Aziz said, “When I found out I was awarded this scholarship, I felt overwhelmed and also very grateful. For me, Asma Jahangir was, and will always remain, an icon, mentor and legend in the legal profession. She inspired so much passion and courage in me whenever I would hear her arguing before the Islamabad High Court. It was quite a proud and defining moment in my life.”
After graduating from LUMS, Ms. Aziz trained for three years in litigation, and then went on to establish her own legal practice. During her vibrant legal career, she handled constitutional, civil, commercial and family matters and worked as a State Counsel and criminal prosecutor at the Islamabad High Court, while also running her independent practice.
After eight years in the litigation field, Ms. Aziz decided to further pursue her education goals. With the Chevening Scholarship, she will be pursuing an LL.M degree in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Sussex. Talking about her decision to pursue this degree she said, “I felt that a specialised LL.M degree is essential for strengthening my core concepts and a deep understanding of the jurisprudence underlying a criminal justice system.”
To this day, Ms. Aziz credits LUMS as the basis of her success. “The five years that I spent at LUMS completing my BA-LL.B. helped form the basic foundation that was the underlying structure of all my subsequent accomplishments in life,” she said. “The LUMS experience did not only prepare me academically but also groomed me as a person in all spheres of life. Being a LUMS graduate was my first identity that I carried with me while stepping out in the professional world. I believe that LUMS instilled in me a strength of character, willpower and vision which helped shape all my future endeavours,” she added.
After completing her Master’s degree, Ms. Aziz plans to return to Pakistan to resume her career as a litigation lawyer. She aims to be an influential legal expert in order to revamp the prosecution system of Pakistan. She is also passionate about reforms of the criminal justice system of Pakistan and believes that a fair, efficient and transparent investigation system is the basic requirement for any criminal justice system to work.
Ms. Aziz continues to set high ambitions for herself. Talking about her future endeavours, she said, “While I may have achieved many milestones that I set out for myself, I believe that true accomplishment is when you can secure justice for any victim of crime and for the vulnerable members of society, especially children and the low-income groups in the community. Whenever I secure justice for any such person, I believe that to be a true accomplishment.”