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London based Kashmiri Judge Honoured

Murtaza Shibli

London, November 21, 2007:

Former Kashmir Ranji Trophy player and now Senior Immigration Judge at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London, Khurshid Hassan Drabu, was awarded Life Time Achievement Award by the Association of Muslim Lawyers.

The association awarded the judge at its 12th Annual Conference held at the Law Society on November 17.

Drabu was awarded for his illustrious services he has rendered to the British Muslim community over the last three decades.

The award was made by the President of the Law Society Andrew Holroyd OBE at a packed gathering of lawyers.

The award named after the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was presented to Drabu by Andrew Holroyd OBE, the president of Law Society.

Judge Drabu beat Dame Helena Kennedy QC and Ajmalul Hussain QC in open voting system.

The other award winners for 2007 were Imran Khan, human rights lawyer, Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, female lawyer and Saira Shabir Shah, young lawyer.

The previous receipients of the award are Michael Mansfield QC, a criminal lawyer of the United Kingdom.

Drabu is known for his role in furthering and advocating for the interest of the British Muslims.

He is one of the founders of the British Muslim Council, the leading British Muslim organisations.

Since 2002 he has been an Honorary Advisor to the British Ministry of Defence on Islamic Affairs.

His work and persuasion helped the MOD to appoint the first Muslim to its Chaplaincy Service in 2005.

A widely known Muslim figure in the United Kingdom, Drabu has been described as "the leading authority on UK immigration law" and "one of the most respected Muslims in the UK".

In 2006 he was included in the Muslim Power 100, a list of most influential Muslims in the UK.

In 2007 he was chosen for Alija Izbetgovic award for Good Citizenship. Born and raised in Srinagar, Kashmir, Khurshid Drabu came to the UK in 1971 to study to become a Barrister, having secured first position in LLB and a gold medal at the Aligarh Muslim University, India in 1969.

He was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 1977.

He has previously been associated with the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination as well as helping victims of the violence in Indian administered Kashmir.

He played first class cricket between 1962 to 1969 for the Ranji Trophy Team of Indian administered Kashmir.

(Murtaza Shibli is a London based Kashmiri, and the editor of portal, Kashmir Affairs )

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