Shahzad Akbar is one of two Reprieve Fellows based in Pakistan; his work involves investigations of US drone attacks in Waziristan.
Shahzad qualified as a Barrister from Lincolns Inn and also holds a LLM from University of Newcastle. He is enrolled as a practising advocate with the Punjab Bar Council. From 2004 till 2008, Shahzad worked as Special Prosecutor with the National Accountability Bureau in Pakistan, prosecuting public office holders in Geneva, Madrid and London for corruption and money laundering. In 2008, Shahzad joined a leading practice, Farooq Law Associates, as Resident Partner in their Islamabad office. Since 2011, he is heading the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR).
Shahzad’s conversion to human rights practice took place in 2010 when he started representing the civilian drone victim families from Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency. This made him the first lawyer to challenge US-led drone warfare in Pakistan which killed over 3000 unnamed people since 2004, mostly citizens of Pakistan. FFR’s campaign against drone attacks in Pakistan challenges this unchecked and unaccountable programme. Shahzad represents a growing number of victim families from Waziristan in Pakistani Courts.
Shahzad has been teaching Human Rights law at the Islamic International University Islamabad intermittently since 2004 as visiting faculty.