September 11th, 2020

By Aftab Ahmad Memon


Advocate Mohib Ali Azad Leghari’s family including his three daughters, his wife, an ailing mother, and an elderly father still await his return. Thinking of him makes their eyes moist again, and they yearn desperately to spend time with him like they used to. The hope to find him again – that one day all of a sudden Mohib will return home from the city – is still very much alive.

When Mohib’s mother Fizza is asked about her son she cannot control her tears and set the whole family crying.

Mohib Ali alias Azad Leghari used to work at the Sindh High Court (SHC) Circuit Bench Hyderabad. On September 4, Mohib was coming back to his village of Vatki Vaseen when he was stopped by “unidentified personnel”. The unknown men forced Mohib into their black Vigo and sped away.

Ever since then, Mohib has not been seen or heard from. His father Ranjhu Khan says that he has not received any news regarding his son since then. He says that Mohib Azad completed his initial education from his village and later moved to Hyderabad to finish his LLB. He started practicing law in Hyderabad soon after completing his degree.

Mohib’s father explains that his son was an active member of the Jiye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) in his student life but had stopped being politically active after coming into his professional life.

“However, since my son is a very close friend of Sarang Joyo he raised his voice on his abduction and organized protests for Sarang’s release. After all what kind of friend would he have been had he not?” asks Ranjhu Khan.

Mohib’s wife Itrat is angry and demands the immediate release of not only Mohib but all those people who have illegally abducted by the State. She also calls for an end to the draconian practice of enforced disappearances once and for all.

“Azad never mentioned that he was in danger of being abducted because his conscience was clear. All he did was take up cases of missing persons in the courts apart from that he did not commit any crime,” says Itrat. “Even if he was receiving threats he did not mention them to me.”

According to Mohib’s uncles, he took care of his family and even all his close relatives. He was a very compassionate human being and felt very deeply about all oppressed people.

“Whenever he saw me he showed great concern about my health and wellbeing. He used to ask me if I needed food rations and if I replied in the affirmative he would instantly take out whatever money he had in his pocket and give it to me. He is a very loving and helpful young man,” says Hadi Bukhsh Laghari, Mohib’s Uncle.

“Mohib was fighting for the truth, nothing else,” says his aunt. “He was serving the people of his area under the banner of the Sindh Sujag Forum when he was abducted. Is helping people a crime in this country?”

His aunt has bravely, along with all the other women of Mohib’s extended family, organized a protest for his release under the banner of the Sindh Sujag Forum (SSF) outside the Tando Jam Press Club on the outskirts of the Hyderabad district.

However SSP Hyderabad, Adeel Hussain Chandio says that Advocate Mohib Ali Azadi Leghari is in the custody of the Hyderabad police. An FIR of Mohib’s disappearance has been registered in Hatti police station while an investigation is underway for his recovery.

On the other hand, Imdad Chandio of the HRCP says that If Mohib has committed any crime or misdemeanor, he should be produced in front of the courts, calling enforced disappearances a serious subversion of the law and constitutional order. Imdad points towards the testimony of the IG Sindh police in front of the Senate Committee on Human Rights during Sarang Joyo’s abduction hearings. The IG had informed the committee that almost 500 people have gone missing from Sindh so far which was extremely worrying. According to the IG, these disappearances would aggravate an already volatile law and order situation in the province and that was why law enforcement agencies must work within the ambit of the law.

Mohib was born in a village of flower farmers and is a well-known philanthropist in his village. His three daughters seven-year-old Parbhat, five-year-old Sorth, and two-year-old Sonh Sehan sadly await their father’s return. All they want is to be hugged by him.