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Sindh High Court Bar Advocate Allegedly Abducted From Hyderabad

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A day after the abduction of a Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) official, a Hyderabad-based lawyer, Muhib Azad, was reportedly picked up by ‘unidentified men’ in the second-largest city of Sindh.

In a tweet shared by Sheraz Ahmed, the advocate urged Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari to take notice of the forced disappearance and take measures for the recovery of the counsel.

“How will Advocates ensure fundamental rights of their clients when their own constitutional rights aren’t secure? Please do something,” the tweet implored.

On Friday, a former journalist and joint director of SECP Sajid Gondal went missing in Islamabad. According to the family of the SECP official, Gondal’s car was found in front of the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) on Park Road, located in Chak Shahzad. The family members had reportedly said Gondal visited a family-owned dairy farm in Chak Shahzad.

It may be noted here that Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with Al Jazeera claimed that during his two-year tenure, the number of missing persons — except senior journalist Matiullah Jan who, according to the prime minister, claimed to be abducted– was next to nothing.

Violence Against Lawyers:

This is not the first case of its nature as lawyers in the past have been abducted, attacked, or even murdered.

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Last month, a woman lawyer from Depalpur was abducted and tortured for days. It prompted protests from the lawyers’ community. The survivor named Irshad Naseem was abducted from her office on August 14, 2020. She was later found in the Mailsi district on August 22.

In the same month, an advocate and his brother were killed brutally in Sargodha. Another lawyer was killed in Kasur along with two others and a lawyer of Faisalabad was abducted and subsequently killed.

Similarly, a member of the Lahore Bar Association received injuries in an attack, while another was attacked in Sialkot and two other lawyers became victims of a violent attack in Layyah.

In December 2019, Lawyer Shafiq Ahmed was kidnapped on December 10 from Okara. He was tortured and was also made to sign some bank papers. The police had refused to file a case for his abduction. The lawyer had previously run into trouble with the FIA for posting against government agencies.

Another lawyer who was fighting for the recovery of missing persons was kidnapped from his house by the security agencies. Colonel (r) Inam had been working on cases of enforced disappearances and other human rights issues.

He was abducted from his home on December 16. His son told media that armed men wearing black uniforms entered his house and kidnapped his father at gunpoint. They also warned the lawyer’s son against lodging a complaint about his father’s abduction.

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Naya Daur