Civil Society, human rights defenders, academia, Bar Associations and Journalists have condemned the murder of an educationist in north Sindh. Ajmal Sawand came back from France with a PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to serve his people.
I was shocked beyond measure when I saw the news of his murder on social media on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Professor Ajmal Sawand, who was serving as Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department of IBA Sukkur and was attacked by tribesmen of the Sundrani tribe when he was returning from his village in Kandhkot to Sukkur.
The outer body and inside blood-stained seats shows attack was ambush indiscriminate and savage. After killing him, attackers celebrated his murder, shot with victory, filmed it and made it virul which shows they do not care of any law and police.
Reports received from local activists shows feud was continuing between Sundrani and Sawand tribes in Kandhkot and this feud has claimed more than seven lives of both tribes. Last week three people of Sundrani tribe were murdered by people of Sawand tribe and Professor Ajmal was murdered in retaliation.
If we track his educational history, he got his initial education from the Cadet College Larkana. He obtained Bachelor of Engineering degree in Software Engineering from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, in 2006. He later acquired the postgraduate qualification from Jean Monnet University, Saint Etienne, France, in Computer Science in 2011 followed by his PhD from Paris Descartes University in 2015. He could stay there in a comfortable environment and earn handsome money but he preferred to return to Sindh and serve his own people. His old audio and video communications say the same.
I know Ajmal Sawand when he was in Paris, France and he needed a legal advice for his matter in his home district and I was impressed by the degree he was persuading in France.
Fir has been registered at PS A Section Kandhkot, under section 302, 365-A, 120-A, 384, 148, 149 RW 6/7 Anti Terrorism Act 1997; complainant is Mohummad Ashraf S/O Abdul Razaq Sawand which says incident happened in the morning 7:30 am and reported at 9:30 am on 7.4.2023.
Aijaz, Farman, Rano, Mendhro, Bakhtiar, Wahidu, Saiful, G Mustafa, Rahib, M Ali and ten others are nominated in the FIR.
This is not the first time that any feud has claimed such number of lives. Every year thousands of lives are claimed by these tribal feuds which triggered on land issues, water turn, money lending, honor killing, and other pretexts. Thousands of lives have already been claimed by these feuds. NGO reports published in media revealed that 2,301 citizens killed in 1,566 tribal clashes in 22 districts in Sindh during 2010-2014. During which 2,301 persons, including 160 women and 45 children, were killed and 3,697 injured. Report also showed that on average 133 conflicts and 460 killings were reported per year. Eight district top the list for districts with most conflicts includes Khairpur Mirs (336), Shikarpur (217), Larkana (176), Kashmore (170), Sukkur (106), Qamber-Shahdadkot (101), Ghotki (96) and Jacobabad (85).
38 years, Professor Ajmal Sawand inclined toward Sufism after his mother died in 2021; He survived one widow & two sons behind. He was also in dairy business.
Human Rights Activists Sattar Zangejo shared that both divisions Larkana and Sukkur are conflict prone where police is heavily deployed in black police clothes at every point. He said from Shikarpur to Kandhkot is 60 kilometres area police posts are at 8-9 places where they check people. How Sundrani tribes heavily armed did this murder. Secondly, a professor in Artificial intelligence was asset of the society was not provided security despite the high risk of attacks from the Sundrani tribe to Sawand tribe.
Though FIR is registered, police is has started raiding the accused but question is who will compensate the loss of Ajmal’s life to his family, to Sindh and to Pakistan. These feuds have devoured hundreds of lives of innocent citizens, destroyed business and economy of the area, seriously affected the education of children in northern Sindh. Women who suffers most in these tribal conflicts in many ways, first their male members are murdered, second they are detained by police when mal members run away to Kach area. Third they have to follow the cases when all members are jailed or convicted. These are women and girls who are given in compensation when jirgas are held by Sardars and these murders are compounded.
We believe reiterate and demand that Ajmal Sawand was our national asset, so the Sindh government should deploy strong prosecution team, provide legalaid to the family of Ajmal Sawand, his brother and sister in law who are doctors, and ensure this case should not meet the same fate of Nazim Jokhio,
One picture of Ajmal Sawand with Bilawal Bhutto is virul on social media make a demand from the Bilawal Bhutto that he won’t let this case be compromised in jirgas at the cost political interests. Hope this case will not meet the same fate of Nazim Jokhio case.
Sindh and Federal Government should take stern action against Sardars of all tribes involved in this violence. Declare all tribal violence tribal terrorism and deal this threat with iron hand.
Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network on behalf of all activists, civil society organization condemns the brutal act of Ajmals murder and demand justice.
Role of Sindh police need to be discussed here which is an state institution which has failed to constrain Sardar of tribes, and their people involved in the crime because they are sitting in the Assemblies and they have backing of ruling parties.
It is shocking to see that head constable of the police are posted as SHO Police Station which is blatant violation of the Sindh (Repeal of the Police Act, 1861 and Revival of Police Order 2002) Amendment Act 2019; Had the law been functional, police situation (efficiency, conduct) should have been improved.
Writ of the Sindh and Federal Government seems weak in northern Sindh which has made general public peaceful citizens, children women further insecure.