Abdul Latif Afridi - a progressive voice is no more.

PESHAWAR -- The killing of veteran lawyer and politician Abdul Latif Afridi on the premises of the Peshawar High Court marks the end of an era and has left the legal fraternity and his admirers shaken.

Latif Afridi, commonly known as Latif Lala, has left behind a legacy of a decades-long struggle for civil liberties, democracy, rule of law, and the rights of people, especially those belonging to the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Born in 1943, he had done his LLB from the University of Peshawar in 1968 and his career as a lawyer spanned over five decades. His election as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association in 2020 and multiple tenures as the president of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association is a testimony to his popularity among the lawyer community.

He had also remained the vice chairman and a member of the Pakistan Bar Council.

Latif Lala and PHCBA were inseparable. Any general body meeting of the association used to be deemed incomplete without his address. He would always sit at his particular spot near the entrance of the bar room sharing pleasantries with lawyers as a matter of routine. Known for his wit and humour, Latif Lala had countless anecdotes to share with fellow lawyers as well as visitors.

He remained at the forefront of the struggle for the rights of the community and played a key role in the lawyers' movement in 2007. While leading a lawyers' protest during those days on Peshawar's Khyber Road, a police APC struck him, leaving one of his legs fractured.

He was a blunt critic of militancy in the region and often called for a clear state policy on terrorism. He was also vocal against the military's interference in politics and termed the practice usurpation of the fundamental rights of people.

Latif Lala also put up a fight against enforced disappearances in the militancy-hit province. Even though the jurisdiction of superior courts had yet to be extended to ex-Fata in 2007, the veteran lawyer continued his struggle and left no stone unturned to convince the judges to hear the cases of missing persons.


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