|Ayaz Latif Palijo اياز لطیف پلیجو (born November 15, 1969) is a Sindhi Pakistani activist, lawyer, writer and teacher. Palijo was born in Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan, to a Baloch mother, the women’s rights activist and artist Jeejee Zarina Baloch, and a South Asian leftist father and founder of Awami Tahreek, Rasool Bux Palijo.
Palijo is one of the leading human rights lawyers of Pakistan, who has filed, contested and won hundreds of cases on behalf of the oppressed and victimized sections of Pakistani society. He has read papers in several international conferences and a number of British, American and other international universities including University of Yale, University of Colorado Denver, University of Sussex, University of Leeds, University of Bergen and University of Johannesburg. He has remained a member, guest speaker and consultant of several international forums and organizations including Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology and Mathematics Educators (CASTME), International Water History Association (IWHA), Centre for Peace and Social Justice, Southern Cross University, International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM), Asian Students Association (ASA), World Social Forum (WSF) and World Commission on Dams (WCD). He has done work for victims of honor killing, karo-kari, bonded labor, missing persons, child labor and violence against women amongst others. Palijo, an orator, a lawyer, a writer and a teacher, is considered as being the first person to introduce the concepts of human rights and public interest litigation in rural areas of Sindh, Pakistan. Ayaz L. Palijo is well known in the activist circles of Sindh and Pakistan’s social movement, having worked for decades on women’s issues especially those linked to violence against women and sexual harassment.
Palijo is a graduate of civil engineering from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, graduate of law from Sindh University, Jamshoro, Pakistan, has done his graduation in environment and development from LEAD Int at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and has done his M.Sc. in Rural development from SU and Wye College, United Kingdom, and has secured first position in LL.M.. He is a LEAD fellow of cohort 7, State Department alumni and is also accredited for securing the release of more than 3500 innocent prisoners from different jails, bonded labour camps, illegal confinements, Dar-ul-Amans and police lockups.
Ayaz Palijo has written six books and hundreds of columns and his recent activities include launching a strong campaign against the man-made water shortage, child abuse, forced conversion of Minority girls and terrorism. He is known for his aggressive speeches and outspoken attitude towards the dictatorships and feudalism and has remained at the forefront of the movement for Peace, Human rights and women’s rights in Pakistan for the last two decades, he specializes in Human Rights Litigation, and has conducted several cases which have become landmarks in setting human rights standards in Pakistan. He has introduced the new trends of Public Interest Litigation on bonded labor, violence against women, children and minorities and on honor killings, child labor, animal rights, prisoners’ rights, in the rural areas of Sindh, Pakistan, and has been working as a lecturer in Sindh Law College and in degree classes of Juris Doctor. Ayaz Palijo’s command over the poetry of Shah Latif, Shaikh Ayaz, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Faraz, Ustad Bukhari, Ibn-e-Insha and Sahir Ludhianvi and his speeches in Anti Kalabagh Dam rallies, Lawyers Movement, Bhitshah Conferences and in 46 days Long March are of historic significance, no one in Sindh and Pakistan’s history has addressed fanatics, corrupt rulers, feudals or terrorists in such a belligerent tone in rallies or on live TV. On his call against the water theft, the entire province of Sindh remained closed on 19th February 2010. He is founder of Nationalist Alliance SPNA and has also been holding the responsibilities of Chairman of the Sindh Research Council (SRC), Chairman of the Forum For Rights Justice & Peace (FRJP) for the last several years and elected as President of Awami Tahreek in October 2009. At present he has been practicing as a leading constitutional lawyer of Sindh High Court, Hyderabad, Pakistan and he was the first lawyer who challenged the man-made breaches of dikes and embankments of Indus river at Tori, Ghouspur, Suprio and MS Bund in Sindh during Floods of 2010. He has been at the forefront of the lawyers’ movement that culminated in the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, he offered court arrest after the imposition of emergency by General Pervez Musharraf and achieved fame as a supporter of the lawyers movement in 2007-2009.