LARKANA: Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro was born on May 7, 1959 to a religious family in the picturesque Akil village surrounded by thick guava orchards close to the Indus river near Larkana.
The village has produced many prominent personalities including chief minister the late Ayoub Khuhro, Dr Hamida Khuhro, Nisar Ahmad Khuhro and famous Sindhi poet Zaib Aakli.
Dr Soomro shot to prominence after he became a central leader of the Sindh chapter of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl. His courage, grit and unwavering allegiance to Sindh’s rights earned him equal respect among friends and foes.
After the death of his father Maulana Ali Mohammad Haqqani, Dr Soomro took up his mantle and took charge of Ishaatul Quran madressah founded by his father. He remained its head till his killing in Sukkur during Fajr prayers on Saturday.
Dr Soomro was a highly learned scholar who proved his mettle in all curricular and extracurricular activities throughout his academic career, starting with his joining Shah Latif Scouts Open Group and his participation in declamation contests in 1972-73 when he was doing matric at the Government Pilot Secondary School, Larkana.
After having done his intermediate at the Government Degree College where he organised the Jamiat Tulaba-i-Islam (JTI), student wing of the JUI-F, he joined the Chandka Medical College in 1976 and became joint secretary of the college’s students union.
During his stay at the CMC he not only organised the JTI but also actively participated in elections for student unions.
Despite being a staunch follower of a particular religious school, Dr Soomro was equally loved and respected by his friends and foes. After his graduation in 1983 he chose to do the house job in paeds-medicine and surgery.
He also did masters in Islamic culture from Sachal Sarmast Oriental College, Larkana, and completed his religious studies from the International Islamic University, Islamabad, with distinction.
Iqbal Soomro, younger brother of Dr Soomro, said that his brother was admitted to Al-Azhar University, Egypt, where he had the honour of being a student of Prof Jadul Haq Jad, the then vice chancellor of the university. After learning
extensively from different institutions, he decided to share his father’s responsibilities who had by then grown very old.
He joined practical politics in 1988 and remained secretary general of the JUI-F Sindh chapter till 2014.
Dr Soomro actively participated in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in 1983 which landed him in Sukkur jail and he remained behind bars for nine months.
Dr Soomro was in the forefront of a protest when a military court set up at the Sir Shahnawaz Library was trying his spiritual guide Maulana Abdul Karim of Bair Sharif near Qambar town for a fatwa he had issued against Gen Ziaul Haq.
Dr Soomro came in the limelight when he contested polls against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto for NA-207. He fought for the same seat against Faryal Talpur also.
He remained member of the Senate from 2006 to 2012 where he always spoke for the rights of Sindh. He was very vocal against the division of Sindh.
This was the seventh murderous attack on Dr Soomro which proved fatal. He leaves a widow, six sons and three daughters.
Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2014