PTM remains under fire; Pakistani court orders to block NICs of Pashteen, Dawar

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An anti-terrorism court in Karachi has ordered blocking the national identity cards of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement chief Manzoor Pashteen and his colleague and Member of Pakistan Assembly Mohsin Dawar.

According to details, the Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi heard the case of provocative speech and mutiny against Mohsin Dawar and Manzoor Pashteen. After the hearing, the court ordered to block the national identity cards of the both PTM leaders in a ‘provocative speech and mutiny case’. The PTM leaders were also declared fugitive by the ATC.

The court directed that the report should be submitted after the ID cards are blocked. According to sources, the court has declared the PTM head Mr Pashteen and two others named Yaseen and Sufyan fugitives and issued arrest warrants for them. 

The court ordered that the accused must be arrested and produced to the court by March 9, the case is adjourned till then.

On February 7, police arrested the leaders of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement’s Balochistan zone in Peshawar. The leaders had reportedly travelled to Peshawar to participate in a PTM rally but were detained at the site of the gathering.

The Pashtun Tahhafuz Movement has been repeatedly thwarted from conducting activities in Balochistan where it boasts a significant audience. Moshin Dawar, Manzoor Pashteen, Sana Ejaz and other prominent leaders of the PTM were banned from entering Balochistan for months. Dawar was also barred from participating in the government opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement’s rally in Quetta and was forced to board a plane back home.

Dawar has been stoped entering Balochistan and sent back a few times in the past as well. Whereas, another prominent figure and Pakistan’s National Assembly member Ali Wazir was arrested on December 16, in Peshawar for allegedly ‘anti-state’ remarks.

Commenting on Wazir’s arrest, leader of the PTM Manzoor Pashteen said that Wazir’s arrest is the continuation of the “oppressive policies” of the Pakistani state. He said that we will formulate a strategy against this “egregious act.”

PTM’s leaders, in particular its elected members to the National Assembly, have come under fire for pursuing the release of individuals detained by authorities without due process. The army has alleged the party of running an anti-national agenda and for playing into the hands of the state’s enemies.

The party while rejecting these allegations, has insisted that theirs is a peaceful struggle for the rights of people from the country’s tribal belt.

The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) or Pashtun Protection Movement, is working with the families of those who have been disappeared during more than 15 years of unrest in Pakistan’s northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, and parts of southwestern Balochistan Province. These regions are predominantly populated by ethnic Pashtuns, who comprise up to 20 percent of the country’s population.

The party has been critical of the state’s policies and specifically the army in Waziristan, for a large number of enforced disappearances and violations of human rights.


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