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PTM protesters arrested for chanting anti-state slogans in Karachi


News Desk |

Sindh police on Monday, 21st January, registered a case against scores of Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) protesters and miscreants under terrorism charges after the group held a rally in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area and chanted inciting slogans on Sunday, 20th January.

According to the FIR lodged against the incident, police said that the speakers at the rally had used “undesirable language against state institutions”. The FIR (22/2019) was registered on behest of the State through Sohrab Goth SHO Rao Zakir. According to the FIR, the PTM protestors, “under directions of Manzoor Pashteen organized the rally at a ground behind Al-Asif Square on Sunday.”

Mohsin Dawar was one of the two lawmakers whose names had been placed on the exit control list and subsequently removed on the orders of the Prime Minister.

“The complainant SHO, who was patrolling the area, after receiving information rushed to the spot and asked the PTM president of the area, Naurazay Tareen, to furnish permission of the assemblage. “He [the organizer of the rally] became jittery, created hindrance in official work and chanted slogans against state institutions and police, while other people also joined him on the stage in raising slogans,” as per the contents of the FIR.

The police alleged that the organizers did not listen to the SHO and spread provocation, “creating an atmosphere of serious fear and chaos.” The police applied Sections 147, 149, 186, 153-A, 500 and 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7-ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act) against 250-300 persons, including 16 identified by name.

Read more: Manzoor Pashteen’s PTM: A ‘Rights Movement’ or a new ‘Regional Agenda’?

Earlier, North Waziristan MNA Mohsin Dawar had again, taken to Twitter, to highlight the arrest and subsequent disappearance of Alamzeb Mehsud, describing him as an active member of the PTM and a campaigner for missing persons.

The lawmaker claimed that the young man’s arrest was the latest in a series of incidents involving Sindh police and security agencies harassing PTM workers and activists following the party’s successful rally in Karachi on Sunday. A publication quoted a senior official who wished not to be named as saying that Alamzeb Mehsud was arrested for being an organizer of the said rally. Dawar demanded the immediate release of Alamzaib and other PTM workers in his statement.

Former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had dismissed Rao Anwar’s request to travel abroad, stating that Mr. Anwar had “murdered a boy” and that he will not be allowed to go anywhere.  

“After a successful PTM Rally in Karachi, The Sindh Police along with security agencies has started harassing PTM members. They have picked up active member PTM Alamzaib Mehsud and shifted him to an unknown location. We demand the immediate release of Alamzaib and other PTM comrades.” Mohsin Dawar was one of the two lawmakers whose names had been placed on the exit control list and subsequently removed on the orders of the Prime Minister.

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement had gained popularity in a small group of extreme left political circles after the murder of Naqeeb Mehsud, a young boy from Waziristan, in a fake encounter by the Karachi police on the orders of now-retired SSP Malir Rao Anwar. Left groups had created online movements against state institutions under the pretext of the Naqeeb murder and had launched defamation campaigns against security forces.

Read more: SP Tahir Dawar murder case: Has PTM been exposed?

Rao Anwar is currently facing trial under the Naqeebullah case in front of the Supreme Court. Former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had dismissed Rao Anwar’s request to travel abroad, stating that Mr. Anwar had “murdered a boy” and that he will not be allowed to go anywhere.

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