MNA Ali Wazir produced before ATC, remanded in CTD custody for 8 days

Updated May 27, 2019

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Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader and lawmaker Ali Wazir while addressing a public gathering. — Photo courtesy Ali Wazir Twitter
Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader and lawmaker Ali Wazir while addressing a public gathering. — Photo courtesy Ali Wazir Twitter

MNA Ali Wazir, a day after his arrest during a clash between Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) workers and Army troops in North Waziristan tribal district, was produced before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Bannu on Monday.

Special ATC judge Babar Ali Khan remanded Wazir in the custody of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) for eight days.

According to the court order, the investigation officer of the case had requested the court for a 30-day physical remand of the lawmaker. However, the judge after perusing the record remanded Wazir in police custody for eight days.

Police have been directed to re-produce Wazir before the court on June 4.

Following the hearing, the MNA was shifted to Peshawar for interrogation as a first information report (FIR) — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — had already been lodged against the PTM leader. MNA Mohsin Dawar and seven other individuals are also nominated in the FIR.

The charges in the FIR have been framed under 7ATA (Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997), Pakistan Penal Code 302 (murder), 324 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 120b (criminal conspiracy), and 109 (abetment to an offence).

According to the FIR, it was learnt through police, intelligence and other reliable sources that a sit-in protest was being organised in front of the Khar Qamar check post at Macha Madakhel on May 26 (Sunday) against the arrest of the facilitators of terrorists who were arrested during a search operation.

In the meantime, MNA Ali Wazir, MNA Mohsin Javed Dawar, Dr Gul Alam, Khan Wali Khan, Noor Rehman Khan, Iftikhar Khan, Rahim Anwar Khan, Imran Chashmai and Ihsanullah Ihsan along with 300 to 350 supporters carrying weapons and sticks started raising provocative slogans, and made speeches against the Pakistan Army and other security agencies, added the FIR.

The FIR said the protesters hurled stones at the army post and that armed supporters of Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar attacked the security post and opened fire.

As a result, three civilians were killed while a soldier sustained injuries.

KP CM and governor meet tribal elders and military and civil officials on Monday. ─ DawnNewsTV
KP CM and governor meet tribal elders and military and civil officials on Monday. ─ DawnNewsTV

Earlier on Monday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Governor Shah Farman visited North Waziristan to hold a meeting with tribal elders as well as civil and military officials.

The PTM, meanwhile, has called a protest in North Waziristan against yesterday's incident.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in a statement had called for the release of MNA Wazir and other "activists" that were taken into custody. The group had also asked that a parliamentary commission be "set up immediately" to inquire into the matter and "establish the truth".

IHC hears petition

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court on Monday issued notices to the secretaries of interior and defence and the chairmen of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on a petition seeking a ban on the PTM.

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC sought a reply from both authorities in a fortnight and adjourned the hearing of the case till filing of the comments from the respondents.

Petitioner retired Colonel Javed Iqbal through his counsel adopted before the court that he belonged to Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, joined the Pakistan Army in 1982 and retired in 2009.

The petition pointed out that the Constitution consists of articles in respect of fundamental human rights and principles of policy. Article 14 considers the dignity of man. Freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of speech all have been clearly enshrined in Articles 15, 16, 17 and 19 of the Constitution.

Clash in North Waziristan

Three people were killed and 15 ─ including five soldiers ─ were injured in an exchange of fire in North Waziristan's Boyya area, when the Kharqamar checkpoint was attacked during a protest on Sunday, in which PTM members were also participating.

According to a statement by the Army's media wing, MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were leading the group.

"A group led by Mohsin Javed [Dawar] and Ali Wazir assaulted Kharqamar check post, Boyya, North Waziristan tribal district this morning. They wanted to exert pressure for release of suspected terrorists’ facilitator arrested the other day," added the statement, without specifying who the suspect was.

"Troops at the check post exercised maximum restraint in the face of provocation and direct firing on the post. Due to firing of the group, five Army soldiers got injured. In exchange of fire, three individuals who attacked the post lost their lives and 10 got injured," it said.

The statement also disclosed that Ali Wazir along with eight other individuals had been arrested while Mohsin Javed [Dawar] was "at large".

Dawar, while speaking to VOA Deewa, had denied that the group opened fire and accused the Army of initiating violence.