The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday ordered the release of Mufti Kifayatullah, a central leader of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), on bail.
Kifayatullah was arrested by the Islamabad police on Sunday on charges of inciting people for participation in the October 31 anti-government 'Azadi March' and collection of donation for the protest.
A two-member bench of the high court based in Abbottabad comprising Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice Shakeel Ahmad heard the bail petition which had been filed by the JUI-F.
Appearing on behalf of Kifayatullah, Advocate Usman Saleem told the court that the JUI-F leader was not involved in any illegal activities and that he had been detained for giving "bold" TV interviews.
The Mansehra deputy commissioner, on whose orders Kifayatullah was reportedly arrested, also appeared before the court.
Kifayatullah will be released once the court orders reach Haripur Central Jail, where he is imprisoned. Once free, he will join the caravan heading to Islamabad to partake in the JUI-F protest.
The JUI-F leader's arrest had come a day after the signing of an agreement between the government and the JUI-F-led opposition regarding the venue of the Azadi March in Islamabad.
Informed sources had told Dawn that Kifayatullah had been detained because of his recent speech in which he had allegedly passed some “objectionable” remarks against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We would take along with us 100,000 people from here to federal capital to take part in Azadi March and force the fascist prime minister to step down,” the JUI-F leader was quoted as telling a gathering in Mansehra.