MNA Mohsin Dawar denied entry into Quetta ahead of PDM rally over 'security risks'

Published October 24, 2020
MNA Mohsin Dawar was denied entry after he landed in Quetta for PDM's third rally. — Dawn/File
MNA Mohsin Dawar was denied entry after he landed in Quetta for PDM's third rally. — Dawn/File

Dozens of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) activists staged an hours-long sit-in in Quetta on Saturday after MNA Mohsin Dawar was barred from leaving the airport upon arrival in the Balochistan capital.

In a tweet in the evening, Dawar, a top PTM leader, said he had been "detained at Quetta airport" along with a friend.

"Once again our rights are being violated by state above state," he wrote. "I am told its because of security risks. Why are these risks limited to me only? We refuse to be silenced like this. We will not be intimidated."

As the sit-in protest by supporters and activists continued into the night, a PTM member told Dawn that Dawar was taken away from the airport in a car by district administration officials. He said because there were no remaining flights scheduled out of Quetta tonight, the lawmaker would likely be sent back to Islamabad in the morning.

Dawar had landed in Quetta in the afternoon to attend the third rally of the opposition's 11-party anti-government alliance — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — on Sunday.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and other PDM leaders also arrived in the city today and were provided "bullet-proof cars and security", according to Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani.

Also read: Govt urges PDM to delay Quetta rally amid ‘security threat’

But Shahwani said Dawar was denied entry into Quetta because a ban was imposed on his entry "into any district of Balochistan for 90 days on July 29".

In a tweet, he shared a copy of an order issued by the Balochistan home department that said the entry of Dawar and fellow PTM lawmaker Ali Wazir in Balochistan was banned for 90 days under the Balochistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960.

The notice, dated July 29, said the ban on the PTM leaders had been imposed "in the best interest of public peace and security".

Under the same order, Dawar was denied entry into Quetta when he landed there last month as well. He was taken into custody from the airport and shifted to a rest house by the provincial authorities before being sent back the next day.

When questioned why other PDM leaders were allowed to enter the city but not Dawar, Shahwani said all political leaders and workers arriving in the city "are respectable for us". He emphasised that the decision to deny entry to Dawar "has nothing to do with the PDM rally" but was taken in accordance with the July 29 order.

PTM is a rights-based alliance that, besides calling for de-mining of the former tribal areas and greater freedom of movement, has insisted on an end to the practices of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and unlawful detentions, and for their practitioners to be held to account within a truth and reconciliation framework.

In June, the group had accepted an offer for talks by the government but called for confidence-building measures (CBM) to demonstrate sincerity. At a press conference, PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen had said that the government must take steps to bridge the trust deficit, adding that it was customary for parties to take CBMs before entering into talks.


With additional reporting by Sirajuddin in Peshawar.

Opinion

Poll language
17 Apr 2021

Poll language

There is a distinction between angry rhetoric and the language of the gutter.
Exempt from accountability?
Updated 17 Apr 2021

Exempt from accountability?

PM Khan has done a disservice to Pakistan by exempting certain institutions from performance requirements.
Education disrupted
Updated 16 Apr 2021

Education disrupted

The cost of not doing anything about them in terms of learning losses and dropouts are going to be very large.

Editorial

17 Apr 2021

Pak-India mediation

QUESTIONS had been swirling about what and who has prompted the latest detente between Pakistan and India. Now, it...
17 Apr 2021

Energy exploration

SOME exploration and production companies want the government to prioritise offshore exploration — a high-risk...
17 Apr 2021

Professor’s removal

IN a step that will go far in sending a message of reassurance to female students and academic staff in ...
Ban is no answer
Updated 16 Apr 2021

Ban is no answer

The ban will not dilute the narrative that fuels the party, it may even fan it.
16 Apr 2021

Slow recovery

THE pace of growth in large-scale manufacturing output continues to slow down, with LSM production contracting by...
16 Apr 2021

Ramazan profiteering

WITH the month of Ramazan underway, people have begun to feel the effects of galloping inflation even more. Prices...