KARACHI: An antiterrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday indicted Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader MNA Ali Wazir and 10 others in a sedition case.
Police had booked PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen along with its leaders — Wazir and MNA Mohsin Dawar, Muhammad Shafi and Hidayatullah Pashteen — for committing sedition by inciting the public to wage war against the state by delivering provocative speeches against security forces, at a rally held in Sohrab Goth on Dec 6, 2020.
On Wednesday, the matter came up before the ATC-XII judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison.
Interned MNA Wazir was produced from prison while Javed Raheem, Sher Ayub Khan, Noorullah Tareen, Naimatullah alias Adil Shah, Ibrahim Khan, Muhammad Sher Khan, Baseerullah, Muhammad Tahir alias Qazi Tahir, Muhammad Sarwar and Ahsanullah appeared on bail.
All accused persons have denied charges and opted to contest the case
The judge read out charges against them stating that SHO Riaz Ahmed Bhutto had received information that 11 PTM leaders along with 1,800-2,000 Pakhtuns, members and supporters of the PTM in an open ground opposite Al-Asif Square were preparing for a gathering without getting requisite permission from the department concerned.
MNA Wazir along with 10 other leaders as well as three proclaimed offenders, including PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen, delivered hate speeches by using the sound system in the Urdu and Pashto languages.
“Such speeches were recorded and got translated, which revealed that those speeches were against armed forces, civil armed forces, institution of Pakistan and state of Pakistan and a community. All of your common intention and with a common object agreed to conspire, promote and instigate racial and ethnic violence in different groups and communities of Pakistan and also to initiate a war against Pakistan, which falls within the ambit of Sections 120-B, 121, 121-A, 124-A, 153, 153-A, 505, 505(ii), 506, 188, 33 Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997, within the cognizance of this court,” the judge concluded.
However, all the accused pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case.
The judge summoned the prosecution witnesses on the next date for recording their testimonies and adjourned the hearing.
On Oct 13, the court declared PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen, MNA Dawar, Muhammad Shafi and Hidayatullah Pashteen as proclaimed offenders.
Police arrested Wazir on Dec 16, 2020, in Peshawar in connection with the case on a request of the Sindh police and flown to Karachi.
In a charge sheet filed earlier, the IO had mentioned that under the purview of the investigation, statements of the witnesses and video footage of the rally, the nominated suspects were found involved in committing offences punishable, including sections 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 121-A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable under Section 121), 124-A (sedition), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the PPC read with section 7 of the ATA.
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2021