KARACHI: As an antiterrorism court dismissed the bail application of MNA Ali Wazir in another ‘hate speech’ case, the sit-in organised by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) for his release continued for the third consecutive day on Tuesday.

Ali Wazir along with others had been incarcerated in the Karachi central prison since Dec 31, 2020 following registration of four identical cases pertaining to hate speech, sedition and inciting public against the state. A fifth identical case is lodged against him at the Miramshah police station.

On Tuesday, the matter came up before the ATC-X judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the prison.

The judge dismissed the MNA’s post-arrest bail observing that the testimonies of two witnesses of the prosecution had already been recorded in the present case, thus the applicant could not make out a case for grant of bail after arrest.

A day ago, another ATC had directed the police to formally arrest MNA Wazir in a case pertaining to allegedly inciting public against state institutions and defaming them.

The Supreme Court had granted post-arrest bail to Ali Wazir on Nov 30, 2021 in one case.

Meanwhile, a number of protesters continued their sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly building.

PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen in his address said that the party continued to stage its protest sit-in till the issuance of a notification for the release of MNA Wazir.

Dozens of PTM supporters demanded the provincial government to discard the FIRs lodged against Wazir and listen to the grievances of the Pakhtun community living in Karachi.

Attended by different labour and human rights organisations, the sit-in was also addressed by representatives of traders and transporters along with representatives of civil society.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2022

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