PESHAWAR: A local court here on Friday granted bail to four Afghan musicians arrested a few days ago on the charges of staying in Pakistan without any valid documents.

Judicial magistrate Sher Hassan Khan accepted the bail petition of the four musicians on condition of furnishing two sureties of Rs90,000 each.

The musicians Naveedullah, Nadeem Shad, Saeedullah and Ajmal were arrested on May 28 by officials of the Tehkal police station on the charges of staying in the locality without any proper travel documents.

They were charged under section 14 of the Foreigners Act.

Their arrest had resulted into a public outcry especially by different cultural organisations and the artist community.

Advocate Tariq Afghan appeared for the petitioners and contended that after the Afghan Taliban had captured government in Afghanistan last year their attitude towards the artists was harsh and there were also instances of torturing them.

He pointed out that several of the incidents were reported wherein the musical instruments were destroyed and burnt by those Taliban. He contended that the petitioners had taken refuge in Pakistan because of the precarious situation in Afghanistan.

He argued that the international humanitarian and human rights laws were applicable to these petitioners. He added that if the court issued their deportation orders instead of releasing them on bail they would face a hostile situation and threat to their lives in Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2022

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