Imaan picked up in the dead of night; Ali Wazir behind bars, again

Published August 21, 2023
IMAAN Mazari-Hazir flashes a victory sign as police produce her before a court; while (right) handcuffed former MNA Ali Wazir alights from a police vehicle before a hearing in Islamabad, on Sunday.—AFP
IMAAN Mazari-Hazir flashes a victory sign as police produce her before a court; while (right) handcuffed former MNA Ali Wazir alights from a police vehicle before a hearing in Islamabad, on Sunday.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: Human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir and former lawmaker Ali Wazir were remanded into police custody on Sunday, hours after their arrest.

They have been booked in two separate cases for alleged sedition and preventing government officials from carrying out their duties, Dawn.com reported.

They were presented in the court of Judicial Magistrate Ihtasham Alam Khan. According to the detailed court order, the investigating officer (IO) requested a 10-day physical remand in the sedition case, registered under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

The judge granted one day’s remand and ordered the police to present them before an anti-terrorism court on Monday (today).

Lawyer, ex-MNA booked under terror charges; police claim arrests carried out as per due process

In the second case, the IO requested their five-day physical remand but the judge refused the request for Ms Mazari. She was instead sent on a 14-day judicial remand.

Mr Wazir’s two-day physical remand was granted subject to pre and post-medical examination.

The IO was also ordered to “show concrete progress” in the investigation.

Later, Ms Mazari was handed over to the Counter Terrorism Depar­tment (CTD), according to media reports.

The arrests

Mr Wazir was arrested on Saturday, while Ms Mazari was picked up from her home in the early hours of Sunday.

The arrests were made two days after a public meeting, organised by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Move­ment (PTM).

Mr Wazir, a PTM member, and Ms Mazari both addressed the rally. Videos circulating on social media showed speakers critici­sing the military establis­hment over enfor­ced disappearances.

In a post on the social media platform X (previously Twitter) in the early hours of Sunday, Ms Mazari claimed “unkn­own persons” entered her home after disabling the cameras and jumping over the gate.

About an hour later, her mother, former PTI leader Shireen Mazari wrote that policewomen, along with people in plainclothes took away her daughter “after breaking down our front door”.

Ms Mazari’s lawyer, Zainab Janjua Advocate said the police arrested her client in night dress despite her request to be allowed to change clothes.

Islamabad police have said the arrests were made in line with the law and after carrying out all legal formalities. While confirming the arrest, they claimed they were wanted for investigation.

Terror charges

Two first information reports were registered on Saturday against Ms Mazari and Mr Wazir at the capital’s Tarnol and CTD police stations.

In the first FIR, registered on the complaint of Tarnol SHO Miam Mohammad Imran, they have been booked under Sections 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 506ii (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Dawn.com reported.

The complainant stated that during the PTM rally at Tarnol Phatak Chowk, Ms Mazari and Mr Wazir, along with PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen, violated the NOC granted by the district administration and began moving ahead of the spot designated to hold the gathering.

When police officers attempted to stop them from moving towards Islamabad, the rally’s 700-800 participants armed with sticks confronted them, the SHO claimed.

The second FIR was registered on the complaint of Inspector Mohammad Ashraf under Sections 124A (sedition), 148, 149, 153 (inciting to riot), 153A (promotion of enmity between groups) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of PPC and Sections 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) and 11 (power to order forfeiture) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The complainant stated Ms Mazari, Mr Pashteen and others spoke against state institutions and their heads and, among other things, attempted to incite rebellion.

Ikram Junaidi also contri­buted to this report

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2023

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