Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen was arrested on monday from Shaheen Town, Peshawar during the early hours of Monday morning and handed over to law enforcement authorities on 14-day judicial remand by a court in Peshawar, officials said.
Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir , two senior PTM leaders and MNAs, also confirmed that Manzoor Pasheen was arrested last night in Tahkal. Police also arrested nine other PTM workers. The official said that the PTM chief is currently in Peshawar in police custody but will be shifted to Dera Ismail Khan where an FIR has been registered against him. He will be presented before a judicial magistrate for his transitory remand.
Reportedly, it is mentioned in the FIR that Pashteen and other PTM leaders had allegedly said in a gathering that the 1973 Constitution violated basic human rights. Pashteen had also made derogatory remarks about the state institutions, the FIR added.
Senior PTM leader and MNA Mohsin Dawar said on twitter: “This is our punishment for demanding our rights in a peaceful and democratic manner. Manzoor’s arrest will only strengthen our resolve. We demand the immediate release of Manzoor Pashteen.” Mr Dawar urged his workers not to create any unrest in the perspective of this issue.
They are well aware how to tackle this problem. Our senior leadership will devise a strategy after consultation as they are up against those who are most affected by demands for constitutional rights but we will remain constant by doing that. PTM will hold an emergency press conference at the Islamabad Press Club at 3pm and urged party workers to show their support, he announced
The PPP, in a statement today, demanded that Pashteen be released immediately and that a dialogue be initiated between the government and the youth of tribal areas.
Senators Usman Kakar and Hasil Bizenjo, during the Senate session today, demanded the release of Pashteen, as the former warned that the development would garner a reaction from the PTM leader’s supporters.
Human rights group Amnesty International also called for Pashteen’s “immediate and unconditional” release. PTM is a right-based alliance, demanding an end to the practice the extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearances and unlawful detention.
PTM’s leaders, in particular its elected members to the National Assembly, have come in the firing line for seeking the release of individuals detained by authorities without due process. The army alleged the party of hatching an anti-national and for playing into the hands of the state’s enemies.
Last year, two of PTM’s MNAs — Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir — were by police after a protest gathering in Kharqamar for allegedly using violence and clashing with army personnel. The party while rejecting these allegations, insisted that theirs is a peaceful struggle for the rights of people from the country’s tribal belt
It is pertinent here to mention that the party has been severe critical against the state’s policies in the country’s tribal belt, where a massive operation against terrorists was conducted in recent times leading to large-scale displacement and enforced disappearances.