PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen arrested

PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen arrested

Charged under sedition and other sections

Manzoor Pashteen- the leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has been arrested on Monday wee hours. He was arrested from Peshawar and presented before a court in Peshawar. The court remanded him to law enforcing agencies for 14 days.

According to some media reports- he will be shifted to Dera Ismael Khan to investigate a case registered against him. The PTM chief was arrested from Peshawar’s Shaheen Town. An official of Tehkal police station told the media that “the PTM chief is being shifted to Dera Ismail Khan where an FIR has been registered against him.”

Police has also arrested nine other PTM workers who were identified as Muhammad Salam, Abdul Hameed, Idrees, Bilal, Mohib, Sajjadul Hassan, Aimal, Farooq and Muhammad Salman.
According to police, a case was registered against the PTM chief at the City police station in DI Khan on Jan 18 under sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 124 (sedition), and 123-A (condemning the creation of the country and advocating the abolishment of its sovereignty) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the FIR, Pashteen and other PTM leaders had attended a gathering on Jan 18 in DI Khan where the PTM chief had allegedly said that the 1973 Constitution violated basic human rights. The FIR added that Pashteen also made derogatory comments about the state.

PTM is a Pashtun nationalist political movement, mainly campaigning against military actions in former tribal belt now part of KPK province. PTM is also demanding to end the practices of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and unlawful detentions. PTM has been critical of 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.

On the other hand- Pakistani army accuses PTM for running an anti-national campaign and propaganda to malign the armed forces. It alleges that PTM has an anti-national agenda and playing into the hands of the state's enemies.

Last year, two of PTM's MNAs — Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir — were arrested by police after a protest gathering in Khar Qamar for allegedly using violence and clashing with army personnel. They were released on bail after several months of imprisonment.

                                                        Monitoring desk

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