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MNA Ali Wazir remanded into custody for eight days

May 27, 2019
 

Photo: Ali Wazir – Twitter

MNA Ali Wazir, who was arrested on Sunday in North Waziristan after what is being described as a clash between Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement supporters and army soldiers, has been remanded into the custody of the counter-terrorism department for eight days.

A case was registered against him under the anti-terrorism act.

Wazir was produced before an anti-terrorism court in Bannu on Monday. He will be shifted to Peshawar for further questioning.

According to the FIR, Ali Wazir, Mohsin Dawar along with their supporters carrying batons attacked and pelted stones at an army check post in Kharqamar.

They delivered provocative speeches against the Pakistan army and intelligence agencies and chanted slogans, the FIR stated.

The FIR said that Ali Wazir, Mohsin Dawar and their supporters started firing, injuring army soldiers and killing three people.

What is known is that at least three people were killed in firing at the North Waziristan check post on Sunday. MNA Ali Wazir and eight others were arrested after the incident.

According to the ISPR, the incident involved a group led by Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir at the Kharqamar check post in Boyya, North Waziristan tribal district.

Five bodies were found 1.5km away from the Kharqamar check post later on. Officials are identifying the bodies.

The ISPR said that five soldiers were also injured in the exchange of fire. One of them died of his injuries on Monday.

Samaa Digital could not independently verify what happened.

In a tweet on Sunday night, Major General Asif Ghafoor, the ISPR director-general, said that, “innocent PTM workers need care.” He remarked that “only a few” are inciting them and using them “against state institutions”. No one will be allowed to undo the gains of the national struggle, he added.

Related story: MNA Ali Wazir arrested, 3 killed in North Waziristan

For their part, Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir along with other supporters said they were going to participate in a protest against an operation in Khar Kamar area of Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan. According to Mohsin Dawar, the rally was stopped at the Kharqamar check post. The rally participants outnumbered the soldiers there and managed to pass.

Dawar said that they heard aerial firing when they crossed the check post and reached the ground where local supporters had set up a protest camp.

The aerial firing was followed by straight gunshots that hit the participants of the rally creating panic and everyone started running, said Dawar. At least two dozen supporters were injured, including Dawar. Ali Wazir and other leaders were taken from the spot and a curfew was imposed.

There was no cellular connectivity, making it difficult to investigate the incident.

HRCP demands Ali Wazir’s release

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has demanded release of Ali Wazir and other activisits.

In a statement, the rights group calls for the establishment of a parliamentary commission to probe the mater and “establish the truth”.

“There must be a serious attempt to genuinely address the grievances of the local population, which the PTM has been articulating peacefully for well over a year,” the HRCP said. “The state must ensure that the media and civil society have independent access to the former FATA.”

Amnesty International also issued a similar statement, urging Pakistani government to “order an independent and effective investigation into the killing of activists.”

“Under international law, lethal force can only ever be used by law enforcement authorities when strictly necessary to protect life,” Amnesty statement said.

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