Pashtun MP in Pakistan remains incarcerated for anti-state speech

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A hearing of incarcerated Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)-linked MNA Ali Wazir’s case has been postponed once again in Pakistan, with rights activists raising concerns about absence of due process, Friday Times reported.

While Wazir was recently granted bail in a case pertaining to ‘anti-state’ speech, he remains behind bars as another case registered against him is still pending.

On Friday, the PTM held a protest in Islamabad calling for the release of Ali Wazir, as well as Hanif Pashteen and Uwais Abdal, among other PTM members. Rights activist Tahira Abdullah and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar were among the participants, the report said.

In early January, Ali Wazir’s lawyer, Qadir Khan, had his house ransacked in Karachi. Several close to the attorney claimed the raid was the work of the Sindhi Rangers, whom they also alleged harassed the lawyer’s family, including his daughter, the report said.

Ali Wazir, a lawmaker from South Waziristan elected in 2018, was arrested in Peshawar in December 2020 on charges of sedition, along with 10 other PTM members. Wazir was granted bail by the Supreme Court in November last year, but remains incarcerated in another case.

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