Pakistan: PTM leader Ali Wazir remanded in police custody till Dec 30 despite outcry against his 'illegal' arrest

ANI
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Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir
Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 20 (ANI): Despite the growing outcry over his 'illegal' arrest and increasing demand for his immediate release, Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir has been remanded in police custody till December 30 by an anti-terrorism court.

The court on Saturday remanded in police custody Wazir and three others in a case pertaining to allegedly using provocative language against state institutions at a gathering in Karachi, Dawn reported.

Wazir was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a case registered against him and several leaders of the PTM in Karachi after a recent public meeting by the country's opposition.

The PTM leaders were accused of committing several offences, including hatching a criminal conspiracy and passing derogatory remarks against state institutions, reported Dawn.

Peshawar Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mohammad Ali Gandapur said that Wazir was arrested at the request of the Sindh police.

His arrest came at the time when the Pakistan ruling party is facing growing protests.

Activists and opposition political parties have condemned the arrest of Wazir, who is also a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan over charges of passing derogatory remarks against state institutions.

Members of the Pashtun ethnic minority have long blamed that they have been targets of military operations and ethnic stereotyping by the Pakistani state and its security forces.

On Friday, Pashtun Tahfuz Movement USA (PTM USA) held a virtual protest against the arrest of Pashtun leader Wazir in Peshawar.

In a statement, the PTM USA strongly condemned the act of illegal arrest and harassment of the Pashtun leader and called on the Pakistani authorities to release Ali Wazir immediately and withdraw the fake charges against him.

"The way Ali Wazir, a representative of hundreds of thousands of Pashtuns was arrested and paraded handcuffed in front of the media by the Pakistani police is not only an insult to the parliament but to the Pashtun nation itself," the statement read. (ANI)