FIA releases PTM’s Dawar and Wazir after brief detention


–Officials say PTM leaders placed on ECL as they were wanted in case concerning Swabi gathering

PESHAWAR: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday released Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leaders and sitting MNAs, Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, after it briefly detained the parliamentarians from Peshawar airport.

Dawar and Wazir were on their way to Dubai to attend a Pashtun cultural event when the FIA officials offloaded them from the plane moments before the departure.

The FIA officials reportedly had told them that their names were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) one day ago “as they were wanted in a case registered against them in Swabi”. Later, they were shifted to Hayatabad office of the agency.

Back in August, both the lawmakers had taken part in a public gathering of the PTM in Swabi which had landed them in trouble. Both of them along with other PTM supporters and leaders were charged with multiple offences, including rioting and removing the country’s flag from a building after a public meeting in Swabi.

However, Dawar informed the FIA that they already had a pre-arrest bail in the case, a media report quoted FIA official as saying.  “Such tactics expose the state more and more, and will not deter us from our struggle, but rather strengthen it,” said Mohsin Dawar speaking at the airport where he was detained along with his colleague.

“They can’t keep us away from our people for long” he warned.

Meanwhile, Ali Wazir indicated that this latest attempt to put obstacles in their way was because the PTM’s detractors were now afraid of the strength that the movement was gaining.

“First they were only afraid of the PTM here in Pakistan, now they also fear the PTM abroad now,” he said after having been detained at Peshawar airport.

“The expected massive participation of Pashtuns from Europe, other countries and even Dubai might have scared them,” he said speculating on why they have now been placed on the ECL.

Following the detention, PTM supporters have gathered outside the office to record their protest.

In October, a PTM member and activist, Gulalai Ismail, was detained by FIA for her alleged involvement in ‘anti-state’ activities. After her brief detention, Gulalai was released; however, her name was placed on the no-fly list.