PM lifts travel restrictions on PTM’s Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday ordered the Interior Ministry to remove the names of members of the National Assembly (MNAs) and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leaders Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir from the Exit Control List (ECL).

The PM gave the orders during a meeting of the federal cabinet at PM’s Office.

Earlier this month, Dawar and Wazir were on their way to Dubai to attend a Pashtun cultural event when the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials offloaded them from the plane moments before the departure.

The FIA officials reportedly told them that their names were placed on the ECL one day ago “as they were wanted in a case registered against them in Swabi”.

Both the lawmakers had been detained by the FIA for three days.

A day earlier, FIA Director General Bashir Ahmed told the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights that the lawmakers’ names were placed on the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) at the request of the inspector general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He expressed regret before the committee that the MNAs had not been informed that they were barred from leaving the country.

Earlier in August, both the lawmakers were charged with multiple offences, including rioting and removing the country’s flag from a building after a public meeting in Swabi.

An FIR was registered under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including 123-B (removing national flag from a building), 131 (seducing soldiers for mutiny), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 153 (provocation to rioting), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

Later, the superintendent of police (investigation), Swabi, had sent a letter to the administration of North and South Waziristan tribal districts asking them to arrest the two leaders as they had been absconding.

In September, a Peshawar High Court (PHC) bench had admitted for hearing a writ petition requesting for quashing of a case registered against the two members of the National Assembly.

Advocate Muhammad Ayaz Khan, who appeared for the petitioner, had contended that the FIR was based on rumours and not facts. He argued that the lawmakers had exercised their fundamental rights of freedom of expression, saying that nothing objectionable had taken place in that public meeting.