PTM lawmakers Dawar, Wazir released from jail


–MNA Mohsin Dawar says will continue ‘non-violent’ struggle with ‘zeal and enthusiasm’ against ‘state oppression’

PESHAWAR: Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) lawmakers Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were released from Haripur jail in the wee hours of Saturday after their bails were approved by the Peshawar High Court on Thursday.

Dawar and Wazir –who were elected representatives of North and South Waziristan people— were warmly received by PTM supporters, including movement’s chief Manzoor Pashteen, who had gathered outside the jail to receive the MNAs.

The lawmakers had been detained after a shooting incident at a security checkpoint in North Waziristan in May. The two were leading a protest at the time against the detention of locals by security forces and the imposition of a curfew in the region when shots were fired.

The Pakistani Army said some of the protesters were armed and opened fire first. Protesters denied this and said the soldiers opened fire when they approached the checkpoint.


Taking to Twitter after the release, MNA Mohsin Dawar posted a series of tweets, vowing to keep on fighting for the rights of the oppressed.

MNA Mohsin Dawar following his release from jail on Saturday, took to Twitter to express his continued “zeal and enthusiasm” in countering what he claimed was “state oppression”, saying that although the “allegation of violence against us was hurtful […] it will not deter us from our path, which is the path of non-violence”.

“We are back with the same zeal and enthusiasm, the tragedy of #KharQamarMassacre will be known in history as an example of a State’s brutal response to peaceful protest. In its aftermath, this State piled up even more violations of human rights & decency in its treatment of Ali [Wazir] and myself,” the lawmaker wrote.

Giving details of his ordeal in the jail, the MNA said: “From May to Sept, we were kept first at Peshawar jail and then at Haripur [jail]. During this transition, the State decided to further increase its pressure, as in Haripur, we were kept in cells marked for terrorists. There was no mobility in jail and we had no access to news and other facilities.”

Speaking about the allegations leveled against the PTM lawmakers, he said it was “hurtful” that “preachers of non-violence” were accused of violence. But, it still doesn’t dampen the lawmakers’ spirit.

“This will not deter us from our goal, which is to win peace and equal rights for our people and it will also not deter us from our path, which is the path of non-violence,” said Dawar.

He said: “We are willing to lay our lives for our people; jails are a very small price. I would like to thank all of those, including Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who raised their voice for our release.”

“Ours is a long struggle, and it is not only for the benefits of Pashtuns but for every victim of state oppression in this country. Pakistan’s biggest weakness is the silence of its good people. This status quo will end only when enough good people speak up,” the N Waziristan MNA said, calling upon people to join their “struggle”.

Essentially an anti-war campaign, the PTM sprang up as a result of the killing of the 27-year-old Naqeebullah Masood, who was killed by police in the southern city of Karachi on January 20.