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Pashtun protests in Quetta seek release of detainees

Earlier in November, Balochistan University students protested the alleged abduction of two of their colleagues and staged sit-ins in Quetta.

IANS | New Delhi |

Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has demanded taking back an ordinance banning protests in Balochistan.

To press for this demand and release of its leaders, PTM on Sunday organised a massive gathering at Quetta for the release of PTM leader Ali Wazir, Member of Parliament from South Waziristan, who has been in detention for 11 months on fake charges and other detainees, as per its social media accounts.

PTM is the voice of all residents of the periphery. It is a voice against colonialism. It demands peace which exists in metropolitan Pakistan. It demands end of enforced disappearances & draconian laws, PTM said.

The PTM jalsa in Quetta was for ending the growing criminalisation of protests, unnecessary checkpoints, ending intimidation & closure of Chaman crossing, release of all missing persons, ending emergency rule.

PTM demanded the release of Mohib Wazir and Said Rasul, who were arrested on fabricated charges. Mohib Wazir and Said Rasul raised voice against the brutal oppression & unnecessary checkpoints in Angoor Adda South Waziristan. Angoor adda is near Durand line.

Police raided houses of PTM workers in Quetta, it claimed. PTM is raising its voice for the release of Ali Wazir, Hanif Pashteen, Owais Abdal & Idress Khattak. PTM will also raise voice for the two missing students of University of Balochistan.

PTM is also raising its voice against the controversial “Criminal law Ordinance” passed by Balochistan govt yesterday, which criminalises protests. PTM will demand that such controversial ordinance be taken back.

Mohsin Dawar, Member National Assembly from Waziristan said in a recent tweet: “I have submitted an adjournment motion in the National Assembly to discuss the very concerning issue of the enforced disappearance of Haseeb Baloch and Sahel Baloch from the University of Balochistan. The Baloch continue to go missing and the Parliament needs to take notice.”

Dawar said the Prosecutor General Sindh is trying to adjourn the hearing which will delay the proceedings of the Ali Wazir case further. “Shameful how rule of law is being undermined so blatantly. Ali remains in prison on fake charges,” Dawar said.

Governor Balochistan Syed Zahoor Agha has promulgated the Criminal Law Balochistan Amendment Ordinance that prescribes up to six-month in jail for anyone holding a rally or staging a sit-in on roads in the province, Samaa TV reported.

The ordinance comes in the wake of recent protests in the province. Last week, a sit-in was staged in Gwadar to protest the unavailability of potable water for the local population, it added.

Earlier in November, Balochistan University students protested the alleged abduction of two of their colleagues and staged sit-ins in Quetta.

According to the government officials, the new ordinance takes effect immediately throughout the province and bans rallies, processions and sit-ins in streets and on roads or highways.

Violators of the ordinance could face three to six months imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 10,000, according to officials.

The ordinance further says that people from rallies and sit-ins can be arrested without a warrant.

Sessions courts and first-class magistrates will be able to impose imprisonment and fines.