PTM leader Dawar freed

24 party activists will remain in custody

By: AFP      Published: 05:07 PM, 29 Jan, 2020
PTM leader Dawar freed

Authorities released Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) MNA Mohsin Dawar hours after detaining him during a peaceful demonstration, a police official said Wednesday, but more than 20 other demonstrators held with him remained in custody.

Dawar was detained along with 23 supporters on Tuesday when he was leading a demonstration in Islamabad against the arrest of Manzoor Pashteen, chief of the group.

Dawar, who was also detained for months last year for allegedly inciting violent clashes with security forces during another protest, was released late Tuesday, a police spokesman told AFP. But a further 23 PTM members have been charged with incitement against state institutions, disturbing law and order, and hate speech. 

"All 23 ... will be presented before a magistrate today and will be sent to jail later," Zia Bajwa, spokesman for the Islamabad police, told AFP.

Pashteen was arrested on Monday in Peshawar. He is facing charges including sedition, hate speech, incitement against the state, and criminal conspiracy. 

PTM leaders have called on their supporters to stay calm after Pashteen's arrest. His lawyer Asad Aziz Mehsud said Pashteen has been remanded in Dera Ismail Khan, and will seek bail on Thursday.