28 January 2023
By Rehan Piracha
MNA and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir will be released from his two-year incarceration after he secures bail in the last sedition case registered against him in Dera Ismail Khan, his counsel Qadir Khan told Voicepk.net on Saturday.
A day earlier, the Peshawar High Court granted bail to imprisoned MNA in the Charsadda sedition case as well as barred Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police from arresting him in any of the cases registered against him in the province.
However, Qadir Khan cautioned that his client’s release might be delayed if the Sindh police arrest him in other sedition cases that they have not disclosed until now. A tactic authorities have used to delay his release each time he secured bail in a slew of sedition cases.
“Each time Ali Wazir secured bail in a case in which he has been arrested, the police would request for his arrest in a new case with similar charges,” Qadir Khan said.
The orders on Friday were issued by two PHC benches after hearing Ali Wazir’s separate petitions. Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim granted bail to Ali Wazir in the sedition case registered at Prang police station in Charsadda on March 2, 2020, for allegedly speaking against state institutions at a PTM public meeting.
The bail was given on the condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs 500,000 each.
The second bench comprising Justice Attique Shah and Justice Syed Arshad Ali stopped KP police from arresting Ali Wazir in cases registered against him in the province. In his petition, Ali Wazir had sought the quashing of around 11 FIRs registered against him in different districts as well as those not disclosed by the government and police. The bench sought a response of the provincial home secretary and the police and adjourned the hearing till February 13.
Qadir Khan said the trial court in Bannu would hold a hearing on the bail application in the sedition case registered with Dera Ismail Khan police in the coming week. “If Ali Wazir gets bail in the Dera Ismail Khan, he could be released by end of next week,” Qadir Khan said. In case the Sindh police disclosed new cases against Ali Wazir, the counsel said, they would move the Sindh High Court with a similar petition seeking to bar the provincial police from registering new cases on identical charges. He said the superior court judgments state that separate cases could not be registered against one individual on identical charges.
Qadir Khan said he had met Ali Wazir in jail two days ago and the PTM leader was in high spirits and good health.
According to Ali Wazir’s counsel, the incarcerated MNA has been granted bail in around six sedition cases- four registered in Karachi, one case each in Miranshah and Charsadda. “The only pending case in which his arrest is shown is that of Dera Ismail Khant,” the counsel added.
In a tweet in November, PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen lambasted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over Ali Wazir’s continued incarceration, accusing him of failing to uphold fundamental rights, the Constitution, and the electoral mandate which the prime minister vouched for when he was in opposition.
Wazir is an independently-elected member of the National Assembly from South Waziristan, who was arrested in December 2020 and moved to Karachi to face charges in connection with four cases of sedition registered against him in three police stations there. The cases were based on speeches made by Ali Wazir allegedly against state institutions during the public meetings of the Pakshtun Tuhaffaz Movement (PTM) while he was staying in Karachi.