ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in Islamabad sent former member of National Assembly Ali Wazir on judicial remand on Wednesday while granting bail to human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari in a case pertaining to damage to government property.
Announcing the reserved verdict, Judge Waqas Ahmed Raja sent Wazir to Adiala Jail on judicial remand while fixing Mazari’s bail against a surety bond of Rs30,000.
This case in question was registered at the Tarnol Police Station.
Wazir and Mazari were remanded in police custody, hours after their arrest from the federal capital late on Saturday (August 19, 2023) night on various charges.
The arrests came after a rally of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) on Friday (August 18), during which the two detainees delivered charged speeches. They are accused of making statements against state institutions and inciting people.
“Islamabad Capital Police has arrested Ali Wazir and Iman Mazari. Both the accused were wanted by the Islamabad Police for investigation. All action will be taken in accordance with law,” the capital’s police said in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday morning.
According to a First Information Report (FIR) shared on social media, Wazir and Mazari were among dozens of people booked under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for being part of the PTM rally that on Friday tried to “interfere in state affairs”.
The FIR said several participants of the rally were armed with sticks and some even with weapons. They attempted to defy authorities and march on the capital. Subsequently, the main highway, GT Road, was blocked by protestors who proceeded to hold a rally in the middle of the road.
On Sunday morning, Wazir and Imaan were presented in the court of District and Sessions Judge Ihtasham Alam amid heightened security. The media was barred from entering the courtroom, where the prosecutor requested the judge to remand the two in police custody.
During this hearing, the authorities showed the judge a second FIR, containing allegations of sedition and terrorism.
The second FIR registered by Islamabad’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) under sections 124A, 153A, 153, 506, 149 and 148 of the PPC and sections 7, 11W and 21i of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997 claimed that at the Friday rally, Mazari and other PTM leaders tried to incite rebellion.
It alleged that the protest leaders tried to incite government officials to break their oath of allegiance while also trying to undermine the army and promote terrorism.
“They threatened the judiciary, legislature and executive with serious consequences. “They used derogatory epithets [for state organs] in order to spread hatred among the public; fan terrorism; incite rebellion; spark civil war and civil disobedience while motivating people to resort to an armed struggle.”
In view of this FIR, the former MP and the rights activist were on Monday presented in Islamabad’s Anti-Terrorism Court-1 (ATC). The hearing was presided over by Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain.
The next day, a local court granted the police three days physical remand of Wazir and Mazari.