Release Ali Wazir, withdraw false police charges

Pakistan solidarity petition

June 6, 2019

On 26 May 2019 a peaceful procession in the Waziristan region led by Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, both Members of National Assembly (MNAs), was fired upon by army men, leaving at least 13 dead and over forty injured in Waziristan region.

Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar were elected as Members of the National Assembly (MNA) in the general elections held in 2018. They are also leaders of the Pashtun Defence Movement/Pashtun Tahfuz Movement (PTM), a mass social movement that emerged two years ago.

The PTM demands an end to military operations in the region bordering Afghanistan. This region is inhabited by ethnic Pashtuns. Their demands have brought them in conflict with the country’s powerful military. For the last two months, the military spokesperson has been passing threats to the PTM. Besides, the media were publicly advised by the military not to give any coverage to the PTM.

These threats and media black out translated into a tragic reality on 26 May. On the one hand, the peaceful procession was fired upon. On the other, media unanimously reported that the PTM activists led by Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar attacked a military check post and ensuing violence claimed the lives of three protestors besides injuring three soldiers.

Ironically, video footage — filmed through mobile phones — has emerged. These videos clearly show that Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar were fired upon from behind. While people were falling to bullets, Ali Wazir, instead of running to safety, went back to help an injured comrade. As he approached his comrade, near the checkpost, he was arrested by the military.

The next day, he was produced before the Anti-Terrorism-Court and remanded for eight days. Meantime, the entire opposition in the Parliament has demanded his release. He suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

There have been unconfirmed allegations of torture as well. In the event, even if he is released for now, his life remains threatened. Like the rest of the PTM leadership, he has been subjected to a vicious hate propaganda. He is being portrayed by the mainstream media and the military as a foreign agent, a traitor, and a terrorist.

Fact of the matter is, the PTM staunchly believes in non-violence while 16 members of Ali Wazir’s family, including his siblings and father, were assassinated by the Taliban owing to his family’s opposition to the Taliban. He emerged as a symbol of anti-Taliban struggle before the rise of the PTM.

We urge you to sign this petition for these democratic demands:

(1) The urgent release of Ali Wazir and his PTM comrades

(2) An end to vilification campaign against the PTM leadership

(3) Withdrawal of fake police charges under anti terrorist laws against Ali Wazir and the PTM members.

This petition appeared on the and in the International Viewpoint website here. To sign, fill the Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF) contact form here. Put your name, title (function, organisation) and country, mentioning “solidarity with Ali Wazir”.

Comments
  • Harriet Heywood says:

    Justice for Pashtun! The world is watching. Release Ali Wazir and comrades wrongfully arrested.

  • Leave a Reply to Harriet Heywood Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.