–Manzoor Pashteen-led delegation meets Senate body, assures PTM is ready for talks if its demands are fulfilled
ISLAMABAD: Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader and Member of National Assembly from North Waziristan Mohsin Javed Dawar surrendered himself to the law on Thursday and was subsequently produced before an anti-terrorism court in Bannu for physical remand.
The investigation officer of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Bannu requested the court for 30-day police custody of the lawmaker. However, special ATC judge Babar Ali Khan remanded Dawar in police custody for eight days and asked the police to produce him before the court on June 7.
A video circulating on social media shows Dawar speaking at a local gathering, wherein he said that he wanted a thorough probe into the Kharqamar incident and vowed to defend his innocence in the court.
He noted that a curfew had been imposed in Waziristan and his native village and the ones located near it had been surrounded by security forces. “I cannot put the people through more trouble for myself,” Dawar said, announcing that he would surrender to police.
The lawmaker’s detention came after an alleged clash in Kharqamar, wherein 13 PTM activists were shot dead while dozens were injured, including five army soldiers. The PTM claimed that the military opened fire on unarmed protesters, while the army’s media wing said it was PTM led by MNAs Dawar and Wazir that resorted to firing at the checkpost.
Videos of the incident, however, show otherwise.
Following the clash, MNA Ali Wazir was taken into custody. He was subsequently produced before an ATC and was remanded into custody for 8 days. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has demanded production orders for MNA Wazir and demanded an explanation why the National Assembly wasn’t informed of his arrest.
An FIR was registered against the lawmakers and seven others; the charges have been framed under 7ATA (Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997), Pakistan Penal Code 302 (murder), 324 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 120b (criminal conspiracy), and 109 (abetment to an offence).
The FIR alleged the protesters hurled stones at the army post and that armed supporters of Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar attacked the security post and opened fire.
MANZOOR PASHTEEN MEETS SENATE BODY:
Meanwhile, PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen led a delegation to meet the Senate’s body on National Cohesion. During the meeting, both sides agreed to form a special Senate committee formed to address the problems of the aggrieved sections of the society.
“PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen came to meet Senate’s committee of National Cohesion today. We have discussed and decided to form a ‘Rabta committee’,” said Senator Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif on Twitter.
The committee will comprise three representatives from PTM and five from Senate, “in order to resolve current and future issues”. The committee agreed that steps must be taken to remove complaints of PTM as well as other disgruntled groups.
PTM’s leader Manzoor Pashteen came to meet Senate’s committee of National Cohesion today. We have discussed and decided to form a “Rabta committee”, comprising of 3 reps from PTM and 5 reps from Senate. In order to resolve current snd future issues. More details to follow. pic.twitter.com/QxhtxJeODt
— Senator Barrister Saif (@SenatorSaif) May 30, 2019
He said Senators Barrister Saif, Sitara Ayaz, Dilawar Khan, Naseebullah Baezai and Sajid Turi will represent the government side while PTM will be represented by Liaqat Khan, Kashif Azam Chisti, and Abdul Saleem Yousufzai.
Speaking to media-persons after the meeting, Committee Chairman Barrister Saif was hopeful of reaching a settlement with PTM, saying the body had received “positive indications” from the PTM delegation.
Barrister Saif said that the PTM delegation assured that the party will sit with the government for talks if its demands are fulfilled and issues are resolved.
The senator said that the PTM had demanded better facilities of tribal people as well as medical facilities for those who had been injured in the Waziristan incident, including MNA Ali Wazir.
The PTM asked for the withdrawal of the FIR against its members as it informed the committee with Kharqamar incident. The committee, having no power, said it would raise the issue in Senate.
He said that he will inform Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani about the proceedings.
The committee will also contact the armed forces and play the role of a mediator between both parties to resolve conflicts.
The committee told PTM leadership not to make provocative speeches in their rallies and wave Pakistan’s flag at their next protest.
The PTM delegation said that it will talk to its committee about these recommendations.