ABBOTTABAD: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) here on Thursday adjourned the hearing of North Waziristan army check post attack case till December 18th as the accused, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Mohsin Ali Dawar, could not appear before the court.
Earlier, Dawar had requested the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to transfer his case from Bannu Anti-Terrorism Court to any other district as his life is under risk in Bannu after which the PHC ordered that the case be shifted to Abbottabad.
Dawar and MNA Ali Wazir had been detained after a shooting incident at the security checkpoint in North Waziristan in May. The two were present there to show solidarity with a protest at the time against the detention of locals by security forces and the imposition of a curfew in the region when shots were fired.
The Pakistani Army had said some of the protesters were armed and opened fire first, however, protesters denied this and said the soldiers opened fire when they approached the checkpoint.
Giving details of his ordeal in the jail, the MNA said: “From May to Sept, we were kept first at Peshawar jail and then at Haripur [jail]. During this transition, the State decided to further increase its pressure, as in Haripur, we were kept in cells marked for terrorists. There was no mobility in jail and we had no access to news and other facilities.”
Speaking about the allegations levelled against the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) lawmakers, he said it was “hurtful” that “preachers of non-violence” were accused of violence. But, it still doesn’t dampen the lawmakers’ spirit.
“This will not deter us from our goal, which is to win peace and equal rights for our people and it will also not deter us from our path, which is the path of non-violence,” said Dawar.
He said: “We are willing to lay our lives for our people; jails are a very small price. I would like to thank all of those, including Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who raised their voice for our release.”
“Ours is a long struggle, and it is not only for the benefits of Pashtuns but for every victim of state oppression in this country. Pakistan’s biggest weakness is the silence of its good people. This status quo will end only when enough good people speak up,” the N Waziristan MNA said, calling upon people to join their “struggle”.