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Pashtun Lawmaker Mohsin Dawar Among 30 Protesters Arrested in Pakistan

Representative image.

Representative image.

Mohsin Dawar was protesting in front of the National Press Club here against the arrest of Manzoor Pashteen, the chief of the rights-based alliance Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), when he was detained.

Islamabad: Pakistani police on Tuesday arrested a Pashtun lawmaker as he protested the detention of a prominent leader from the ethnic minority community, a police official said.

Mohsin Dawar was protesting in front of the National Press Club here against the arrest of Manzoor Pashteen, the chief of the rights-based alliance Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), when he was detained.

Pashteen, the 27-year-old activist, was arrested along with nine supporters in Peshawar and sent to a jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

Local police officer Akhtar Ali told the media that Dawar was taken into custody for creating a law and order situation. He along with around 30 supporters were detained, the officer said. PTM leader Dawar was elected as a member of the National Assembly from South Waziristan in 2018.

He along with fellow parliamentarian from PTM, Ali Wazir, was arrested last year in June for allegedly inciting violence against the army when local people attacked a post of security forces in South Waziristan. They were granted bail in September.

The PTM was started in 2014 by Pashteen in South Waziristan as Mehsud Tahfuz Movement to demand protection for Mehsud tribesmen at the height of war against terrorism in the tribal areas, bordering Afghanistan.

However, it was renamed as PTM in 2018 after a successful sit-in Islamabad when it began attracting youth from across country.

The PTM has been critical of the Army's policies in the restive northwestern tribal areas where a massive operation against terrorists was carried out in recent years, leading to large-scale displacement and enforced disappearances.

Former army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor in one of press conferences last year accused the group of being used by anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani tweeted against the arrest of Pashteen and was criticized by Pakistan for interfering in its domestic affairs.

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