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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court granted bail to Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader and Member National Assembly (MNA) Ali Wazir subject to deposit of Rs 0.4 million as surety.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and comprising Justice Amin ud Din Khan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, on Tuesday, heard the bail application of the PTM leader against the Sindh High Court’s verdict.

Justice Tariq said that they (bench) would confine themselves only to the rule of consistency.

He noted that though Noorullah Tarin, Sher Muhammad, and others, who as per the FIR, registered in a police station in Karachi, also delivered hate speeches against the state institutions, but they were granted bails, while Ali Wazir is behind bars for almost one year.

Peshawar Police had arrested Mohammad Ali, better known as Ali Wazir, and others in December 2020 on the request of the Sindh Police for allegedly using defamatory and provocative language against state institutions and the army during a rally in Sohrab Goth.

The SHC, in June this year, had dismissed the post-arrest bail of Ali Wazir in a case pertaining to the alleged use of provocative language against state institutions.

During the proceeding, Sindh Prosecutor General Dr Fiaz Shah informed that categorical speech was made by Ali Wazir’s against the state institutions; therefore, he is kept in jail.

Justice Tariq Masood said according to the FIR, two DVDs contained the full coverage of the speeches, but only Ali Wazir’s speech was sent to the Punjab Forensic Laboratory and Pushto Centre for examination.

Justice Tariq said a few days ago, the policemen in Lahore were attacked, adding many cops were critically injured and some embraced martyrdom.

But the people who had attacked the police were released though their bail applications have been pending before the courts.

Justice Jamal questioned is it not mala fide that the co-accused were granted bail, but the petitioner is behind bars.

He said why the State treat them (PTM leaders) as alien, adding even if they had said something, the State should not treat them as the enemy of the country, but needs to address their grievances.

Earlier, Latif Afridi, representing Ali Wazir, contended that the allegations of high treason against his client are incorrect as he has not said anything which can be termed as high treason, adding such allegations were levelled against Fatima Jinnah, Wali Khan, and Maulana Madudi as well.

He said Article 19 of the constitution deals with the freedom of speech.

The counsel said Ali Wazir uttered no negative remarks against the security forces or the State institutions.

The bench, after hearing the arguments, granted bail to Ali Wazir.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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