More than two years after his arrest, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Ali Wazir was released from Central Jail Karachi on Tuesday.
Wazir was arrested in December 2020 for allegedly inciting hate against the state institutions, delivering provocative speeches, and treason. He was arrested from Peshawar and shifted to Karachi.
He, along with some other party leaders, was booked in four identical cases registered at Sohrab Goth, Shah Latif Town, and Boat Basin police stations under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) pertaining to the said charges.
Talking to Geo News earlier today, Qadir Khan, Wazir’s counsel, announced that his client would be released from jail this evening.
Four cases have been registered against Wazir in different police stations in Karachi, according to police. He was charged with different counts, including sedition and rioting.
Out of the four cases, Wazir has been acquitted in one case and has secured bail in rest of the three cases, confirmed his counsel.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a total of 14 cases were registered against the PTM leader. The Peshawar High Court barred the police from arresting the MNA in 11 cases, while he was granted bail in three cases, said his counsel.
As news of Wazir’s release spread, Twitter seemed overjoyed and people shared their exuberance and delight at what they considered an overdue decision and a “win for democracy”.
Taking to Twitter, MNA Mohsin Dawar expressed his delight over the release of Wazir after spending almost 26 months in jail. He shared a picture of him after his release from the Karachi prison.
‘Justice cannot be denied forever’
Dawar earlier said that he was very happy for Wazir “who will finally be released today after spending more than 2 years in jail”.
“Every attempt was made to break Ali’s spirit and to keep him in jail but he has prevailed. Justice cannot be denied forever,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Reacting to the news, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) said that it was “heartened” to hear that Wazir has been released from jail.
Senior journalist Hamid Mir also welcomed Wazir on his release after a prolonged imprisonment.
One user commented: “Long live democracy and democratic values. Ali Wazir is a free man.”
Another user stated: “Great news! Comrade Ali Wazir is set to be released from Karachi jail this evening after more than two years [of] prison. Let’s welcome him back after two long years of unjust arrest.”
Many Twitter users also lauded Wazir’s unflinching refusal to apologise, and his steadfastness in his stance over the two years of his incarceration.
One user tweeted: “Ali Wazir is finally released. ‘They said that I should apologise but let me tell them that my body and flesh will melt and my bones will be buried but I will never apologise’- his words last year outside the parliament. He kept his word. He won. Ego lost. Here’s to freedom!”
Several journalists too congratulated Wazir on his release.
“FINALLY and shukar. Welcome back Ali Wazir Sb.”
“Welcome back Ali Wazir Sahab“
Journalist Murtaza Ali Shah commented: “Pashtun nationalist leader Ali Wazir gets a hero’s welcome after over 2 years of incarceration in a slew of sedition cases against him. Ali Wazir refused to surrender over fake cases.”
More to follow…