Former member of Pakistan’s parliament and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir and human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir were remanded to three days in detention by the country’s Anti-Terrorism Court on August 21.
Wazir and Mazari-Hazir were arrested on August 20 for participating in a rally organized by the PTM on August 18 demanding immediate action against extrajudicial killings and the enforced disappearances of thousands of innocent people in the military’s so-called anti-terror operations in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.
At the PTM rally, Mazari-Hazir demanded an end to war in the country, the release of all the people arrested by the army from the KP province, and the court martial of all army officials creating troubles in the country.
Wazir has been arrested several times in the past for speaking against the army’s atrocities. He was briefly arrested in June 2023, after being released on bail in February following nearly 26 months behind bars on charges of sedition and criticism of the army.
Several members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the main opposition, were also arrested over various charges recently. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan is already in jail. On August 19, Pakistan arrested Shah Mahmood Qureshi, vice chairperson of PTI, over alleged involvement in missing state documents.
PTI has alleged that the arrest of its leaders and activists is part of a crackdown on the opposition party before national elections. Omar Ayub Khan, secretary general of PTI, called Pakistan’s government “fascist.”