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ATC grants bail to Imaan Mazari, Ali Wazir in sedition case

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LAHORE MIRROR — Human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir were granted bail in sedition case by an Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday.

ATC Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain heard the plea and approved post-arrest bail of Imaan and Wazir against surety bonds of Rs30,000 each.

The two were arrested on August 20 and sent on physical remand after they were accused of delivering a controversial speech at the PTM’s public rally.

On August 19, two first information reports (FIR) were registered against Imaan and Wazir at the Tarnol police station and Counter-Terrorism Department police station, following a rally of the PTM in the federal capital related to the controversial speech against the state institutions.

Both were booked on the charges of sedition, preventing government officials from carrying out their duties and damaging public property.

On August 21, ATC granted three-day physical remand of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir and human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari in a case related to inciting hate against institutions.

According to the media reports, ATC Judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain heard the case today. During the hearing, the police produced Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari before the ATC judge. Imaan’s lawyer stressed that the first FIR contained non-bailable provisions adding that Mazari was a lawyer herself and had cooperated with investigations in the past just as she will continue to do so in the future.

Imaan Mazari’s lawyer advocate Zainab Janjua argued that despite a local court having remanded her client yesterday, “no investigation has been carried out”. She also stressed that Mazari’s phone and laptop have already by confiscated and two cases were registered over a single incident.

The prosecutor said that a similar case had been filed against Mazari previously but the charges were dropped after she “unequivocally apologised” for her remarks earlier this year. “She has repeated the same crime again,” he argued.

He requested the court to grant the request for remand as the investigation was still ongoing and several tests such as the photogrammetry test and voice matching needed to be completed.

Meanwhile, Ali Wazir took the rostrum and told the court that the caretaker government told the PTM leadership not to hold a sit-in in front of the Supreme Court.

“We were told that we should hold a rally, but hold the rally in Tarnol so we went and held a meeting there,” he said, “As soon as the meeting was over, the interior minister tweeted, thanked us, and even called me.”

The judge expressed his disappointment over the circumstances. “it’s such a beautiful country, if this is where things are then where are we headed?” he remarked.

Later, the court approved the three-day physical remand of Iman Mazari and Ali Wazir and ordered for them to be produced before the ATC on August 24.