22nd day protest in
Gwadar, Masti Khan held
for ‘anti-state’ speech

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GWADAR: Police on Thursday arrested veteran politician and Baloch Muttahida Mahaz (BMM) president Mir Yousuf Masti Khan on the charge of making a “provocative and anti-state” speech at a protest sit-in staged by the people of Gwadar. According to a latest report, Mir Yousuf Masti Khan was bailed out on Friday on personal bond of rupees one lakh.

The residents of Gwadar have been staging the sit-in for the past 22 days in support of their demands under the banner of Gwadar ko haq do movement launched by Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-i-Islami Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman.

Police registered cases against the BMM president under sections 121, 123-A, 124-A, 153, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Veteran Baloch Muttahida Mahaz (BMM) president Mir Yousuf Masti Khan

Police arrested Yousuf Masti Khan from a hotel where he was staying and later produced him before a sessions court. The court remanded him in police custody for one day.

The Baloch leader reached Gwadar to express solidarity with the people of Gwadar staging the protest sit-in.

The organisers of the sit-in claimed that police had also registered cases against Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman.

They said that police also attempted to arrest the leader of the movement but could not do so due to the presence of thousands of people at the sit-in.

A heavy contingent of police and other law-enforcement agencies was present in the sit-in area, but took no action against the participants of the protest.

Al Wazir MNA

Speaking at the sit-in, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, while condemning the arrest of the BMM leader, declared: “We are not afraid of arrests and attitude of Gwadar police. Our peaceful sit-in is being pushed towards violence”.

He said the people of Gwadar had decided to lay siege to the police station against the arrest of Mr Yousuf, but the decision had been postponed on the appeal of the Gwadar deputy commissioner.

“What does it mean to arrest an 80-year-old man?” the Jamaat leader asked. “We are already condemning the FC and others for violating the sanctity of chador aur chardiwari, but today Gwadar police played the role of the FC.

He said that Pervez Musharraf and other generals were violating the Constitution of the country, but they were not declared rebels and traitors.

“We are demanding a ban on foreign trawlers fishing in Balochistan’s waters and opening of border trade with Iran and Afghanistan to ensure livelihood of the people of Balochistan, but we are declared rebels and traitors by the government,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the arrest of veteran Baloch leader Yusuf Masti Khan in Gwadar.

A file pictures shows Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement chief Manzoor Pashteen addresses party workers after being released from jail. (Photo by Sirajuddin)

In a statement issued here on Thursday, the HRCP said: “Mr Khan has done nothing more than demanding of the state to give Gwadar residents civil, political and economic rights to which they are entitled to.

“To charge Mr Khan under archaic and repressive colonial laws is undemocratic. He must be released immediately and unconditionally, especially given his poor health condition.”

HR Commission condemns arrest of Baloch leader

Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission has condemned the arrest of veteran Baloch politician and president of Baloch Muttahida Mahaz (BMM) Mir Yousuf Masti Khan.

The 80-year-old was arrested on Thursday on charges of making a “provocative and anti-state” speech at a protest in Gwadar.

The HRCP, in a statement issued on Thursday, said “Khan has done nothing more than demanding the state to give Gwadar residents civil, political and economic rights, to which they are entitled to. To charge Khan under archaic and repressive colonial laws is undemocratic.”

Gwadar residents have been staging a sit-in protest in support of their demands under the banner of the ‘Gwadar ko Haq do’ movement for the past 23 days. The protest was launched by Balochistan General Secretary of Jamaat-i-Islami Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman.

As per a report in Dawn, police registered cases against the veteran politician under Sections 121, 123-A, 124-A, 153, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Khan was arrested from a hotel where he was staying and later produced before a sessions court. The court remanded him to police custody for one day. Khan had reached Gwadar to express solidarity with the protestors.

Ali Wazir bailed out in hate speech case

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Tuesday granted bail to MNA Ali Wazir in hate speech case. The Supreme Court bench, which had transferred the bail plea of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Mohammad Ali Wazir to another bench, heard the same appeal and granted bail to Wazir.

Last year on December 16, Peshawar Police arrested MNA Ali Wazir at the request of Sindh Police in connection with a case registered against him and several leaders of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in Karachi after a public meeting.

They were accused of committing several offences, including hatching a criminal conspiracy and passing derogatory remarks against state institutions.

The then Peshawar Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mohammad Ali Gandapur said Mr Wazir was arrested at the request of Sindh police as a case was registered against him at Sohrab Goth police station, Karachi. 

Peshawar Police shifted the MNA to Karachi after fulfilling legal requirements and getting his transit custody from the court for shifting him to Karachi.

2 FIRs regustered

Police have registered two FIRs against Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asghar Achakzai and others for holding a public meeting here on Sunday without obtaining a no-objection certificate and violation of loudspeaker ordinance, coronavirus-related standard operating procedures and other laws.

The public meeting was organised by the PTM at Railway Hockey Ground despite a ban on the entry of Mr Pashteen and other leaders of the PTM into Balochistan. Mr Pashteen delivered a speech at the public gathering.

The police have registered FIR No. 217/21 against Mr Pashteen at Civil Line police station. Referring to the Balochistan Public Order Ordinance, the FIR said that Mr Pashteen was barred from entering Balochistan. However, with the help of PTM provincial president Noor Bacha, he reached Railway Hockey Ground and delivered a provocative speech.

In another FIR — No. 216/21 — police have stated that Mr Pashteen, Mr Bacha, Majeed Kakar, Khushal Khan Kakar, Mullah Behram, Zubair Shah, Rasheed Nasir, Noorullah Tareen, Umar Khan and ANP leader Asghar Achakzai made provocative speeches at the public meeting.

The meeting was held without obtaining NOC in which coronavirus-related SOPs were violated. The speakers at the rally provoked the participants by making provocative speeches against the security agencies while some miscreants held Afghan flags in their hands, the FIR said.

The FIR invokes sections 121, 123A, 153A, 269, 270, 278 and 341 of the Pakistan Penal Code.