An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on Thursday granted police seven-day physical remand of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen, three days after he was arrested in Chaman, Balochistan.
On Monday, Pashteen was arrested in Chaman after his security guards allegedly clashed with police and opened fire, injuring two civilians. Subsequently, according to the interim Balochistan information minister, he was placed in the custody of Dera Ismail Khan police. On Wednesday, several rights activists and former MNA Mohsin Dawar had raised concerns over the failure to produce Pashteen in a court of law.
Appearing before Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain on Thursday, the PTM leader’s lawyer argued that staging rallies was his client’s right, adding Pashteen’s vehicle was fired upon while he was traveling from Chaman to Turbat. He further argued that his client was “kidnapped” from Chaman and presented in court after three days in violation of law.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the court approved Pashteen’s seven-day physical remand.
Earlier, confirming his arrest, police in Chaman had alleged to media that personnel of the police, Levies and the Frontier Corps were conducting routine checks when armed men accompanying Pashteen refused to stop his vehicle and opened fire on them. The officials had retaliated and opened fire on the tyres of the vehicle, which had fled the scene.
In a statement, the PTM had confirmed the incident, claiming Pashteen’s vehicle came under fire near Chaman Press Club. The incident, it said, had resulted in one woman being injured. Subsequently, it claimed, the party chief and his entourage had returned to Chaman and surrendered before authorities.