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This is why #ShameOnFIA is trending on Twitter

This is why #ShameOnFIA is trending on Twitter

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#ShameOnFIA has been trending on Pakistani twitter for a day now. The hashtag came as a result of two of the leaders of Pushtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) being detained on Friday.

What do we know?

Ali Wazir and Dawar Mahmood, both of whom are Members of National Assembly (MNAs), were taken into custody at the Bacha Khan International Airport by the FIA. The two legislators were leaving the country for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when they were detained.

The flight Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were intending to board was scheduled to take off from the Peshawar airport at 3pm. They had planned to participate in a ‘Pakhtuns Culture Show’ in Dubai on December 2nd. “Such tactics expose the state more and more, and will not deter us from our struggle, but rather strengthen it,” said Mohsin Dawar speaking at the airport where he was detained along with his colleague.

The two PTM leaders can be seen in the middle

FIA’s Response

The FIA said that Mahmood and Wazir were detained due to the fact that their names had been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) a while ago; hence they were not allowed to leave the country.

FIA further elaborated that both MNAs had been transferred to the FIA office in Hayatabad in Peshawar and were being interrogated. Many have speculated that their names have been put on the list due to their criticism of the federation and authorities over the mistreatment of Pushtun people. However to many this does not come as a news, as the state has already had a hard-line stance on the PTM, arresting members and detaining protesters over charges of spreading unrest and endangering public safety, the state has actively taken steps to prevent the movement from growing. The Punjab government arrested PTM leaders and detained individuals who tried to gather at the Mall road when the leaders of the movement came to the city.

PTM holds a public sway in Pushtun dominated areas, and especially in the neglected tribal areas

Mohsin Dawar had won the election from National Assembly constituency, NA-48 in North Waziristan tribal district in July 2018. Ali Wazir was elected from NA-50 in South Waziristan tribal district. The two are among the founders of PTM, a Pashtun-based rights movement that has been demanding recovery of missing persons, reducing operations in the tribal districts and removal of roadside check-posts. It has also been vocal in criticizing the military in Pakistan.

After being detained for a brief period of time both leaders were released. But this detention brought media scrutiny and criticism on the FIA and the state. As violent protesters such as the TLP, who demand for innocents to be hanged are facilitated by the state, whereas peaceful protesters who demand civil rights for the people of FATA are threatened and treated like criminals

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Balach Khan

Balach Khan is the Urdu editor at ProperGaanda and writes articles about Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues. Twitter: @alreadytakenwas

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