An anti-terrorism court in Karachi has charged Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen and four PTM leaders with sedition, declaring them absconders and ordering their bank accounts be frozen and their national identity cards blocked.
The five men were charged with delivering a hate speech against the security establishment on May 13, 2018. The accused are Manzoor Pashteen, Muhammad Akhtar, Ikramullah, Ahsanullah, Noorullah Tareen, Muhammad Sher Khan, Waheed Khan and M. Idrees.
The ATC judge admonished the investigating officer on the case for not arresting the suspects, despite their notable presence in the provincial capital, and the non-bailable warrants against them. The judge also issued perpetual warrants for the arrest of the five men, as reported in Dawn.
The party leaders are currently in Karachi, staging a sit-in before the Sindh Assembly calling for the release of incarcerated PTM members, and MNA Ali Wazir, who has been booked on three identical sedition cases and has remained in Karachi Central Prison since December 2020, despite several attempts to have him released on bail. The sit-in is currently in its 23rd day.
Manzoor Pashteen was booked in two identical cases under sections 124-A (sedition), 148 (rioting with deadly arms), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.