MNA Ali Wazir will not be released from prison despite having been granted bail by the Supreme Court in a hate speech case as there remains a case in which he has not been given bail.
While hearing the case on Tuesday, a three-judge Supreme Court (SC) bench observed that as the other accused in the hate speech case had been granted bail, Wazir must also be given bail. Justice Masood, a member of the bench, also observed that the state was releasing other people after negotiations, a possible reference to talks with the Taliban. He added that a deal had been struck with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) after the court canceled their bail.
Justice Jamal Mandokhail asked if the issues highlighted by Ali Wazir could not have been debated in parliament. He questioned why our own people are being shunned rather than being embraced.
The prosecutor general of Sindh insisted that the bail plea be rejected to which the court replied that if he persisted with the demand the government’s entire case could collapse.
Wazir’s counsel, Latif Afridi, argued that charges of terrorism were added to the case after nothing else could be proven in the inquiry.
Rights activists welcomed the decision on social media. Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen wrote on Twitter, “Ali Wazir granted bail by the SC. He remained incarcerated for more than a year on politically motivated charges in Karachi prison.”
MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar wrote on Twitter, “Ali has remained in prison for over 11 months for a speech. It took a long time but glad that Ali will be out on bail”.
MNA Wazir was arrested in Karachi last year on the charges of making insulting and incendiary speeches against state institutions at a PTM protest rally.