ISLAMABAD: Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader and MNA Ali Wazir was on Tuesday released by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The appeal of Ali Wazir was heard by a three-member bench headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood that was filed against Sindh High Court (SHC)’s judgement earlier this year that had dismissed his bail application. The court set bail at Rs400,000.
The court observed that the other accused in the hate speech case had been granted bail, which was not challenged, so Ali Wazir could not be kept in jail as well.
Case against PTM leader
MNA Wazir was arrested on the charges of making insulting and incendiary speeches against state institutions at a PTM protest rally in Karachi on December 6, 2020.
A first information report (FIR) was lodged against him the following day at Karachi’s Sohrab Goth police station.
‘Good Taliban, bad Taliban’
During the hearing, Justice Masood observed that the state was releasing other people after negotiations, without naming whom he was referring to.
“It is possible that matters are settled with Ali Wazir someday as well,” the judge said, adding that people were being martyred. “Do legal provisions not apply there?” he questioned. “Is the court here just to reject bails?”
Referring to the recent protests by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan and its eventual agreement with the government, Justice Masood said the court cancelled their bails only for the government to later sign agreements with them.
Justice Jamal Mandokhail also questioned whether the issues raised by Wazir should not have been discussed in parliament. “Ali Wazir had complained that his grievances should have been addressed. Why are our own [people] being turned into strangers instead of being accepted?” Justice Mandokhail questioned.
He inquired what would happen if “even one of Wazir’s allegations” turned out to be true.
Justice Mandokhail remarked that seeing the treatment meted out to the other accused in the case, it seemed to be a case of “good Taliban [and] bad Taliban” — a euphemism to explain different treatments meted out to similar people.
Justice Masood questioned why Wazir had been charged under the anti-terror laws, when it seemed the charge wasn’t merited in his case.
Wazir’s legal counsel, Latif Afridi, argued that he had only made complaints in his speech. “How did a Sindhi police officer register a case against Ali Wazir’s speech in Pashto?” he questioned.
Justice Aminuddin Khan said it was clear from the record that the case was registered after a translation.
The prosecutor general of Sindh said that there were similar cases against the MNA as well to which Justice Masood questioned whether Wazir had been granted bail in the other cases. The prosecutor general replied that Wazir had not been granted bail in any other case.
Read at source