PTM’s Manzoor Pashteen booked on terrorism charges

PM Shahbaz Sharif says using such forums to target state institutions for political and vested interests is regrettable

By
Our Correspondent
Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen speaking at the Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore on Sunday. — Screengrab
Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen speaking at the Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore on Sunday. — Screengrab

  • Terror case filed against Manzoor Pashteen.
  • Complainant says PTM chief criticised the armed forces without any justification.
  • Asif Zardari slams PTM leader for spreading hatred against institutions.


LAHORE: The Civil Lines police Monday registered a case against Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen on terrorism charges, following his speech at the Asma Jahangir Conference a day ago.

The FIR was registered under Sections 124A, 149, 305 PPC and Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977-II-X on the complaint of a citizen, Naeem Mirza.

As per the complainant, Pashteen criticised the armed forces without any justification.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, who resigned on Monday after the controversial remarks were made at the conference where he also spoke, expressed "disappointment" with the way "a small group of participants behaved".

'Highly inappropriate' 

Meanwhile, the leaders of the ruling alliance have reacted strongly to Manzoor Pashteen's speech at the Asma Jehangir conference in Lahore, terming the sloganeering highly inappropriate.

In a statement, PM Shehbaz Sharif said the coalition government and his party are fully determined to ensure the freedom of expression of every citizen as per the Constitution adding the government itself provides such forums where people can openly express their difference of opinion on matters of public importance.

The prime minister said using such forums to target state institutions, especially the armed forces of Pakistan, for political and vested interests is regrettable. He said officers and personnel of the armed forces are sacrificing their lives to protect Pakistan from internal and external threats.

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the slogans raised at the conference were highly inappropriate. 

He said that his response to the slogans was also inappropriate as being a federal minister. He said that he should have responded to the slogans in the Asma Jahangir conference in a better way.

“The dangerous duffer talk was actually a reference to an old statement by Asma Jahangir and as a federal minister it was inappropriate for me to repeat it,” he regretted while talking informally with the newsmen at the Parliament House on Monday.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he does not want to create any misunderstanding at a time when the institutions are transitioning into a constitutional role. “Since the no-confidence motion, institutions have been transitioning themselves from a controversial to a constitutional role, which we want to encourage,” he said.

“While raising slogans, we should think that our brave soldiers who are giving sacrifices while fighting the terrorists should not feel hurt,” the PPP co-chairman said.

Meanwhile, former president Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the sloganeering against institutions, saying the survival of Pakistan depends on our institutions and it is a pity that one person has given this country nothing but abuse and hatred.

While referring indirectly to Manzoor Pashteen's speech at the conference, Asif Ali Zardari said every speech of this person is full of hatred instead of politics. 

Zardari also said that our soldiers and officers are sacrificing their lives in their uniforms and slogans against them are highly condemnable.