Pakistani parliamentarian leading Pashtun protest movement held after violent clashes

Mohsin Dawar, a parliamentarian who leads the Pashtun protest movement, was taken into custody on Thursday in North Waziristan, in the wake of violent clashes with police that left at least three people dead.

A check post in Boyya area was attacked during a protest organized by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM in Kharqamar on Sunday. The army’s media wing said Dawar and another lawmaker Ali Wazir were leading the group which attacked the check post. Dawar and the PTM leadership had denied that the group opened fire and accused the army of initiating violence. Following the clash, Wazir and eight others were arrested and subsequently remanded into counter-terrorism department custody while Dawar, who had received minor injuries during the Kharqamar incident, was declared “at large”.

An FIR registered against the lawmakers and seven others said the protesters hurled stones at the army post and that armed supporters of Wazir and Dawar attacked the security post and opened fire.

ADDITIONAL ATTORNEY GENERAL QUITS

Pakistan’s additional attorney general Zahid Ebrahim resigned to protest the government’s filing of references against some senior judges of the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court – a development he described as “reckless attempt to browbeat the judiciary”.

President Arif Alvi had reportedly directed “the Supreme Judicial Council to inquire into the judges” undeclared foreign assets.

7 ANTI-VACCINATION SCHOOLS SEALED

Seven private schools in Pakistan’s Khyber-pakhtunkhwa province have been sealed for inciting mass hysteria against the polio vaccination drive and discouraging parents from cooperating. The provincial government found the management of these schools guilty of spreading hate against polio vaccination, Babar Bin Atta, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focal person on polio eradication programme, said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Pakistan is one of the three countries, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio is still endemic. Attempts to eradicate the disease have been seriously hampered by deadly targeting of vaccination teams in recent years by militants, who oppose the drives, claiming the polio drops cause infertility.