PTM's Data Lead Alamzaib Mehsud Khan Arrested For Narcotics Possession In DI Khan

PTM's Data Lead Alamzaib Mehsud Khan Arrested For Narcotics Possession In DI Khan
Data lead of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Alamzaib Mehsud Khan was arbitrarily arrested and slapped with possession of cannabis with nephew by the Dera Ismail Khan police on Saturday.

Police officers and men in civilian clothing raided Khan's home at 1am sans warrants, arresting him with his nephew per PTM activists. On the morning of June 17, PTM activists told the Friday Times, Khan was traced at the Saddar police station. An FIR of section 9 (D) of Control of Narcotics Substances Act (CNSA) of KP, a non-bailable offence, was registered against the activists. It accuses Khan and his nephew Muhammad Sajjad of possessing 1030 grams of cannabis. Khan and his nephew's case will be argued next in the DI Khan sessions court on June 20, says one of the legal counsels representing the activists.

Speaking to The Friday Times, Afrasiab Khattak, former senator and chair of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, that Khan's arrest is an attack on the leadership of PTM, and a reprisal for the movement's ongoing sit-in outside the military garrison in Miran Shah, North Waziristan. "It’s unfortunate that ruthless repression is the only method used by the security state against Pashtun youth and the change in governments hasn’t brought any change in this policy," Khattak added.

Member National Assembly, Mohsin Dawar spoke on the floor of the house about Khan's arrest and stated that he was beaten in custody. Pointing towards the impact of repressive political circumstances on the economy, Dawar further questioned as to how would Pakistan's financial status improve if workers [affiliated with political movements] would continue getting framed in false cases.

One of the founding members of the PTM and author, Khan has been subjected to a series of reprisals for his documentation of human rights abuses in KP and former FATA region. Three active members of PTM -- Eid Rehman Wazir, Jalal Wazir, Jalal Wazir were forcibly taken into custody in Miran Shah by the armed forces, at the end of May, and their whereabouts or fate remain unknown. Khan frequently uses social media to document and disseminate testimonies of victims of landmines blasts, enforced disappearances and fabricated police cases against Pashtuns. Previously, he was subjected to a short-term enforced disappearance which turned into an arbitrary detention from Karachi in January 2019, and remained in pre-trial detention till September 2019. Khan and other activists of PTM are nominated in dozens of FIRs with charges including sedition, inciting hatred and rioting. At least 14 FIRs have been registered against the PTM leadership since the incumbent government of the PDM took charge in April 2022. Founded in early 2018, the PTM, a non-violent civil rights movement, has been protesting for an end to extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, landmines and profiling of the Pashtun youth across Pakistan.

The writer is a multimedia journalist and researches human rights abuses. She hosts a show on social justice stories on Naya Daur TV.