Ban imposed on public gatherings, rallies in South Waziristan after ‘anti-state’ speeches

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Queta, Jun 10: A district magistrate in South Waziristan has banned all gatherings, rallies and processions to be held in the tribal region without the district administration’s approval for a month, it emerged on Sunday.

An order dated June 9 and issued by District Magistrate Suhail Khan — a copy of which is available with DawnNewsTV — stated that the bar was imposed after reports were received about some alleged anti-state gatherings being arranged in the area.

“Reports have been received that certain elements are resorting to objectionable, prejudicial, hate speeches against the state institutions in public gatherings, assemblies and processions which are likely to disturb the public peace and law and order situation in the tribal district of South Waziristan,” the notification said, without naming any person or group.

There are “sufficient grounds” to prevent such gatherings and rallies under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), it added.

The magistrate prohibited the events planned and rallies scheduled to be taken out without the district administration’s approval for a month, saying the order will come into force immediately.

Any person or group found contravening the order “shall render himself/themselves punishable under Section 188 of [the] Pakistan Penal Code”, the order warned.

The development comes days after the political administration of neighbouring North Waziristan accused a leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) of “acting in a manner prejudicial to public peace and tranquillity” and banished him from the area for three months.

In his order, the political agent said that Mohsin Dawar had “instigated the people through provocative speeches against the state and state institutions and attacked the state functionaries in the area…. therefore in exercise of powers vested in me under Section 5 of the Maintenance of Public Ordinance 1960 [I] do hereby order expulsion of Mr Mohsin Dawar from limits of North Waziristan with immediate effect”.

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