In a recent legal development, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) has granted the police’s request for a three-day physical remand of prominent human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari. This decision comes on the heels of her initial bail in a separate case related to her participation in a protest organized by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in the federal capital.
Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain presided over the hearing, during which the prosecution argued for Imaan’s physical remand. They expressed concerns that she had been collecting funds for anti-state activities and emphasized the need to recover the amount in her possession. Raja Naveed, the prosecutor, stressed that this was crucial to their ongoing investigation and could lead to the identification of others involved in such activities.
In response, Imaan Mazari’s lawyer, advocate Zainab Janjua, argued that her client was already cooperating with the authorities. She refuted the need for physical remand, stating that Imaan was not an office holder for the PTM and was willing to provide bank statements. Janjua also highlighted that Imaan’s laptop and phone were already in police custody, questioning the necessity of keeping her in custody.
Furthermore, the lawyer pointed out that Imaan had not met the individual who filed the FIR, nor had she collected any money. She emphasized that the case had been registered on August 26, while Imaan was already in police custody following her arrest.
Janjua raised concerns about the practice of registering multiple FIRs over the same incident, which she viewed as a means of re-arresting individuals who had been discharged in one case. She also noted that PTM organizers had obtained permission (NOC) from the authorities to hold the rally.
In response, the prosecutor argued that granting NOC did not imply permission for anti-state slogans and emphasized that evidence needed to be collected.
The ATC subsequently reserved its verdict following the completion of arguments and later granted a three-day physical remand for Imaan Mazari. The case has drawn attention due to concerns about legal proceedings against individuals involved in peaceful protests and has sparked discussions about the use of courts to settle scores, highlighting the broader implications for justice and civil liberties.