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Pakistan Lawmaker Detained Ahead Of Opposition Rally

The Pakistani legislator and leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, Mohsin Dawar, addresses a news conference with human rights activist in Islamabad on January 27.

A Pakistani lawmaker says he has been stopped by the authorities upon his arrival in the southwestern city of Quetta to take part in an anti-government rally.

"Once again our rights are being violated by state above the state. I have been detained at Quetta airport," independent lawmaker Mohsin Dawar tweeted on October 24.

Dozens of Dawar supporters started a sit-in protest outside the airport to condemn his detention.

Dawar had come to Quetta in Balochistan Province to attend a planned rally by 11 opposition parties on October 25, the third such demonstration this month.

Balochistan officials said they had allowed all leaders of opposition parties to enter Quetta, but claimed that there was a previous entry ban against Dawar.

Meanwhile, leaders of the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement had reached Quetta to stage their demonstration.

Thousands of opposition supporters attended the first two rallies, which were held in Punjab and Sindh provinces on October 16 and 18, respectively.

The rally leaders accuse the military establishment of interference in civilian affairs. They alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan was brought to power by the military through a rigged vote in July 2018. Both the government and the military deny the allegations.

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