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Two Pashtun Lawmakers Released In Pakistan


Pashtun lawmakers and rights activists Ali Wazir Mohsin Dawar (both garlanded) were released early on September 21.

Two members of Pakistan's parliament and leaders of a civil rights movement who had spent months in detention on terrorism charges have been released on bail and other conditions that supporters say are harsh.

Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar represent the South Waziristan and North Waziristan tribal districts in National Assembly or lower house of the Pakistani Parliament. They are leaders of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a civil rights movement.

Wazir and Dawar were freed shortly after midnight on September 21 from a prison in northwestern Pakistan, their lawyer told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal.

The two had been detained after a shooting incident at a security checkpoint in North Waziristan in May.

The two were leading a protest at the time against the detention of locals by security forces and the imposition of a curfew in the region when shots were fired.

The Pakistani Army said some of the protesters were armed and opened fire first.

Protesters denied this and said the soldiers opened fire when they approached the checkpoint.

Their lawyer said the two have been ordered to report to local police once a week and face a travel ban.

Supporters led a campaign to urge their release on social media.

While many welcomed their release, some supporters objected to the conditions.

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    Radio Mashaal

    Radio Mashaal is a public-service broadcaster providing a powerful alternative to extremist propaganda in Pakistan's remote tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.

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