South Asia

Mohsin Dawar taken into custody, sent back to Islamabad amidst

Mohsin Dawar, Chairman of the National Democratic Movement and former member of Pakistan’s National Assembly, was apprehended by law enforcement agencies in Quetta on Thursday and subsequently sent back to Islamabad.

According to police officials, Dawar was taken into custody at Quetta airport, where he had arrived to participate in the ongoing Chaman protest sit-in. Following his detention, Dawar was transported back to Islamabad on a private flight.

In a letter addressed to Dawar by the Quetta deputy commissioner, it was communicated that, based on information from the SSP (operations), a security threat was identified upon Dawar’s arrival in Quetta. Consequently, he was advised against organizing any political gatherings in the city and instructed to depart promptly.

Mohsin Dawar shared the incident on his social media account, stating that a few weeks ago, he had faced restrictions in participating in his party’s event in Bajaur. He emphasized the perceived unequal treatment and expressed solidarity with the Chaman sit-in.

Aimal Khan Nasar, the provincial spokesperson for NDM, posted images on social media capturing the moment when Dawar was compelled to leave Quetta after a brief arrest. Nasar alleged that various tactics were being employed to obstruct his party’s participation in the Chaman sit-in.

The ongoing protest at the Chaman-Spin Boldak crossing, lasting approximately 20 days, is in opposition to the newly imposed passport requirement.

Organized by the All Pakistan Tradesmen and Laghri Alliance, representing workers at the crossing point, the protest responds to the government’s mandate for traders to obtain visas and passports for border crossings, effective since early November. Thousands of political workers, dealers, and tribesmen have rallied against this decision, demanding the reinstatement of the former criteria allowing border crossing with just identity cards.