Support has started pouring in for rights activist and Awami Workers’ Party (AWP) Punjab President Ammar Rashid, who along with dozens of others, was arrested by Islamabad police for staging a protest outside the National Press Club in Islamabad against the arrest of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen.

Lawmakers, including PTM’s Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir; AWP Vice President Ismat Raza Shahjahan, rights activists and students among 30 protesters were rounded up by the police on Tuesday. After being detained for four hours, the arrestees were finally transferred to the Kohistan Police Station, where a case was registered against them.

With the detainees being presented before a court on Wednesday, 23 of them were sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand, journalist Rabia Mehmood tweeted.


It wasn’t later that support from netizens started pouring in for those “exercising their right to protest”.

“Esa’s father is in chains for demanding his right to speak, life, fair trial and justice. State declared him a traitor, a rebel,” journalist and rights activist Shabnam Buneri wrote in a Facebook post.

Here’s what Twitterati have to say about the arrests:

Earlier in the day, Mohsin Dawar was released by Islamabad police. The lawmaker confirmed the development on Twitter.

“I was told by the police that they were setting me free,” he wrote on the micro-blogging website. “I told them that I will not go until all the others are set free as well. Then they came back again, telling me that they will set all free, so I decided to leave.”

Pashteen, who is still in state custody, was arrested up from the Tahkal area of Peshawar in the early hours of Monday. According to the FIR filed against the PTM chief, he is accused of using threatening and derogatory language against the state during a gathering in Dera Ismail Khan on January 18.

Pashteen was on Monday presented before a court that handed him over to law enforcement authorities on a 14-day judicial remand.