Who Are The Arrested Islamabad Activists?
On Tuesday, the Islamabad police arrested several protesters including MNA Mohsin Dawar at a protest against Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen’s arrest. Dawar and others were later released after hours of detention, but a number of activists including Awami Workers Party (AWP) Punjab President Ammar Rashid remain in custody. The detainees were charged with sedition.
Later on Thursday, a sessions court judge hearing their application for bail suggested they could be tried in Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) while denying them bail. Are the arrested activists ‘terrorists’, as the authorities suggest? Here is all you need to know about the detained activists, as per their profiles shared by the AWP on social media.
Ammar Rashid is a researcher, political worker and musician. He is currently serving AWP as President Punjab. He has taught at Quaid-i-Azam University and at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). He is a graduate of LUMS and Sussex University, and his professional work has centered around the political economy of education, housing, health and gender.
Saifullah Nasar is an academic, political worker and an anthropologist, who has been associated with the AWP since 2017. With a Bachelor’s from FC College, Lahore, Saif went Hungary for a master’s degree at Central European University. His thesis examined the interaction and evolution of tribe and state in post-colonial Baluchistan. Saif has also worked as a researcher at Humboldt University, Berlin.
Nawfal Saleemi is a finance graduate from LUMS, who recently got admission at Oxford University. He has been politically associated with the Awami Workers Party for several years and is a co-author of the AWP policy paper on Alternative to Austerity and Neoliberalism in Pakistan.
Shah Rukn-e-Alam is a researcher and a student, currently pursuing his MPhil in economics at Quaid-i-Azam University. He is a recent member of the AWP’s student wing, the Progressive Students Front. He is committed to creative, critical thinking and cares deeply for encouraging freedom of expression in Pakistan.