Ammar Ali Jan was released from the Model Town Katchery on the 9th of February, following his arrest at 4 a.m. on the same day. Jan was kept at the Gulberg Police Station.
Ammar who is involved in the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) was arrested because of his participation at the protest in Liberty against the extrajudicial killing of Professor Arman Loni, by the Baluchistan Police in Loralai, during a sit-in. The reason for his arrest, as later stated by the released FIR was that, Jan was leading a group of at least 100 people from the Pashtun Ittehad Movement, with an addition that Jan’s gathering was blocking roads and that the protestors were chanting anti-state slogans.
Jan posted a Facebook status following the raid, in which he wrote:
“There is an FIR against me for participating at the protest in Liberty against the killing of Professor Arman Loni”.
Along with being an academic and an activist, Jan was also a key figure in progressive groups such as Haqooq-e-Khalq and Progressive Students Collective, as well as being part of the visiting faculty at Punjab University, before being fired for discussing PTM in his lectures.
The PTM movement began in 2014 when 8 students from Gomal University led by Manzoor Ahmed Pashteen sought for Pashtun human rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The movement first gained traction, when it began a justice movement for Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was killed extra judicially in Karachi in January 2018. The PTM later gained domestic and international press coverage when the Baluchistan Police killed Arman Loni.
Other prominent figures include National Assembly members Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar as well as popular Pashtun rights activist Gulalai Ismail. The latter of whom was detained outside the National Press Club in Islamabad for nearly 30 hours, before being released as a result of intervention from senior PTI officials.
During the time of Jan’s arrest, the number one trending tweet in Pakistan was: #ReleaseAmmarAliJan. Prominent journalists and politicians tweeted about Ammar’s arrest.
Raza Rumi commented on the matter with the following tweet:
Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir also commented on Ammar’s arrest:
Fasi Zaka tweeted in support of Ammar saying people like him should be celebrated: