PESHAWAR - The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday set aside the order of the administration of North Waziristan regarding expulsion of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement leader Mohsin Dawar from North Waziristan.

A division bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Musarrat Hilali set aside the order of the administration with an observation that there is nothing on record that shows he had delivered anti-state speeches.

During the hearing, Additional Advocate General Qaiser Ali Shah and representative of the administration produced a notification before the bench in which the administration stated that the ban was imposed on the PTM leader due to his anti-state speeches creating law and order situation in the area.

However, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth observed that he has submitted nomination papers and wanted to contest elections.

On June 7, the administration had banned Dawar from entering North Waziristan for three months for allegedly instigating people through provocative speeches. He challenged the ban through his lawyer Abdul Latif Afridi.

Afridi argued that his client had submitted his nomination papers for NA-48 and this expulsion order was tantamount to stopping him from exercising his fundamental right of participating in political activities under the law.

Challenging the power of the political administration to issue such an order, the lawyer made it clear that the assistant political agent cannot pass such an order after the 31st constitutional amendment under which Fata was merged with KP and the political administration had no more such authority to utilise section 5 of the MPO 1960 (West Pakistan Act) under which the expulsion order was issued against Dawar. In the petition, it was stated that the ban was based on malafide intention and was without lawful authority against the fundamental rights of the petitioner to deprive him of his right to contest the general elections.

The lawyer argued that his client was a prominent political worker of North Waziristan and was now contesting the elections from NA-48. He has also seriously suffered during the militancy in the area and their homes were demolished and they were driven out of their area. He said the expulsion order was against the fundamental rights of the petitioner.

The administration of North Waziristan and government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through chief secretary were made respondents in the case.

As interim relief, the petitioner said he had the right to participate in the political activities as he has submitted his nomination papers.

Thus, he should be allowed to continue his election campaign and attend the office of the returning officer in North Waziristan as the scrutiny of nomination papers has begun and the rules provide that he must appear before the returning officer and start his election campaign in the area. The court in its decision, the first after KP-Fata merger, set aside the three-month ban imposed on Dawar's entry by the deputy commissioner via a short order.

The impugned order of political agent/district magistrate North Waziristan regarding the expulsion of petitioner from the limits of North Waziristan is set aside, said the PHC.

Dawar, a lawyer by profession, is an active member of the PTM. He belongs to Danday Darpakhel and was expelled from North Waziristan on June 7 on the orders of NWA deputy commissioner. Dawar was in Miranshah and Mirali on June 6 when he was leading a rally to file his nomination papers for the upcoming general elections.