PESHAWAR, 08 January: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Monday allowed bail application of banned militant organization Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM)’s chief, Maulana Sufi Muhammad and ordered his release.

The high court bench headed by Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth allowed the bail application against two surety bonds of Rs 700,000 each. The applicant’s lawyer argued before the court that his client Sufi Muhammad had been languishing in jail for the last seven years. He prayed that the applicant might be released on bail on medical grounds since he had been hospitalized for old age and poor health.

Sufi Muhammad was arrested on June 3, 2009 by Pakistani security forces in Swat along with other members of the organization for inciting violence against the state and committing terrorism. He was also charged with sedition charges.

The TNSM chief is currently hospitalized due to poor health condition. He remained in jail for seven years.

Maulana Sufi Muhammad grabbed media attention when he was arrested by the Pakistan authorities for allegedly sending thousands of volunteers to Afghanistan to fight against the US-led international forces soon after the fall of Taliban government back in 2001. He was later released by the ANP provincial government under a deal to influence militants and bring peace in the volatile Malakand region. He is the father in law of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah.