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Pashtun under attack

By Nadir Shah Katawazai

As Sun was about to set, brave Arif wazir, a Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) activists was sitting in a vehicle on the way to his home. Some unidentified people were following his vehicle, when he slowed down his vehicle because of speed breaker, suddenly gun fire started firing on him. Three bullets struck him. He was admitted to a nearby hospital but his wounds were so serious that his surgery was not possible for the doctors. The Doctor instructed to take him to other hospital for better treatment, although he was transfered to Dera Ismael khan civil hospital on the way, Pakistan army created hurdle on the check-post to stop on every spots. After many hours of surgery, doctors said that one bullet hit on his head that damaged his brain. For further treatment ,he was transfered to capital Islamabad at night for better treatment but after three hours of surgery, his serious wounds didn’t support him at last & his breath abruptly halt.

That is not the first attack. Before that, Naqeeb Mehsud, Inspector Dawar, Prof Arman and several others were tortured and arrested through illegal charges. During the movement of two years, Arif spent more time in prison due to his harsh language against Pakistani army. He went to Afghanistan in early February and took part in different activities. He used his language on reality based truth that didn’t went well for Pakistan army. Later when he arrived, he was once again arrested because he used derogatory language against Pakistan and released soon after few days before his suspicious murder.  Those were the eighteen bodies that the unfortunate family has received with destitute two sons and three daughters.

After this mishap, widespread anger sparked among both sides of Durand line, that Pakistan army were the killer of Arif wazir. The Pakistan government and puppet media were utterly silent in that whole tragedy. The silences of government have raised uncertainty among the members of Pashtun Movement and blamed that, Uniform (army) is behind this catastrophe. The dead body of Arif was brought to his own native village wana South Waziristan that tons of people attended his funeral. Before the funeral ceremony, the leader of PTM, Manzoor pashteen talked to the people that for how long we will be giving such kind of sacrifices. He adds that we must have to decided now and stand against these atrocity and army butchered policy that no common lives is safe in this area for last twenty years. He announced widespread protest on 5th May in the whole country and abroad.  Ali wazir, cousin of Arif wrote on twitter that, time will come and not late that the people of this land will push back army from this holy land and said that why they are doing deliberately such kind of activity by reviving the history of 1971 debacle.

0n January 27, 2020, Manzoor Pashteen, leader of Pashtun Movement was arrested at midnight in Peshawar.  He wanted to amalgamate all Pashtun leaders   to protect Pashtun rights against the brutality of the Pakistan Military. Several allegations were set on him like sedition, conspiracy, attacking state’s sovereignty, and enhancing ethnic hatred. After the arrest of Manzoor, PTM activists call worldwide protests for his release but many activists were arrested and files cases of sedition. The Pakistan military claimed that afghan National Directorate of security and Indian intelligence RAW is behind this Movement, but the PTM openly rejected these allegations and demanded to bring the proof in front of the people. The PTM claimed that by labelling such kind of false-charges, military can’t hide their failures and atrocities. Whatever they have done for the last so many years on the name of fake operation.  The PTM’s main demand from Pakistan military was to diminish militancy that has affected the life of common people of this region. The PTM leader had openly blamed the military, that all these groups whether good or bad Taliban, that it is the product of Pakistani military which are using against tribal people. The PTM slogans against Pakistani military in their rallies translate to: “This terrorism behind it is the uniform.”

But the military denied those allegations and claimed that, this movement is imperiled and threats to Pakistan’s interest.  When Pakistan Army Spokesperson, Asif Ghafoor warned the PTM member, that now time is up and enough is enough. That was the bad time for PTM, when protest became violent in 2018,  Two of PTM’s top leaders, elected parliamentarian’s Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, were arrested and were under detained for four months and many of their activists , several died on spot by the military fire and many injured.

The PTM or Pashtun Protection   Movement is a social movement which talks about the right of Pashtun, exist in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan in Pakistan. Basically it was found in 2014, by eight students of Gomal University in Dera Ismail khan for the purpose of raising the issues of removal of landmines from Tribal areas during operation conducted by the Pakistani Army. The PTM popularity increased in 2018, when Naqeebullah Mehsud was killed in Karachi in Pakistan in a fake encounter by the senior superintendent of police Rao Anwar.  After Naqeebullah Mehsud incident, the protest spread in capital Islamabad that attracted the attention of government against the extrajudicial killings in Pakistan.

However, this Movement set many Demands to the Pakistani government and Military, the demands concluded a truth and reconciliation commission on extrajudicial killings in the country, Punishment to Rao Anwar, presenting missing persons to courts, and removal of landmines from the Pashtun tribal areas. But no demands were fulfilled instead of false promises.

Several Huge and successful protests have been recorded by the PTM in all over the country and abroad to  pressurize the government and Military to recognized their demands. The PTM become nonviolent in all rallies but government and Military arrested hundreds of their activists and crackdown on their member. Before covid-19, this movement gives many sit-ins for the compensation of losses during military operation in different parts of the country for more than one month but no respond from the government.

This Movement is day by day stronger and arising in the Pakistan and has a challenge for the Pakistani establishment. The PTM leaders and activists are not afraid of any kind of arrest and openly claiming that prison is for us and if you want to suppress us, we will become nonviolent, but will not go back one step from our demands. The nonviolent protests are continues in all parts of the country against the injustice against the Pashtun and will be continues until obtain their demands.

The blood of Arif have unit all the Pashtun across both side of Durand line that is alarming for a military which will be uncontrollable for them in coming of days. This movement will not through their sword till there each and every demand is not fulfilled. The leader of PTM have instructed to all his activists to become nonviolent unless we reached a unanimous consensus. This incident has jolted the whole Pashtun that by doing such kind of activities the state cant frightened us to withdraw from their demands. Pakistan is also indulged in many issues internal and external like Pashtun uprising, Baluchistan missing person, and cross border skirmishes with India in line of control. Despite of all these issues the country economic is collapsed and dispute between the provinces and central on 18th amendments and unhealthy condition of hospitals. Will all these issues will be possible for a security state to tackle easily?

The Pashtun Movement top leaders will be deciding about the next plan after taking every elder on board. After current incident now their passion has been given answer to pressurize state to halt such kind of hidden activities. This is not a single genocide that has been happened although hundreds of people have been torture and missing till yet no people have been arrested. But this all is due to the nurture of Pakistan establishment that have create the concept of good and bad Taliban. Now every single is well aware that who is behind these attacks and who is supporting them. The movement is unstoppable and will be aggressive than earlier in the future.

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