Pashtuns blame Pakistan Army for rights abuse

Karachi: A massive crowd gathered in Karachi city to demand an end to human rights violations by Pakistan’s military in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The rally was organized by Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) amid restrictions and a sting of detentions of their activists.

The chief of PTM, Manzoor Pashteen, who was denied to board a flight to Karachi, reached the venue after traveling 1,400 kilometer by road.

He said while addressing the rally, “They are opposing this gathering in a fear of being exposed of their atrocities in the Pashtun dominated areas. Otherwise, rallies are being held in Karachi on regular basis”.

PTM demands an end to extrajudicial killings by security forces, transparency around a campaign of disappearances allegedly perpetrated by security forces that have accompanied the war against the Taliban, and the treating of citizens with greater dignity at security checkpoints.

Though the mainstream media in Pakistan is not providing any coverage to PTM rallies, their videos are going viral on social media and are getting worldwide recognition.

Myra MacDonald, the author of “Defeat is an Orphan; How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War”, said in her tweet.

“This non-violent Pashtun protest movement in #Pakistan is remarkable. Thousands wait in Karachi for hours while their leader, having been turned away from two national airports, drives the length of the country to address them. Give it the attention it deserves”.

Pashtun forms roughly 15 percent of the 207 million population and resides mainly in the country’s northwest. Pakistan Army is fighting the Pakistani Taliban in this region.

Many Pashtun, whose family members are missing, also shared stage in Karachi.

7-year-old Aatika, whose father has been missing for 2 years now, shares that the family cries on Eid while everybody else celebrates. The crowd gets emotional and chanted “Yei Joh Dehshatgardi hai, uske peeche wardi hai” (the men in uniform are behind the terror activities).

The Pashtun movement is not limited to Pakistan, but the Pashtuns living in Canada, Europe and the United States are also raising concern over growing atrocities on the community by Pakistan’s security forces. (ANI)