Pashtuns stage anti-Pakistan protest outside UNHRC

Geneva [Switzerland]: Members of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement held an anti-Pakistan protest in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva to seek justice against the atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army and other security agencies.

The protest was held during the ongoing 39th session of UNHRC.

They shouted slogans against the Pakistan Army saying “Yeh jo dehshat gardi hai, iske piche vardi hai” (The people in uniform are behind these terrorist activities.)
Baloch, Sindhi, and other activists also joined the protest to show their solidarity to the Pashtun community in Pakistan.

Fazak-ul-Rehman Afridi, a representative of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, said: “We have shown and expressed our views to the United Nations Human Rights Council about what is happening with the Pashtuns in Pakistan, the gross human rights violations and extra-judicial killings, torture and the enforced disappearances, which are taking place in Pakistan and we want to tell them to stop it”.

“We are also telling them that the people, the representatives of the military establishment in the form of Rao Anwar, who killed 440 people and he is living a VIP style of life. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban member who killed Pashtuns, is being treated like a VIP by the military establishment. So we say that the Pakistani military establishment is killing us. Our people are disappearing in different ways. We want them to stop it,” he added.

Outraged by the atrocities, the Pashtuns of Pakistan recently launched a movement led by activist Manzoor Pashteen, the leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.

The Pashtuns accused the military of widespread human rights violation and pulled thousands of people to take to the streets to fight a dual battle – against both Islamist militants and Pakistan’s powerful military in the war-torn Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Peer Riaz, a Pashtun Human Rights activist, said during a protest in front of the UN office, “We are protesting because in Pakistan we are suffering from extra-judicial killings, we are suffering from genocide. Pashtun as a nation is suffering from the past 70 years from that politics, that’s why we are here protesting. We are requesting and demanding the international community to come forward and take interest now. Ultimately, they should find out and they should sort it out with Pakistan because we have been thrown like potatoes in a basket”.

He added, “We are at the disposal of one nation – Punjab and Punjabi army. They are killing us, they are exploiting us, they are discriminating against us and they are destroying our tradition, culture and everything. In 1947, when elections were conducted in Pashtunkhwa or Pashtunistan, the people there voted in favour of the Congress because it was a secular and democratic nation. But now, you can see what they have done with our nation. Where is our nation standing? This is not the only suffering of Pashtuns; it is a humanitarian suffering”.

Riaz also claimed that Pashtuns have been taken from one place to another, pushed into darkness, orthodoxy, and destruction.

“That’s why we are here, requesting the international community to come forward and help us” he added.