PTM agitators gather in Swat to protest atrocities

Islamabad: Thousands of people gathered and participated in a public gathering called by Pashtun Tahaffuz (protection) Movement (PTM), a human rights movement in the Swat Valley of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday.

They were protesting against alleged atrocities, extra-judicial killings and mass abductions by the Pakistan Army and its allied units.

The protesters were said to be mostly relatives of those persons who have gone missing in recent times.

Many locals have considered the protest as the biggest public gathering in the history of the Swat Valley.

Though many local media outlets refrained from covering the event, allegedly under the pressure of the Pakistan Army, the news of the same still managed to make it to the social media platforms through Twitter.

Taking to Twitter, Ahmad Shah Azami captured a picture of the PTM protest.

“Ahmad Shah Azami, Tens of thousands of @PashtunTM_Offi gather in beautiful #Swat valley. Atrocities, extrajudicial killings & #MissingPersons are the biggest issues that speakers are talking about. Locals consider it the biggest public gathering in the history of Swat. #PashtunLongMarch2Swat,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.

Another user, Said Alam, posted an image showing the panoramic view of the protests in Mingora in Swat Valley.

Panoramic view of #Jalsa in Kabul #Mingora #PashtunLongMarch2Swat

Despite getting no permission from Lahore Police, PTM supporters held a huge rally in Lahore last week.

Thousands of protesters gathered at Lahore’s Mochi Gate and called for an end to alleged enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of the members of their community.

According to The Dawn, at the event, it was also announced that one more protest rally would be held in Karachi on May 12 to condemn the 2007 violence.

The PTM was started by young Pashtun activists in 2014, who are demanding an end to what they say are human rights violations by authorities in the country’s tribal regions.

They have been calling for the removal of military checkpoints in tribal areas and an end to “enforced disappearances” in which suspects are detained by security forces without due process. (ANI)