Home South Asia Afghanistan ‘Gross interference’: FM rejects Afghan president’s statement

‘Gross interference’: FM rejects Afghan president’s statement

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News Analysis |

Responding to the tweet of Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s president, Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the foreign minister has said that Pakistan rejects such gross interference [into its internal matters].

In his Twitter tweet, Mr. Qureshi wrote, “We reject the tweet by President Ashraf Ghani. Such irresponsible statements are only gross interference. Afghan leadership needs to focus on long-standing serious grievances of the Afghan people.”

Foreign Minister was replying to an earlier tweet of Ashraf Ghani where latter said, “The Afghan government has serious concerns about the violence perpetrated against peaceful protestors and civil activists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.”

Which Protest did Ghani Refer to?

It merits mentioning here that a few PTM workers were arrested earlier– but then released after PM Khan’s directives–as they announced staging a protest in the wake of Arman Looni’s mysterious death. On Saturday, Feb 2 people staged a sit-in in Loralai to protest against the terrorist attack on the DIG office. On a tip-off about the presence of a wanted suspect, police came to the venue of the sit-in and tried to arrest him.

However, some protesters resisted the police move leading to a scuffle between police and the protesters. A man named Arman Looni died during the brawl. The participants and PTM workers claimed that he died of police torture and started chanting slogans against the police.

The chief minister of Baluchistan very next day of the incident [Sunday] ordered Commissioner of Zhob Division Sher Khan Bazai to conduct an inquiry into the death of Looni and submit the report.

The body was taken to the Loralai district hospital, where medical superintendent Dr. Fahim Utmankhail said the man had died before reaching the hospital. He said the “protestors took away the body” before he could examine and determine the cause of death. However, Dr. UtmanKhail claimed that there were “no signs of torture” on the body of the deceased.

Later, Looni’s body was taken to Quetta Civil Hospital where the postmortem was conducted and according to the report, there were no torture sign or evidence found from the body. On the other side, the family of Looni and the PTM workers say he was tortured and killed by the police.

Read more: PTM protesters arrested for chanting anti-state slogans in Karachi

The chief minister of Baluchistan very next day of the incident [Sunday] ordered Commissioner of Zhob Division Sher Khan Bazai to conduct an inquiry into the death of Looni and submit the report.

Why Ghani is so Concerned about Protestors?

PTM [Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement] has recently become very active; so is its agenda becoming clearer every day. Analysts have from the very beginning of the PTM argued that it is a true reflection of 5th generation warfare. Under the disguise of apparently constitutional demands, state institutes and their dignity have been questioned. And foe seems to have been taking good advantage of the situation.

It is a time that PTM leadership realize how it is being exploited by anti-state actors and stay adhered to its legit demands instead of maligning institutions by becoming puppets in the hands of enemies.

The involvement of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) in exploiting the sentiments of ethnic groups has been very evident and the factual representation is an example of SSP Dawar’s case first–when the Afghan government refused to hand over the body of deceased to Pakistan’s authorities and insisted on giving it to PTM’s leadership– and now the sympathetic and unnecessary tweet of Ashraf Ghani.

Pakistan’s Response

Pakistan’s government and arm forces have categorically stated that all constitutional demands of PTM are being addressed and all their issues will be resolved. Then why even after that, PTM has been staging protests and accusing state institutes?

Read more: PTM: Pro-Pashtun or pro-Afghanistan?

The recent example of Arman Looni is self-explanatory how PTM has converted into a proxy in the hands of state adversaries. The post mortem report of Looni clearly said that there were no signs of torture and, so was seen from the pictures of deceased shared on social media. But PTM made it against state vs them issue.

On social media– the perfect tool for propaganda–PTM supporters shared the pictures of decease blaming the government for torture and killing, ignoring the fact that those pictures are themselves self-evident for refuting their claim of torture let alone what the post-mortem’s report said.

DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor had said during a media briefing that Pashtun have suffered a lot and state will do everything to fulfill their constitutional demands but they mustn’t cross the line where state’s writ gets challenged.

Read more: Military-Media: Collaboration to counter propaganda?

It is a time that PTM leadership realize how it is being exploited by anti-state actors and stay adhered to its legit demands instead of maligning institutions by becoming puppets in the hands of enemies.


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