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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistan’s befitting reply to Ashraf Ghani: PTM-Afghan nexus exposed?

News Analysis |

The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a self-declared rights movement, is once again in the news. As the Afghan President Mr. Ashraf Ghani tweeted and attempted to interfere in domestic matters of Pakistan, civil society, media and politicians strongly reacted and rejected Mr. Ghani’s statement. The Afghan President had said that “[t]he Afghan government has serious concerns about the violence perpetrated against peaceful protestors and civil activists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi took to the Twitter and rejected the statement of Afghan President and advised him to focus on their long-standing issues at home. “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,” Mr. Qureshi said.

Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, gave a befitted response to the Afghan president and suggested him to focus on controlling terrorism on the other side of the border. “Take strong exception to this absurd statement. He would do better to address the grievances of his own ppl [people] and try to work with his govt and NATO to stop infiltration of terrorists across the international border from Afghanistan into Pakistan,” she said.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Ms. Sherry Rehman also reminded Mr. Ghani to follow the policy of non-interference to achieve peace in the region. “Respectfully @ashrafghani, Democratic forces in Pakistan have been fighting for civil, human rights, and will continue to do so. But if we seek non-interference and positive support in each other’s countries in order to achieve peace, let’s uphold those values all around.”

Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Ms. Hina Rabanni Khar also commented on the statement of Afghan President and expressed her shock over the involvement of Afghans government in what is clearly an internal matter of Pakistan. “Sad @ashrafghani would think it appropriate to comment on what is clearly an internal matter for Pak. Baloch, Pashtun, Saraiki, Punjabi & Sindhi r Pakistanis and we certainly need to fix many things but am sure u know that ur comments can only worsen situation not help it,” she tweeted.

Some analysts in Pakistan believe that Mr. Ghani’s statement is a reflection of ‘political frustration’ since Taliban and Afghan political leadership have been engaged by the United States of America to seek a peaceful political settlement to end the ongoing war on terror. Prominent political analyst, Jan Achakzai, said that “#Ashraf Ghani is a spent force in Afghanistan politically. His anti-Pakistan rants are meant to hide frustration over isolation by Afghan politicians & Taliban. His only choice is going back 2 Intelectual work in #US. US will not sacrifice strategic priorities 4 his career goal.”

The matter became more serious and controversial when an MNA from Waziristan Mr. Mohsin Dawar thanked the Afghan President and wished if Pakistan had realized the crime it had committed. “I [would] like to thank @ashrafghani for his words. I wish, at the very least, our state had realized its crime of martyring Arman Loni, but instead it launched a crackdown on our grief. And now it is condemning those who offer sympathy to us? By what standard of humanity is this ok?,” Mr. Dawar tweeted.

Soon after the tweet of PTM leader, there was a top trend on social media #PTMAfghanNexus whereby journalists and political experts expressed their views.

Afghan officials declined to hand over the dead body of the slain SP to the Pakistani officials. The Afghan delegate insisted that the body would only be handed over to Mr. Mohsin Dawar, a prominent leader of PTM.

Moreover, it is worth noting here that the PTM organized a rally in Baluchistan and alleged that one of their leaders was beaten to death by the police. The CM Baluchistan took the notice of the matter and directed authorities to furnish a report. PTM planned protests in Islamabad and KP to demand justice for the slain member.

International media, INGOs, and anti-Pakistan writers not only welcomed the ongoing campaign of the PTM against Pakistan’s Armed forces but also gave it full coverage. In such a critical scenario, a statement by the Afghan president drew some strong reactions in Pakistan.

Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Secretary General Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), took to the twitter and said “PTM needs to be EXPOSED for what is. A virulent anti-Pakistan and anti-Pashtun group working under the tutelage of the NDS & RAW. Their propaganda against the Army is laughable because the Armed Forces & Police have thousands of Pashtuns.”

A journalist, Inamullah Khattak, also noted that the PTM has some external linkages. “Ashraf Ghani today killed PTM by extending support. Now, it is crystal clear that the group formed in a house in F-6 sector is funded by external forces.”

Pakistani Journalist Mubashir Zaidi, known for his liberal ideas, reminded the Afghan president that “You’re attempt to divide us will fail”

It is not for the first time that the PTM has been exposed and the Afghan government showed its support for it. Last year, a police officer was abducted from Islamabad and brutally murdered in Afghanistan. Afghan officials declined to hand over the dead body of the slain SP to the Pakistani officials. The Afghan delegate insisted that the body would only be handed over to Mr. Mohsin Dawar, a prominent leader of PTM.

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

The refusal of Afghan officials to the Pakistani delegate raised many questions in Pakistan. Prominent media person Dr. Moeed Pirzada tweeted “Afghan Govt’s refusal to hand over the coffin of a Pakistani Officer to Pakistan Govt & insistence to hand over to Mohsin Dawar raises questions about the role of Afghan Govt in the whole tragic killing of Pakistani Police Officer & Kabul’s overt backing of PTM”

In a similar way, the PTM has been once again burdened with some convincing circumstantial evidence that it has links with NDS and RAW, many sources confirm. Now it is up to the state of Pakistan that how it deals with it?