Home South Asia Pakistan Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement is an Unregistered Political Party: ECP

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement is an Unregistered Political Party: ECP

The Election Commission of Pakistan briefed the Standing Committee of Parliamentary Affairs on the preparations for the upcoming election after former FATA’s merge with KP. The ECP Secretary informed that PTM is an unregistered political party, and submitted no query or complaints regarding the upcoming election.

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on Wednesday, informed the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs that the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) is not a registered political party and the ECP did not receive any of its requests pertaining to the elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob briefed the session of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Senator Sassui Palijo, regarding the arrangements for the upcoming elections in the areas of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that were recently merged into the KP Province.

The ECP Secretary highlighted that a seat in FATA remains vacant for five years because of security concerns.

Initially, the elections were scheduled to be held on 2nd July, but due to certain security reasons, they have been delayed until 20th July. The elections will be held on 16 general seats and five reserved seats, including four seats for women and one minority seat.

PTM: Unregistered Political Party

Addressing the Standing Committee session, Senator Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Pervaiz Rasheed noted that despite it being the first election in the tribal districts after being merged with KP, the media has shown little interest in its proceedings. PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said, “It appears that the tribal districts are not headed towards any elections at all. Given the scenario, we cannot regard these polls as transparent elections.”

Senator Pervaiz Rasheed went onto say that the leadership of the PTM has been forbidden from appearing on media, and he also noted that two of its parliamentary representatives are presently under arrest. The two arrested leaders, MNA Ali Wazir and MNA Mohsin Dawar, were elected independently.

Read more: Senate Committee welcomes PTM leaders: Pashtuns feel happy & relaxed

In response, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob informed the Standing Committee that PTM was not a registered political party, and it had not provided the ECP with any complaints or required with regards to the upcoming election.

The ECP Secretary also informed the Standing Committee of the preparations for the upcoming election, including publishing the list of candidates. He apprised that around 2.8 million voters will be exercising their right to vote, and these voters consist of 1.67 million male and 1.13 million female voters.

Ex-FATA Elections Preparations

The ECP Secretary further added that 313 of the 458 candidates will be contesting the polls, and 133 candidates have withdrawn their candidacy. Babar Yaqoob added that there are 1896 polling stations, of which 1039 are joint, 482 reserved for men and 366 reserved for women.

All the polling stations have been fully equipped with CCTV cameras, while 464 polling stations have been categorized as sensitive; therefore, the Pakistan Army has been urged to deploy its personnel to secure such polling stations. The ECP Secretary apprised that the result transmission system (RTS) cannot be implemented in 80% of the region, and hence, the results will be transmitted through a result management system. In line with legal norms, the result of the election will be announced by 2pm on the day after the elections.

The ECP Secretary also informed the Standing Committee of the preparations for the upcoming election, including publishing the list of candidates.

Babar Yaqoob noted that local and international media has not been barred from monitoring the election process, and the staff chosen for the various responsibilities is well-trained and credible.

State Minister Ali Muhammad Khan noted that security concerns and the imposition of curfew reveal that the region cannot be compared with other peaceful areas of the country. The ECP Secretary highlighted that a seat in FATA remains vacant for five years because of security concerns. He maintained that the elections conducted in these regions had been free and fair, and cemented by international monitoring bodies.

PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid urged the ECP Secretary to refrain from providing his opinions on the issue, and highlighted that there are multiple video footages of violations in election norms. Senator Mussadiq Malik noted that that the Ministry of Interior must considering lifting up the restrictions on 3G services for 12 hours, from 5pm to 5am, to facilitate the process of a free and transparent election.

Read more: Pashtun laborers killed in Afghanistan: Why is PTM silent?

PTM: RAW’s Ethnic Monster

Speaking to Global Village Space, Jan Achakzai, prominent Geo-strategist with vast expertise in Indian proxy warfare, lamented the decision to allow PTM to become an “ethnic monster” by allowing it to enter the political landscape.

Jan Achakzai said, “It was a mistake to allow PTM to become an ethnic monster: first it was permitted to pitch as political platform; then ECP did not bar its candidates from contesting elections despite their anti-state activities and sloganeering; then they were treated as a legitimate group at the highest pedestal.”

Achakzai continued, “After giving them legitimacy, their narrative was not countered; their ethnic hatred was allowed to continue; last but not the least, PTM after getting political representation in the parliament, started to establish links—both political and financial— with RAW, NDS and other hostile agencies.

The Baloch geo-strategic analyst noted that “PTM is done and dusted” and its leadership has been crippled, while the sources of its foreign funding and assistance have been revealed for the world to see. 

However, Jan Achakzai noted that at last, better sense prevailed.

Underscoring the agendas behind providing PTM with a political platform in the parliament, Jan Achakzai noted, “The main strategy for RAW/NDS was to manipulate the ethnic fault line in Pakistan particularly in former FATA, which emerged as a peaceful region after witnessing a successful counter terrorism operation— which led to dismantlement of the headquarters of Al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and other freelance terrorist mercenaries for good.”

He added, “The operation created some difficulties for local population, which the RAW/NDS capitalized on and created PTM as a next proxy front to cash on local complaints.”

Malign Pakistan as HR Offender 

Explaining the agendas of PTM on Pakistan’s political landscape, Achakzai noted, “Through this platform, hostile agencies wanted to firstly, corner Pakistan Army, secondly create a wedge between the population and the armed forces and lastly, malign Pakistan as a human rights offender.”

Achakzai observed that the PTM leadership and its controllers in New Delhi and Kandahar have blatantly failed on all fronts. He said, “The Army is praised all over the world’s military academies to have created a role model in counter-terrorism manuals in former FATA region; it still enjoys almost 80% public approval and the region has no equivalence with Afghanistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir in terms of Human rights situations.”

The Baloch geo-strategic analyst noted that “PTM is done and dusted” and its leadership has been crippled, while the sources of its foreign funding and assistance have been revealed for the world to see.

Read more: PTM: A Pashtun Spring..?

Achakzai said, “Its leaders have been exposed for being foreign proxies, including Gulalai Ismail who has been caught to have received direct funding from RAW. The two MNAs (Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar) will likely be deset for their anti-state activities. After attack on Army Check-post in Waziristan, there is a huge backlash against the PTM leaders.”

Sharing his analysis on the future of PTM, Jan Achakzai observed, “If they have any chance to do politics, they have to give up on anti-Pakistan agenda, surrender all funding to the state, seek apology for attempting to mislead the population and maligning security institutions.”

He concluded, “Otherwise, like MQM-Altaf, BLA, TTP, they will be history. Pakistan has to move on as progressive, investment friendly country with zero tolerance for extremism, hatred, militancy and this new moral behavior of the state can be verified by any neutral country.”

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