News Analysis |
The Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has finally given a list of its 30 representatives to the reconciliatory Jirga for negotiations with the state institutions. The list prepared by the PTM senior leadership does not include the name of its head Manzoor Pashteen. “As a policy, the name of Manzoor Pashteen is not included in the list,” a senior member of the PTM clarified the matter.
The PTM nominees are Ali Wazir, Mohsin Dawar, Bushra Gohar, Nawab Ayaz, Usman Kakar, Ghulam Qadir, Lateef Afridi, Afrasiab Khattak, Sher Mohammad Advocate, Raza Muhammad Raza, Fanus Gujjar, Saleem Advocate, Abdullah Nangyal, Amin Wazir, Syed Alam Mehsud, Nisar Mohmand, Ahmad Abbas Aurakzai, Khan Zaman Kakar, Ismat Shah Jahan, Noor Hameed, Ulas Yar, Sana Ijaz, Liaquat Yusafzai, Prof Ijaz, Fazal advocate, Hashim Mandokhel, Sher Mehsud, Shah Faisal, Allauddin and Gul Marjan.
Three amongst these nominees are from the Awami National Party (ANP), two are from Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and one is from the Pakistan Worker’s Party (PWP). The PTM senior leader Ali Wazir said that they have informed the government that “the Jirga will be held on equal terms, with both sides having complete power and authority to make decisions”.
Pashtuns had to face severe hardships due to war on terror but this does not mean that the Pakistan army has intentionally been damaging their houses or unnecessarily stopped them at check-posts. The context needs to be understood.
In a previous meeting with the KP government Jirga at Hayatabad on May 16, PTM had requested for more time to finalize its list of representatives. The KP Jirga is being headed by Information Minister Shah Farman and comprises many pro-government tribal elders.
Read more: Manzoor Pashteen’s PTM: A ‘Rights Movement’ or a new ‘Regional Agenda’?
Initial demands of the PTM
Initially, there were five demands presented by the PTM. But as the movement got some momentum across the country, Manzoor Pashteen increased his list of the demand. At the very outset, the PTM demanded to end the ill-treatment of commuters at check posts, release of missing persons, arrest of Rao Anwar in Naqeebullah murder case, and clearance of landmines from conflict-hit areas in North and South Waziristan agencies.
These demands by a rights movement were fair enough. But with the passage of time, PTM leadership started chanting anti-army slogans and bashed the state institutions. The PTM leaders alleged the army for being behind all the ‘terrorism’ Pakistan is facing at the moment.
This was the turning point with regard to the demands and purpose of a rights movement. Interestingly, a rights movement transformed into an anti-army movement in Pakistan. Suspicions got some strength when the western media gave ‘extra-ordinary’ coverage to the movements and its demands. Army Chief of Pakistan also termed the ‘engineered protests’ anti-state and warned the nation to be careful to protect their country.
Read more: PTM: A Pashtun Spring..?
Latest demand of the PTM: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
“Now, we want a truth and reconciliation commission to address all issues facing Pakhtuns in the country,” said Mohsin Dawar. He further alleged that “thousands of people had been missing and only 200 to 300 such people had so far reached home”. PTM leadership accused security agencies for abducting their people extra-constitutionally. It violates the basic human rights of any citizen, argue the PTM leaders.
The PTM senior leader Ali Wazir said that they have informed the government that “the Jirga will be held on equal terms, with both sides having complete power and authority to make decisions”.
Mohsin further proposed that “truth and reconciliatory commission should get the task to look into the target killings, demolition of houses and other problems.” Such demands by the PTM leadership have apparently two problems. Firstly, blaming Pakistan army and security agencies of the country does not qualify the PTM to be called a rights movement. Pakistan army has played a significant role in war on terror. Many of soldiers and officers got martyred during several operation launched by Pakistan Armed forces.
Read more: US Interest: Kiss of Death for PTM?
Any effort to destabilize the institution of army will benefit regional and international enemies of Pakistan. Therefore, PTM’s anti-army rhetoric needs a careful and serious introspection. Secondly, truth and reconciliatory commission against whom? This has not been specified by the PTM leadership. Pashtuns are an integral part of Pakistan army, civil service and other departments in the country. There are Pashtun army generals, secretaries and media persons.
It is, therefore, not appropriate to allege the state of Pakistan of marginalizing the ethnic community and depriving them of their fundamental rights. War on terror is a global phenomenon and Pakistan is one of the most affected countries in the world. Pashtuns had to face severe hardships due to war on terror but this does not mean that the Pakistan army has intentionally been damaging their houses or unnecessarily stopped them at check-posts. The context needs to be understood.