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Friday, May 17, 2024

Unmasking PTM: The enemy behind tribal areas’ underdevelopment

“We will cut down the barbed wires and fences which Pak Army has erected on Pak-Afghan border and use them to hang soldiers,” said PTM’s Ali Wazir. Will a case be registered against him?

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, has said on Sunday that the PM is determined for the progress of people living in tribal areas.

In another tweet, the special assistant said that the sacrifices of ‘patriotic’ tribal people would be rewarded at any cost. Those who have rejected the Constitution have no place in the hearts of masses.

Last year, the Premier stated “Our ppl[people] in the tribal area will see unprecedented development as Govt plans to spend over Rs100 billion annually for 10 yrs in tribal districts, Living up to our commitment. A 3-week consultative process on 10 years Dev[elopement] Plan for former FATA is being initiated, starting from Bajaur.”

Recently, the Prime Minister announced the launch of Sehat Insaf Card scheme in the tribal region while on a visit to Mohmand district. In an address to the tribal elders at Ghalanai, the Headquarters of Mohmand district, he said the Sehat Insaf Card would provide benefits to the people of tribal districts like the rest of their countrymen and anyone who has the card will be eligible to get treatment at any hospital up to Rs. 720,000 annually.

Read more: Ditch Anti-Pakistan Agenda if you want Pakistan Working for You: Govt to PTM

Dr. Awan was alluding to the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and its demands. The PTM leaders have repeatedly took an anti-Pakistan position while targeting the armed forces. In recent days, PTM has again surfaced and chanting slogans against the armed forces.


Sultan M Hali, the author of Defence and Diplomacy, believes that “the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been inimical to Pakistan and has waged war against it, causing a loss of nearly 70,000 people. In the near past, the PTM appears to have cloned the TTP. It is ironic that two PTM adherents gained access to the Parliament as MNAs in the 2018 general elections but have not given up trolling Pakistan and its Army”.

It is worth noting that in a recent video circulating on social media, MNA Ali Wazir is being seen addressing a crowd in Bannu, where he said that “we will cut down the barbed wires and fences which Pak Army has erected on Pak-Afghan border and use them to hang soldiers.”

Read more: PTM’s Gulalai Ismail and India’s 5th Gen Warfare

Mr. Hali notes that “such statements were frequently made by TTP representatives. They had even targeted the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar on 16 December 2014 in a dastardly attack in which 142 innocent children were martyred. The state of Pakistan got its act together after the watershed moment of the APS attack. Military Operation Zarb-e-Azb took care of the TTP, who were routed and scattered. Their leadership beat a hasty retreat to Afghanistan, but some were hunted down and eliminated”.

The PTM rallies were aimed at launching protests to highlight the plight of the Pashtun community, the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan, comprising nearly 15.42 percent of the population. Around this time, forces hostile to Pakistan, appear to have started sponsoring PTM as it began chanting slogans of Yeh jo dehshatgardi hai, iss ke peechhay wardi hai (‘Behind this terrorism is the uniformed army’).

Mr. Hali opines that an important aspect is that Manzoor Pashteen did not even condemn violence against Afghans by US- and Indian-sponsored ISIS. It is no coincidence that as soon as India began experiencing protests all across, the likes of the PTM have been pushed by their foreign sponsors to instigate violence in Pakistan.

A mob led by PTM leaders and MNAs Mohsin Javed Dawar and Ali Wazir assaulted Kharqamar check-post in Boyya area of North Waziristan tribal district on 26 May 2019, causing injuries to five soldiers of the Pakistan Army.

In a statement, Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Syed Amjad Shah expressed the view that any demands of an individual or a group which is within the Constitution must be fulfilled by the government. “But, a few members of PTM are inciting people for separation and are demonizing the state institutions through an empty rhetoric which comes in the ambit of treason,” he said, and called upon the government to take strict legal action against all such elements.

Read more: PTM’s jig is up: Ali Wazir arrested

“It is high time that enemies of Pakistan, be they members of the Parliament, should be taken to task legally and set exemplary punishments under the law of the land,” proposes Mr. Hali.