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Why was man who unveiled PTM conspiracy shot dead?

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News Analysis |

Malik Matorkay was shot dead in his house, in the village of Khaisor of the Mirali district of North Waziristan, shortly after he released a statement in favor of the Pakistani security forces.

Matorkay was the maternal uncle of Shariatullah, who abducted an employee from Mari Petroleum Company Ltd. Malik had just released a statement that clearly negated the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement’s (PTM) propaganda by saying that he was present during the raid and the family member of Shariatullah was not vexed or troubled by the security forces.

In his statement, Matorkay extended his support to the operations conducted by the army against terrorism throughout Waziristan. He stressed that the armed forces had conducted a responsible operation and no misbehavior or law-breaking was observed on their part.

When the armed forces conducted an intelligence-based operation at Shariatullah’s house to rescue Zahidullah, Shariatullah managed to escape with Zahidullah, and the two are now somewhere in the mountains of North Waziristan.

Reports revealed that after PTM began sensationalizing Hayat Khan case on social media, Matorkay signed an affidavit as a guarantor that no malpractices or unethical behavior were committed by the armed forces.

Who is Malik Matorkay?

Malik Matorkay is the uncle of Hayat Khan, the 13-year-old boy from Khaisor village who was coaxed by Noorul Islam Dawar, a PTM activist, to release a video message against the armed forces, accusing them of exercising misconduct and unlawful practices while hunting down Shariatullah.

The video interview went viral on social media, and 13-year old Hayatullah accused the armed forces of arresting his brother Adil and his father Jalat Khan. He also accused the army of repeatedly harassing the family, and frequently entering his house unannounced. He appealed to the armed forces and federal authorities to put an end to these unannounced visits.

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The teenage Hayat Khan was persuaded to release a statement that maligned the security forces and their actions, while Shariatullah, the elder brother was heavily implicated in terrorist activities. Jalat Khan– Shariatullah and Hayat Khan’s father– has already accepted that his son (Shariatullah) is a terrorist while speaking for an interview with Voice of America.

Matorkay also signed this affidavit and refuted all PTM claims of harassment and misbehavior by declaring that he was present in his sister’s house while the security forces conducted the raid.

Shariatullah’s Actions: Details of Khaisor Incident

On 23rd October 2018, Shariatullah kidnapped four MPCL employees and a soldier of the Frontier Corps, who were all shot dead and then, their bodies were burnt in North Waziristan’s Spinwam district. Zahidullah Mehmood, an employee at the MPCL was kidnapped, and kept as a hostage at Shariatullah’s house in Khaisor, where his father Jalat Khan and brother Irfan Khan were also made accomplices in the incident.

The jirga stressed that the accusations made against the armed forces were entirely false and had been sensationalized by certain few to promote their own interests and hidden agendas.

When the armed forces conducted an intelligence-based operation at Shariatullah’s house to rescue Zahidullah, Shariatullah managed to escape with Zahidullah, and the two are now somewhere in the mountains of North Waziristan.

Recent reports now reveal that the security forces conducted this raid after involving a senior figure from the village, and Shariatullah’s maternal uncle, Malik Matorkay, who were both present during the raid. Since Zahidullah was kept hostage at their house, Jalat Khan and Adil, the father and brother of Shariatullah were arrested for being accomplices in the abduction case.

PTM’s Anti-State Treachery

Media sources reveal that Noorul Aslam Dawar, an activist of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement visited Shariatullah’s family on 18th January this year, months after the raid was conducted and Jalat and Adil were arrested by the armed forces. The activist coaxed Shariatullah’s teenage brother, Hayat to release a video message against the Pakistani armed forces. Noorul Aslam made several assurances that this video message would help Hayat ensure the release and safety of his father and brothers.

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Shortly after its release, the video message went viral on social media, and it gave PTM the pretext to stage nationwide protests and raise anti-army slogans by fallaciously sensationalizing Hayat’s and his family’s case. It was an attempt to malign the army in Waziristan and initiate anti-army propaganda to create an antagonistic environment amongst the locals.

Local Authorities Spring into Action

The armed forces released Jalat Khan, and he was made to appear in front of the Uthmanzai Jirga, while his son, Adil was questioned by an inquiry board.

On 26th January 2019, seniors and patriarchs of the Uthmanzai tribe held a grand jirga and unanimously negated the protests that were stirred by non-locals and PTM members, particularly criticizing the actions of MNA Mohsin Dawar and PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen. The jirga spurned the role of social media in circulating anti-state content and announced its decision to further investigate the incident.

The teenage Hayat Khan was persuaded to release a statement that maligned the security forces and their actions, while Shariatullah, the elder brother was heavily implicated in terrorist activities.

A second jirga took place on 2nd February in Miranshah, which marked the presence of 61 local tribal seniors and administration officers from multiple districts. The jirga stressed that the accusations made against the armed forces were entirely false and had been sensationalized by certain few to promote their own interests and hidden agendas.

Following this jirga, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) visited Shariatullah’s house alongside all the elders of the jirga. They addressed the issue with the family and pressed them to expedite the safe return of Zahidullah, the kidnapped MPCL employee. They urged the family to convince Shariatullah to abandon his activities and surrender himself to the armed forces, and release Zahidullah at once.

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Matorkay was shot shortly after he negated all claims of harassment at the hands of the security forces. Although the murderers have not been identified yet, analysts opine that it indicates to what great length these anti-state actors are willing to go to protect and promote their propaganda; hence, there is a need to deal with them with all the authority.

Mina Jahangir with additional input by News Desk.

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