Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has grown to its valour and momentum with the current Peshawar rally where the basic demands have been put forward, again. This shows PTM is still consistent regarding its policy framework and all other news regarding distractions are just rumors and nothing else. Its carries various controversies but the shown democratic prospects are commendable which don’t only withheld participant culture but the soft image for Pashtuns as well.
PTM was initially called as ‘Mehsud Tahafuz Movement’ when a youth named as Naqeeb Mehsud was brutally encountered by one of the notorious police officer, Rao Anwar, in Karachi. This, eventually, arouse a wave of anger in tribal region of Fata where the whereabouts of Naqeeb existed. Tribal leaders decided to arrange rally for protest in the capital which subsequently got fame and attracted a wide range of both concerns and applause. The initiative was headed by a student of Gomal University, Manzoor Pashteen, who himself has witnessed the victimization of Fata and nearby regions.
The movement is purely in accordance with democratic socialization if we look into the put demands and taken up steps. Its legitimate concerns include the arrest of Rao Anwar, end of extra-judicial killings, ban on enforced disappearances, removal of land mines and the minimum number of check posts in FATA. As far as the steps are concerned, PTM has just arranged rallies in different parts of the country where the objective has never been anti-state, not even in a single speech from PTM representatives. Besides, the participation of women is breaking stereotypes and must be appreciated in a sense that Pashtuns are always considered to be hard core and conservative in nature. Up till, now, the whole mechanism seems to be in confined constitutional boundaries and for that the court hearing regarding the Rao Anwar case must be given due weightage.
Today, gain, the previous rhetoric of right to have life was reiterated with more organized gathering. Manzoor Phusteen addressed the agenda in the following words;
“Our demands have not been met. Many people are still missing. We will continue our struggle till the last missing person comes home. We will go to every village and city to convey our message of peace and love to the people.”
He further says;
“We have lost our dear ones in this war. Our economy has been destroyed. Today, people of Fata are forced to migrate to Punjab and Sindh for cheap and petty labour. We have no livelihood opportunities in our region. This is only war economy.”
He presented the basic agenda of PTM and said we are just claiming for right to have life and other basic necessities of life which have never been the fate of Fata and adjacent areas. The narrative of anti-state and separatist tendencies have never been a part and aim of PTM. His words in this context are as under;
“Those who accuse of being RAW/NDS should constitute a judicial commission to find out the truth.”
Here, I must also include few experts from Senator Usman Kakar’s speech which has carried the crux of this whole PTM struggle.
“We are agents of nobody but the people of FATA, KP and Balochistan. Those who want to terrorize, displace and kill us are our enemies. Those who want peace in our region and respect our culture are our friends.”
As far as my understanding is concerned, PTM has observed all the democratic rules along with the participant culture where it didn’t only comprehend the existing flaws in our legal system i.e., FCR (Frontier Crimes Regulation) but accentuated their preemptory requests also. They know what they are asking for and what it means to have access of fundamental rights and other basic needs of life. Isn’t all about the rule of law?
In one way or other, PTM is the kind of indigenous civil movement which is creating awareness among the general masses. Its linkage with historical instances of separatist movements like that of East Bengal and Baloch insurgency is like comparing oranges with apples. The representatives have already clarified the motto in every other occasion and now it must be accepted as presented. While giving interview to Pakistan Cyber Force, Professor Ijaz Khan also exclaimed the aforementioned awakening among youth- most particularly, the Phustoon one. Moreover, Ahmed Rasheed provided his insightful analysis regarding this determination at the event titled, ‘The Pakistan Afghanistan Pukhtun Festival 2018.’
I will end this analysis with the following words of Nancy Bermeo, who is a professor at Princeton.
“No violent separatist movement has ever succeeded in a federal democracy.”
Author is a team member of Balochistan Voices and a Student of BS (Hons) Political Science in University of the Punjab, Lahore. She hails from Loralai District. Click here to read previous articles written by the author.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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