Scores of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) supporters held a demonstration in Peshawar on Saturday to protest against the registration of cases against PTM leaders by the Balochistan government earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Killa Saifullah police had registered an FIR against PTM leaders including Manzoor Pashteen, Haji Hidayatullah, Ali Wazir, Khan Zaman Kakar and others, as they were reportedly protesting against enforced disappearances, extrajudicial arrests and killings, as well as the alleged mistreatment of the Pakhtun community by law enforcement agencies.

The protesters, belonging to PTM's Khyber Paktunkhwa chapter, chanted slogans against the federal and Balochistan government, and demanded of the government to withdraw the FIR filed against the movement’s leaders.

"They were demanding their basic rights," a protester said, adding that instead of giving them assurances the Balochistan government went on to register an FIR against PTM leaders.

The protester said action against the "peaceful protesters" was "injustice and an attempt to drown the Pashtun voices raised for the provision of basic rights to the community".

“We will not be afraid of such tactics,” he said, adding that they will continue their protest under the banner of PTM.

Reports of Pakthun protests in Islamabad first made headlines following the extrajudicial killing of Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud — a shopkeeper and aspiring model — in Karachi.

According to a recent New York Times column penned by a writer from Waziristan, Mehsud's murder became a tipping point that compelled young Pakthuns to gather and protest against 16 years of frustration and pain caused by the rise of militancy.

The column said militancy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, and subsequent counter-terror operations, caused millions to be displaced from their homes, with residents plagued by arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and the loss of homes, livelihoods and lives.

Leaders of PTM — which is an organisation working for the rights of those affected by the war on terror in Tribal Areas especially those from South Waziristan — claim that in the past decade, 32,000 Pashtuns have gone missing from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

They insist that their struggle was to ensure implementation of the Constitution under which the law-enforcement agencies are supposed to provide details of the people they pick up and present them before courts.

Opinion

Courts & the poor
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Courts & the poor

Justice eludes those whose homes have been demolished.
No choice but to leave
20 Jun 2021

No choice but to leave

The influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan is likely to increase again with the US withdrawal.
Cost of enforced modesty
Updated 19 Jun 2021

Cost of enforced modesty

By inviting mullahs to regulate biology textbooks the PTI government has put Pakistan in reverse gear.

Editorial

20 Jun 2021

More vaccines needed

THE vaccination rate in the country has slowed in recent days and could result in a crisis if not addressed...
20 Jun 2021

Balochistan protest

THE clashes outside the Balochistan Assembly on budget day were unfortunate. But they had been waiting to happen. ...
Silent victims
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Silent victims

THE deafening silence of political authorities, including leaders from the religious right, on the Mufti Azizur...
19 Jun 2021

NA peace — for now

AFTER a session of utter pandemonium and a distasteful war of words, normalcy finally returned to the National...
India uranium theft
Updated 19 Jun 2021

India uranium theft

REPORTS emerging from India about the theft of uranium and possible sale on the black market should be a cause for...
19 Jun 2021

KCR rigmarole

THURSDAY’S proceedings in the Supreme Court clearly demonstrated how divided the stakeholders are when it comes to...