NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Chief of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Manzoor Pashteen has warned that Pakhtuns had gone through immense suffering due to military operations on their lands, and will put up stiff resistance if any such offensive was launched on their land in future.

Addressing a public gathering in Miramshah tehsil here on Sunday, he said that the tribesmen had rendered countless sacrifices for independence of the country and similar sacrifices would be offered for its defence.

“Tribesmen have had enough of pain and agony caused by military operations conducted from Janikhel to North Waziristan from time to time. Any such action in future will face stiff resistance,” Mr Pashteen reiterated.

He said that PTM leader Hanif Pashtun had been behind bars for last four years and not even a single witness was presented during the case hearings in a bid to prolong his imprisonment.

“North Waziristan and Bannu districts should be given their due share in the oil and gas reserves discovered recently in Bannu’s West Block,” he said, adding that oil refineries should be established within the Bannu division. Other speakers told the gathering that bomb explosions and targeted killing in Pakhtun belt would not be tolerated anymore.

Speaking on the occasion, PTM leader and MNA Ali Wazir, who was recently released from the prison, said that it was responsibility of the state to protect its citizens. “We will not tolerate insurgency, bomb explosions and targeted killing in the Pakhtun areas,” Mr Wazir said, adding that he was imprisoned for the only reason that he had demanded rights for Pakhtuns.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2023

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