Pakistan: Pashtun leaders holds ‘Islamabad Jalsa’ against atrocities on ethnic groups

Pakistan: Pashtun leaders holds ‘Islamabad Jalsa’ against atrocities on ethnic groups


On Friday (18 August), leaders and common populace belonging to the Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi, and other oppressed ethnic communities in Pakistan held a large Jalsa in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. The large anti-Military protest rally in Islamabad was spearheaded by Pashtun civil rights outfit namely Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM). 

In a video posted by PTM on X, its chief Manzoor Pashteen had said, “Target killings, false cases, forced acquisition of lands, mass killings, trying of people in military courts…against all there will be a PTM rally outside the Islamabad Supreme Court. We invite people from Baloch, Sindhi, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the subjugated classes of Punjab to participate in the rally.”

However, the announcement of the protest rally by all major ethnic communities, except elite Punjabis, had rattled the Pakistani army and its deep state aka establishment. In a bid to crush the rally, they made arrests by hundreds and blocked all major roads leading to the protest site. Initially, the Pashtun leaders had announced to hold their rally in front of the Pakistan Supreme Court, however, it was later shifted to the capital’s outskirt, Tarnol.

The protestors dared the Pakistani army over the ongoing terrorist activities in these deliberately-kept underdeveloped regions. They asked the army to release their detained activists and end targeted killings across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. During the rally, they raised an anti-military slogan, ‘Ye jo deshsatgardi hai iske piche wardi (military) hai.’ (Translation – Pakistani Military is responsible for the vitiated atmosphere of terror in the nation.) 

The protestors raised Pashtun, Afghan, and other ethnic flags, however, the striking part was that there were no takers for the Pakistani national flag and reportedly it was completely missing from the protest rally. 

Addressing the gathering, PTM Chief Manzoor Pashteen reminded the Pakistani army of the humiliating 1971 drubbing at the hand of the Indian army and Bangladeshis seeking freedom. In a direct threat to the army, he said, “The Bangalis only took off your pants, we will peel off Army’s skin.”

In the rally, Pashteen categorically stated that DGISPR, Pakistani Army Chief, and those who are trying to control Balochistan, FATA, or other regions through Military boot, should carefully listen that if they continue to do so, they will not continue to remain under their oppressive regime or a part of Pakistan. He reminded the Pakistani army that several major powers try to use force to slave these regions, but all of them meet their fate and the Pakistani army wouldn’t be any different.

He added that if the time comes to grab Pakistani Army officers by their collar, the Pashtun and other oppressed communities will do so and everything else to end the shackles of slavery.  

PTM social media handles issued categorical warnings to the Pakistani army and announced that if the army continued to trample on the rights of the ethnic communities in Pakistan, then they will ask for “freedom”. 

The ethnic communities in Pakistan have repeatedly accused the Pakistan Military and its establishment of systematic and constitutional discrimination against Pashtuns, Sindhis, Baloch, and other ethnic groups throughout the country. They are facing genocide at the hands of the Pakistan army as a large number of civilians are killed and many are victims of enforced disappearances.

It is worth noting that Pashtuns are the second-largest ethnic group in Pakistan, first is Punjabi. They account for 15% of the population and are considered one of the five major ethnolinguistic groups of the nation. 

Formed as a civil rights movement, PTM came into being as a response to State-enforced terrorism and human rights abuses of Pakistan’s army and intelligence agencies in the Pashtun Belt of Pakistan including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killing. 

The Pashtun community lives in the Pashtunistan region which partly falls in Pakistan and partly in Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and Afghan Pashtuns have opposed and rejected the 1893 demarcation known as the Durand line. For this region, they have taken up arms against Pakistan and nearly 90% of the terrorists in the Tehreek-e-Taliban terror outfit belong to the Pashtun tribe.  

Facing the real threat of extinction at the hands of the Punjabi-biased Pakistan Military, a sizeable chunk of all these ethnic communities be it Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun, or those in the FATA region or in Gilgit Baltistan, have taken up arms against the Pakistani army to fight for their rights and seek freedom for these regions. 


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *