Pakistan: Hundreds of Pashtuns protest against arrest of Fata Political Alliance chief Arif Khan Wazir, threaten nationwide sit-in
Hundreds of supporters of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement joined activists and political party workers to protests against the arrest of Fata Political Alliance chief Arif Khan Wazir and three other PTM leaders in Wana
Hundreds of supporters of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) joined activists and party workers on Monday to protest the arrest of Fata Political Alliance chief Arif Khan Wazir and three other PTM leaders in Wana, according to several media reports.
According to a report in Dawn, protesters across party lines demanded an end to the victimisation of Pashtuns. According to the report, PTM announced nationwide protests in front of press clubs in Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Zhob, Swabi, Loralai, Qilla Saifullah, Bannu, Ziarat, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat and Hyderabad.
The report added that if their demands aren't met, the protesters would march to Islamabad and hold a nation-wide sit-in. This is the second major Pashtun protest this year after there was an outcry in January against the killing of Naqibullah Mehsud.
According to Reuters, Mehsud was gunned down by police in Karachi. An inquiry ruled that it was not a case of extrajudicial killing. The killing, initially described by police as a shoot-out with terrorist suspects, sparked peaceful protests across the country by members of the 30 million-strong Pashtun community, who say hundreds of their young men have been “disappeared”.
Rights groups say such disappearances have been common for the past decade. The PTM, which has been organising these protests, compiled a list of approximately 1,200 missing persons after speaking to families.
The Hindu reported that young Pashtuns from Pakistan’s restive tribal areas have been staging protests in major cities against the situation in the restive border belt of the country. These tribal areas, situated on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, see tribals caught in the crossfire between militants, Pakistani security forces and US drones and Pashtuns are protesting against inhuman treatment by both terrorists and security personnel.
According to Reuters, Pashtuns believe the insurgency has led to security forces treating them all as potential militants, leading to the further victimisation of the community.
According to a report in The Hindu, since Pashtuns live in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan, they face stringent security checks and have no access to internet and cellphones. Pashtuns also cannot air their grievances in Pakistani courts as these areas do not come under the Pakistani Constitution. This has lead to Pashtuns' grievances going largely unreported.
But after January's peaceful protests, tribal people and other marginalised communities have been holding a slew of peaceful protests. Human rights' activist Diep Saeeda told Dawn the protest would continue and added that a daylong sit-in in Lahore would be held on 31 March to denounce the disappearance and extrajudicial killings of young Pashtuns. “We will continue to protest against coercive tactics used to silence activists,” she said.
With inputs from agencies
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The Srinagar MP and Natioanl Conference president advocated talks with Pakistan, saying that "border skirmishes have been rising and people are dying"
The PCB said squad members, match officials, duty doctors and security managers will be placed in bio-secure zones from the beginning of the season to ensure health and safety of players, officials and all other stakeholders.
PCB seek advice from ECB on creating bio-secure environment for upcoming home series against Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe team is scheduled to reach Pakistan on 20 October after which the board is expected to schedule their T20 and ODI matches in Multan and Rawalpindi.