Fading PTM

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Reema Shaukat

A few weeks back, PTM leaders and MNA’s Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar were released from jail while both were arrested a few months back. Both Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were initially charged in an FIR registered at the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station, Bannu, on 26 May 2019 after a clash between PTM members and army personnel near the Kharqamar check post in North Waziristan, which had resulted in the death of 13 people and injuries to several others. Both these PTM leaders are granted bail only for a period of one month which will be subject to condition of “good behaviour” by the MNAs and before expiry of that period they will have to file fresh bail applications in the High Court.
But unfortunately, our homeland continues to suffer from such traitors who appear sincere to state but the matter of the fact is entirely different if investigated. PTM or Pashtun Tahafuz Movement was made by hostile agencies in the name of giving rights to Pashtuns. Its main three leaders Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir and Manzoor Pashteen were created after the break away of faction of ANP and FATA activists. Despite foreign funding and international support PTM was not able to bluff people of FATA or Pakhtuns living in KP and Balochistan. Foreign lands are used by these traitors to manipulate their agenda against the State and create restlessness among citizens. It appears that traitors always find foreign land an easy escape for themselves. By seeking an asylum on far-off territory and later continuing their nefarious designs from there, they find it most convenient to manipulate the agenda. Pakistan unfortunately, continues to suffer from such turncoats and defectors who are always conspiring against Pakistan from outside. Finding foreign land an easy way to carry out propaganda, foreign media is also often found raising the voice of such traitors of Pakistan. Its leaders are mostly asylum seekers, running propaganda campaigns and often come up with new names just to confuse public and gain sympathy for their objectives. Last year, it was reported by western media that Pashtuns from Pakistan and Afghanistan held protest against Pakistan in front of the United Nations’ building during the ongoing 38th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Those activists raised anti-Pakistan slogans and alleged Pakistan Army for carrying out atrocities on Pashtun people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and parts of neighbouring Afghanistan. According to reports, with these Pashtuns there were Balochi, Sindhi and Kashmiri people too. Words of western media are that this PTM, in recent times has emerged as a grass root movement in Pakistan. According to them, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), has emerged in Pakistan to voice for various human rights issues, including the alleged disappearances of over 32,000 people in Pashtun and majority of them belong to those areas which border Afghanistan. Foreign media exploits the ground realities in whatever way it is possible for them.
However, reality is that this PTM and name of its leader Manzoor Pashteen appeared in year 2018 during demonstration against extra judicial killing of Naqeeb ullah Mehsud and he alleged armed forces for falsely making tall claims of progress in South Waziristan. He tried to gain popularity among youth by social media and created different accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other websites to get sympathies and particularly encourage Pashtun and tribal youths against armed forces and Pakistan. Manzoor Pashteen launched false allegations through social media and tried to create uncertainty in the minds of average Pakistani against the role of armed forces through demonstrations. Reports have already disclosed earlier that these websites and social media pages are fake and the IP address of sites show Indian hand to pollute the young minds.
While the state of Pakistan, on the other hand, found the links between PTM, RAW of India and NDS of Afghanistan which shows they are being used by enemies of Pakistan. Pakistan had always aspired to meet demands of the PTM which include clearing areas, which remained under operation, from mines, end of check posts and addressing the issue of missing persons, but their leadership said they would take revenge from the Pakistan Army. However, these are demands of the PTM who are so-called leaders of Pashtuns. PTM leaders have also been asked to give lists of manpower of Tehreek-e-Taliban present in Afghanistan so that their names could be compared with the list of 2,500 missing persons.
DG ISPR a few months back in his press briefing said that time is up for PTM and action must be taken against them as per law of the land if they did not respond to questions about their links with NDS and RAW. Recently when Pakistan is playing key role in Afghan peace process and want peace restoration in Afghanistan for long term regional stability, PTM is trying to come into limelight again and play role to prevent its organization from dying down. A few days back a picture on Twitter raised questions when some PTM supporters met Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan and which poses queries like ‘in which capacity they hold such gatherings or one must assume you got new guidance and command up to display further traitorous behaviour against Pak Establishment’?
Definitely food-for-thought is that that those who say that Pashtun Belt should be associated with Afghanistan and chant slogans of Lar-o-Barr Afghan are not concerned about greater Afghan as PTM or ANP, so-called authorities in FATA never raised their voice against atrocities led by US in Afghanistan nor show their interest in Afghan peace process other than getting foreign funds for themselves. It is high time that all political leadership must come up on one page regarding anti-state narrative by PTM and differentiate between friends and foes and timely counter propaganda raised against the country before any kind of damage is inflicted.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.

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