PTM gets heard

Of late one had been witnessing Pashtun Tahafuz Movement  (PTM) gaining support and pulling large crowds to its meetings and finally the torch bearers of this movement have succeeded to make their voices heard. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Apex Committee has decided to form a high-powered jirga, comprising politicians and local elders, to hold talks with the PTM and get their demands addressed.
We see emergence of the PTM as an indication that Pashtuns are fed up of extremism, terrorism and up till now one has seen them adhering to non-violent means and methods to protest their grievances. Indeed their demands are genuine and fall within the purview of the Constitution. Their demands include respect of their rights, cessation of disappearances and other abuses and humiliation meted out to them. This is a matter of fact that forced disappearances have caused endless agony to thousands of families across the country. In our view if any credible evidence exists against any person of involvement in terror acts or abetting them, the culprits should be arrested and charged in a court of law and tried so that they could get punishment for the crime they have committed. As regards PTM, it was founded back in 2014 for the removal of land mines in the tribal areas but after Naqibullah Mehshud, a young businessman and aspiring model was killed in Karachi in January this year, the PTM grew rapidly into a mass movement. Though initially the media did not give much attention to the movement but given the support it got in big cities, the PTM is no longer an unheard word. And indeed the genuine grievances of the movement needs to be heard and addressed as Pashtuns especially those living in the tribal areas are the ones who have given maximum number of sacrifices in the war on terror and it is time that their wounds are healed instead of rubbing more salt to their wounds. The formation of a jirga is a step in the right direction as the mechanism to address their grievances can only be developed through negotiations. At the same time PTM leadership must not allow in their ranks elements that are anti-Pakistan or working on enemy’s agenda. So far the PTM movement has remained peaceful and we expect it will pursue the same course in future as well to get their demands fulfilled.

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