Pakistan ISPR On Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)

Who is Manzoor Pashteen? What is Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)?  What is Pashtun Nationalism?  Why did Pakistan ISPR spokesman Gen Asif Ghafoor warn them in a recent press conference? What are PTM demands? Did the Pakistani military action in FATA help or hurt the vast majority of FATA residents? Who are the "missing person"? Why are they missing? What must be done to resolve this issue? Is PTM insincere in using this issue as cover to attack the military? How has RK Yadav, retired officer of Indian RAW,  documented India's support of Pashtun Nationalists and other secessionist movements in Pakistan? Is PTM supported by foreign intelligence agencies to re-ignite insurgency in FATA?

Terror Death in FATA. Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal

Terror Deaths Across Pakistan. Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal

Why was Masood Azhar declared a "terrorist" by the UNSC sanctions committee? Is this a win for India's Modi? Did China abandon Pakistan by letting it happen as UNSC Permanent Member? Or did China coordinate its action with Pakistan to have references to Kashmir and Pulwama removed from the declaration?

Azad Labon Kay Sath (ALKS) host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Sabahat Ashraf (ifaqeer) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/rA68tYE4rV0

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Comment by Riaz Haq on May 12, 2019 at 7:10am

Future of Pak-US relations
Munir Akram May 12, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1481779/future-of-pak-us-relations

"Pakistan is not fully equipped to fight the ‘hybrid’ war being waged by India and others in Balochistan, ex-Fata, sections of the media and politics to destabilise the country domestically. Using all the tools of modern technology, Pakistan must develop a sophisticated intelligence, counter-insurgency and political action capability for defence. ‘Defensive’ measures do not imply systemic hostility with the US. There are vast areas for mutually beneficial cooperation which can be promoted as long as the US does not threaten Pakistan’s core interests and positions, especially its rejection of Indian domination and support for Kashmiri self-determination....Hope resides in the possibility that the US will perceive the economic momentum in Asia, unleashed by the Belt and Road Initiative and Asian economic integration, as a strategic opportunity rather than a challenge. US participation could transform the Belt and Road endeavour into a globally beneficial enterprise. Indeed, faced by global threats of climate change, poverty and nuclear annihilation, and offered the alternative of a cooperative, knowledge-driven future of growth and prosperity, the US, China, Russia and other powers, including India, ultimately would be wise to opt for ‘win-win’ cooperation rather than ‘lose-lose’ confrontation."

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 28, 2019 at 7:44pm

Shocking disclosures about #PTM demands as seen by #Pakistani #Pashtun General Saad Khattak (R): #PTM leaders sponsored by #India #Afghan intelligence to attack #PakistanArmy https://youtu.be/QNBosoqim4Q via @YouTube

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 29, 2019 at 10:11am

Pakistan’s Ali Wazir: The lone Marxist to win despite Taliban killing 16 of his family
FAROOQ TARIQ Updated: 28 July, 2018 5:55 pm IST

https://theprint.in/opinion/pakistans-ali-wazir-the-lone-marxist-to...

A rare Communist to survive and win, Wazir refused a seat from Imran Khan, who later didn’t put up a candidate against him.

Ali Wazir, a central committee member of The Struggle, has won a seat in the national parliament of Pakistan from NA-50 (Tribal Area–XI) with 23,530 votes and his closest rival from a religious parties alliance, MMA got 7,515. Thus winning the seat with a majority of 16,015.

Ali Wazir is one of the main leaders of the Pashtun Tahafaz Movement (PTM). This year, mass meetings were organised in major cities of Pakistan to raise voices for fair compensation to the victims of the “war on terror” and to demand the release of all ‘missing’ persons or to bring them to the courts if they are guilty.

Two other leaders of the PTM also contested for the national parliament and one of them, Muhsin Dawer also won the seat after a close competition. Mohsin Javed Dawer got 16,526 votes while Aurangzeb of Imran Khan’s PTI got 10,422. However, the MMA candidate Mufti Misbahudin got a close 15,363 votes.

These two PTM leaders contested from Waziristan, an area dominated by religious fanatics. However, a strong movement for civil rights of Pashtuns had cut across the influence of the fanatics and Pashtuns voted despite all the threats to them.

Two main leaders of the PTM present in parliament has given hope to many in Pakistan that at least there would be peoples voices in a parliament dominated by feudal lords, corrupt capitalists and stooges of the military and judicial establishment.

Who is Ali Wazir?
Ali Wazir is a very special person. His personal ordeal best illustrates what prompted his demands. Ali Wazir was pursuing a degree in law at the turn of the century when his hometown, Wana, the headquarters of the south Waziristan agency, became the epicenter of global terrorism after a host of Taliban-allied groups sought shelter in the communities.


No doubt the terrorists had some individual local facilitators, but ultimately it was the state that failed to prevent them from using the territory. When his father, the chief of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe, and other local leaders complained of their presence, government officials ignored and silenced them. Instead, Islamabad spent years denying the presence of any Afghan, Arab, or Central Asian militants.

By 2003, the militants had established a foothold in south and north Waziristan tribal agencies and were attempting to build a local emirate. Ali Wazir’s elder brother Farooq Wazir, a local political activist and youth leader, became the first victim of a long campaign in which thousands of Pashtun tribal leaders, activists, politicians, and clerics were killed with near absolute impunity. Their only crime was to question or oppose the presence of dangerous terrorists in their homeland.

In 2005, Ali Wazir was in prison when his father, brothers, cousins, and an uncle were killed in a single ambush. He was behind the bars because of the draconian colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) law, that holds an entire tribe or region responsible for the crimes of an individual for any alleged crime committed in the territory.

Ali Wazir had committed no crime, never got a fair trial, and was not sentenced, yet he was prevented even from participating in the funerals for his family. In the subsequent years, six more members of his extended family were assassinated. The authorities have not even investigated these crimes let alone held anyone responsible.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 3, 2020 at 10:15am

Pashtun Nationalists wet dream: Pashtun Spring: Time to redraw the boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan
BY AHMAD SHAH KATAWAZAI, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — https://thehill.com/opinion/international/373150-pashtun-spring-tim...

Forcefully imposed by British India in 1893 over Afghan objections, the Durand Line and FATA area has turned into a hub of terrorism, insurgency and drug trafficking. People in the area proudly and publicly bear arms, sell smuggled goods and make weapons. For criminals, arms dealers, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, Haqqani network and ISIS, the area has become somewhat of a safe haven. The semi-autonomous tribal region is a place where foreign jihadists, many of whom have been there for more than a decade, can take advantage of the lawlessness and benign support that Al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents have received from Pakistan. Such activity in this location presents potentially dangerous consequences for U.S., NATO and Afghan troops in the region.

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Now is the time to change the status quo. This requires bold, confident decisions to address grievances of the people and redress mistakes of the past. In a May 2017 article published in The Pashtun Times, Ryszard Czarnecki, the former vice president of European Parliament, noted that “Pashtun-dominated tribal areas and portions of Pakistan that were forcefully taken away and merged into British India need to be restored to their earlier status as the sovereign territory of Afghanistan.” Indeed, it would be in the best interest of the United States, NATO and Afghanistan to redraw the Durand Line.

The Afghan government never has accepted the Durand Line as a true international border. The government and people of Afghanistan have consistently asked for the territory to be re-incorporated into Afghanistan. People who live along the Durand Line don’t consider it to be a border. They cross the border freely and, in many places, the line is unclear. Pashtun inhabitants along the line take pride in asserting their autonomy and proudly assert that their Pashtunwali traditions and tribal codes of conduct supersede the Pakistani laws and courts.

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Ultimately, bringing stability to this region, and getting rid of Pakistani-backed insurgency, could become a model of freedom. Redrawing the Durand Line and merging the territory into Afghanistan would give the country access to international waters, providing a win from a logistical and economic perspective for the United States, NATO and Afghanistan. This would pave the way for a direct connection between Central Asia and the Middle East.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 29, 2020 at 4:20pm

Redefining citizenship in Pakistan
The PTM movement envisions an alternate relationship between citizen and state.


https://www.himalmag.com/redefining-citizenship-in-pakistan-2020/

Perhaps, the only slogan borrowed from older iterations of Pashtun nationalism is that of ‘Lar-o-bar Yaw Afghan’ (All Afghans are one). This slogan particularly evokes insecurity within the Pakistani state because it implies the fracture of the country. It can also evoke either making a separate Pashtunistan (a homeland for the Pashtuns) or joining with Afghanistan. The propaganda and suppression tactics surrounding this slogan, it can be argued, form the basis of Afghan support for the PTM. But this slogan expresses the cultural, historical and linguistic identity of Pashtuns as transcending the borders of Pakistan and also as participants in the project of the Pakistani nation as a people having their own identity and culture.

This charge of separatism also comes with the charge of an exclusively ethnic movement. This charge erases the conceptualisation of the particular versus the universal. It raises questions around collective self-expression and how it can be done in a participatory, ethical way.

A national consciousness is very different from the kind of nationalism which creates an essential category of a ‘nation’. That national consciousness takes stock of race- or ethnicity-based oppression. Rather than essentialising the ‘nation’, this consciousness seeks recognition in a framework of the universal. The crucial concept is that a particular race or ethnicity shouldn’t become universal and collaboration should be sought with other groups working towards a universal movement recognising the specificity of nationhood. The universal in turn shouldn’t essentialise and erase particular communities (both go hand in hand).

In this light, the PTM can be seen as reclaiming the right of being different and simultaneously of belonging to a country through the instrument of the constitution. In the PTM’s imagination, the constitution has a life of its own, and can be called upon again and again in order to legitimise the movement. Though the constitution is not a perfect document and is open to change to reflect changing socio-political circumstances, it is a guarantee protecting against the violation of human rights and of the state’s praetorian hold. The abstractness of the articles of the constitution finds materiality in the political programme where those who see the constitution as subservient to the ‘interests of the nation’ are made subservient to the dictates of the constitution. The PTM finds solidarity from people who are not Pashtuns and are not affected by war, because the constitution has the seeds of an alternate tomorrow which can challenge the economy and war-fuelled state through the constant violation of rights of the periphery as well as of people cast as the undesirable ‘other’.

Pashtuns have a complex relationship with the Pakistani state. It is validly argued that they hold disproportionate representation in some institutions, such as in the army, with between 15 and 22 percent of officers and between 20 and 25 percent among the rank and file said to be Pashtuns.

This is partly due to Pashtuns being the largest ethnic minority of the country, the portrayal of Pashtuns as a martial race by the British Raj (continued by the postcolonial state), and a long political struggle leading to upward social mobility for Pashtuns in some areas. Despite being the largest ethnic minority, they are treated, consciously or unconsciously, as the ethnic other to the de-ethnicised Pakistan: their lands are treated as arenas of war and their people are deployed to fight proxy wars of the state. The PTM aims to disrupt this dual treatment born out of the war economy. Their program is not only non-violent, it is also anti-violence and anti-war.

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