The rapidly growing Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has rattled Pakistan’s military since it burst onto the scene three months ago with a nationwide campaign against alleged abuses against ethnic Pashtuns by security forces. The Pashtuns are a fiercely independent ethnic group that straddle both sides of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen addressed supporters in Peshawar, Lahore, and swat lashing out at the country’s top military brass over their alleged abuses and “dirty tactics.
COAS was true that there was a total absence of Pushtoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) type campaign in recent past. When brave soldiers and officers of Pakistan army were fighting the curse of terrorism no one was aware of the PTM and their forerunners. But when Normalcy has returned to FATA and Peace is established then a new movement has emerged in the name of Pashtun ethnicity. By viewing through transparent glasses, one can easily analyse the reality of PTM based on facts and figures.
Pashtun Tahafuz Movement means a movement for the protection of rights of Pashtuns. Pashtun makes nearly 15% of total population of Pakistan. Pashtuns are employed in nearly all state departments without any discrimination. The army, which has been the main target of PTM, consists of more than 21% Pashtuns. After successful counterterrorism operations in FATA and tribal areas, Government has launched many development projects in these war-torn far-flung areas. These programs have created many avenues of livelihood for local Pashtuns. Despite these facts, if still, some Pashtuns think that they are alienated by the establishment; they can pursue their demands through proper channel. They can use Pakistan courts which are now blessed with one of the most active chief justices, Justice Saqib Nisar, in Pakistan history.
People who are attracting towards PTM’s charming slogans must think that where they were when there was a high wave of terrorism in all Pakistan. When our mosques, Imam Bargahs, Universities, Schools, and all public places were on the hit-list of terrorists. Pakistani nation and army have made a lot of sacrifices in the war against terrorism. We had to face massacre of 150 innocent children in APS and numerous such tragic events. We have paid a huge price in the form of blood
of our beloved ones for peace. High morals of Pakistan Army made possible the eradication of all terrorist safe havens from Pakistan. We have defeated enemy proxies like TTP whose captured leader Ehsan Ullah Ehsan admitted that Indian intelligence agency RAW was at their back.
Now, when Indian proxies have totally flopped in Balochistan and KP, the emergence of this kind of movement is clear evidence that there are some regional powers at their back that are funding them. They want to exploit ethnicity in Pakistan to promote instability. No one knew Manzoor Pasheen before 2018. The dramatic rise in his popularity in just two months is impossible without foreign Aid. PTM has still not disclosed its sources of funding for massive gatherings.
PTM’s main demands are related to missing persons and check posts in tribal areas. The issue of missing persons is not new to people Pakistan. The number of missing persons has dropped swiftly within last five years before 2012 the numbers were much high as compared to today. The security forces of Pakistan have already been blamed for the missing insurgents earlier by Baloch separatist elements, however, a large number of such missing persons are believed to be residing in sanctuaries of hostile neighbours like Afghanistan and India. With the significant drop in insurgency and terror activities in tribal areas, the number of missing persons have also declined substantially.
As far as the matter of Check posts are concerned, Pakistan Army is not fond of establishing check posts. These check posts are just for security reasons. Native people of FATA and KP know that before these check posts what was the condition of their areas. These check posts have played an important role in bringing normalcy back to FATA and other areas of Pakistan. Army should maintain these check posts until the complete clearance of area. The number of these check posts is also reducing with the passage of time. If PTM is right in its stance then it should come out for protest when these posts were established.
PTM wants to show that Pakistan is a society which is being dominated by Punjab. It is trying to exploit sentiments of Pashtuns and Balochis against Punjabis. Different Baloch separatist leaders are also showing their support to PTM.
Capturing of Indian naval commander Kul Bhushan Yadhav from Balochistan border is also a clear evidence that Indian intelligence agencies are providing every kind of support to Baloch separatists.
It is not the first time, it is since 1947 that Pakistan enemies are trying to sabotage it. But Our founding father Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had truly said that there is no Power on earth that can undo Pakistan. If we take an overview of all such kind of movements in past it becomes very clear that all such kind of movements were totally India supported. Mukti Bahni, TTP, BLA, BLF, UBA all were nothing except proxies of our enemies. Indian current Prime Minister admitted this fact while addressing in Bangladesh that he was among volunteers who worked for the separation of East Pakistan.
If we consider that PTM is right in its demands for a moment then a question raises that why they are not just protesting for their demands but also accusing Pakistan state and its security forces. This is all the narrative of Pakistan`s enemies. They are openly raising slogans against Pakistan Army and Intelligence agencies and accusing that Pakistan army is behind this terrorism which is totally aligned with Indian foreign policy against Pakistan to push Pakistan into diplomatic isolation.
The Pakistani nation must not pay heed to such movements which are just pawns of our enemies. We should work hard together to defeat all our internal and external enemies.
Writers are students in NDU Islamabad SM Abdullah and Kamal Khan