Author: Khaperai Yusufzai
The Pakhtun Protection Movement (PTM) is only three months old but it carries decades-old frustration in its heart. The movement has apparently kicked off after the cold-blooded murder of a Pakhtun young man, Naqibullah, in a fake encounter on January 13, 2018. However, Manzoor Pashteen and his fellow activists have presented a list of atrocities committed by the state against the Pashtuns especially those of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To be accepted and acknowledged as a patriot Pakistani, the only option seems to be Pakistan Army’s blanket follower and to never question their role in anything; though the Army has a very long history of failing their country and people. The worst example is the military`s role in the war against East Pakistan in 1971 – killing their own countrymen and women like mosquitoes. They raped their women, as General Niazi had been quoted by credible sources, “we will change their generations to come.”
The treatment of Pashtun movement seems to be a continuation of the same policy the Army has always followed – military`s nonstop desire to control Pakistan, from its foreign policy to internal affairs and so forth. Pakistani army has not only killed their own people in East Pakistan but has played a shameful role against its democratic forces inside the country since they begin to have power.
The list of military mishandling Pakistan`s foreign policy is a long one but one of the turning points was General Zia ul Haq orchestrating the judicial killing of Zulfiqar Bhutto and putting Pakistan in a lethal war between two superpowers for what Pakistanis are still paying the price. As a matter of fact, Pakistani military has received a huge cache of dollars but it hasn’t improved the living standard of average Pakistanis – it was a fund directly going to Military and into generals` pockets.
The military operation against the Baloch and picking up their youth is still in fashion. Pervez Musharraf, the dictator, accelerated offensives against the Baloch when an active-duty Captain of Pakistan Army gang-raped a Baloch female doctor in her hospital. The case was picked up by locals and taken to their leader Akbar Bugti. Musharraf stood by his rapist Captain and killed Bugti for trying to dishonor the military.
Musharraf’s infamous foreign policy reversal towards the Taliban regime of Afghanistan after the USA attacked them, kept the flow of dollars coming – later Osama Bin Laden was given shelter and hundreds of thousands of Taliban were welcomed to make the Pakistani faction of Taliban – the TTP.
Musharraf, later allowed Maulana Fazlullah, who was unknown at that time, to launch FM radio in Swat valley. The destruction of swat in coming years needs no reminders.
Pakistan`s current foreign policy is perhaps one of the worst in the world, no other nation has done this type of damage to its international image as Pakistani army has done to its own country. Pakistan is a nation of 200 million plus but the seven hundred thousands army family has held the rest hostages. Pakistan is facing embarrassment across the globe for supporting terrorists- the recent embarrassment was FATF grey listing Pakistan for being a supporter of the terrorists.
PTM demands are based on state continued policies of protecting terrorists who kill Pashtuns in Pakistan and across the Durand line. The leading members of PTM come from three different tribes of North Waziristan, the Wazir, the Dawar and the Mahsud. They have lost their own family members, have faced abductions, humiliation, discrimination and most importantly, they have no hope for a better future.
Manzoor Pashteen, in an interview with BBC warned the military that he won’t go back unless all their demands are met. He also has said, “Taliban and military both want him to be silent because the atrocities they have committed, better not be exposed.” After the police in Lahore arrested his friends Ali Wazir and Ismat Shahjehan, Manzoor Pashteen on his Facebook live warned the state in a very aggressive but content tone, “arrest me if you can, I will be at Mochi Gate tomorrow at 4:00 pm”.
The determination of Manzoor Pashteen and his friend’s come from a fifteen-years long history of facing the atrocities by the military and their strategic partners, the Taliban.
It will be fair to say that Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies are the ones who should be declared anti-Pakistan and their generals should face the law for all they have done to Pakistan.