Violence against a peaceful movement: Pakistan army and the PTM

For the last one year, a peaceful non-violent movement, the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) that started in Pakistan’s tribal areas has spread around the country. It was started by young Pashtuns fighting for human rights but has found an echo in all parts of the country.

Right from the start, the Pakistani military -intelligence establishment has viewed this movement as anti-national and treasonous. They have banned PTM rallies, arrested its leaders and even placed its Members of National Assembly on the Exit Control List. Yet they have been unable to suppress the popularity of the PTM, its leaderManzoor Pashteen and others including MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar. 

Just last week a leading PTM activist Alamzeb Mehsud was arrested. And today, a senior member of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), Arman Luni, was killed in a police crackdown on a sit-in being held in Loralai district of Balochistan.

The security establishment is worried that a peaceful non violent movement led by Pashtuns fighting for human rights will find support from other ethnic groups inside Pakistan, namely the Baloch, Muhajirs and Sindhis.

For a long time now, the security establishment has hoped that its iron hand will result in the PTM turning violent and then that would be the pretext the military needs to crack down on the movement and its supporters. Despite all its attempts the PTM has refused to turn violent.

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