Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) is a human rights movement of Pashtuns that emerged in 2018 from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province in Pakistan. The movement seeks to redress the decades-long grievances of Pashtuns, who have suffered due to the ongoing conflict in the region, the war on terror, and the actions of the Pakistani state.
The movement was initiated by Manzoor Pashteen, a young Pashtun who hails from the Waziristan region. He was spurred to action after the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a Pashtun youth, by police officers in Karachi in January 2018. The incident sparked outrage across the Pashtun community and led to protests in various parts of Pakistan.
PTM's demands include the end to extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and unlawful detentions of Pashtuns by the Pakistani military and security agencies. They also demand the removal of landmines from the region and provide basic human rights such as education, healthcare, and clean water.
The PTM has gained significant support from the Pashtun community within Pakistan and abroad. The movement has been instrumental in highlighting the plight of Pashtuns, who have been subjected to violence, discrimination, and marginalization for decades. It has also exposed the brutal tactics used by the Pakistani military and security agencies in the region.
Despite facing immense pressure from the Pakistani state, PTM has organized peaceful protests and rallies nationwide. However, the movement has also faced backlash from the state and its supporters. PTM leaders have been subjected to threats, intimidation, and harassment; some have been arrested and charged with sedition.
The PTM's struggle is not just for the rights of Pashtuns but for the rights of all marginalized communities in Pakistan. The movement has brought together people from all walks of life, united in their demand for justice and equality. The PTM has also garnered international attention, with several human rights organizations and political leaders expressing their support for the movement.
In conclusion, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement is a vital movement for the recognition of the rights of Pashtuns in Pakistan. The movement's peaceful activism and determination in the face of state repression have inspired many to join the struggle for justice and equality. The PTM has shown that fighting for a better future is possible despite the odds and that no community should suffer in silence.