From hosting up to 3 million Afghan refugees to sacrificing 80 thousand people owing to the Afghan war against terrorism, Pakistan has gone an extra mile for the cause of establishing peace in her backyard. Ironically, Pakistan’s efforts have not been acknowledged either by the international community or by the Afghan government. Instead of being grateful, Afghanistan along with India hatched a conspiracy against Pakistan and has been sponsoring a hybrid war against Pakistan in the form of PTM (Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement). PTM is a Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, apparently working for the rights of Pashtuns, while actually inciting terror, chaos and ethnic divsion inside Pakistan. The leadership of PTM has made anti-state statements many a time and has been charged with treason under Article 6 of 1973 constitution. PTM has a strong support base in Afghanistan and has gained immense fame in Afghan Pashtuns who have been given shelter in Pakistan.
It appears that PTM is actually presenting the Afghan demands and is dancing on the Afghan tunes. The removal of check posts challenges security, which then leads to chaos. This type of demand can only be made by anti-state forces. It is a known fact that Afghanistan has been raising concerns against the border management of Pakistan owing to her perennial stance of Pashtunistan since long.
PTM presented a list of demands pertaining to Pashtun rights i.e. the governance in FATA, missing person issue and border management. The state and establishment both accepted the just demands of PTM and have welcomed the peaceful way of protest and negotiation. The government even gave the justification for certain questions rose by PTM leadership and invited them for talks. The demands related to check posts and missing persons have been fulfilled. The government made a commission to look into the issue of missing persons. Moreover, the number of check posts has been decreased. Though, the presence of check posts guarantees the security and border management but the PTM leadership demanded to totally clean up the check posts. It appears that PTM is actually presenting the Afghan demands and is dancing on the Afghan tunes. The removal of check posts challenges security, which then leads to chaos. This type of demand can only be made by anti-state forces. It is a known fact that Afghanistan has been raising concerns against the border management of Pakistan owing to her perennial stance of Pashtunistan since long.
Amid all this, PTM leadership instead of consulting the Jigra of erstwhile FATA or Pakistan government has adopted a typical leftist way of coming to the streets and challenging peace. Now PTM has been organizing a Pashtun long March to Geneva for the rights of Pashtuns of Pakistan on 1st July 2019. In this long march the majority of the Pashtuns of Afghanistan would be participating. However, those Pashtuns have been blatantly marginalized in their own homeland- Afghanistan. They never raised voice against the brutality of NATO forces or the blood bathing by US in Afghanistan. In addition to this, on 1st June 2019, PTM USA arranged a march in Washington DC and chanted the anti-Pakistan and anti-establishment slogans. The participants even held the play cards with anti-establishment slogans knowing the fact that it was the military establishment which swept the wave of terrorism out of tribal areas.
Who is financially supporting PTM? Why TTP endorsed PTM cause? Pakistan Pashtun community is enjoying a privileged status in Pakistan then why this hullabaloo? Why doesn’t PTM raise voice for the atrocities suffered by Afghan Pashtun community?
TTP waziristan chapter Naib Ameer Mulavi Azmatullah Mahsud statement in support of #PTM he said Taliban will support this movement as they are voicing against the Pakistan army pic.twitter.com/dFephWIClt— Islamuddin Sajid (@islamudinsajid) May 20, 2018
Strategically, the PTM appears to be a foreign designed tool of hybrid war against Pakistan. The adversaries of Pakistan, after realizing the fact that in the presence of a strong military establishment Pakistan can’t be hit or broken with a conventional way, have adopted an unconventional and non-kinetic approach of ethnic divide. They have waged a propaganda war against Pakistan by constructing anti-state propagandas. There is a strong perception that NDS and Raw have made roads in to the PTM network. According to a political analyst Muhammad Jamil, “There is incontrovertible evidence that PTM is playing in the hands of aliens agencies. The Washington Post had published a treatise authored by Pamela Constable and Haq Nawaz Khan on 22nd April, which was supportive of the PTM. It however admitted foreign hand behind the movement.” He further said, “The authors stated that the new Pashtun movement has received support from Afghans, including a strong endorsement from President Ashraf Ghani, an ethnic Pashtun. But this has only made the movement more controversial, because relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are tense.”
The Pashtuns remember how the thunder of boots silenced the foreign sponsored noise of guns in tribal areas and established peace there. The anti-state powers can’t test Pashtuns’ loyalty to Pakistan for the hearts of Pashtuns belong to Pakistan.
Additionally, the international community has played and is still playing a critically biased role in all this issue. PTM has been prejudicially supported by international media. BBC, VoA and New York Times have further backed the PTM cause. By supporting PTM, the arch rivals of Pakistan have been interfering in the internal issues of Pakistan, which threatens the sovereignty of Pakistan. Moreover, the questions arise here are; who is financially supporting PTM? Why TTP endorsed PTM cause? Pakistan Pashtun community is enjoying a privileged status in Pakistan then why this hullabaloo? Why doesn’t PTM raise voice for the atrocities suffered by Afghan Pashtun community? The answer to all these questions lies in a simple fact that PTM is not a Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement but a Pakistan Torn Movement, supported and funded by the anti-state forces. By playing the card of Pashtun nationalism and Pashtun marginalization, the state enemies are just creating sensationalism to cause a physical and an internal damage to Pakistan. But these anti-Pakistan forces must know that their nefarious mission won’t be accomplished and they must not forget that Pakistan Pashtuns were the ones to fight for the security of Pakistan. Furthermore, the Pashtuns remember how the thunder of boots silenced the foreign sponsored noise of guns in tribal areas and established peace there. These anti-state powers can’t test Pashtuns’ loyalty to Pakistan for the hearts of Pashtuns belong to Pakistan.
Writer Miss Merwah Hamid Qureshi holds an M. Phil Degree from QAU, Islamabad and is also a visiting lecturer for International Relations at National Officers Academy (NOA), Pakistan. She is a freelance writer for online portals and is also a political analyst at Global Village Space (Pakistan) and Geopolitica (Russia). Her area of specialization is the changing world political dynamics and International Relations.