Pashtun activist Fazal-ur-Rehman Afridi exposes Pakistan’s ties with Tehreek-e-Taliban at UN

Fazal-ur-Rehman Afridi

Pashtun political activist Fazal-ur-Rehman Afridi exposed Pakistan for its close ties with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) during the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In his intervention, Fazal-ur-Rehman Afridi said, “We would like to turn the council’s attention towards a deteriorating security situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Pakistan having grave implications for the basic fundamental rights and lives of the Pashtun ethnic minority.”

“We express our concerns about the unannounced deal between the state of Pakistan and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to hand over Ex-FATA to TTP to be ruled under Sharia Laws,” he said.

He informed the Council that as per the deal, about 44,000 TTP militants and their families have to be re-settled in KPK. Thousands of Pashtuns, particularly the Pashtun Protection Movement have demonstrated all over Pakistan against this deal and demonstrated their strong urge for peace in their land.

“On January 30, 2023, TTP considered to be the proxy of Pakistani Military Establishment carried out one of the bloodiest suicide attack resulting in killing of at least 101 and injuring of 217 Pashtuns in Civil Lines Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”, he said.

Afridi said that TTP, in a recently released report claimed to have executed 367 attacks; with 348 attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12 in Balochistan, five in Punjab and two in Sindh province of Pakistan resulting in the killing of 446 and injuring of 1015 persons in 2022. Earlier in December 2014, the same group in one of the deadliest attacks killed 147 students and teachers of APS in Peshawar.

“We request UN to investigate these abuses through the impartial mechanism and if possible bring the perpetrators to justice,” said the Pashtun activist.

Sydney-based Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP)’s recent Global Terrorism Index (GTI) – 2023 highlighted Afghanistan and Pakistan to be among the ten countries most affected by terrorism in 2022, with deaths in Pakistan rising significantly to 643, a 120 per cent increase from 2021.

It referred to this significant increase as predominantly driven by a rise in attacks by the ethno-nationalist organisation the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Deaths by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) doubled while Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) increased sevenfold in Pakistan. The BLA was responsible for a third of these deaths in Pakistan.

BLA is Pakistan’s own creation. It is the result of politics in Pakistan of the ethnic minority which turned into fighting for its own survival against the suppressive attitude of Pak authorities.

It continues to bleed the country at a time when the country is facing serious issues on economic and political fronts. Similar are the cases of TTP and ISK which are promoted for ideological reasons.

The report also stated that terrorism continues to be concentrated mainly along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, accounting for 63 per cent of attacks and 74 per cent of terrorism deaths in 2022.

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