Pakistan: Pashtun leaders to hold ‘Islamabad Jalsa’ today against atrocities on ethnic groups

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The Pashtun leaders in Pakistan to hold ‘Islamabad Jalsa’ on Friday in front of the Pakistan Supreme Court to raise the issue of the “atrocities” against ethnic communities. 

Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen has invited people from Baloch, Sindhi, Gilgit-Baltistan, and underprivileged segments of Punjab to join the rally and foster unity and solidarity.

PTM is a social movement for Pashtun human rights based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, Pakistan.Leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, which fights for the rights of ethnic Pashtuns, have faced intimidation and arrests.

He also slammed the Pakistan authorities for the rising cases of target killings and imposition of false cases against civilians of diverse groups.

“Target killings, false cases, forced acquisition of lands, mass killings, trying of people in military courts…against all there will be a PTM rally outside the Islamabad Supreme Court. We invite people from Baloch, Sindhi, Gilgit-Baltistan and the subjugated classes of Punjab to participate in the rally,” Pashteen said in a video posted by PTM on X (formerly Twitter).

Pashtuns are the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan, forming 15 per cent of the population, and are considered one of the five major ethnolinguistic groups of the nation.

The PTM is a civil rights movement that emerged in Pakistan in response to State-enforced terrorism and human rights abuses of Pakistan’s army and intelligence agencies in the Pashtun Belt of Pakistan including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killing.

The Pashtuns are facing genocide at the hands of the Pakistan army as a large number of civilians are killed and many are victims of enforced disappearances. 

Earlier in April, the PTM organised protests against missing persons and target killings in the Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In January this year, PTM members staged protests across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the acquittal of former Senior Superintendent Rao Anwar in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case.

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