Pakistan: Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement appeals to UN for immediate release of activist Manzoor Pashteen

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 The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has appealed to the United Nations (UN) demanding the immediate release of PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen and has also condemned his assassination attempt by the Pakistan Army.

In a letter penned to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the PTM has “strongly condemned the abortive assassination attempt by the Pakistan Army and subsequent illegal arrest of PTM Leader, well-known human rights activist Manzoor Pashteen, by joint ISI-Police operation in Chaman district of Balochistan.”

The letter stated that “Pashteen and his colleagues while on their way to a sit-in organised by Baloch Human Rights Defenders against gross human rights violations committed by the Pakistan Army, particularly enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture in district Turbat of Balochistan province.”

“Manzoor and his supporters were treated like terrorists by Pakistan Army and fired straight bullets on their car near the Chaman Press Club. Manzoor was protected by his colleagues and driven away from the scene of the attempted assassination,” it added.

Manzoor Pashteen was later arrested while on his way to Chaman sit-in organised by Pashtun activists against the brutal crackdown of Pakistan against Afghan refugees.

The PTM also drew the UN High Commissioner’s attention to the fact that this was not the first attack on the leader.

“On August 18, 2023 PTM held a protest in Islamabad urging Supreme Court of Pakistan to protect the basic fundamental rights of Pashtun ethnic minority particularly their right to live otherwise they will be forced to demand their right to self-determination. Immediately after the Rally, PTM offices in Islamabad were ran-sacked by police to arrest Manzoor Pashteen but in vain,” the letter further read.

Notably, Manzoor Pashteen, who was arrested on December 4 for addressing a protest in Turbat has gone missing, allegedly abducted by intelligence agencies of his country.

Former Member of Pakistan National Assembly Mohsin Dawar said, “It is very concerning that @ManzoorPashteen has not been produced in any court after being arrested on the 4th of December. He remains forcibly disappeared. The state is violating the law openly and brazenly. We demand the immediate production of Manzoor in court.”

The PTM group is known for its protests against the country’s military for its role in alleged enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of rights activists.

A post on Manzoor Pashteen’s handle on the microblogging site X read, “#ManzoorPashteen still not produced in a court despite the passage of two days. If #PTM chief can be abducted & dislocated than how the ordinary ppl will be treated? Enforced disappearance of #ManzoorPashteen is a question mark for all political people.”

The statement by the PTM’s social media team was posted on Pashteen’s account on X. It also said that efforts were underway to arrest the party chief and “police, Frontier Corps and the army had besieged” the area.

On Monday, the Caretaker Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai stated that the PTM is an “anti-Pakistan organisation” that has been banned from entering Balochistan and the same had also been notified three times by the interior ministry. 

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024