Is the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement a Threat to the Pakistani Military's Interests?

Scorpion

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Is the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement a Threat to the Pakistani Military's Interests?
The military is taking the grievances of Pakistan’s disgruntled Pashtuns seriously.

After weeks of defiant protests, Pakistan’s Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has highlighted the plight of the people living in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and gained the military’s attention.

On Tuesday, the Peshawar corps commander, Lt General Nazir Ahmad Butt, in a statement said that PTM’s “demands are genuine and we are ready to address all demands within the purview of the Constitution.”

The military’s decision to hold a dialogue with the PTM, which was previously termed an “engineered movement,” supported by Pakistan’s foes, is certainly surprising. While the choice of a dialogue is a prudent approach considering the movement’s demands fall in the ambit of the country’s constitution, it remains unclear why Pakistan’s powerful military has decided to enter a dialogue with the group at this point.

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If Pakistan’s political history is any guide, any ethnic and nationalist movement directly challenging the military or its approach to the domestic and foreign policy of Pakistan have either been silenced with force or have been tamed into accepting the status quo.

The PTM’s entire agenda is focused on demanding that the military give up its heavy-handed approach toward managing the country’s tribal areas. The movement has accused the military of supporting militant groups and abducting and silencing anyone who attempts to make public the former’s approach to managing FATA through a militaristic policy.

Certainly, the Pakistani military is not pleased with young Pashtuns calling out the military for its disputed policy to manage FATA.

The military’s annoyance with the movement is evident through the absolute censorship of the Pakistani media: almost all TV channels and newspapers in Pakistan have been barred from reporting on the issue. Moreover, universities in the country have also been pressured into canceling events that would in any way offer legitimacy to the movement’s narrative. A number of activists belonging to the movement have also reportedly been abducted, harassed, and forced to go into hiding.

Apparently, the state’s heavy-handed approach to dealing with the movement has backfired. Last Sunday, the PTM’s planned rally in Lahore couldn’t get permission from the provincial government.

Despite threats, the PTM’s rally in Lahore was attended by thousands of people that called on the state to end its policy of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and other alleged rights abuses. The movement’s struggle has received an immense international support and media coverage, putting pressure on the state’s policy to reject the young Pashtun activists’ struggle to obtain basic human rights, which are promised to them per the country’s constitution.

It’s unlikely that the military’s decision to hold dialogue with the PTM is a decision that willingly recognizes the latter’s plight. Rather, it appears to be a decision borne out of a recognition of the growing popularity of the movement and international pressure.

The state’s decision to engage PTM appears ultimately to be motivated by the country’s political circumstances. Any attempts on the state’s behalf to contain a movement that has resonated all across Pakistan, particularly at the grassroots levels, would only add to the legitimacy of the struggle.

However, none of this means that the PTM’s demands will be addressed in their entirety with a robust change in policy.

While it remains to be seen how far the military is willing to go to tolerate the PTM’s growing popularity in the country, the group’s constitutional demands come at a time when space for civilian forces in Pakistan is being isolated.

The ruling party’s leadership which also faces pressure from the military establishment has offered its support for the movement’s right to hold rallies across Pakistan. Moreover, the chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, in a statement, said that “All Pakistani citizens have right to peaceful protest. PTM are no different.”

If Pakistan is to become a state in which everyone is accountable before the law, the movement’s agenda, which remains in the ambit of the country’s constitution, should be supported by all mainstream political parties in the country. Self-censorship and compromising the rule of law at the expanse of narrow institutional interests won’t make Pakistan a democratic state.
 

The Sandman

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Their demands were legit everyone agreed on that the problem tho is Manzoor Pashteen the young man in his early 30's who's leading this movement he's the issue i will try to explain it here. I'm also a supporter of PTM despite the fact that none of my friends and majority of people i saw really wants to support them they believe they're on an agenda against Pakistan. To some extent Manzoor is responsible for this narrative too.

Manzoor is seen holding Pashtunistan flag he doesn't come forward and disown the afganis that are taking out rally's in Europe for him and abuse Pakistan it's army and wants to take away the big chunk of land if you google "Pashtunistan" you will understand what i am saying. Than they threaten soldiers in their rally's! this is totally unacceptable to anyone doesn't matter if you support PTM or not he's literally encouraging troops to mutiny in his speeches. They indirectly blame Pak army for APS massacre and TTP no one in their right mind will even think of something like this i was a hardcore PTM supporter but after hearing this i don't anymore support them like before.

Demands of PTM

1) Abolition of Frontier Crimes Regulation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas or merge it with KPK.

Also known as FCR created by the British in 1800's and they're truly tribal laws now in 2011 Pres Zardari tried to amend it but unfortunately nothing has been done yet on the ground. This is valid demand and should be bet asap. Now when someone talks about merging FATA with KPK or bringing it under Pakistani constitution the opposition comes from the people whom Manzoor Pashteen is seeing sitting with!!! I mean it's confusing isn't it? he's sitting with the people who don't want FATA to move forward! this is where doubts starts to arise on Manzoor.

2) Release of the missing persons. If they have committed any crime, they should be tried in a court of law

Now this is a point where i agree with them 110% and there's no absolutely no justification for this. Even some of my friends who are against PTM agrees that disappearances should stop tho it's true that only people picked up are those who have ties with terrorists and those picked up wrongly are kept in good conditions and are usually released after few days. Our slow and outdated judicial process is also to be blamed for this.

3) Stopping humiliation at security checkpoints

Again a valid demand. They also demanded to remove check posts which is ridiculous these check posts are the reason that terror incidents have decreased a lot just imagine what will happen if a terrorists manages to slip into a market or mosque? Check posts are not gonna go anywhere. But still army have agreed to reduce the number of check posts.

4) Stopping harassing of Pashtun families on the pretext of search operations and extra judicial killings of pakhtoons

Another weird demand previously everybody knew some locals were hand in hand with terrorists provided them shelter and food so if intel agencies have a tip they will try to remove the threat. As for extra judicial killngs the guy "Naqeeb Ullah" was murdered not because of his ethnicity but for money by a corrupt police official known for his fake encounters. He has been arrested and the case is going on. So i don't understand why they're trying to make it some ethnic issue.

5) Removal of landmines in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Again the work is already going on these mines were planted by the TTP not army still army is removing them and so many soldiers have lost their lives because of it. Now they say remove mines from even near the border which is out of the question the border is extremely porous until the border is completely fenced off or Afgan gov controls that area itself the mines near the border won't be removed otherwise it's like inviting the TTP again.

Btw border fencing has started since last year.

6) Release of all the political prisoners and also those arrested under the collective responsibility clauses and other similar charges

Don't have much knowledge on this maybe my fellow Pakistani members will be able to explain this demand.

Thing is like the rest of the majority of people in Pakistan atm i still believe that Manzoor isn't a foreign agent and these demands are genuine but he needs to put a full stop to these poisonous speeches otherwise he will lose all the support within Pakistan. I'm a harsh critic of army but even i can't hear those speeches.

@Hithchiker @I.R.A @Arslan @Tps77 @Hellhound
 

Hithchiker

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He is not demanding the merger with KP and that raised suspicious...His movement is based on assumption that "He is Mazloom"and PA is root cause of Evil..
Though genuine demands should be met but i do believe he is having agenda..Racist slogans , cursing Army (though we can criticize) but accusing them of APS ...He is mixing right with wrongs....
Issue is when everything is going to be settled why he suddenly appeared out of no where...
He will create unrest in future and another MQM in making...
Not a single word he spoke about TTP....He speaks like a political wing of TTP
 

Combat Medic

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Who is this guy and why he is marching the street with his followers. If Pakistan remains soft FATA region will break off.
 
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