Once again, Manzoor Pashteen finds himself entangled in a controversial Maintenance of Public Order (3MPO) case, leading to his further incarceration. This time, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Attock has implicated him, marking the latest chapter in a series of arrests that expose a disturbing pattern of suppressing dissent in Pakistan.
Pashteen, the leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), had previously faced two consecutive arrests in fake cases orchestrated by Islamabad police. Despite being granted bail on January 5, his release was short-lived as Jhelum Police abducted him from the gates of Adiala prison, an illegal act with no communicated reason for detainment.
55 days, 4 bails, still detained
The initial abduction occurred on December 3 while Pashteen was enroute to Turbat to protest against the extrajudicial killing of Baloch youth. The Pakistan Army, wielding influence over law enforcement, ordered indiscriminate firing on his convoy, leading to his arrest. Subsequently, he was presented in the Islamabad court and falsely implicated in cases, undergoing prosecution in an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).
Despite being a civilian and protesting peacefully for the rights of Pashtuns, he was targeted and prosecuted in an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC). After two consecutive detentions on fake charges, each time after getting bail, he was ultimately released from the clutches of Islamabad Police. However, as the Pakistan Army dictates the law in Pakistan, he was implicated in a Maintenance of Public Order (3MPO) case by Jhelum Police in Punjab. Later, after his 15-day detention expired, he was again implicated in a 3MPO case by Chakwal Police, and now he has been implicated for the third time in a 3MPO case by Attock police.
Absolute violation of law and order
Without a doubt, the consecutive arrests and eventually rendering him incarcerated in Punjab, the stronghold of the Pakistan Army, point towards an exploitation of the law by those controlling it. It has been more than 55 days that the PTM chief is detained, but he has not seen the sunrise despite getting bail four times. This absolute mockery of law and order by the authoritarian regime in Pakistan clearly validates the fact that Pakistan is no democracy, and there is no platform to raise a voice of dissent or the voice of rights.
Interestingly, the Pakistan Army always refrained from targeting the PTM chief because of being aware of the consequences of antagonizing the entire Pashtun community. However, since Pashteen was unifying his righteous struggle with that of the Baloch, it filled fear in the hearts of the brutal regime. They thought that these extrajudicial abductions and tormenting of law and order would weaken the unification. Little did they know, it would come back to them as a boomerang with an even more firm challenge.
Of late, Pashtuns and Baloch have shared a platform in their struggle against oppression and persecution. A huge mass of people is out in Quetta, Chaman, and the rest of Balochistan and Pakhtunkhwa, raising their voice against Pakistani oppression.
With this impunity, the Pakistan Army and the whole establishment would eventually be left with nothing but to rub their hands out of humiliation.