On December 10, a wave of protests surged through Zhob, Pakistan-occupied Balochistan as supporters of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) rallied against the illegal arrest of their supreme leader Manzoor Pashtun and several PTM members. The demonstrations were fuelled by outrage over a violent attack on Pashtun’s convoy in Chaman and the forced removal of Afghan refugees, which garnered widespread condemnation.
Amidst the fervor, PTM leaders and activists gathered in Zhob for a significant protest gathering. However, the situation escalated when senior PTM figure and former MNA Ali Wazir was intercepted by the Zhob administration while en route.
Apart from leaders, thousands of impassioned Pashtun protestors flooded Zhob, demanding the immediate release of Manzoor Pashteen and questioning the circumstances surrounding his arrest. The manner of Pashteen’s apprehension, coupled with a murderous attack and abduction, sparked concerns of human rights violations within the community.
Adding to the outcry, Pashteen was presented in an anti-terrorism court three days after his arrest and subsequently remanded to seven days of physical custody. Critics and supporters alike condemned the delay in legal proceedings, labeling it a violation of due process and fundamental rights.
Notably, Pashteen was arrested while he was en route to Turbat to participate in a protest staged around the brutal extra-judicial killings of four innocent Baloch youth by the CTD. Turbat protest sent shockwaves to the Pakistani administration and Pakistan Army since it started. Pashteen’s presence in the peaceful protest would have strengthened the struggle, fearing which Pakistan Army opened fire on Pashteen’s convoy and arrested him . The events show the horrible condition of law and order in Pakistan and emphasize the irresponsible and extra-constitutional way of working of Pakistani establishment under Pakistan Army.