PTM Europe reaches out to UN against Pashteen’s enforced disappearance by Pak Army

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Pashteen rearrested
Punjab police's convoy outside Adiala prison To rearrest Manzoor Pashteen (Photo: News Intervention)

The arrest of Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen, a prominent figure and leader of the Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM), has sparked widespread concern among international observers and human rights advocates. PTM Europe has reached out to UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Volker Turk against the enforced disappearance of their chief Manzoor Pashteen by the Pakistan Army and ISI. Pashteen’s Enforced Disappearance by ISI and Police personnel, immediately following his release on bail from Adiala Prison in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, has drawn attention to alleged human rights violations.

Despite confirmation, through a writ, from the Ministry of Interior that Pashteen was not sought by Punjab Province Police, his abduction is deemed a clear violation of constitutional rights, international law, and the UN Charter. This incident unfolds against a backdrop of previous events, including an attempted assassination on December 4, 2023, when Pakistan Army fired at Pashteen’s car near Chaman Press Club. Subsequently, he was unlawfully arrested in a joint ISI-Police operation in Chaman district of occupied Balochistan, allegedly to prevent his participation in a human rights sit-in at Turbat District, Balochistan.

Reports have emerged detailing Pashteen’s alleged mistreatment and torture while in police custody for a month, highlighting concerns about his safety after his recent disappearance for the past four days. Pashteen’s PTM, advocating for Pashtun rights, has faced persistent crackdowns in Pakistan.

Previous attacks on PTM and Pashtuns

Incidents such as the ransacking of PTM offices in Islamabad following a protest rally in August 2023 and the raid on PTM’s office in Peshawar in January 2020 have fueled tensions.

Previously, Pashteen has been a target of threats and violence, including direct fire from a Pakistan Army colonel in February 2019, raising concerns about the establishment’s handling of dissenting voices and human rights defenders.

The PTM Europe has urgently appealed to the United Nations, global civilized nations, and international human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to intervene, urging Pakistan to release Pashteen immediately and cease harassment, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and other alleged violations against PTM activists.

This application to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva signifies escalating international concerns over Pakistan’s handling of dissent and human rights issues, particularly in Pashtun territories, emphasizing the need for immediate attention to safeguard fundamental rights and protect activists like Manzoor Pashteen.

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