The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in the United States has issued an urgent plea to Amnesty International, demanding action following the arrest of prominent leader Manzoor Pashteen and other PTM activists in Pakistan. Pashteen, a vocal advocate for Pashtun rights, is being held without clear charges or due process, raising concerns about his safety and wellbeing.
Accordingly, PTM-US emphasizes Pashteen’s unwavering commitment to human rights and peaceful solutions for the Pashtun community, making him a symbol of hope for many. And therefore, his arbitrary detention, along with disturbing reports of torture in custody, has sparked outrage and calls for intervention.
PTM’s four demands from Amnesty International
Furthermore, the petition urges Amnesty International to:
- Demand the immediate and unconditional release of Pashteen and all detained PTM activists.
- Condemn their unlawful arrest and detention for peaceful human rights advocacy.
- Investigate the reports of torture and hold those responsible accountable.
- Call for an impartial and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding their arrests, ensuring any charges adhere to international legal standards.
Moreover, PTM-US believes Amnesty International’s intervention can be crucial in securing the safety of Pashteen and other PTM activists. Considerably, this case adds to the existing tension between the Pakistani establishment and the Pashtun community, highlighting concerns about human rights and rule of law in the region.
Notably, PTM Chief Manzoor Pashteen was abducted from Chaman on the night of December 3 after a deadly attack on his convoy. He was enroute to participate in the Turbat protest organised by Baloch Yekjehti Committee against the extrajudicial killings of Baloch youth by the Pakistan CTD. Since then he remains in custody and each time he gets a bail, he is implicated in some other case at some other location, where he has not even visited in his lifetime. So, this speaks in itself about the oppression faced by the activists voicing for rights and peace. The voice of dissent has always been curbed violently in Pakistan and Manzoor Pashteen’s case is the latest reminder of that.