The recent arrest of Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari has sparked discussions about selective treatment within Pakistan’s legal system. Manzoor Pashteen has shared his thoughts on the matter.
“Ali was in jail in Karachi while I protested his arrest,” Pashtun explains, shedding light on his stance. He mentions that his name was included in the same legal report (FIR). “Although authorities claim they will consider all angles, they are (Paki establishment) aware that my arrest could trigger strong reactions from the public and Pashtun community,” Pashteen shares. He adds that the Pakistan Army understands the potential consequences of detaining him, which is likely why they haven’t done so.
Pashteen emphasizes the role of media for leaders in Pakistan. “Every leader here gains support through media. It’s the way to connect with people and spread messages,” he remarks. He raises concerns about the media blackout on his narrative.
Talking about limitations, Pashteen highlights the numerous areas where they face restrictions. “We’re not allowed to visit Balochistan, Kashmir, Sindh, and various places in Pashtunkhwa,” he points out. He questions the reasons behind these limitations and the instances of aggression they encounter.
Pashteen also acknowledges the power of social media. “Social media is now a strong tool targeting us,” he observes. He notes that opposing the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) often seems to please the Pakistan Army.
It should be noted that on 18 August, an immense rally took place in Islamabad, drawing thousands of Pashtuns and Balochs to challenge the very foundations of the Pakistan “establishment”. This event served as the back drop on which the Pakistan officials arrested the PTM leaders – Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari.