PTM has put forward very legitimate and constitutional demands. People have serious concerns regarding the way security agencies are doing their job. But let’s have a look at the way the PTM is being carried out.
In a first, Manzoor Pashteen quotes a video of an expelled army officer who is sitting in Kabul and claims that APS was staged by Pakistan army. Such is the merit of his references. Secondly, he is marginalizing the army to Punjabis only whereas the ratio of Pakhtuns in the army is around one-fourth of the total strength and most of the high offices of the establishment have been under the command of Pashtuns. This marginalizing seems a mere traditional Pathan-Punjabi rivalry.
Thirdly, the way Afghanis have come out in the support of the movement raising their flags is a sign that the movement has already been hijacked by the ambassadors of Pakhtunistan (they claim that KP and Balochistan are a part of Afghanistan).
In view of the above, it seems that though most of the demands of the movement are legitimate the way they are being conveyed looks very unpleasant. People are being fed up with nationalist ideas alienating them from rest of the populace, as the label of “Punjabi Army” indicates.
The Afghan support for the movement could have been denounced by the PTM leadership to give the message that it was an internal matter of the country and our loyalties are with the Pakistani state. Choosing an extreme line like this with certain ambiguous methods is surely going to divide people and make certain people target of the wrath of the already disenchanted state.
Lecturer in Political Science
GDC Booni, Chitral