Pashtuns fed up with Pak military’s atrocities, call ‘jirga’ on Feb 5

at 9:17 pm

New Delhi (NVI): Oppressed Pashtuns in Pakistan are up in arms against the military over extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances and have called a major gathering on February 5 to decide on their strategy over it.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Mohsin Dawar, leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) and Member of Pakistan’s Parliament (National Assembly).

Though the Pashtun have been suffering atrocities at the hands of Pakistani military for long, the latest provocation for calling the strategy meeting of the community leaders is the brutal killing of a 26-year-old youth Zia-ur-Rehman by Pakistani forces in Tapi village of North Waziristan on January 28.

Rehman was killed by the Pakistani military personnel while he was working in his fields. Later, his body was taken away to the army headquarters and handed over to the family late at night without any FIR being filed.

The killing has triggered widespread outrage among the Pashtun community and protests in Waziristan. The only demand of the protesters is that an FIR be lodged against the military personnel who fired and killed Rehman in cold blood.

“Today Utmanzai’s protested against murder of Zia ur Rehman by Pak army & will continue until FIR is registered, as long as there is no punishment, these murders will continue. We hv called a jirga on 5th Feb to decide future strategy about rising militancy & extra judicial killings,” Dawar tweeted today.

Jirga is a traditional form of conclaves among the Pashtun community, convened mostly when a community faces pressing issues.

Yesterday, Dawar tweeted, “The protest sit in against the killing of Ziaur Rehman by the army is going on the 2nd day today. The protest has been called by Utmanzai’s in North Waziristan who are demanding an FIR against the army personnel who killed Ziaur Rehman in cold blood.”

The leader of PTM, an organisation which is fighting for the safety and protection of the Pashtuns from the Pakistani state, earlier gave the details of the incident on the day of its occurrence since the Pakistani media does not report such incidents.

“Pakistan army once again opened indiscriminate firing on a village Tapi, N-Waziristan. The victim this time was 26-28 yr old Zia-ur-Rehman. The uselessness of Waziristan police is such that DPO north Waziristan can’t even imagine lodging an FIR against the murderers,” Dawar tweeted on January 28.

“Another victim Zia Ur Rehman fallen to State’s misuse of power. Locals of Tappi NW are on roads demanding FIR against the killers. Police & civil admin are paralysed, can’t even think of exercising their powers. Reason is, CSS officers are working under an inter pass military men,” he said in another tweet.

Dawar, who has been spearheading the fight against the Pakistani military, had also tried to move a bill in Pakistan Parliament against enforced disappearances carried out by Pakistani military and intelligence agencies. However, it was obstructed, prompting Dawar to say that “The state continues to refuse to criminalise this heinous crime. It is used to spread terror and fear.”