July 29th, 2021
By Hamid Riaz & Hassan Raza
“We are holding this gathering in the backdrop of a new wave of violent extremism in Afghanistan. People ask us what our relationship with Afghanistan is, I say to them that we have blood relations with the Afghans. Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand line are ‘one’ & no border can change this reality and any war imposed on Afghanistan is bound to spread to and burn Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP),” declared Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) supremo Manzoor Pashteen, while addressing a mammoth gathering of Pashtun citizens at Makin, 2 days ago.
The gathering was titled the “Pashtun Long March for Afghan Peace” and was held to counter voices from within Pakistan that are celebrating the return of Taliban rule to Afghanistan. Speakers at the gathering ruthlessly criticized the Pakistani establishment’s role in stoking the fire of war in Afghanistan. Speakers also took to task religio-political leaders like Maulana Fazlur-Rehman calling him a hypocrite for calling for democracy in Pakistan and calling for authoritarian Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Manzoor Pashteen started his speech by showering praises on the struggles of PTM associated Member National Assembly Ali Wazir who has been incarcerated for delivering an allegedly ‘seditious’ speech at a gathering in Karachi. Manzoor called for his immediate release.
Farhatullah Babar, a senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also addressed the gathering clarifying his party’s position on the arrest of Ali Wazir, who was arrested from the jurisdictional territory of the Sindh province, where the PPP is in power. “It is a well-established fact that the arrest of Ali Wazir is beyond the power of Sindh’s civilian government,” declared Babar.
“Scholars from across the world have condemned the atrocities committed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Muslim clerics agree that the war which the Taliban have imposed on the region is not Jihad but is in fact a proxy war that is being ignited by global powers for their interests. We should have the courage to bring down these terrorists from the pedestal and if we are not brave enough to do so then we should at least boycott them socially,” said MNA Moshin Dawar while addressing the gathering.