September 12, 2022
By Rehan Piracha
The National Democratic Movement (NDM) has said that it would continue to extend support to the Pashtun Tuhaffaz Movement (PTM) despite remarks made by its founder Manzoor Pashteen, that the PTM had no links with the former.
Speaking at the conference by Voicepk in collaboration with AGHS and SAHR titled ‘Democratising South Asia in the Digital Age’, on September 10, Pashteen answered a question saying his movement had no links with the NDM, which was headed by Mohsin Dawar, also a member of the National Assembly from Waziristan.
“Mohsin Dawar has his own party (NDM) and we have nothing to with that,” Pashteen had said during his session, ‘Challenges to youth participation in politics in South Asia’.
Responding to a question about whether the remarks signalled a division in the movement for Pashtun rights in the merged tribal districts, Muzammil Shah, secretary general of the NDM, told Voicepk that the NDM would continue to support the five-point charter of the PTM.
He said the PTM as per its constitution was a civil rights movement of the Pashtun people. Under the PTM constitution, political workers from all political parties could join the movement, he said.
“The PTM constitution only bars its office-bearers from being a member of a political party,” he added.
Muzammil Shah pointed out that NDM leaders Mohsin Dawar, Bushra Gohar and Afrasiab Khattak had participated in the PTM protests while being members of the Awami National Party in the past. He said the NDM was part of an alliance including the PTM, PkMAP and ANP that is holding protests in Balochistan over the Khost killings.
“The NDM along with the PTM had also participated in a grand jirga called by the ANP at Bacha Khan Markaz in Peshawar last month,” said Muzammil Shah said. “We don’t know what Manzoor Pashteen meant to say in his remarks and he should be asked to clarify his statement,” he said in response to a question about whether the PTM leader was distancing himself from the NDM.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Farhatullah Babar also expressed concern on Twitter over Pashteen’s remarks.
“Not (a) very appropriate choice of words unfortunately by Manzoor Pashteen. Words have energy, words have power, words attract, words repel, words bring peace, words cause wars. Words have sanctity. In the beginning, there was the word. Word was with God. Choose words very carefully,” the PPP leader said in his tweet on September 10.