PTM demands abolition ‘forced labour’ in Bajaur
PESHAWAR: Amid continued resistance and opposition, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) continues its move for mobilisation of people in favour of its demands.
A PTM rally on Sunday was attended by hundreds of tribesmen from all over Bajaur Agency and was arranged in connection with the rally scheduled to be held in Swat on 29 April.
Muhammad Asghar Khan and Ayaz Khan were the main speakers of the rally, who endorsed the demands of PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen.
They also highlighted local security and administrative problems and informed that local tribesmen were being forced to work with security personnel without any wages and returns for months and weeks. In this respect, they demanded the government to abolish this forced labour in the tribal belt of Bajaur.
Sirajuddin, an active member of PTM from Bajaur Agency told a foreign media outlet that attendance in Sunday meeting was “satisfactory” as it was arranged to mobilise people to attend the Swat rally on April 29.
In response to a question, Siraj said that so far there was no organised resistance to the PTM in Bajaur Agency but a propaganda drive was already in progress. “The PTM is being accused of playing in the hands of Afghanistan and India but there is no reality to these claims. All of our demands are in accordance with the constitution.”
The PTM had arranged a well-attended gathering in Dera Ismael Khan on Friday, which was attended by thousands of people from Waziristan and Balochistan.
Separately, Pakistan Zindabad and Pakistan Tahafuz Movement have been holding rallies and conferences against the PTM while accusing Pashteen of playing into the hands of India and Afghanistan. In addition, office holders and members of different professional groups are also opposed to Manzoor Pashteen-led PTM.
Mardan Bar Association in its meeting on Saturday condemned the PTM but has endorsed its demands of abolishing unnecessary security forces check posts, early release and recovery of missing persons.
The PTM supporters had started mobilisation in Faisalabad, and a press conference on Sunday but the administration of Faisalabad Press Club (FPC) cancelled the press conference without pointing reason.