–Resilient PTM leaders say they don’t get scared so easily
LAHORE: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) authorities on Friday issued arrest warrants for Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen, MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, Fazal Advocate and five others.
A letter issued by a senior police official in Swabi declared Pashteen, Wazir, Dr Said Alam Masood, Fazal Advocate, Khan Zaman, Mohsin Dawood (Dawar), Samad Khan and Noorul Salam as proclaimed offenders.
While speaking to a local media outlet, Swabi Police said that the superintendent of police (SP) investigation wrote to the political agents of North and South Waziristan seeking the arrest of the PTM leaders.
The move comes in the wake of a public rally held for the recovery of missing persons by the movement on August 28. PTM had conducted the event despite the local administration barring them from doing so.
Initially, a local Swabi SHO had issued arrest warrants against local members of the movement who had organised the gathering and mentioned ‘unknown persons’ in his report. Now, those ‘unknowns’ have been named by the KP government and have been declared proclaimed offenders without having been previously notified of their involvement in a police case.
While talking to Pakistan Today, Ali Wazir, MNA from NA-41 said, “They are committing a grave injustice against us.”
“We are simply demanding our constitutional rights through constitutional means in a completely peaceful way but they continue to malign and harass us,” he added.
There has also been some confusion over the notification as it has been addressed to the political agents of North and South Waziristan, even though the powers of the agents have now been shifted to the newly-appointed DCs in the region.
“The actions of this government are confusing us. Just today a delegation of the PTM had met with the governor, and the same day many of those who had been part of that delegation have discovered that they are proclaimed offenders,” he further said, referring to the PTM holding talks with KP Governor Shah Farman, who spoke to them as a representative of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and is not in any formal capacity as his powers over Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been curtailed by the region’s recent integration into the KP.
“You people know better, but we feel that Shah Farman does not possess the gravitas or the seriousness that talks of such importance require,” he said. “He is not serious enough, and we feel that speaking to the governor will not bear any fruit so long as he is the one occupying the office,” he added.
Talking about the inclusion of Fazal Advocate, the father of an APS victim, in the list of proclaimed offenders, Ali Wazir warned that such actions could change the shape of PTM.
“We are a peaceful movement. But we also have among our ranks many people who are the victims of these abuses. I fear what course the movement would take if such treatment continues,” he said.
Expressing his determination, he said, “FIRs cannot and will not stop us. There will be many more FIRs but we will not waver.”
“All I ask is that these people have mercy on this country and its people. Let us live in peace” he concluded.