A case has been filed against Pashtun Tahafuz Movement [PTM] leader Manzoor Pashteen under charges of sedition and terrorism in the Civil Line Police Station of Lahore, the capital of Punjab Province, Pakistan. Pashtun politicians have strongly condemned the incident.
Manzoor Pashteen himself admitted it and published the lawsuit of the case on Twitter and said, “A case of treason and terrorism has been filed against me only because I made an address at the Asma Jahangir conference”.
He said, “The voices of truth against oppression cannot be silenced by lawsuits, imprisonment, or propaganda, and the only solution is to give justice”.
The lawsuit said, “Manzoor Pashteen, in his speech at Asma Jahangir’s conference at the Awari Hotel in Lahore, criticized the army leaders and generals unnecessarily, downgraded the sacrifices of the army in the war against terrorism, and encouraged resistance against the army. During his speech, several of his friends shouted slogans against the army and institutions. It is said that with this speech, ethnic prejudice has been given air by putting the existence of the state of Pakistan in danger.”
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa leader of Awami National Party (Pashtun Nationalist Bacha Khan) Aimal Wali Khan while condemning the event criticized the establishment for double standards. He further said that Niazi [Imran Khan], Fawad Chaudhary, Imran Riyaz, and other PTI leaders have openly criticized the army but no action was taken against them. However, the establishment has come down heavily on Manzoor and Ali Wazir.
The leader of the National Republican Movement and member of the National Assembly, Mohsin Dawar, said, “It is a shame to file a case against Manzoor Pashteen over his speech at the Asma Jahangir Conference. Manzoor, asserted that what Pashteen said, many others have said more than this in recent protests. Still, he is accused of rebellion, and a case has been filed against him under anti-terrorism laws. This case should be withdrawn”.
Provincial Secretary of Information, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party South Pashtoonkhwa, Khushal Khan Kakar has also condemned the case filed against Manzoor Pashteen.
In his speech at Asma Jahangir’s conference, PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen said, “Ali Wazir’s bail has been approved, but he is still in prison. He criticized the government and institutions of Pakistan and said that the [PDM coalition government], who was in the opposition, used to ask for the production order of Ali Wazir every day.
He added that unrest is being created in the area and added, “They will put pressure on the institutions through resistance. People will rise up and raise their voices. Changes will come through resistance.”
Prominent Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir also said, “if Manzoor Pashteen is called a traitor by the establishment, then we all, including me are traitors.