Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – or at least it’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chapter – is on the wrong side of the political spectrum after blatantly negating the idea behind the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and forcibly giving it a political agenda, and that too of one being against the armed forces. If the officials remember correctly, the extrajudicial murder of Naqeeb Mehsud prompted this movement because Pashtuns of the tribal belts have been rigorously targeted. Even those who fled the area, Naqeeb Mehsud is a case in point, also had to face the same demise. This would urge any tribe or people to gather for their rights in order to ensure that justice is served.

People involved in the PTM have been protesting peacefully and mobilising people only via social media due to the blackout on mainstream media about the PTM. They have time and again reinforced that this is not a political movement, it is merely an uprising against unjust disappearances and killings of the Pashtun tribe, especially after the 9/11 attacks. And the movement itself is an apolitical movement, open to all, who feel targeted by the system.

In such circumstances, rallying against those oppressed is not an intelligent move. The party should know best to side with the aggrieved people because we do not want history repeating itself by ignoring the just calls for protection and equal human rights. Alleging that this movement is against the armed forces is an unjustified statement in order to justify their own rallies being staged. More importantly, it is an irresponsible one; one that will put the members of the PTM in danger. Claiming they are RAW agents without a shred of proof is condemnable offence.

The party has always been the voice of the marginalised. Just to make itself relevant in the politics of KP, PPP is delegitimising a genuine movement which has prompted people from all over Pakistan to join hands against any sort of injustice and target killings. If over 1400 cases of disappearances and killings are lying unresolved in the commission on the enquiry of these disappearances, this should be a cause of concern and a moment of listening to those aggrieved. It is the duty of the authorities to listen to them and find a middle ground for the problems that they face on a day to day basis. Anyone who uses them for political point scoring should be dealt with very seriously.