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No force can derail our constitutional rights, says PTM leader

No force can derail our constitutional rights, says PTM leader

Apr 23, 2018 - 14:51

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Undeterred by large-scale arrests of its supporters, a nascent movement has renewed its demand for an end to the oppression of the Pashtuninfo-icon community.

Addressing a rally at Lahore's Mochi Gate on Sunday, Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leaders said no amount of force could derail their struggle for constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Manzoor Pashteen, the PTM head, told the highly-charged demonstrators: "We are very peaceful but don’t forget we are young. Young people don’t have a lot of patience."

Seeking the immediate withdrawal of first information reports against his supporters in Lahore, he defiantly declared: "Now that we have risen up against oppression, we don’t fear for our lives."

On Saturday night, several PTM leaders were briefly detained and the venue of the rally flooded with water when workers arrived to the site – in an attempt to coerce into cancelling the event.

Pashteen announced PTM’s next rally would be organised in the picturesque northwestern valley of Swat, which would be followed by a gathering in the port city of Karachi on May 12.

Ali Wazir, another PTM leader, urged Lahore inhabitants to join the gathering and learn about the ordeal of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ residents.

Meanwhile, ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed and the president Asif Ali Zardari’s son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stoutly supported the movement's struggle.

Bilawal Zardari condemned the high-handedness and disregard for the constitutional rights of the people" shown by the Shahbaz Sharif-led Punjab government.

Maryam demanded the arrested activists be released and the PTM allowed to push ahead with its rally. "This country is as much theirs as it is ours."

Tahera Jalib, daughter of revolutionary poet Habib Jalib, read out Dastoor -- a popular poem of her father. Her recital inspired the participants.

Ali Wazir said: "The movement has come to Lahore so that if something [untoward] happens in the future, nobody can say they never reached out to them."

Referring to a recent claim by the head of judicial panel that 4,000 Pakistanis had been handed over to the US, Pashteen said: "When they can sell its own people, they can do a lot more.”

He said: "We should be told the amount for which they [missing persons] were sold. We will collect that money and give it to you so you can bring them back. Do not release them, deliver them to courts."

The PTM head also chided the media for the negative coverage of its activities. "We respect you, but you are being hypocritical," he remarked.



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