Suffered for long in Pakistan, Pashtuns find support in Afghanistan

ANI | Updated: Feb 09, 2018 23:43 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb 09 (ANI): Afghans poured in support for hundreds of Pashtuns from Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan who have been protesting in Islamabad for the arrest of fugitive police official Rao Anwar who is involved in the fake encounter of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a tribal man from Waziristan.

While Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has assured the protesters that the culprits of Naqeebullah's murder will not be spared, Afghanistan President has come out in support of the Pashtun Long March and called it a "wake-up call against fundamentalism".

"I fully support the historical Pashtun Long March in Pakistan. The main purpose of which is to mobilise citizens against fundamentalism and terrorism in the region," the President tweeted.

Following the killing of Naqeebullah, tribal men from Waziristan on January 26 began a long march from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad against the Pashtun genocide, human rights violations, enforced disappearances in FATA and state-imposed militarism and terrorism.

Pakistan's Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party head Mahmood Khan Achakzai have openly announced their support to the march.

The march was much welcomed by Pashtuns in various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Political Adviser to President and CEO of High Peace Council, Akram Khpalwak, has termed the ongoing uprising of high value for long-lasting peace in the region.

Khpalwak said people had to gear up their individual and collective efforts for prevailing peace and an end to the war.

"Afghans on both sides of Durand Line are victims of terrorism," Khpalwak tweeted.

"It's time for Ulemas, tribal elders, youth, women and all others to raise their voices and step up efforts for prevailing peace in Afghanistan and around the region."

According to former National Directorate of Security chief Rahmatullah Nabil, the Pakistan Army conducted many operations such as Al-Mizan, Rah-e-Haq, Sher-Dil, Serat-e-Mustaqim, Rah-e-Raast, Zarb-e-Azb and others in the name of "war on terror", but could not yield the required results.

"Baluch+Sindh+Pashton upraising against Army/ISI is the most strategic operations of War on Terror," Nabil tweeted.

Haroon Hakimi, the Afghan envoy to the US, tweeted that awakening of tens of millions of Pashtuns was an important step for weakening the violence and bringing peace to both sides of the Durand Line and region.

The censored voice of millions of Pashtuns who have suffered from the brutal policies of Pakistan is arising which is a big no to state-sponsored terrorism, fundamentalism and extremism, Hakimi said.

Mariam Solaimankhail, an Afghan politician, has extended solidarity to the protesters.

"As a strong supporter of the lar o bar yow Afghan National mission, I have always cried against the suppression of our people on the other side of the imaginary line," Mariam told Afghanistan Times.

"For the first time after the cold war era, Pashtun masses in Pakistan raise the slogans of independence. This new upraising surge is led not by conventional politicians, but by a new generation of youth. The demonstrators called Pakistan a terrorist state," Majeed Qarar, Afghan diplomat in Washington, said.

Political activists have also been running social media campaigns in favour of Pashtun Long March in which protesters demand that Pakistan withdraw its civil and military administration from Pashtun areas under Pakistani occupation.

Pashtuns in Pakistan want complete independence from Pakistan and urged the international community for support.(ANI)