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Activist critical of Pakistan army goes 'missing', allegedly picked up by country's intelligence agencies

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Islamabad | December 7, 2023 12:20:47 PM IST
The chief of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Manzoor Pashteen, who was arrested on December 4 for addressing a protest in Turbat has gone missing, allegedly abducted by intelligence agencies of his country.

Former Member of Pakistan National Assembly Mohsin Dawar said: "It is very concerning that @ManzoorPashteen has not been produced in any court after being arrested on the 4th of December. He remains forcibly disappeared. The state is violating the law openly and brazenly. We demand the immediate production of Manzoor in court."

The founder of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (Pashtun Protection Movement or PTM) rights group was arrested by police on Monday for allegedly firing on police vehicles, Chaman Deputy Commissioner Raja Athar Abbas was quoted as saying as per per Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper.

The PTM has however alleged that Pashteen's vehicle was fired at by law enforcement agencies (LEAs) while he was on his way from Chaman to Turbat, where protests were taking place against an alleged extra-judicial killing.

The PTM group is known for its protests against the country's military for its role in alleged enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of rights activists.

A post on Manzoor Pashteen's handle on the microblogging site X read, "#ManzoorPashteen still not produced in a court despite the passage of two days. If #PTM chief can be abducted & dislocated than how the ordinary ppl will be treated? Enforced disappearance of #ManzoorPashteen is a question mark for all political people."

Former Pakistan Senate Member Afrasiab Khattak said Pashteen's arrest is yet another effort at pushing the non-violent Pashtun youth to violence.

"Baloch youth has already been pushed to the wall. Pol parties aren't uttering a word. Lawlessness will lead to the cycle of anarchy/fascism," he said.

Meanwhile, the Chaman Deputy Commissioner Abbas on Monday said Levies and police personnel had arrested the PTM leader from the Gudhamo area. "Police were fired at from Pashteen's car on Mall Road," the official said, adding that a case had also been registered against the PTM leader.

He said that Pashteen was arrested in connection with the incident and that the PTM leader would later be presented before a district magistrate, as per Dawn.

The PTM had earlier stated that Pashteen, alongside a caravan, was headed from Chaman to Turbat when "police and army carried out straight firing on his vehicle".

The statement by the PTM's social media team was posted on Pashteen's account on X. It also said that efforts were underway to arrest the party chief and "police, Frontier Corps and the army had besieged" the area.

On Monday, the Caretaker Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai stated that the PTM is an "anti-Pakistan organisation" that has been banned from entering Balochistan and the same had also been notified three times by the interior ministry.

"He still came to Chaman and staged a rally without the government's permission. They should have left but he sought refuge in a village [...]. He was hiding there with his guards," he said while responding to a question during a press conference in Quetta, Dawn reported.

"We have no information about any firing. [He] has his own guards, firing can also happen because of them," the minister had said. (ANI)

 
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