GENEVA (Switzerland): Pashtun activists held a demonstration against Pakistan Army’s action in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (tribal areas) at the Broken Chair during the ongoing session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
They were holding black and white flags symbolising peace and denouncing terrorism. Holding banners, they raised slogans “Pakistan Stop Pashtun Genocide” and “Pashtun Nation Wants Justice” while seeking urgent intervention by the UN to save Pashtun identity and their culture.
Riaz Peer, a Pashtun activist and demonstrator said, “In the past 40 years there has been no investment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the only investment they have done so far is that they have destroyed the schools and colleges. The language and traditions of Pashtuns have been destroyed”.
He added, “If you visit Pashtunkhwa, you will not find a single industry. We have been projected as terrorists to the world, whereas terrorism is being organised from Punjab. They are brainwashing them and leading us towards destruction”.
Recently, the Pakistan Army arrested PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen for raising issues of Pashtun people. He was later released after massive demonstrations by the activists the world over.
Fazal-ul-Afridi, an activist of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) from France said, “It is through PTM, we have raised the issue of Pashtun genocide. Earlier, people were thinking that Pashtun are terrorists but now we have shown the bright face of Pashtun people to the world. This genocide started 40 years ago and Pakistan agencies and military have been killing the Pashtun Afghans for the past 40 years. But, in the last 20 years in the so-called war on terror the way Pakistan military has killed the Pashtuns in the tribal belt it is unprecedented.”
He added, “The genocide of Pashtuns not only physically is continuing but they are killing our culture, our traditions, and language also.”
Afridi said, “Ehsaan-Ullah Ahsan, a well-known terrorist who has accepted the massacre of Pashtun children in 2014 and after that, the Malala attack was also accepted by this spokesperson of the Taliban and he was kept as a royal guest in the military Cantonment of the Pakistan military and now he has been released. So, PTM will raise this issue at all international levels as to why this terrorist kept like a guest and now he has been released.”
Shahi Sadat, PTM activist from California said, “We tell to the international community that we don’t have an enemy. Our enemy is the one who kills us. We have nothing against any religion, any ethnic groups or any country. But the one who is killing us and our children. We are here to tell the state and Pakistan military to stop supporting terrorism, to stop brainwashing our children and to stop destroying our culture, identity and stop staring at our natural resources.”
The Pashtuns, who have gathered from parts of Europe and the US, also held a conference at a special tent in front of the United Nations. They discussed various issues concerning the Pashtuns in Pakistan. (ANI)