PTM chief warns Pakistan govt against ‘Taliban peace committee’

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Pakhtunkhwa: Manzoor Ahmed Pashteen, the leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), said that handing over the responsibility of maintaining peace and stability to the “Taliban peace committees” will never be accepted.

Addressing a protest rally in Wana, South Waziristan on April 9, he alleged that a few days ago, the administration had summoned the leaders of Ahmadzai’s Wazir over the decision of constituting local security committees. He added that the people of Waziristan were against the decision and would protest as it aims to hand over Waziristan to the Taliban.

Manzoor added that if the government handed over the Waziristan to the Taliban in the name of peace committees, it should also hand over the affairs of Islamabad to these committees. The government has not yet commented on Manzoor’s remarks but has previously denied allegations that state institutions were involved in the unrest in tribal districts.

Manzoor demanded that the Pakistani government release all arrested members of the movement, including Ali Wazir, a leader of the movement and a member of the National Assembly. He reiterated the call for the state to clear landmines from the area as soon as possible. He also called for the opening of all trade routes with Afghanistan to boost regional trade and promote peace.

Mohsin Dawar, a leader of the PTM and a member of the Pakistan National Assembly from North Waziristan, also addressed the gathering. The rally was also attended by members and leaders of PTM from Peshawar, Quetta, Swat and other areas.

South Waziristan police chief Shaukat Ali said that 210 policemen were deployed to provide security to the PTM rally. The PTM held the meeting at a time when, according to people in South Waziristan and adjoining North Waziristan, security situation has once again deteriorated as the militants are regrouping.

As a result, the targeted killings, landmines, and other terrorists incidents in the region are routine. There are also clashes between militants and Pakistani forces a number of killings have been reported in the area, prompting widespread protests by locals. The PTM was formed in 2018 and has a number of demands including an end to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, clearing of landmines in tribal areas, and the establishment of durable peace.

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