A Pashtun activist and member of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has urged Pakistan to end the extra-judicial killings of civilians in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region located in the northeastern region of the country.
Speaking exclusively to ANI, Aurangzeb Khan Zalmay said that Pakistan has been continuously raising the issue of Kashmir without looking its own weaknesses.
"PTM's demand is that we (Pashtuns) want to live with dignity. Pakistan is not giving us this right and then talks about the human rights situation in Kashmir. Pakistan is forgetting about the human rights violations of the people on its own soil," he said.
He added, "Pakistan wants to hide its brutality by creating a hue and cry over the Kashmir issue. We ask the international community that why have you closed your eyes? We are also human beings and we have the rights to live with dignity."
The Pakistani army has launched several operations in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region aiming to eradicate the Taliban and other terror groups. However, the residents blame the establishment for targeting civilians rather fighting the terrorists.
"The terrorists have their training camps in Lahore's Muridke city. Everybody knows about it. They are engaged in breeding terrorists. They are being used as proxies by the establishment," Zalmay said.
"In Pakistan's dubious war against terrorism, around 70-80 thousand Pashtuns have been killed so far. Over three lakh houses are being destroyed. Nearly 32 thousand Pashtuns are still missing, including some 1,400 women," he added.
The PTM demands a Truth and Reconciliation Commission be constituted to investigate war crimes against the Pashtuns.
"The Pashtuns in Pakistan are facing genocide. In January 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump had allocated funds worth USD 33 billion to Pakistan to fight terrorism. Later, the President had said that the funds got wasted as Pakistan has not utilized it to target the safe havens of terrorists, but has promoted and exported terrorism to the world. It continues to do so," Zalmay told ANI.
The PTM is a Pakistani civil society group that advocates for better rights for the Pashtun community in Pakistan.
In recent months, tensions have simmered between the PTM and Pakistan's military establishment particularly after a deadly incident that took place at a military checkpoint in North Waziristan on May 26.
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