Demonstrators take part in a protest to demand justice for the murder of Isabel Cabanillas, an activist for women's rights whose body was found on January 18, 2020, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has started a massive campaign against the persecution of Pashtuns by Pakistan and the illegal and subversive incarceration of its leader Noorullah Tareen. Subsequently, they demanded Right to Self-determination.

On 18 March, the activists of PTM Europe and other human rights activists reached the United Nations in Geneva and protested against Pakistan highlighting the atrocities inflicted upon the Pashtun Afghan communities by Pakistan Army.

The protest was carried out with banners demanding release of Pashtuns from the captivity of Pakistan and extended support to Chaman protest. Apart from that they also put forward three demands:

  1. International Truth and Reconciliation Committee (ITRC)
  2. Sovereignty over their land, resources and culture
  3. Right to self-determination

Furthermore, the voices for the release of PTM Sindh Coordinator Noorullah Tareen were also raised by the protestors. Tareen was arrested by the Sindh administration in October last year, after he proactively supported the Afghan civilians and provided every sort of assistance to them on behalf of its organisation.

When he was arrested, Pakistan was coercively deporting the Afghan refugees. They were selectively targeted, extorted and tortured in jails.Currently, there have been more than five months that Noorullah Tareen has been incarcerated. Reportedly, he has been facing torture and extreme brutality. Therefore, the Geneva protest highlights that PTM is not only fighting Pakistani establishment’s atrocities but challenging their authoritarian regime both in and outside the country.

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