In a series of demonstrations, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has vehemently opposed the Pak Army’s war policies, militarization, and the resulting unrest in the Pashtun homeland. Protests have erupted in various regions, including Khyber, where PTM members rallied against the increased military presence and ongoing violence, highlighting the community’s grievances over target killings and explosions.

The catalyst for these protests was the Pakistan Army’s launch of a new operation named Azm-e-Istihkam, which has been also condemned by PTM’s United States-Texas State chapter. This group staged a significant protest in San Antonio, denouncing the genocidal operation against the Pashtun nation. PTM America also held a protest in front of the White House in Washington DC.

Concurrently, PTM Hasan Khel in Peshawar continued its demonstrations against military operations, surveillance, and targeted campaigns that disrupt daily life and threaten the security of the Pashtun people.

The demonstrators criticized the Pakistan Army for destabilizing Pashtun regions, asserting that their presence has severely impacted the safety and way of life for local residents. Compounding these issues, the sweltering summer heat has been exacerbated by severe electricity shortages, worsening living conditions and endangering the populations.

In addition to these immediate concerns, Pashtuns are demanding the removal of barriers at the Durand Line, which hinder free movement and trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The community opposes the mandatory passport visas that disrupt familial and economic ties across the border.

Since 1947, the Pakistan Army has been exploiting Pashtun lands and people for their interests, often labeling Pashtuns as terrorists or TTP sympathizers to justify their actions. This exploitation includes the extraction of mineral resources and the use of terrorism to justify military presence in Pashtun territories, resulting in security checkpoints, military camps, and forced evacuations.

The militarization has led to the abduction and enforced disappearance of many innocent youths, often unconnected to any activist activities. Journalists and PTM members face violence and death despite the movement’s peaceful stance. Furthermore, the military’s practice of laying landmines in residential areas has led to tragic incidents, with children frequently being maimed or killed by explosions.

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