Manzoor Pashteen

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Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen
منظور احمد پښتين/پاشتين
Born (1994-10-25) October 25, 1994 (age 24)[1]
ResidenceSouth Waziristan
Alma materGomal University
OccupationActivist for human rights
MovementPashtun Tahafuz Movement
Parent(s)
  • Abdul Wadud Mahsud (father)

Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen (Pashto: منظور احمد پښتين/پاشتين‎) or Manzoor Pashtun (منظور پښتون) is a human rights activist from South Waziristan, Pakistan.[2] He has spent years lobbying to draw attention to the plight of the Pashtun people, especially those from Waziristan and other parts of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan.[3] He is the chairman of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement ("Pashtun Protection Movement").[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Pashteen was born in 1994 in Shahur (or Shaheer), Mawle Khan Sarai, a small village near the town of Sarwakai in South Waziristan, Pakistan. The eldest of eight siblings, Pashteen belongs to the Shamankhel Mahsud tribe of the Pashtuns. His father, Abdul Wadud Mahsud, is a primary school teacher at his village.[6]

Pashteen received his early education at his village's school in South Waziristan. In 2005, because of military offensives by the Pakistan Armed Forces, Pashteen and his family were forced to flee Waziristan and temporarily settle in IDP camps in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[7] The family fled their home in Waziristan for the second time in 2007, and returned in 2008, but fled again in 2008 due to Operation Zalzala. In 2009, because of Operation Rah-e-Nijat, he and his family were forced to flee Waziristan for the fourth time. Pashteen completed his secondary education at Army Public School in Bannu and higher secondary education in Karak. His father was determined to ensure his education. "Only I know", Pashteen said, "my father borrowed money for my schooling and only I know how much we have suffered".[7] Pashteen received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2016 at Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan.[6] He and his family returned to Waziristan in 2016. They found that their books had been plundered, their house ruined, landmines scattered over their lands and they were humiliated at Pakistan Army checkpoints.[8]

In May 2014, during his studies at Gomal University, Pashteen founded the "Mahsud Tahafuz Movement",[9] a social movement mainly focused on removing landmines from Waziristan (especially Mahsud land). After gaining popularity among the Pashtuns in January 2018, its name was changed to the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement ("Pashtun Protection Movement").

In late 2017, Pashteen and his father were arrested by the security forces of Pakistan. Pashteen was beaten up under the allegation that his human rights campaign damaged military morale. “I said, you are building your morale by killing innocent children and then calling us terrorists,” Pashteen later told. As a result of the social media campaign for him, he was released by the military.[10]

Pashtun Long March[edit]

Manzoor Pashteen (center) sitting with landmine victims in Tank, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a PTM gathering on the first anniversary of the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud

On January 26, 2018, Pashteen led a protest march starting from Dera Ismail Khan, consisting of only 22 people at the start.[11] Many people joined the march along the way, and it reached Peshawar on January 28.[12] Then upon reaching Islamabad on February 1, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement organized a sit-in called "All Pashtun National Jirga". The jirga condemned the murder of the Pashtun shopkeeper Naqeebullah Mehsud who was shot dead by police force in Karachi during a fake encounter, and the alleged state oppression against the Pashtuns.[13] Among other demands, the jirga also asked the government to set up a judicial inquiry for Naqeebullah Mehsud, as well as for all the other Pashtuns murdered extrajudicially in police encounters.[14][15][16]

There was grand gathering of PTM, with more than sixty thousand protesters, in the center of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar on 8 April 2018.[17][18]

Controversy[edit]

Pashteen has rejected the allegation of being a foreign agent and condemned the labelling of the protesting Pashtuns as foreign agents working for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of India or the National Directorate of Security of Afghanistan.[19][20]

Pashteen cap[edit]

Pashteen usually wears the Pashteen cap (Mazari hat) at public events and rallies, leading to the hat becoming an iconic symbol of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, and being widely renamed after him as the "Pashteen cap".[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Manzoor Pashteen (see at 16:35)" (in Urdu). Voice of America Urdu. 2018-06-06.
  2. ^ "Manzoor Pashteen: The voice of Pashtuns for many in Pakistan". www.aljazeera.com.
  3. ^ "Pashtun Grievances Echo In Islamabad Protest". Gandhara Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  4. ^ "Call for Ending Discrimination against Pashtoons". 11 March 2018.
  5. ^ "PTM Leaders Reject Servitude Role for Pashtuns". 12 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "د پښتنو د پاڅون مشر منظور پښتين څوک دی؟". VOA Deewa (in Pashto). 2018-02-13. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  7. ^ a b "The Mehsud with a movement". The Friday Times. 2018-03-02. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  8. ^ "Caught Between The Military And Militants, Pakistan's Pashtuns Fight For Rights". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  9. ^ "د پښتنو منظور پښتین له کومه راغی؟". BBC Pashto (in Pashto). 2018-03-11. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  10. ^ "Meet the 23-year-old activist who could change Pakistan". www.prospectmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  11. ^ "A 'Pashtun spring' bloom?". The Express Tribune. 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  12. ^ "Long march against Naqeeb killing reaches Peshawar". Daily Times. 2018-01-29. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  13. ^ "Pashtun Tribes Stage Unprecedented Protest in Pakistan". The Diplomat. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  14. ^ "Decades of suffering leave the Pashtun youth angry". The Week. 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  15. ^ "In Pakistan, Long-Suffering Pashtuns Find Their Voice". The New York Times. 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  16. ^ "Pashtuns End Protest in Islamabad, Vow to Reconvene if Demands Not Met". Voice of America. 2018-02-10. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  17. ^ Pakistan's Manzoor Pashteen: 'Pashtuns are fed up with war'. dw.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  18. ^ "Public meeting in Mir Ali: Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement demands removal of checkpoints in NWA". The News. 2018-03-03. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  19. ^ "Pashtuns will approach UN if state doesn't give due rights, says Manzoor Pashteen". www.pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  20. ^ "Manzoor Pashteen: Our protest is non-violent and constitutional". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  21. ^ Alikozai, Hasib Danish (6 April 2018). "Hats Proliferate as Symbol of Pashtun Protest Movement". Voice of America. Retrieved 16 May 2018.