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Accountability of security personnel who patronised ‘good Taliban’ sought

Lahore: As a handful of Balochistan lawmakers whose electoral mandates remain questionable at best emerged as key brokers for Senate chairman’s election over the weekend, the provincial capital on Sunday hosted a historic jalsa of the most inspiring grassroots movement to have emerged in the country over the last two decades.
As expected of the mainstream media, it gave non-stop coverage to deals involving the group led by Abdul Quddus Bizenjo that culminated in Sajid Sanjrani’s name emerging as the top contender for Senate chairmanship. However, the Pashtun Spring was conspicuous by its absence on TV screens as well as web feeds of major newspapers.
While the mainstream ignored them, the young Pashtun organisers of the jalsa took to the social media platforms to convey their message to the Pakistani public.
Manzoor Pashteen, 25-year-old leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, was quoted in the PTM’s tweeter feed as demanding accountability of all those security personnel involved in supporting militants over the last four decades. The PSM feed extended solidarity to the Baloch and the Hazara communities, saying that those trying to create a rift between the two communities and Pashtuns would remain unsuccessful.
The #PTMQuettaJalsa was also addressed by young women activists. Addressing the gathering, Wranga Luni stressed the important role of women in the PTM. “No movement can be successful without the participation of women,” she said.
Other speakers quoted on Twitter lashed out at elements within the security forces whose policies led to the menace of terrorism in the Tribal region, ruining the lives of thousands of Pashtun families.
They said their movement had just begun, and vowed to continue public gatherings until the federal government had fully complied with their demands, including safe return of all those made victims of enforced disappearances, an end to extrajudicial killings of Pashtuns and other Pakistani citizens, as well as measures to end profiling of Pashtuns in Pakistani cities.
The PTM has planned more public gatherings across the country in March, including a jalsa in Peshawar on March 25.

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