How To Deal With The PTM And The NDM? – OpEd


The Pashtun Tahafuz movement (PTM) and its splited group that formed a new party the national democratic movement (NDM) have been attracting the Pashtun youth owing to their resistance centric policies and manifestos close to the sentiments of the common Pashtun.

Both have been crowd pullers and have become strong voices that have challenged the powerful status quos of the state. Despite, bans on them on appearing in media, cases, and sedition charges both the PTM and the NDM have been rising and overcoming the challanges that come one after one.

Their demands include reducing check posts in ex_FATA, no tolerance for armed groups, ending extra judicial killing, and enforced disappearance, while the NDM has been also demanding socioeconomic developments of the area.

When the PTM was not splited, the government had initiated negotiations but of no avail as negotiations were ended without any result. In April, 2019, a Senate committee met with the PTM leaders and negotiated. After the meeting the Senate members said that the genuine demands of th PTM should be resolved. And suggested that they should be brought into mainstream by starting reforms in ex_FATA. It was a good move but did not stay long. In 2019 again, government formed a committee of senators and national assembly members of ex_FATA. The PTM rejected that committee and demanded that committee should consist of members from all Pakistan. In 2019, government again proposed a negotiating committee headed by Pervez Khattak the than defense minister and ex_CM of the KPK. But negotiations did not start and Ali Wazir was arrested.

When the PTM was formed, abruptly cases against its leadership and members were initiated that led to emotionalise the people. The recent example was the sedition case against Ali Wazir. Historically, Sedition charges have been a daily routine in the country while on the flip side, history also testifies that sedition cases have never worked in silencing the people. On 16 Feburary 2020, the Islamabad high court dismissed cases of sedition against the PTM and Awami workers party and the court observed that what was happening in India should not happen here. It must be in consideration that cases against its leaders will increase griviences and pains of the PTM and the NDM. 

For me, there is a need of reliable negotiation for which both sides have to take the policy of give and take. The PTM and the NDM leaders should prevent their workers by igniting the situation through controversial slogans while the state should pay heed to the genuine demands of both the groups within the constitutional ambit. Moreover, things could settle more when reservations are solved. When socioeconomic developments is done, when people will not feel alienation__ then why would common citizen of the country involve in controversies.

The NDM is although part of parliament while the PTM is out of parliamentary politics. There is a dire need to engage the PTM in politics and provide reasonable atmosphere. This could be when parliament is given its due status and that it is not used as Rubber Stamp. As we witnessed during the confinement of Ali Wazir when speaker national assembly showed reluctance time and again in bringing Ali Wazir through production order.

A state should behave like a mother not a father. The PTM and the NDM both are the sons of the soil. They are our own souls. They must be dealth with care and responsibility. Their pains should be feeld. Despite, engaging them and without socioeconomic developments of the ex_ FATA region, any other idea with respect to dealing them would be insanity.

Naseeb Ullah Achakzai

Naseeb Ullah Achakzai is a M.Phil scholar and writes as a freelance columnist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *