Section 144: Pashtun Tahafuz Movement barred from campuses

Published: March 29, 2018


PESHAWAR: District administration Peshawar had stopped Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leaders to conducted members meeting at University of Peshawar Campus last week and imposed ban on political meeting at the premises of the university campus.

The PTM has scheduled members meeting at March 24 at University of Peshawar, however, on March 23, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar issued order under section 144 CrPC, stated a political meeting is expected to held at the University of Peshawar on March 24, 2018.

The DC order which copy also available with The Express Tribune further stated that the ban was imposed in order to prevent the university from being used for activities other than academic in also view of the fact Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor was expected to chair an international conference at the university on the same day.

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It showed that such state of affairs is creating unrest among public causing breach of peace and public tranquillity.

“I have reason to believe that there are sufficient grounds to precede U/S 144 Cr.P.C,” the order stated. It further stated that “I, Islam Zeb, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar in exercise of power conferred on me U/S 144 CrPC do hereby order and impose ban political meetings in University Campus Peshawar. It warned that anyone found violating this order shall be preceded against  u/s 188 PPC and this order shall remain enforced for 30 days unless modified or withdrawn.

PTM member Mohsin Dawar talking to The Express Tribune confirmed that on March 24 they were stopped for holding a meeting in the university.

He said that security forces did not allow any PTM members and directed to not conduct any gathering at the premises of the campus.

He said that around 200 members were then shifted to Baghi-e-Naran Hayatabad and held a meeting with members.

Dawar shared that they never want to create panic or any disturbance in any place, they just arranged peaceful meetings and fight for their rights.

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He said that no one can stop them from their movement because this is the movement of every Pashtun and people including students, civil society’s members, and elders joined them without any invitation because they understand that this is their own movement for their rights.

He also shared that on April 8 a huge gating would be held at Peshawar and invite people to join them on that day.

It is pertinent to mention here that PTM organiser Manzoor Pashteen twice visited UoP and met with students and faculty members and shared their points of agenda with them.

PTM was launched in 2013-14 with basic objective of demining the tribal areas particularly the Waziristan agencies, production of missing Pashtun people in courts and a stop to derogatory treatment of parda-observing Pashtun families at checkpoints.

However, its protest against the extrajudicial killing of Naqueebullah Mehsud pushed it into the limelight.

“We were once just 22 men marching to Islamabad. I believe our cause struck a chord. People joined in droves as we made our way to the federal capital,” rights activist Manzoor Pashteen had earlier told The Express Tribune.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, an inspired Pashteen founded the Mehsud Tahafuz Movement in 2013 to secure the rights of tribesmen.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2018.

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