PESHAWAR: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader and former Senator Farhatullah Babar has stressed upon paying attention to voices like Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) in order to avoid a national disaster in the making. He stated that Pashtuns suffered most grievously over the state’s policy of building militant infrastructure on their native land to advance its own interests and questionable policies.
Babar expressed Pashtuns had suffered an immense amount during the past three decades, during which they were used as cannon fodder. Pashtuns have been killed and injured on both sides of the border, forcibly evicted from their homes with their homes and livelihoods devastated, children orphaned, women widowed and now they are being humiliated at check posts in the name of security, and additionally having their land studded with landmines.
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He further added that Pashtuns were victims of brutalities of both state and non-state actors and that too for a very long time, with an economic disaster adding to their problems.
“Trade with Afghanistan has come down from $3 billion to about $1 billion a year just because we are employing trade as a tool for advancing questionable foreign and security policy agendas,” he said adding “our trucks are not allowed inside Afghanistan because we do not permit Afghan trucks to carry Indian goods from Wagah to their country, and who suffers other than Pashtuns?”
He said Afghanistan was turning more and more towards Chahbahar though, the voices of the Pashtuns remained unheard in the matter. However, Babar stated, the gap was being filled by committed and competent journalists in the region and movements like the PTM which seemed to give voice to the otherwise muted Pashtun spirit.
He said this while addressing a prize distribution ceremony among journalists at Peshawar press club on Saturday.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2018.
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