Islamabad: Millions of ethnic Pashtuns poured out on the streets of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Monday to protest against the alleged extrajudicial killing of a young shopkeeper last month and demand justice in the matter.
Naqeebullah Mehsud was killed in Karachi last month allegedly by one Rao Anwar, who has a reputation for effecting fake encounters of suspected terrorists and criminals.
According to gandhara.rferl.org, people from all walks of life assembled near Islamabad market and urged the government to act in the matter.
“Naqeebullah Mehsud was not the first Pashtun killed unlawfully in this country. A lot of our blood has been spilled,” the report on the website quoted protest organizer Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen as saying.
“However, our patience has now run out after this killing,” Pashteen added.
During the protest, the participants demanded speedy justice for Mehsud and arrest of Anwar, who has already been held accountable for the alleged murder by a government probe.
“All the victims of enforced disappearances should be presented before a court of law. Those found guilty of a crime should be punished while the rest should be freed,” read a leaflet distributed at the protest site.
At the protest site, there were many others too who shared their grievances against the Pakistani state for meting out step-motherly treatment to the Pashtuns.
“Today, I can protest in Islamabad, but we cannot do the same in my homeland,” Wazir, a tribal leader turned politician, said. “Today, we are in Islamabad and want to ask how many innocent people like Naqeebullah have you killed, and how many are languishing in prisons for years?” he asked.
According to the report, millions of Pashtuns in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province form a major chunk of more than 50,000 civilians, who have been killed in militant attacks and military offensives since 2001. Also, over 6 million have been displaced in dozens of military operations. (ANI)