Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday expressed concern over what it described as “interference” by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the country’s “internal affairs” with respect to the arrest of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen and his colleagues.
Ghani’s comment over arrest of Pashteen
In a tweet on Monday, Ghani had said that he was “troubled” by the arrest of Pashteen and his colleagues and hoped for their immediate release, adding, “While our region is suffering from atrocities caused by violent extremism and terrorism, governments in the region must support and encourage peaceful civilian movements for justice and must avoid any means of force and violence against these movements.”
Islamabad responded followingly, describing the statement as unwarranted, a clear interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs, and “not helpful to the promotion of good neighbourly relations between the two countries.”
“We have noted with serious concern the recent tweets by President Ashraf Ghani, which are a clear interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs and hence, unwarranted,” read a statement by Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson. “We believe that such statements are not helpful to the promotion of good neighbourly relations between the two countries.”
“Pakistan wishes to maintain close and cordial relations with Afghanistan based on the principles of non-intervention and non-interference and urges the Afghan side to work together for the common objective of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” it added.
Pashteen was arrested from Shaheen town in Peshawar in the early hours of Monday.
PTM is known for its strident criticism of the country’s powerful military for alleged enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, according to Al Jazeera.
Along with Pashteen, the police also arrested nine other PTM workers who were identified as Muhammad Salam, Abdul Hameed, Idrees, Bilal, Mohib, Sajjadul Hassan, Aimal, Farooq, and Muhammad Salman.