South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, condemns the use of live ammunition by the Pakistan army against activists of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) in North Waziristan.
SAHR has learnt that the Pakistan security forces opened fire on several hundred people, including two Parliament members, who were protesting for the rights of Pakistan’s Pashtuns in the North Waziristan region on Sunday near the border of Afghanistan. The action by the security forces has led to the killing of 3 protestors and arrest of many members of the PTM.
PTM is known as a peaceful movement that has been demanding the fundamental rights of Pashtuns, a minority in Pakistan. The two lawmakers – Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir – were among the founders of the PTM civil rights group and were arrested by the army during the protest.
SAHR calls upon the government of Pakistan to conduct an effective and independent investigation over the reported killing of the activists. SAHR urges the relevant authorities to respect the fundamental human rights of the people in Waziristan including the recognition of their genuine demands that are within the parameter of rights guaranteed under the Constitution. We call on the Pakistan government to immediately release Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, the elected representatives of the people of Waziristan, and other protesters arrested at the protest site.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,