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14 Jan 2020 | 02:01 AM UTC

Pakistan: Pashtun group to rally in Baluchistan February 2

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) are due to hold a commemorative rally in Baluchistan on February 2; heightened security presence and localized disruptions expected

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Event

Leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) are planning a commemorative rally in Baluchistan on Sunday, February 2. The gathering is being held to mark the anniversary of the death of Arman Loni, a prominent PTM leader who was allegedly killed during a police crackdown in 2019. As of Tuesday, January 14, PTM leaders have not announced the specific time or location of the rally. However, large crowds are expected to participate in the event. A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are also anticipated around the demonstration site.

The PTM held a public gathering in Bannu (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) on Sunday, January 12, to call for all Pashtun leaders to support the group’s cause of fighting for the rights of the Pashtun community. According to PTM leaders, the rally was well attended by supporters from Waziristan, Peshawar, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Context

PTM leaders are calling for the de-mining of tribal areas and greater freedom of movement in the region. They are also demanding the government cease extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and unlawful detentions. According to Manzoor Pashteen, the current leader of the PTM, the organization is a civil movement, not a political party, and is focused on rights for all Pashtun people in Pakistan.

Advice

Individuals in Baluchistan province are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid protests and public gatherings, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.