President Ashraf Ghani voice support for Pashtun protests in Islamabad

President Ashraf Ghani voice support for Pashtun protests in Islamabad

NEW DELHI - As the protest of Pashtuns against murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud continue for at least past two weeks, President Ashraf Ghani on Friday said he supports the protest and that he hopes it will succeed in uprooting terrorism from the region.

“Just like the Lawyers' Community in Pakistan succeeded in their movement, I hope #PashtunLongMarch would also succeed in uprooting and eradicating terrorism from their region,” Ghani tweeted.

“I fully support the historical #PashtunLongMarch in Pakistan. The main purpose of which is to mobilize citizens against fundamentalism and terrorism in the region,” Ghani tweeted.

“The historical importance of this march traces back to the great proponent of non-violence, Bacha Khan, whose philosophy was based on the non-violent ideology,” he added.

He called on media outlets to help the protest in voicing their grievances and demands and presenting their true image to the world.

“After the tragedies of Kabul, I had remarked that Afghans and the people of this region should align against terrorism. I consider the #PashtunLongMarch a response to those remarks and a wake-up call against fundamentalism,” he tweeted.

He said the protest is a positive initiative against fundamentalism “that morally binds on each one of us to support them”.

Following the murder of a young shopkeeper in a gunfight with Karachi police last month, thousands of Pashtuns, living in the tribal belt, rallied against the move, seeking justice and an end to the oppression against them.

The rally started more than 10 days ago. Since then, they have been observing a sit-in protest.

During the past week, many emotional speakers talked about their grievances and urged the Pakistani government to act on their demands.

Naqeebullah Mehsud was accused of having links with terrorist groups. Later, an investigation found no evidence against him.

This caused the massive protests which started from the North Waziristan and continued through to Islamabad.

The protest is rarely reported by the Urdu language Pakistani media.

According an article in The Diplomat, the key demands of the protestors is to Swift justice for Naqeebullah Mehsud as well as arresting and punishing the police officer who allegedly kidnapped and killed him;