No Surprise: Entire leadership of Afghanistan including NDS stand for arrested Pakistani PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen

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No Surprise: Entire leadership of Afghanistan including NDS stand for arrested Pakistani PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen

ISLAMABAD - Entire leadership of Afghanistan including NDS stand for arrested Pakistani PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen.

The arrest of the leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Manzoor Pashteen, by Pakistani forces, has sparked anger among Afghan politicians who call it unjust and an act against freedom of speech.

His arrest comes almost two weeks after a large public gathering by the group in the city of Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, during which movement members said their agenda was to “internationalize” a call for justice, TOLO News reported.

The first reaction came from President Ashraf Ghani on Monday evening who said he was “troubled” by the arrest of the PTM chief.

Ghani called for “immediate release” of Pashteen and said that “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.”

He also said that differences with such peaceful movements must be resolved through dialogue and engagement.

Former president Hamid Karzai said in a tweet on Monday that he is concerned about the arrest and said such acts could deepen the crisis in the region, which, according to him, is suffering from extremism and violence.

He also called for the “immediate” release of the activist.

Former NDS chief and presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil called Pashteen’s arrest an “extra-judicial act” by Pakistan’s army and intelligence agency that “will force Pashtun leaders across the Durand Line to unite and establish a new country.”

Presidential candidate and former national security advisor Mohammad Haneef Atmar also criticized the move and said it is an act that contradicts the non-violent campaign by Manzoor Pashteen, his colleagues and thousands of others.

President Ghani’s running mate, Amrullah Saleh, tweeted: “We extend our moral support to the PTM and its non-violent way of struggle and call for his immediate release.”

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