Peshawar/ New Delhi: The Pashtuns of Pakistan has put up a united front against the Pakistani Army and the intelligence apparatus over forced disappearances of their pro-freedom activists. 

On Sunday, thousands from the community marched under the banner of ‘PeshawarLongMarch4Arman’ demanding justice for slain activist and senior member of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), professor Mohammad Ibrahim Arman Loni.

Addressing the rally, PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen made a strong case for Pashtuns' freedom from Pakistan.

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Pashteen said, “At least 200 protests were staged against the murder of Arman Loni and other relevant events were organised in about 48 countries to remember him and seek justice for him. But the terror-sponsoring state is yet to register an FIR about the murder of the PTM leader. Justice and dignified life in Pakistan has always been a distant dream. Complete freedom from Pakistan is the way forward for the Pashtuns to answer the complex problems.”

Pashtun activists, in conversation with MyNation, dubbed the march as a referendum on the question of freedom from Pakistan.

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“Today’s march was a public referendum against the Pakistan's state-sponsored terrorism. The massive participation of Pashtun masses highlights the public aspiration for productive change. Now, it is up to the civilised world to either stand with the marchers or stand with the state-sponsored terrorism of Pakistan that bleeds all of us,” Waziristan-based senior journalist and Pashtun activist Imtiaz Wazir told MyNation.

Another fundamental message, Wazir said, behind the massive participation of Pashtuns was “an expression of zero tolerance against the Pakistan's state-sponsored terrorism and rule of Taliban on both sides of the Durand Line”.

On the other hand, the Pashtuns in Afghanistan are strongly opposed to an interim government in Afghanistan, but not the US. “Pashtuns believe in strategic partnership with the US, NATO member countries and India, but cannot tolerate Pakistan and its war proxies, called the Taliban,” Wazir added.