Our comrade Ali Wazir of The Struggle, of Pakistan, and Member of the National Assembly of that country, is under custody since May 26 and his whereabouts are unknown. He was arrested after a brutal military repression that killed three people in Waziristan. According to activists of the Pashtun Defense Movement (PTM), Wazir has been tortures, his legs have been broken and he has been denied the life-saving medicine he needs for the high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney malfunctioning he suffers. Protests for his liberation have been repressed in various provinces of the country and a curfew has been decreed in South Waziristan, the constituency for which Wazir was elected, where a social uprising is feared. We demand Ali Wazir immediately turn up and be released.
We republish the statement by the Lahore Left Front, integrated by The Struggle and other organizations.
“Release Ali Wazir, Lift Curfew, Respect Democratic Rights”
In the morning of Sunday, 26 May 2019, a sit-in of the affected villagers at Kharqamar check post, Boyya, North Waziristan was going on. Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar both members of Pakistan’s National Assembly arrived at the sit-in site to support the protest leading their caravan from Bannu. A wave of enthusiasm erupted amongst those in the protest against the military’s brutal search operation of the area.
The sit-in staged by residents of the area against the alleged assault on a local woman began on Saturday and was joined by workers of the PTM today.
Slogans started to be raised and scuffles broke out between the protestors and the military troops who were besieging the area.
However firing by the armed forces, three protestors were killed according to a military communique and 45 were injured by the live fire. In this clash, a bullet from the state forces also reportedly injured Mohsin Dawar.
According to the ISPR, Ali Wazir along with eight of his comrades has been arrested by the army. The ISPR press release has smeared the MNA’s and their comrades present at the spot with accusations of firing at the military.
Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were elected as members of National Assembly in July 2018 from North Waziristan and South Waziristan. Months before their elections, both emerged as popular leaders of the Pashtun Tahafaz (Defense) Movement (PTM).
PTM has been demanding an end to state support for the faction of Taliban, rehabilitation of tribal citizens displaced by military operations, and end of military excesses in Pashtun areas.
The arrested member of Parliament is a Marxist and symbolises the miseries and resistance of the local people against the state sponsored Taliban. 13 of his family members, including his father and siblings, have been target killed by the Taliban.
Pashtun constitutes the third largest ethnic community in Pakistan and largely inhabit the area bordering Afghanistan.
In fact, this region has been subjected to orientalists depictions by British colonial forces for over a century.
The infliction of violence by the state forces shows the desperation amongst the top state brass to crush this movement through the complete control of the mainstream corporate media, the political elite and its parties, the present right-wing regime of Imran Khan and other forces at their command.
The Lahore Left Front fully condemns this brutality and live fire on unarmed natives and activists.
We express our deep solidarity and condolences with the families and friend of those martyrs who lost their lives today and demand the arrest of those responsible for the firing on peaceful demonstrators.
- The Immediate and unconditional release of Ali Wazir and guarantee his safety.
- The state should come out with the whereabouts of Mohsin Dawar and guarantee his safe situation.
- The immediate withdrawal of armed forces from the former FATA areas and lifting of imposed curfew in the area.
- The acceptance of all the genuine demands that have already been acknowledged as forthright by the generals and the prime minister in public statements.
- The LLF fully supports the social, economic, cultural and political demands being put forward in their struggle against oppression, exploitation and deprivation.
May 26, 2019
Dr. Lal Khan, Editor Asian Marxist Review
Farooq Tariq, Convener
Lahore Left Front, Spokesperson Awami Workers Party
Dr. Taimur Rehman, General secretary Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party