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Arif Wazir

Arif Wazir

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)
Al Jazeera Article

The murder of PTM leader Arif Wazir, and the Pakistani state's reluctance to solve it, only strengthened our resolve.

Arif Wazir was a senior leader of the PTM, a peaceful human rights movement against extra- judicial killings, enforced disappearances, discrimination and surveillance of the Pashtun community by the Pakistani authorities. The Pashtun people in North-West Pakistan have unwillingly been caught in the centre of regional conflicts and tensions between State security forces, the Taliban and US-Afghanistan hostilities. Their peaceful human rights work for the protection of their community and Pashtun constitutional rights has been met with hostility and often violent reprisals by the Pakistani authorities. As a leader of PTM, Arif Wazir was a vocal critic of human rights violations by the military and has led public campaigns and peaceful protests calling for peace, accountability and redress for human rights victims, and an end to discrimination against Pashtuns.

Pakistan’s record of impunity has emboldened hostile actors and fostered an increasingly violent climate for HRDs, who face high risks including killing, arbitrary arrest and detention, abduction and kidnapping, surveillance, threats and judicial harassment. The government of Pakistan has made no real effort to support or protect their work and instead regularly votes against UN resolutions aimed at providing better protection for HRDs.