A number of National Assembly members have announced support for ‘Pashtun Long March’ in Islamabad and praised their standing up for their rights.
“We are standing against oppression and imposing force on Pashtuns in Pakistan. Most of Afghan people will continue support for them,” said Areyan Youn, a member of the Lower House.
“The Afghan government and people do not have any problem with Pakistani people. The problem is with the Pakistani government,” Senator Hashemi added.
In the meantime, a number of civil society institutions criticized Pakistan of not addressing the demands of Pashtuns in its country.
“Freedom of expression has been trampled in Pakistan. There is no access to information. Most of the journalists are in danger of attack by the country’s intelligence,” said Sidiquallah Tawhidi, the head of Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC).
The Pashtun protest, unprecedented in the history of Pakistan, is an eye-opener for Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership, who have been dealing with the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as a strategic space, rather than recognizing the genuine needs and rights of its inhabitants.