PESHAWAR: MP Mohsin Dawar from the North Waziristan Tribal District and a group of nationalist leaders on Wednesday announced the launch of the National Democratic Movement, apparently breaking ranks with the Pakhtun Tahafuz (PTM) Movement and its flag bearer, Manzoor Pashteen.
After months of deliberation and indoor consultations, the NDM was launched in a ceremony here to lead a struggle to promote the secular democratic federal parliamentary system in the country.
It includes disgruntled National Awami Party leaders, rights activists and leftists as well as workers from the PTM and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.
Former ANP Secretary General Afrasiab Khattak, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and former MP Abdul Latif Afridi, former MPs Bushra Gohar and Jamila Gillani and former Senator Bashir Matta are prominent figures who developed the party structure.
Mr. Khattak, Latif Afridi, Bushra Gohar and Jamila Gillani were expelled by the ANP for “violation of discipline”.
The new party has entered the political fray as the region is in the throes of an unprecedented geopolitical upheaval following the overthrow of the government in Kabul by the Afghan Taliban following the withdrawal of US forces from the country.
Mohsin Dawar insists nationalist democratic movement will not weaken PTM
MP Mohsin Dawar, one of the founding members of the PTM, was appointed chairman of the nine-member organizing committee. The party will soon launch a membership campaign across the country.
The organizing committee will form committees at the provincial, divisional, district and tehsil levels across the country to elect the officers by election.
The party’s provisional constitution was also unveiled on this occasion.
Analysts say the NDM will be a setback for the PTM, a youth rights movement, which was launched in 2018 to protect the basic rights of residents of the newly merged neighborhoods of former Fata and make a voice heard against it. human rights violations in activism. affected region.
Significantly, the PTM had announced that it would not participate in parliamentary politics and would not stand for election. However, Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir stood for the 2018 general election as independent candidates and were elected MPs.
MP Mohsin Dawar, in his first press conference, dispelled the impression that the NDM would cause a setback to the PTM, and said that the PTM was an advocacy movement that provided a platform for others. political parties.
“The PTM is a common movement and we were part of it. I don’t think the NDM will weaken the PTM, ”he said, adding that the NDM would support the movement.
He added that detained MP Ali Wazir had also been consulted before the party was launched.
Announcing the party’s basic tenets, Dawar said the NDM would forge greater alliance and unity among the oppressed ethnic groups in society.
He said that the country’s political workers, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, “felt a political vacuum,” so there was an urgent need for a new democratic force.
He said young people, who made up 64% of the country’s total population, would be in charge of the party.
“Young people do not have representation in the political process of the country and the dilemma is that our political parties do not have the democratic culture to give the possibility to the youngest to come forward,” he said.
The legislator declared that the main principle of NDM is the formation of an impartial, peaceful and tolerant society in which all citizens enjoy equal rights.
He said the party will fight for a new social contract between federated units that is based on justice and recognizes rights over natural, financial and human resources.
He said the NDM was going through a period of transition and its manifesto and organizational structure would be formulated after the completion of the membership drive.
On this occasion, the former senator Afrasiab Khattak declared that the political parties had surrendered to the powerful military power and that the constitutional rights of the people had been usurped.
He said oppressed nationalities in the country would be contacted from the NDM platform, while young people would be given the lead role in the party.
Mr. Khattak said plots were being hatched to push back the Pakhtuns into the colonial era.
He said the army generals wanted the sharia system to be enforced in Afghanistan but wanted to impose martial law on Pakistan.
He said interference in Afghan affairs should end.
Referring to the situation in Afghanistan, Khattak said the enemies attacked Kabul and Kandahar to push the Afghans back into obscurity.
“The enemy must understand that Peshawar has now become the new center and that he cannot silence the Pakhtuns,” he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the party as the Nationalist Democratic Movement. The correct name is National Democratic Movement. The error is regretted.
Posted in Dawn, le 2 September 2021