The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) continues to face a media blackout. Amidst the state’s fear of it potentially carrying an anti-Pakistan and Pashtun nationalist message, a new wave of crackdown has begun with state organs using tactics to directly deter the long march. The government’s central claim is that the PTM could be potentially destabilizing for peace in the country. And, with mainstream media not covering the march, social media, particularly Twitter, has taken the lead to get the various sides out to the public. Here are the key moments that invite thought about the state of censorship and minorities in Pakistan.


The rally participants raised a white flag, denoting peace.

Their agenda doesn’t seem to be violence nor does it seem to be separatist. This is a claim they asserted earlier this month when the leaders clarified that their demands are within the constitutional jurisdiction.

Interestingly, many were also holding Pakistan’s flag, which begs the question of how anti-state they really are.

Turning a blind eye to their message, the Punjab Police went ahead and arrested several leaders of the PTM.

These included Ali Wazir, Bilawal Mandokhel, Muzammil, and Ismat Shaagen amongst others. This fear mongering tactic created quite the uproar.

Even Maryam Nawaz tweeted that the leaders should be released and their right to protest should be protected.

 In the worst move ever, the PTM rally space was allegedly dirtied with sewage water at Mochi Gate.

However, the protesters quickly cleaned the area themselves. The cheap tactics only highlight the government’s complete lack of tact in addressing the Pashtun community’s grievances.

In light of this incident at the PTM, social media users were quick to draw comparisons between the government’s treatment of Khadim Rizvi and the PTM. 

This is just a quick rundown of all that happened at the PTM Jalsa at Mochi Gate, Lahore. The movement continues to gain force as more activists join the cause. While the mainstream media outlets fail to get PTM’s side of the story out, social media is the only tool available to get their claims across. While the government paints the narrative with an anti-Pakistan and anti-army rhetoric, here is what the real message of the PTM is from the leader, Manzoor Pashteen himself.

Here are some other noteworthy moments from the protest as well. 



*Feature Image Source: Getty Images/AFP/ A.Majeed*





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