The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday called for a transparent investigation into the death of Arman Loni, a senior member of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), also called Pashtun Protection Movement, a social movement for Pashtun human rights, based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan.
Loni was one of the leaders of the PTM who was killed after returning from a sit-in protest outside Loralai Press Club in Baluchistan on Feb. 2, reports suggest.
The sit-in protest had been staged in protest against a recent terror attack. Pakistan media reports stated Loni had been sitting in a park after the protest when police arrested him.
Loni had attended the sit-in protest along with his sister, Wranga Loni.
“Pakistani officials should recognize the country’s diversity as a strength and not a weakness. The government should listen to and engage the concerns of the country’s many communities and allow for peaceful expression of dissent. As a start, the authorities should ensure the investigation into the death of Arman Luni is effective and transparent,” Brad Adams, the HRW Asia Director, said in an article published on the HRW website on Feb. 15.
Many protests were held in Afghanistan to condemn the killing of the PTM member. In a recent movement, a group of young activists from Bamiyan province, the center of Afghanistan, gathered in front of the Buddhas of Bamiyan and called their support to the PTM members.
One of the demands of the PTM is finding the individuals who have gone missing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan over the past several years.
According to PTM members, almost 30,000 people from the two provinces – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan – have gone missing over the past 10 years and Pakistan’s army and ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, appear to be behind the disappearances.
However, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has said that the number of missing individuals is 1,532.