Manzoor Pashteen, leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), was arrested on Sunday night by Pakistani police in Tehkaal, Peshawar, said Mohsin Dawar, a member of the PTM.
Dawar, in a tweet, added: “This is our punishment for demanding our rights in a peaceful and democratic manner. But Manzoor's arrest will only strengthen our resolve.”
“We demand the immediate release of Manzoor Pashteen,” Dawar said.
Tahkal police official Shiraz Khan confirmed the arrest, according to Pakistnai news agency Dawn’s report.
The police official said that the PTM chief has been transferred to Dera Ismail Khan, where a FIR has been registered against him, it said.
About two weeks ago, Sana Ejaz, a member of the PTM, told TOLOnews that a recent public gathering of the movement in the city of Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is part of an agenda to “internationalize our call for justice.”
“Despite a crackdown on our movement in several ways--even on social media--by the Pakistan army, our movement’s members delivered our message to the people through social media,” Ejaz said, adding: "In 2019 our movement was frequently harassed and suppressed.
PTM is a Pashtun-rights group that has called for the de-mining of the former tribal areas and greater freedom of movement within tribal areas. It has called for an end to “extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and unlawful detentions,” according to reports.
According to PTM members, almost 30,000 people from the two provinces – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan – have gone missing over the past 10 years.
Before this, PTM has announced it will hold its next rally in Quetta on February 2 to observe the anniversary of Arman Lonri's death.
Arman Lonri allegedly died during a police crackdown on a sit-in in Loralai last year.