Pakhtunkhwa Times

A Peace Rally organized by Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum in Toronto, demanding to stop the killing of innocent Pashtun people:

Posted in 1 by ppfcanada on February 16, 2009






Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum

Media Release
February 15, 2009,

Stop the Genocide of Pashtuns

TORONTO- Protesting against the killing of innocent Pashtuns in northern Pakistan, Pakhtunkhwa Peace Form Canada (PPF-Canada) organized a peace rally in front of Ontario Legislative Building at Queens Park Toronto and demanded the United Nations ,Canada, and other peace-loving members of the international community to launch viable strategies for bringing peace and stability to Swat, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and other part of NWFP (Pakhtunkhwa) by engaging and empowering Pashtun social and political leadership. The rally was also joined in by Pashtun Peace Forum, Canadian Muslim Congress, PRAP Canada, Canadian Institute for Peace and Democracy in Pakistan (CIPD), Canadian Pashtun Cultural Association (CPCA), Pakistani Canadian Pashtun Association, Canadian Afghan Association and people from different walks of life, and demanded the Canadian government and United Nations to condemn the ongoing killing of innocent Pashtuns in Swat and other part of Pakhtunkhwa (North West province of Pakistan).

The rally continued for two hours and the participants unanimously passed a draft resolution of their demands to be submitted to the Government of Canada and then marched to the Downtown.

The main objectives of the rally were:

• To create awareness about the killings of innocent Pashtuns particularly in SWAT Valley, and generally in Pakhtunkhwa-North West of Pakistan.
• To stress upon Canadian Government, international community and all humanitarian organizations to take notice of the Pashtuns’ genocide unfolding in the area.

Speaking on the occasion, speakers said that an indiscriminate campaign of killing the local peaceful civilian population has been going on for the last more than one year , on one side by the Taliban and on the other side by the security forces under the pretext of attacking militants/Taliban . Population centers are regularly fired upon and shelled with gunship helicopters, mortars, and rockets. There is disproportionate and indiscriminate use of firepower. An area populated by more than one million people has been blockaded while electricity, fuel, water-supply and all sorts of food supply have been cut-off. More than 800,000 people have already been displaced. The number of deaths has crossed 3,000 mark while injured and maimed are believed to be 5-6 times that figure. To add insult to injury, local hospitals are closed while the district headquarters hospital is inaccessible due to indefinite curfews and blocked roads. Dead bodies are lying putrefying in the homes, fields and on roads while locals have no chance to bury them due to harsh curfews and incessant shelling. While the muzzled official media would make us believe that only militants are being targeted, in reality it is the innocent commoners who are bearing the brunt of this military adventurism.

Referring to latest Amnesty International Report on Swat Valley, Javed Akhtar, President Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum, Canada, said that over the past year more than 3,000 innocent civilian have been killed and more than 800,000 have been displaced in the Swat valley as a result of fighting between Pakistani Taliban group and the Military. He pointed out that Amnesty has given very conservative figures of 1200 deaths that may have been true half a year ago but not now. He also spoke about destruction of more than 200 schools by Taliban, due to which 120,000 girls have been affected. He emphasized that due to the absence of representative media, Pashtuns are being portrayed as extremists and terrorists by the state media, to create a smokescreen for military adventurism and the genocide of Pashtun.

Other speakers added that they want to educate and apprise fellow Canadian, the Canadian media and journalists of this unreported genocide and asked Canadian newspapers and TV network to send reporters and cameramen to talk to hundred of Pashtuns women, children and men whose family members are being killed in Pakistan’s Pashtun area by the militants and security forces. Speakers also said that Pashtuns are Peace loving people and are against all form of terrorism. They stressed that Taliban are not Pashtuns, but are the killer of Pashtun and must not be associated with Pashtuns.

Participants of the rally demanded that parties involved in the conflict in the Pashtun areas in Pakistan should stop killing the Pashtuns in proxy wars and should reconcile their interests through non-violent and political means. They demanded the United Nations to formulate a new strategy for the region to put an end to the bloodshed and instability. Speakers asked the international community to strengthen both the NWFP (Pakhtunkhwa) and local Pashtun leaders at village and neighborhood levels in order to put an end to the influence of militants and outlaws. They also demanded the UN and international community to immediately provide shelter, food and immigration opportunities and refugee status to the hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDP’s) of FATA and Swat, Bajawar and other part of NWFP (Pakhtunkhwa) province of Pakistan on priority basis.

Speakers voiced the demand of Pashtuns and Afghans that the international community divert its investment in war to reconstruction and development of Pashtun people. It should invest in education, healthcare and small businesses so that the people and especially the youth are engaged in meaningful and positive activities and don’t fall prey to the subversive agendas of the extremist network.

Contact: organizer at ppfcanada@gmail.com

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2 Responses

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  1. Zayyad said, on February 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Asalaam Alaikum,

    I have been on your web site and was most impressed by the efforts made by the Pakhtunkhwa Peace Form Canada (PPF-Canada) in this very distressing and brutal time for the Pakhtoon race. As you have indicated exposure is what we need on an international scale.

    The world must see that our innocent Pakhtoon people are being annihilated and our cries are going unheard. This grave and bleak time that our people are going through must be stopped, a message of unity is what we need and this must be echoed throughout every Pathan home worldwide.

    My name is Zayyad Khan I myself am a Pathan, I live in England but my origin is that of Swat. The recent destruction of Swat, which as you are aware has left so many innocent Pathans (children, women & men) dead must be given worldwide attention and not hidden away as the Pakistan Government are doing. There is an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness’s for our Pakhtoon brothers and sisters but this does not mean this is our end.

    Here in England recently (01/02/2009) a small group of Pakhtana peacefully protested in London outside number 10 Downing Street (where the Prime Minister Gordon Brown is based) trying to bring attention and gravity to our sad and brutal situation. This may have done nothing but it is our first step.

    On the 15/02/2009 in Southampton a meeting was held crying out to all Pakhtana to come and speak and show unity, around 150-200 Pakhtana attended from all over England. At this meeting many people spoke with sadness with allot of emotion. Also at this meeting there was a Satellite telephone conversation with Afzal Khan Lala. I am not sure if you are aware but Afzal Khan Lala is a former Pakhtoon Nationalist Leader, he is currently the only Khan that is staying and fighting against the brutality of the Taleban. There have been many attempts on his life on his property and his lands but he remains defiant giving a glimmer of hope, while willing to risk his life for his people. Hearing his voice gave our hearts renewed hope and more determination that we must act or else we will be an erased race!

    I will not take up anymore of your time but I would be most great full to hear back from you and open up a serious dialogue with you. We are only a small group in Southampton but we are dedicated to getting as many Pakhtana as we can nationwide and worldwide to stop this genocide.

    Salam your brother
    Zayyad Khan

  2. Javed Akhtar said, on February 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you so much Zayyed for your comment. I truly appriciate your input. hope talk to you soon..


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