Martial Law imposed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Is it correct that Martial Law has been imposed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, North Waziristan? Pakistan puppet Provincial Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in a clandestine manner promulgated (officially put a law into effect) an ordinance known as The KP Actions (in aid of civil power) Ordinance, 2019. Even when the provincial assembly was in session, the ordinance was issued very secretly and silently by the Provincial Governor on August 5, 2019.

This ordinance gives sweeping powers to the Pakistan Army and Security agencies including Pakistan Intelligence Agency ISI, which were available in the erstwhile the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), now extedned to the entire province.

The KP Actions (in aid of civil power) Ordinance, 2019

The KP Actions (in aid of civil power) Ordinance, 2019, which was issued by the Provincial Governor on Aug 5, is almost a reproduction of two regulations promulgated by the president in 2011 for the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) through which legal cover was given to several detention centers set up during the military operations in different regions. This new ordinance now extends to the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The ordinance assigns wide-ranging powers to the authorized officers and armed forces besides giving an interning authority to detain a suspect until the continuation of action by the armed forces.

The armed forces have also been empowered to occupy any property with the approval of the provincial government.

The Ordinance authorizes the provincial governments or any person authorized by it to act as interning authority having the powers to intern a person.

This ordinance was quietly passed on August 5, curtailing jurisdiction of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in the province.

It undermines the existing legislation and the Constitution and threatens key liberties and rights by granting extensive powers to the armed forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As per the Legal Experts, it is similar to decrees issued in 2011 that provided legal cover to security forces for arbitrary detentions and other abuses committed during military operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa starting in 2008.

As per the Legal Experts and the Human Rights Activists, enacting the new law across the whole province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, potentially deprives the region’s 35 million predominantly Pashtun residents of their Fundamental Rights. It also literally takes the entire province out of the jurisdiction of the High Court and the [Federal] Supreme Court for the people imprisoned under this law. This violates the constitution and is dangerous because, if recent experience is anything to go by, the present government is using Anti-Terrorism laws against its political opponents.

Already over a Million people have been disappeared by Pakistan Army who have either been killed or sold for Organ Harvesting, no records exist for their detention. Even the police refuse to register any complaints, since the abductions were done by Pakistan Army. In such a scenario, promulgating this draconian law will give validity and full powers to Pakistan Army to commit Genocide and the Human Rights Abuses with legal sanction. We covered the atrocities of Pakistan Army in our previous article, “EXPOSED: Pakistan Army Doing Organ Harvesting After Enforced Disappearance Of Ethnic Baloch, Pashtuns And Muhajirs

The PTM represents the Pashtuns of the region previously known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The tribal areas were governed by colonial-era regulations that allowed collective punishment for entire communities, including property destruction and denial of access to courts. In May 2018, Pakistan’s parliament passed a constitutional amendment merging the tribal areas with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and extending the constitutional protections previously denied to the people of the tribal areas.

As per the sources on the condition of anonymity, this is an extremely dangerous move by the government. “First, the ordinance was issued at a time when the provincial assembly was in session. Secondly, with the passage of the 25th Constitutional Amendment, Peshawar High Court’s jurisdiction was extended to the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), extending the constitutional protections previously denied to the people of the tribal areas. But with this ordinance, the Peshawar High Court (PHC)’s jurisdiction has been curtailed in the entire province.

He said this move is alarming and counter-intuitive. “By notifying the ordinance, the Pakistan government has literally imposed martial law in the province. A subordinate legislation bypassing the constitution and suppressing fundamental rights is a blow to democracy and rule of law.”

Any security agency can pick a citizen up from his house, shop, school, college, mosque, court and his arrest cannot be challenged in any court of law in the province.

The ordinance came to light when a two-member Peshawar High Court bench was hearing a petition against two legislations made by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to protect the laws, which were enforced in the erstwhile Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) before their merger with KP, including one governing internment centers.

The petitioner, advocate Shabbir Hussain Gigyani, has requested the court to strike down the KP Continuation of Laws in the Erstwhile Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) Act, 2018, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Continuation of Laws in Erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Act, 2019, insisting the two laws violated the Constitution and the judgments of superior courts.

He has also requested the court to declare the internment centers established under the Action (in aid of civil power) Regulation 2011 for FATA and PATA as unconstitutional.

When the bench of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ahmad Ali began hearing into the petition, provincial Advocate General Shumail Ahmad Butt said the government had promulgated the KP Actions (in aid of civil power) Ordinance, 2019, last month and that was applicable to the entire province.

He said after the promulgation of that ordinance, the petition had become infructuous and therefore, it should be dismissed.

As per the Advocate General, even the Peshawar High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the petition challenging the ordinance.

He, however, said to counter his petition, the government had come up with the novel idea of extending powers of armed forces to the entire province.

The bench fixed Sept 24 for the next hearing into the case directing the advocate general to respond to the pleas of the petitioner.

Advocate Shabbir Hussain Gigyani, who challenged the ordinance, told media persons that the government made an illegal move by issuing an ordinance when the assembly was in session. The government is moving in the wrong direction by extending Action in Aid of Civil Power to the whole province.

Gigyani also said that the government had extended powers of the armed forces to the entire province to counter his earlier petition seeking court intervention to order government not to discriminate against the people of erstwhile FATA and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA).

The ordinance reads:

“Whereas, there exists a grave and unprecedented threat to the territorial integrity of Pakistan by miscreants and foreign funded element who intend to assert unlawful control over the territories of Pakistan and to curb this threat and menace, the armed forces have been requisitioned to carry out actions in aid of civil power.”

It further reads:

“And whereas, continuing stationing of the armed forces in territories that have been secured from miscreants in the province of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is necessary, and it is, therefore, it is imperative that a proper authorisation be given to the armed forces to take certain measures for incapacitating the miscreants by interning them during continuation of the actions in aid of civil power, and it is also necessary to endure that the armed forces carry out the said operation in accordance with law.”

According to the ordinance and contrary to the provisions of Qanun-i-Shahadat (Evidence Act), a statement or deposition by any member of the armed forces, or any officer authorized on his behalf, shall be sufficient for convicting an accused. Similarly, all evidence, information, material collected, received and prepared by the interning authority, or its officials, shall be admissible in evidence and shall be deemed sufficient to prove the facts in issue.

The ordinance mentions a set of offences which are punishable with death penalty or imprisonment for life or up to 10 years along with fine and forfeiture of property.

Another peculiar, and dangerous according to human rights activists, feature of the ordinance is the definition of a “miscreant” that means any person who or who may not be a citizen of Pakistan and is intending to commit or has committed any offence under this ordinance which includes a terrorist, a foreigner, a non-state actor and the group of such persons by whatsoever names called.

It means that any foreigner who is visiting Pakistan for any purpose can be detained and prosecuted under this ordinance at the discretion of Pakistan Army and no evidence is needed to prosecute any foreign national. What would be the reaction of the International Community if a foreign journalist or a Human Rights Activist ever visits Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is arrested and prosecuted with Death Penalty?

Since the provisions of Qanun-i-Shahadat (Evidence Act) do not apply, any statement by the Army personnel will be sufficient for convicting an accused.

As per sources, imposing this kind of Martial Law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is seen as a test bed to apply the same law in Balochistan and Sindh where there is a rising demand for Freedom from the tyranny of Pakistan. As per him in October there is a big planned “long march” by Fazal-ur-Rehman, president of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) party, to Islamabad in October and to hold a sit-in. As per sources, it is possible that a similar ordinance may be implemented in other restive provinces of Balochistan and Sindh to eliminate the dissenting voices.

Spinm Wam, North Waziristan Targeted killing of 2 Civilians by Pakistan Army

The greatest fallout of this ordinance is the recent killings in Spin Wam area. Two brother were killed by unknown masked target killers in Spin Wam, North Waziristan. In retaliatory fight one Masked man got killed by family members with his own gun and another injured. Later the dead masked man and the injured one were identified as Pakistan Army personnel.

Newspapers however published the official Director General ISPR version of the story as usual without doing any fact checks from the locals. The concocted official story goes, “the militants opened fire on a routine patrolling party of the security forces in Spin Wam area. A soldier was killed in the attack, the army said, adding that the two attackers were also killed in retaliation.”

Paid Troll army of Pakistani social media also spread the same DG ISPR version and started blaming PTM and its followers of Terrorism and killing of 2 Pakistan Soldiers. In Pakistan every dying soldier is treated by the trolls as a “Martyr” even though he was doing a shameful act.

Ex-Senator Farhatullah Babar in his tweet said, “Newspapers today publish reports/ pictures honouring army men martyred in Dir erecting border fence. Commendable gesture. Didn’t see any such report about the sepoy in Spin Wam (N Waziristan) who ISPR claimed was martyred by miscreants the same day but locals rejected the claim”

Manzoor Pashteen who is regarded as the Modern Day Gandhi in his tweet said, “Last night in mineral rich N.Waziristan Spinwam the unknowns shot dead 2 brothers, who were watering their fields while on the spot 1 unknown  was also killed who came out to be Pak army soldier. Since years systematic target killing is done in Pashtun region by unknowns.”

Another social activist with twitter handle @HamidMandokhail tweeted,”In Waziristan, target killings have continued for a long time Unidentified men were fleeing after killing two youths in target killings in Spinwam when villagers opened fire on them, killing a target killer on the spot when villagers approached him. So he was a Pakistani soldier.”

Noted Journalist Sanna Ejaz in a series of tweets said, “Whether Spinwam or Khar Qamar: Killing innocent ppl & pressurizing rest of the region with fear & horror is the tactic spy agencies & military use against th oppressed ppl, then name them criminal is worse violation of const & human rights in Pakistan. #ArmyBehindTargetKilling”

“Every wrong on Pashtunkhwa motherland is counted, we’re always raising, we’re asking justice and all our means are non-violent political moves that would go till these terrors and brutalities find an end and we live equally to others in Pakistan with peace and harmony #Spinwam”

“I am shocked why the international community, the humanitarian organizations, the civilized nations are still keeping mum over what happens to Pashtuns in Pakistan? Why they’re not taking our massacres serious? It shows their duplicity towards human rights violation #Spinwam”

“Madam @ShireenMazari1 Fed Minister fr H. Rights in Pakistan, why’re u compromising ur status in front of those who’re playing with the innocents bloods,why wouldn’t u call loudly that #Spinwam is bled in a barbaric way again, how’ll the world believe u? #ArmyBehindTargetKilling”

Kochai Lewanai speaks on Spim Wam, North Waziristan killing of civilians by Pakistan Army

“Speaking about the incident of North Waziristan, in the village of Spim Wam. Last night a Pakistani soldier get in house of a local and shot dead 2 civilians. One of the soldiers was killed by the family members with his own gun. Other was injured. The dead body and the injured one were handed over by the family members to the local elders and the civil administration. After that Military is claiming, they were patrolling the area normally and they were fired at. That is not the fact. The Fact is that the civilians they are being tied. After 2014 when the IDBs came back and the area was declared clear by the Pakistani Army by DG ISPR. After that from time to time the target killing is happening.”

2 Civilians killed by Pakistan Army Masked man in targeted killing.
2 Civilians killed by Pakistan Army Masked man in targeted killing.

“Many times, the issue is highlighted by PTM, the local people and MNA of North Waziristan. Mohsin Dawar highlighted the same issue on the floor of the national assembly. But there were no steps taken. Whole area is under controlled by Pakistan Army. They have check posts on the roads, check posts in the mountains, everything is under their control. Question is, how is this happening for a year. Why were not able to trace them, target them, to arrest them. Finally, it is shown that soldier is killed, it is a probe. It shows that all these target killing is been carried out by Pakistani army. That is the reason that we call it is, Uniform is behind all the terrorism, they are behind all this. So, we demand United Nations, all other International Human Rights Organizations to look into the matter, with a view to solution and Justice.”

Public Anger over Civilian Killings in Spin Wam by Pakistan Army

After the killing of the civilians the anger ran very high in the public. There were large protests, sit ins and demonstrations at several places.

Eid Ur Rehman Wazir addressing local Malaks & Mullahs of Utman Zai, North Waziristan on issue of Spin Wam Target killing & ongoing atrocities by Pakistan army and Security Forces

Locals in North Waziristan protesting against killing of innocent civilians in Spin Wam by Pakistan Army and Security forces, where a soldier from Pakistan Army Unit 30Ak was shot dead & another was injured by hands of locals with gun of the soldier

Locals protesting against targeted killing of 2 civilians in Spin Wam by Pakistan Army

In his speech the locals said, “If it is terrorism to love my country, I am a terrorist,” a ministerial message to the Pakistani DG ISPR at the funeral of two martyred brothers in Spin Wam, North Waziristan

Yeh jo dehshat gardi hai, uske peeche vardi hai (Uniform is behind all Terrorism)

Yeh jo Gunda Gardi hai, Uske peeche vardi hai (Army is behind all hooliganism)

Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir Released on Bail

After the government lawyer’s allegations, when the judge asked if you had any solid evidence, the lawyer was unresponsive. Prosecution did not have any evidences to sustain the case. Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were released on bail.

It should be noted that the Kharqamar incident also Kharkamar or Khar Qamar massacre took place on May 26, 2019 during a peaceful non-violent, gandhinian protest march when Pakistan Army soldiers opened fire on the peaceful protesters and activists of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), who were protesting the targeted killings and enforced disappearances by Pakistan Army. In the firing on the unarmed civilians, 25 gathering near Kharqamar check post in the Datta Khel Subdivision of North Waziristan, Pakistan. As the military forces allegedly shot into the PTM protest gathering, more than 14 PTM supporters were killed and over 50 were injured.

Celebrations erupted in North Waziristan on the news of release of Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, the 2 elected MNA Politicians who were put in Jail under Fake Charges by Pakistan Army. However Pakistan Army had blocked the Internet in the region shortly before their release.

PTM workers distributing sweets after the news of release of 2 elected PTM MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir on bail
PTM workers distributing sweets after the news of release of 2 elected PTM MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir on bail

One person told, “Today we saw huge celebration, and everyone was so happy for Ali and Mohsin. Everyone was so happy like they have found their lost parents. I have never seen such love and respect for leaders in our society like these heroes have taught us.”

However there is anger also making the rounds. Under the new Ordinance, any one, including the newly released MNAs or any PTM leaders can be arrested by Pakistan Army without being answerable to any court of law.

People are questioning, if the MNAs are released to calm the public anger that arose after the Spin Wam murder of 2 civilians. If the MNAs will now again be arrested under the new Ordinance that had Martial Law imposed and even the High Court will not be able to grant Bail to the PTM MNA politicians.

It means that Writ Jurisdiction of Peshawar High Court has been ousted through a subordinate legislation issued by the Governor as an Ordinance. On one side Peshawar High Court (PHC) jurisdiction was extended to FATA through merger, On the other side Peshawar High Court (PHC) jurisdiction has been ousted from the entire Province. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is under military rule for real now.

But now the entire province has been turned into FATA by extending the draconian regulation of  so called ‘Actions in aid of civil power’ to the whole province. Welcome to the greater FATA!

One person said, “Legal Martial Law is imposed in KP by extending Actions in Aid of Civil Power to entire Pakhtunkhwa. They have made the whole nation fool with fake Change & fake Riyasat-e-Madina”

Locals in Waziristan Wana protested against abduction of Dr. Noor Khanan by Pakistan Army

Local in Waziristan Wana come out on roads protesting against Abduction of Dr. Noor Khanan & demanding protection to Doctors & civilians. All doctors in Wana are on strile & not going duties after this incident.

Angry Locals in Waziristan Wana protesting against abduction of Dr. Noor Khanan by Pakistan Army

DR Noor Khanan was abducted by unknown Gunmen (Pakistan Army) from Civil Hospital Wana. No one knows about his whereabouts.

D I Khan Police arrested another staunch Member of PTM Mustafa Pashteen for highlighting atrocities of security forces in Waziristan where illegal curfew is imposed for past 12 days & people can’t get food, drinks & other daily requirements for living

Pakistan Imposed Martial Law: PTM Mustafa Pashteen arrested for highlighting atrocities of security forces in Waziristan
Pakistan Imposed Martial Law: PTM Mustafa Pashteen arrested for highlighting atrocities of security forces in Waziristan

In Early September 2019, PTM Peaceful Activist Nazim Tahir Norzai is been arrested by police in Chaman

Pakistan imposed Martial Law: PTM Activist Nazim Tahir Norzai Arrested
Pakistan imposed Martial Law: PTM Activist Nazim Tahir Norzai Arrested

There are protests taking place at Geneva. We covered it in details in our previous article Protests At UN Human Rights Conference, Geneva By Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhis, POK, Gilgitis

Protests at Geneva against Pakistan Army for committing the Genocide of Pashtun People
Protests at Geneva against Pakistan Army for committing the Genocide of Pashtun People

As per sources, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is sitting on a time bomb that can explode anytime. As per him the outburst will erupt anytime in the form of hate and anger and prevail all over the Pashtun Belt. Presently Pashtuns under Manzoor Pashteen, who is regarded as the Modern Day Gandhi are carrying on peaceful, non-violent Gandhinian protests and demanding the rule of Law and supremacy of the Constitution of Pakistan and implementation of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution and also clearing of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of the land mines and stop targeted killings of Pashtuns.

However this draconian law is liable to cause a spark in the powder of pride of Pashtun people and may lead to a bigger problem for Pakistan than they are facing in Balochistan. If any PTM leaders are impacted, there won’t be anyone to control the large anger that is brewing. There are many voices that are talking about invalidity of the Durand Line and merger of Pashtun region with Afghanistan.

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