Takshashila Strategic Assessment: Impact of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement on Pakistan’s Political Landscape

By Dr. Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta

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The Pasthun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a powerful civil and human rights movement, has rattled Pakistan’s political and military establishment by drawing huge crowds. The merger of the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) can be seen as a major success for the Movement. The Army had opposed the merger for decades as it was keen to retain control over FATA. The sudden shift in the government’s position to implement the merger to do so can be attributed in part to pressure of the PTM. With the country due to vote in National and Provincial Assembly elections soon, political parties and the Army are crafting their strategies keeping the PTM in mind. If the movement survives, it could revive dormant nationalist movements in Pakistan, perhaps even provide a shot-in-the-arm to Pashtun irredentism in the region. The possibility of the PTM spurring similar movements in Pakistan’s neighbourhood, Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Sistan-Baluchistan in Iran and Afghanistan cannot be ruled out.


Download the Assessment in PDF [1 MB]

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