Trampling all odds, Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement(PTM) is consistently proving its resilience, relevance and ingenuity despite facing relentless onslaught, hurdles and threats. The PTM’s public gathering in Bannu on October 28, 2018 was an unprecedented feat accomplished by its young leaders and workers. The rally was one of the largest and hugely attended events in the history of Bannu. But the real strength of the movement is the self-motivation not only of its workers and volunteers, but also its participants. In the face of threats and intimidation by the state as well as non-state actors they ensure their contribution and participation in all events which belie the blame that the movement is engineered. An engineered group or movement cannot sustain its vigour or appeal for a long time if not owned and supported by the people. Analysing its emergence and activities stretching merely over nine months, one can draw the inference that the movement, is not the outcome of demagogical tricks or exogenous elements but is the child of the time, owing its birth to the sufferings and miseries of incumbents and followers.Apart from a huge turnout, the striking feature of the Bannu rally was the attendance of the 70-year-old mother of Ali Wazir, a PTM leader and an elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from South Waziristan. While addressing the rally she shared her grief and pain with the transfixed gathering of thousands. Ali Wazir’s mother had lost of more than 13 close relatives, including her husband and sons in the imposed militancy and ensuing war on terror. Her family has suffered the most in the war on terror yet her composure, courage and confidence are unparalleled and a source of strength for the family. Such an event would be a feast for any free media but ironically, the rally, as usual, was totally blacked out by the Pakistani media. This indicates that after the installation of the new government in August 2018, the situation of media censorship and muzzling further deteriorated as the elected government is merely toeing the line of its benefactors.Prior to the general election of July, 2018, the PTI chief and present prime minister admitted that PTM’s demands were genuine and not out of the constitutional ambit and promised to convey them to the COAS for resolution. Moreover, he also offered not to field PTI candidates against Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar. After coming into power his government not only turned a blind eye to the demands of PTM but has also shown highhandedness against PTM workers and supporters. This approach has created doubts regarding the legitimacy of Mr Imran Khan’s mandate and commitment to democratic values and civil rights enshrined in the constitution. The post-election public rallies in Swabi and Bannu established that the PTM is not waning and, in fact, stands further revitalised. It is now established that the movement has the capacity to hold rallies and public meetingsThe bubble created by the media propaganda of the last four years in favour of the so-called ‘change’ busted, in the first two months of the installation of the new government. The disillusionment might further swell frustration, in those who knew as well as those who did not know, what was going on. However, the frustration of those who were chasing the mirage of change is more dangerous than those who knew about the plot earlier.Moreover, by losing its credibility in the eyes of the people, the media, not as a source of information but instrument of propaganda, steadily loses its edge to paint black as white and white as black. The PTI leadership and the controlled media had taken people’s expectations sky high. But the prevailing political and economic situation is now haunting both of them. If they cannot meet those expectations, the ensuing impact of disappointment and frustration may give more currency to the PTM slogans. Those who were blinded by the propaganda to chase the mirage of Tabdeeli relentlessly may turn to PTM with renewed zeal.Naturally, it might further swell the ranks of PTM and provide more acceptability and recognition among those who were hitherto sceptical about the movement. The post-election public rallies of August 12, in Swabi and Bannu on October 28, established that the PTM is not waning and, in fact, stands further revitalised. It is now established that the movement has the capacity to hold rallies and public meetings, particularly in any district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and the Pakhtun belt of Balochistan. The Bannu wave might strike again in Chaman in the south and Swat, Shangla in the Northwest.On the other hand, it seems frustration is also increasing in the PTM’s rank and file due to the hostile and non-responsive attitude of the state institutions. This may push the movement to expand its charter of demands with specific emphasis on gross human rights violations and a constitution of ‘Truth and Accountability Commission’ to pursue it more aggressively.The truth and accountability commission will provide an opportunity to the state and its institutions to clarify its position on the emergence of militancy, war on terror, ensuing exercise of force, its level and quantum, its legality, method and purpose.Since the first dharna in Islamabad, leading to the emergence of the PTM, I continuously advised through this publication, that instead of using spurious tools to counter and torpedo the movement, relevant quarters should resolve the issues according to the ground realities. People are fed up of the myopic policies and the security state paradigm which have only brought death and destruction. Instead of defending and continuing it through highhandedness, it must be changed before it is too late. If it is not already!The writer is a political analyst hailing from Swat. Tweets @MirSwatPublished in Daily Times, November 2nd 2018.