Whether or not the non-violent and peaceful movement launched by the people of Pashtun tribes about a year ago shares the perspective of the country’s leadership, it still matters. Here, it is important to bear in mind the role of state institutions in projecting some individuals and groups as heroes and others in negative light. Let me explain with reference to the example of Dr. Abdus Salam. He has never truly been recognised in the country for his services to natural sciences, though the world over he is held in high esteem. Look at the case of far-right cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi. He was made a hero of sorts during the Faizabad dharna. Where is he now? PTM comprises a large segment of the Pashtun youths who were born and came of age during the US-led and Pakistan backed war against terrorism. These youngsters have suffered physical and psychological injuries and they require attention of the government. However,the government and the mainstream media remains in deep silence over the matter. The main demand of the PTM is the end to extrajudicial killings and abductions. Early last year in January, we witnessed the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a young aspiring Pashtun model, in a fake police encounter in Karachi. Then there was the recent abduction and brutal murder of Tahir Dawar, a police officer from Waziristan. And now, the violent killing of PTM central leader Ibrahim Arman Luni, has further enraged Pashtun youth affiliated with the movement. Neither the government nor the mainstream media has acknowledged the latest tragedy, and expressed any sympathy with those left aggrieved. This is a most shameful situation given we have “free press” and “democracy” in the country. Whether or not the non-violent and peaceful movement launched by the people of Pashtun tribes about a year ago shares the perspective of the country’s leadership, it still matters Pakistani constitution guarantees the right to protest and the right to assembly. In several conferences and meetings, PTM leaders have instructed the participants to always remain peaceful. In this situation, there is a widespread perception among the Pashtun youth that violence from security and law enforcement officials is deliberate and is intended to provoke violent responses. In principle, the government should have welcomed and encouraged Pashtun youth leadership from underdeveloped areas, instead of preventing their movement. The government should meet all legitimate demands of PTM.The following points should be dealt with on an emergency basis: Educated and peaceful Pashtun: Mentally sick and war-torn Pashtun communities require utmost attention. The first priority must be education. The literacy rate in erstwhile FATA is very low, especially for females. Federal and KP governments should set up schools, colleges and universities in the region. PTM and security personnel: The government representatives must engage PTM leaders about their grievances against security personnel deployed in the region. The author is a freelance contributor Published in Daily Times, February 6th 2019.