Aglimmer of hope has emerged in the past few days on the political spectrum of the country. After successful Jirga between leaders of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) and the provincial Jirga where it was decided that the movement would not raise anti-army slogans. The recent decision of Peshawar High Court (PHC), setting aside the order of the administration that barred entry of Mohsin Dawar, a PTM leader, is a guarantee of protection of rights of people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that has been integrated into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

The decision of the district administration to bar Mohsin Dawar’s entry into North Waziristan was a wrong one. The court set it aside for it is wrong to bar the citizen of Pakistan from going back to his hometown. The decision of the court will give the people and especially PTM a hope that there is an institution of the state that is willing to give an ear to their concerns and grievances.

PTM that emerged on the political landscape of the country is a conglomeration of people who think their rights have been violated in the military operations that Pakistan carried out in the tribal region. It is understandable that violations do take place whenever a military operation is conducted, however, it is also the duty of the state to take care of minimising such violations. Nevertheless, the state failed in reducing the risks of such abuses. It is also true that the people of the tribal belt were looked down upon as potential terrorists. They faced mistreatment and humiliation in the hands of law security institutions just by the fact that their identity cards mention their permanent address as any agency of the recently integrated FATA.

Keeping the recent positive developments in mind, one can assume that the government has realised that the concerns and demands of the movement are not only genuine but these demands also need to be addressed on urgent basis. It is essential for the integrity of the state to treat people with respect and give them their due rights. If the government fails to meet the demands of the movement, the state political stability will be in jeopardy.

What the state needs to understand is that barring an individual from entering a town or area cannot guarantee its stability. A state can only remain strong, politically, if it is committed to protecting the rights of the people. And the decision of the PHC is nothing but an affirmation of the argument that a state can only remain state if it can protect its people.