Afghanistan

Pashtun profiling

Feb 27, 2017
By Afrasiab Khattak-It is official now. The Punjab police has issued written instructions to its personnel to keep an eye on people with Pashtun/Afghan dresses and food habits as terror suspects. Police officials of Mandi Bahaudin were not shy of widely circulating written instructions for profiling of Pashtuns/Afghans with interesting details in this regard. According to credible press reports Punjab police is keeping thousands of FATA Pashtuns under surveillance and is considering the issuance of special NIC equipped with security chip in Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal and Jehlum. Not that it’s new. This has been a policy implemented by the Punjab government during the last so many years. Deputy Commissioners of Attock, Bhakkar, Chakwal and some other districts of Punjab adjacent to Pakhtunkhwa had been issuing directions to the local population for not renting out or selling properties to Pashtuns hailing from FATA or Pakhtunkhwa.
 
Every wave of Punjab police action against “terrorists” would practically mean incarceration of large numbers of Pashtuns/Afghans. Initially the Afghan refugees bore the brunt of this policy of racial discrimination. But the IDPs from Malakand division and FATA also faced similar treatment when they were forced to leave their homes during military operations in their areas. Even their Pakistani Identity Cards wouldn’t help them as Punjab police and Federal Investigation Agency would block these cards after their arrests. Pashtun political leaders and parliamentarians have raised these issues on every level but the arrogant Punjabi bureaucracy has refused to budge. Ironically, the Punjabi political elite and their so called mainstream media that clamours a lot about the unjustness and unfairness of Muslim profiling in US fails to see the brazen racial discrimination against Pashtuns under their nose. The irony is further deepened by the fact that Afghan Taliban along with several other proscribed organisations feel quite safe.
 
Read more at: http://afghanistantimes.af/pashtun-profiling/
 
Afghanistan Times, February 26, 2017

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