April 22, 2024

Column | Youth and Resistance Politics by Sibghatullah Khan

As long as the blame-game, personal interests and heroism will be focused, the resistance movement will lack the revolutionary character.

Three years ago, Manzoor Pashteen was someone unknown to the people of Pakistan. In contemporary times, Pashteen has become a house-hold name in slums, villages and cities of Pakistan. The question which here arises is, that what are the reasons behind the rise of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement(PTM) and its charismatic leader, Manzoor Pashteen?

The most important point regarding the rise of Pashteen is that he was able to grasp the true genesis of resistance politics. In resistance politics, maligning each other doesn’t hold much relevance as the resistance politics is specifically crafted around revolutionary ideologies. Apart from ideology, the repressive policies of the state are the special impetus around which the resistance movement is formulated.

So, after the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a movement was launched against the illegitimate killings, enforced disappearances, land mines and ending the war in tribal areas. Pashteen and other’s demanded truth and reconciliation commission and the demands they presented were constitutional in its character.

The point here is that Pashteen doesn’t lash out on Awami National Party(ANP), Pakistan Peoples Party(PPP) or other political parties. His main concern was with the policies of the state and this was one of the most important reasons for his rise as he was speaking against the state policies instead of political parties. Had he lashed out against the parties, Pashteen and PTM may have become obsolete in the political spectrum of Pakistan.

The rise of Pashteen is because of his political agenda which is specifically crafted against the state policies and this agenda is pro-people in its character. In resistance politics, personalities and parties are not much concerned.

In 2016, the Kashmir Valley which has been caught in a vicious conflict for decades gave rise to youth leaders like Burhan Wani, Sabzar Ahmed Bhat, Riyaz Naikoo, Zakir Musa and countless other’s. Although the path of armed struggle which they choose is debatable, it is a reality that this young leadership galvanized the resistance movement in Kashmir. Here again, the youth was not much concerned regarding the political differences of various political organizations, instead, they focused on fighting against the tyranny and oppression which has been inflicted upon them by the occupational Indian security forces.

The Kashmir Valley has remained an epicentre of resistance politics and in contemporary times, there are several activists, artists and intellectuals who are associated with the resistance movement in one way or the other.

The dilemma of resistance politics in Pakistan Administrated Kashmir(PAK) is that it is crafted on self-projection and vested-interests of leaders and their followers. The fundamental question is not properly discussed by the youth leaders in PAK as they are wasting their energies in fighting against each other.

The youth activists in PAK must be aware of the reality that resistance politics requires ideology and agendas instead of self-projection and self-vested interests. The true genesis of the revolutionary movement is not discussed in an efficient way in PAK, because the pro-freedom camp is severely divided: some might say that they lack the capability to form or lead a resistance movement in this part of Kashmir.

As long as the blame-game, personal interests and heroism will be focused, the resistance movement will lack the revolutionary character. The political space for resistance movement in PAK is quite promising, but the youth will have to form a movement which will particularly be pro-people in its character. Besides this, the people affiliated with the resistance politics will have to grasp the true basis of resistance politics which is ideology-based instead of personality-based.


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