Pakistan’s Ali Wazir, the lone Marxist to win despite Taliban killing 16 of his family

Refused a seat from Imran Khan, a rare Communist terror survivor wins

Islamabad.

Ali Wazir, a central committee member of The Struggle, has won a seat in the national parliament of Pakistan from NA-50 (Tribal Area–XI) with 23,530 votesand his closest rival from a religious parties alliance, MMA got 7,515. Thus winning the seat with a majority of 16,015.

Ali Wazir is one of the main leaders of the Pashtun Tahafaz Movement (PTM). This year, mass meetings were organised in major cities of Pakistan to raise voices for fair compensation to the victims of the “war on terror” and to demand the release of all ‘missing’ persons or to bring them to the courts if they are guilty.

Two other leaders of the PTM also contested for the national parliament and one of them, Muhsin Dawer also won the seat after a close competition. Mohsin Javed Dawer got 16,526 votes while Aurangzeb of Imran Khan’s PTI got 10,422. However, the MMA candidate Mufti Misbahudin got a close 15,363 votes.

These two PTM leaders contested from Waziristan, an area dominated by religious fanatics. However, a strong movement for civil rights of Pashtuns had cut across the influence of the fanatics and Pashtuns voted despite all the threats to them.

Two main leaders of the PTM present in parliament has given hope to many in Pakistan that at least there would be peoples voices in a parliament dominated by feudal lords, corrupt capitalists and stooges of the military and judicial establishment.

Who is Ali Wazir?

Ali Wazir is a very special person. His personal ordeal best illustrates what prompted his demands. Ali Wazir was pursuing a degree in law at the turn of the century when his hometown, Wana, the headquarters of the south Waziristan agency, became the epicenter of global terrorism after a host of Taliban-allied groups sought shelter in the communities.

No doubt the terrorists had some individual local facilitators, but ultimately it was the state that failed to prevent them from using the territory. When his father, the chief of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe, and other local leaders complained of their presence, government officials ignored and silenced them. Instead, Islamabad spent years denying the presence of any Afghan, Arab, or Central Asian militants.

By 2003, the militants had established a foothold in south and north Waziristan tribal agencies and were attempting to build a local emirate. Ali Wazir’s elder brother Farooq Wazir, a local political activist and youth leader, became the first victim of a long campaign in which thousands of Pashtun tribal leaders, activists, politicians, and clerics were killed with near absolute impunity. Their only crime was to question or oppose the presence of dangerous terrorists in their homeland.

In 2005, Ali Wazir was in prison when his father, brothers, cousins, and an uncle were killed in a single ambush. He was behind the bars because of the draconian colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) law, that holds an entire tribe or region responsible for the crimes of an individual for any alleged crime committed in the territory.

Ali Wazir had committed no crime, never got a fair trial, and was not sentenced, yet he was prevented even from participating in the funerals for his family. In the subsequent years, six more members of his extended family were assassinated. The authorities have not even investigated these crimes let alone held anyone responsible.

Ali Wazir and his family faced economic ruin after all of the notable men in his family were eliminated. The government failed to prevent the militants from demolishing his family owned gas stations. They later used those bricks to build bathrooms, claiming they were munafiqin (hypocrites) so even the inanimate materials from his businesses were not appropriate to build proper buildings.

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