Sunaid Dawar, a student of seventh semester from the Univeristy of Lahore and a vocal student activist, has been martyred along three other Pashtoon students in Haiderkhel, North Waziristan. Dawar was the ex-chairman of Pashtoon Council UOL and has just returned to his hometown with three of his friends – Asad, Waqar and Hemmad – when he got killed by unknown assailants.
The ghastly murder of Sunaid has shook students and activists around the country, alike. He was a notable voice of resistance among Pashtoon students and has been working closely with the National Democratic Movement for the revival of peace in the terror-stricken areas of Ex-Fata and Waziristan. He has been an active youth leader working tirelessly with other student leaders for the peace, stability and development of his region. He stood up to every force of oppression curbing the right to education of students from the peripheries. “His legacy of resistance in the face of repressive apparatuses of the state cannot – and will not- be forgotten,” say his fellow comrades.
Condolences have been pouring in from everywhere with political figures and civil society condemning the brutal murder. Progressive Students Collective has expressed anger and grief over the unfortunate incident. Spokesperson PSC, Muqqadas Afzal, while talking to The Students Herald, exclaimed, ‘‘This is outrageous! The state with its insatiable hunger for more ammunitions has failed, yet again, to provide security to its own citizens. The monsters they have fed into for years have come to haunt us again. This is an attack against Pashtoons, against students, and against education.” She has also said that Progressive Students Collective will be arranging a protest on Liberty Roundabout on June 20th at 5pm to condemn the horrendous murder of their fellow comrade.
Member National Assembly and founder of National Democratic Movement, Mohsin Dawar took to twitter to express his sorrow over Sunaid’s murder. “The state continues to engage with terrorists at the cost of the lives of its citizens… Sunaid was a voice of peace among terrorism.” He has called for a nation wide protest tomorrow through NDM’s platform requesting all political parties and civil society activists to join in. Ammar Ali Jaan and Muzamil Kakar of Haqooq e Khalq Movement have also denounced the killing of Student Activists in Waziristan, with Ammar terming it as ‘horrible news’, while cursing those who ‘pushed our country towards terrorism and militarization.’
The incident is yet another string in the long chain of targeted attacks on Pashtoon activists and students. With the resurrection of Taliban across the border from Waziristan, which has been shamelessly rejoiced by our state, life has become miserable for many in the region. Youth activists like Sunaid have been the beacons of light against extremism, standing up to the obscurantist and militant agendas of the proxy fighters. The state and its agencies, on the other hand, have been playing double games for years – building and funding the terrorists while discarding some and embracing others. Their cat and mouse chases have put the lives of millions at risk. The recent budget has seen yet another spike in defense expenditure at the cost of public health and education. The civilians wonder as to whom the state is providing security, indeed? Because certainly, it’s not them.