Expert Voices

Pashtun protests reflect Pakistan's tensions with U.S., Afghanistan

Demonstrators of Pashtun Protection Movement gather at a public rally in Peshawar on April 8, 2018.
Why the Pashtun Long March matters for U.S.–Pakistan relations62 characters

In a protest led by the Pashtun Tahafuz (Protection) Movement, thousands gathered in Peshawar, Pakistan, last Sunday to demand the release of missing persons and basic human rights for Pakistan’s Pashtun ethnic minority. The protest is part of the Pashtun Long March, a domestic non-violent movement, which began in January 2018 after the extrajudicial killing of a Pashtun falsely accused of terrorism.

Why it matters: Pakistan's partnership with the U.S. in fighting terrorism has incurred severe domestic costs, especially for Pakistani Pashtuns, straining its already-fraught relationships with both Pashtun-majority Afghanistan and the U.S.