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Jan 7, 2023-2023


Pashtuns Rally for Peace



Pashtuns and Pakistani residents of the border with Afghanistan


Pakistani government and Taliban


Government should not encourage violence.


Issue and Opponent: Since 2007, the Pakistani government has been fighting against the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, especially relying on its military to counter the resurgent force. Following Islamabad’s secret negotiations in 2021 with the hard-line insurgents, many TTP fighters who had sought refuge in neighboring Afghanistan for years returned to the region. Mediation by the Afghan Taliban, which seized Kabul in August 2021 and was considered an ally of Islamabad, failed. Despite its close personal and ideological ties to the TTP, the Afghan Taliban failed to convince them to renounce violence. Thus, the past year saw a dramatic rise in attacks on security forces, kidnappings, assassinations, and extortion in places like Wana, a remote town near Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan. A region that has been falsely accused of allying with terrorists due to its geographical position on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. On January 5, the military’s media wing reported the killing of 11 militants including a key commander of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP) outfit in South Waziristan.
Dilemma Action: In Wana, on January 7 a weeklong demonstration began that ended on January 12. Sahib Khan, a political activist, and one of the organizers, described the protests as a “people’s uprising” to show authorities that they will never accept a return to the violence and lawlessness that engulfed the region when it was allowed to fall under the control of various Pakistani Taliban factions. Residents accuse the government of reopening the door to the TTP and embarking on a failed policy of engagement. These popular uprisings began in the northern alpine districts of Swat and Dir. The protest in Wana was joined by political workers, social activists, traders, and the youth. Holding white flags and placards, the participants chanted slogans in favor of peace and against the fresh wave of violence in the region. There was no evidence of the media taking the organizer’s side.
Outcomes: Similar protests have taken place across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, where Pashtuns make up a majority of the region’s estimated 35 million residents. According to the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, a think tank in Islamabad, some 419 people were killed and another 732 injured in more than 260 terrorist attacks carried out by the TTP in 2022, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. Discussions between civil and military leaders resulted in the government indicating it would soon undertake a military operation against the TTP.



Group or mass petitions




6 / 12

(EREP) Dilemma action got replicated by other movements

(MC) Media Coverage

(OR) Opponent response

(PS) Dilemma action built sympathy with the public

(PUN) Punishment favored the activists

(SA) Dilemma action appealed to a broad segment of the public


1 / 3

Activist group continued working together after the action


Project documentation

Dilemma Actions Coding Guidebook

Case study documentation


CC BY 4.0 Deed, Attribution 4.0 International


Siddique, Abubakar. 2023. “Pashtuns Rally For Peace In The Face Of A Renewed Offensive Against The Pakistani Taliban.” Radio Free Europe, January 14. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.rferl.org/a/32223479.html

Siddique, Abubakar. 2019. “The Pashtuns’ Year of Living Dangerously.” The American Interest, March 8. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/03/08/the-pashtuns-year-of-living-dangerously/

Anon. 2023. “Thousands take to the streets in Pakistan’s South Waziristan to demand peace.” Peoples Dispatch, January 11. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://peoplesdispatch.org/2023/01/11/thousands-take-to-the-streets-in-pakistans-south-waziristan-to-demand-peace/

Siddique, Abubakar. 2023. “Pashtuns rally for peace in the face of a renewed offensive against the Pakistani Taliban.” Newsgram, January 15. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.newsgram.com/world/2023/01/15/pashtuns-rally-for-peace-in-the-face-of-a-renewed-offensive-against-the-pakistani-taliban

Anon. 2023. “Thousands protest against rising terrorism in northwest Pakistan.” Business Standard, January 7. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/thousands-protest-against-rising-terrorism-in-northwest-pakistan-123010700485_1.html

PTI. 2023. “Pakistan: Thousands of tribesmen protest against rising terrorism in country’s northwest region.” India TV, January 7. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/world/pakistan-thousands-of-tribesmen-protest-against-rising-terrorism-in-country-s-northwest-region-2023-01-07-837383

Khan, S. 2023. “Will the US and Pakistan join forces against the Taliban?” DW, January 13. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.dw.com/en/will-the-us-and-pakistan-join-forces-against-the-taliban/a-64385435

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