Pakistani members of the Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) and student activists gather before the start of demonstration in Lahore on April 22, 2018. / AFP / ARIF ALI
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Thousands of Pashtuns defied authorities and held a mass rally in the Pakistani city of Lahore Sunday, chanting anti-military slogans just hours after security forces cracked down on their leaders.The rapidly growing Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) has rattled Pakistan's powerful military since it burst onto the scene three months ago with a nationwide campaign against alleged abuses against ethnic Pashtuns by security forces.The Pashtuns are a fiercely independent ethnic group that straddle both sides of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.PTM supporters from across the country had flocked to Lahore in recent days ahead of the rally.Pakistan's military has accused the PTM of colluding with arch-rival India and overseeing a campaign to destabilise the country.
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