ANP hopes for United Pashtun future

anp1ISLAMABAD: The multiparty conference held on Thursday to demand the swift merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa not only exposed the lack of coherence among stakeholders, but also saw some of the key players announcing their intention to block the mainstreaming of the tribal areas.

Organised by the Awami National Party (ANP) to discuss the early merger of Fata with KP and the replacement of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) with the laws of Pakistan, proceedings of the conference on the fate of tribal Pashtuns was conducted mostly in Urdu.


Although the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) have already openly discredited the idea for their own reasons, even those who expressed their support for the merger presented varied roadmaps that contradicted with each other’s plans.

Representatives of nearly all key political parties attended the multiparty conference, except for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Most of the speakers who supported the merger belonged to ideological left, but even a representative of the JUI-Sami called for a speedy merger of the tribal areas with KP and stressed the need to replace the FCR with Sharia courts.

Nearly all speakers, including Professor Ibrahim of the Jamaat-i-Islami, blamed the federal government for keeping Fata underdeveloped and its residents underprivileged.

From among leftist nationalist parties, PkMAP not only opposed the merger, but also the mainstreaming of Fata on the grounds that there was a need to preserve the culture and traditions of tribal Pashtuns.

Starting his address in Pashto, PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, chief of PkMAP later slipped into Urdu as he narrated his perspective on the modernisation of the tribal areas, which included an amalgam of the jirga and the current administrative system.

The other staunch opponent of the merger, Maulana Fazalur Rehman, even compared the case of Fata with Kashmir, and that of the Durand Line with the Line of Control (LoC) and said there was nothing unusual in Fata that was not happening in the rest of the country.

“We take things emotionally and leaders play with emotions. Mr Asfandyar, you have made the Fata issue controversial, just as you did in 2012,” the JUI-F leader said, adding: “We cannot change the status of Fata; even the Quaid-i- Azam maintained it.

“The only solution is to hold a referendum just like the one we seek in Kashmir, just like the referendum held in Scotland and UK over Brexit.”

He claimed his party had suffered significantly “at the hands of Islamabad” after initiating a dialogue with the Fata elders, adding that if the Durand Line was made controversial like the LoC, there would be continuous clashes between the Pashtuns and Muslims on both sides.

He said there were many British-era draconian laws in Pakistan and there were more underdeveloped areas in Balochistan than Fata and stressed the need to not take any hasty decisions.

The key refutation speech was made by the host, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan. He stated that history had been distorted by some speakers, and clarified that constitutionally Fata was a part of Pakistan, unlike Azad Kashmir.

“A committee was formed by the federal government in this regard and the only two parties opposing it are their coalition partners – either you stay with them or come with the opposition,” he said.

He said reforms and mainstreaming had nothing to do with tribe, race or traditions.

“We are talking about giving equal rights to one part of Pakistan, not making a confederation of Iran, India, Bangladesh with Pakistan, along the lines of the EU,” he added.

Like most of the speakers, he too lashed out at the establishment and criticised the government, saying that due to their malafide intentions, they will not implement the recent cabinet decision.

“But I have a faith that one day Fata will be part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the second phase, we will go for the merger of North Pakhtunkhwa with South Pakhtunkhwa, so this unity can face up to Punjab,” the ANP leader concluded, referring to Pashtun-majority northern Balochistan.

(Dawn+The Pashtun Times)



  1. The root cause to all the problems faced by the people in sub continent was the division of sub continent when British left Hindustan. British has planted this two nation theory knowing that a combined India will become a super power very soon throwing out Britain.
    Jinnah fell for the trap and forced the sub continent to break. Any sane person can understand that had sub continent not divided in 1947, there would not have been the problem of Kashmir, no problem of Baluchistan, No problem of Pashtunistan.
    Even if there are some issues, because of its size and resources, could have dealt with issues in a very effective way.
    Just any body can imagine, what would be a country which is a combine of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh today? It would be with 170 crore people (largest in the world) with the combined resources and strength will become envy to every other country and the most powerful in the world.
    Another aspect is – did that break up of Hindustan achieved its purpose? Clearly no. Just simple example is – muslims in India today have achieved great growth and are very much in better position when compared to muslims of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
    What would have been the position of muslims had the country been together? The total number of muslims would be 60 crores which will be a formidable strength and they would have shared the fruits of the combined strength.
    Division of sub continent was a blunder planned by the British and executed by force by Jinnah. Ultimate losers are the muslims in all these 3 countries.

  2. Reza Khan Yousufzai

    Pashtun are a separate ethnicity from Indics of Punjab or Indians. Pashtun are neighbours of Indics and have never been part of Indics. Punjab can go on its own and so too Sindh as Pashtun work for its liberation. Throwng this tired Indic distortion of history and telling Pashtun they should be part of “India “,which is not a nation neither an ethnicity. Pashtun are Iranic people , distinct from Indics.Our nearest cousins are Persian,Kurd and Baluch. Indics have a dirty old habit of lumping all they dont know as part of India. Pashtun are Afghans whether they are in Peshawar, Kabul , Kandahar or Quetta . Pashtun dont want to be part of a fake Pakistan nor does it desire to be part of a one nation theory of Indics . Pashtun are an independent race ,even though they are at the moment very divided and bruised.

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