Experience is like a comb one gets it when there is no hair left on the head. The experiment is a good teacher but the tuition fee is too high. The wiser will learn from others or his own past experiences but the stupid will experiment again and again. To put it, in other words, the silly will bang his head against the stone and the wiser will save his head from a stone. The key is wisdom which doesn’t need formal education but informal education is a must. In the recent history, Khudai Khidmatgar movement was the great example of awareness without formal education. Excluding that period we are the lurch to find our lost self and liberty. It is beside the point that we failed to have the fruit of this great movement. And then the creation of Pakistan snapped its continuity. The following struggle was of compromises for survival if I am right in the understanding of Bacha Khan and Wali Khan and other great people in the movement.
Recently few great incident took place, unfortunately, our reaction was lukewarm resulted in very poor impression on both sides of the Durand Line. I don’t see any valid reason for our attitude. If it was due to prevailing circumstances, our situation is not worse than MQM unless we have decided to take every punch lying down. Nothing can be more damning than, that Bacha Khan and Wali Khan universities, the Raddul Fassad victims and lately attack cultural show in the Punjab University by thugs led by J.I.
Zerbe Azab started for the country but only one clause was implemented to raze Waziristan to the ground. Raddul Fassad was started to implement NAP in totality but instead of taking action against banned organisation the sword fell on the neck of the Pashtun/Afghan labourers, traders and students, on the orders of provincial Chief Executive of the Punjab, an allied ally of the terrorist. The border was shut by the orders of Gen. Bajwa, who bothered least that he is stepping out of his jurisdiction. Transit opening is to save the sick industry which has lost all other markets to India and in the mayhem to export ammunition to its clients as Sadia Waziri put it.
In 70 years, Pakistan has hardly installed any industry of the size of the Nowshera Nishat Textile Mill. KPK and Quetta are surviving on the trade through the porous border. It was there in Moghul Empire, Ranjeet Singh days and British Empire. Though disputed but has remained dormant till Pakistan army in the name of border mechanism started fiddling with it. In fact, it was the arm twisting of beleaguered Afghanistan to accept Durand Line, where they failed with Hizb and Taliban how come they expect Ghani/ Karzai to do so.
Why they don’t come out with Sardar Nishtar and Sardar Hashim Pact. That could be the basis of negotiated settlement which was torpedoed by Khaliquz-Zaman and Liaquat Ali. Above all, any temporary or permanent change related to Durand Line has to be approved by Afghan Grand Assembly having the representation of all tribes from both sides of Durand.
Pakistan has stabbed us deep into our soul. The economic and cultural strangulation has disrupted the basic social fabric of our society. Our strangulation has cut deeper in our national body. Apart from economic suffocation, it has destroyed our basic fabric of our society, the Pakhtunwali.
According to Pakistani press, 45-48% of our population has been forcefully made internally or externally displaced refugees to leave their motherland for the sake of bread and butter for their children. When I was a medical student between 63- 69 in Karachi, I was told by Rashid Ali Dehqan, director of Radio Pakistan at that time, that at the time of partition there were 40,000 Pashtun in Karachi and in the 60s the figure was half a million and it has swollen to roughly 3.2 million.
Pashtun is the only nation having their biggest city outside their motherland, leaving behind millions of political widows and orphans. The old have been robbed of their walking sticking. We are a nation of widows, orphans, disabled and 3.5 million have been consumed by the US war, followed by Punjab’s army strong-arming, the bully of South West Asia. This compulsive migration has deserted our Hujra and mosques, the two pillars of our culture coupled with the religion were destroyed by the Neo- Islamic colonialists. Those children left behind will be the next generation of shoe shiners in Lahore and Karachi or the Taliban hired by the factories owners in the Punjab. This vicious cycle will keep on repeating till we take the mastery of our land. It looks as we have abandoned the claim and have opted for political gains as put by Sadia Waziri.
Pakistan has engaged us on many fronts there is none to be dropped. Attacking our national honour, stripping us of our identity, CPEC or any other developments, Western Route, border mechanism, humiliating Pashtun/ Afghans in Punjab and using our land for its strategic gains. Roughly 72 leaders and 3,000 nationalist workers have been martyred and the game of target killing is still on. Totally about 3.2 million have butchered in 42 years. Is there any chance for peace in our land? No, unless Pakistan is made irrelevant in the peace process. Even a strong action by the US can bog down the military establishment, the biggest hurdle in peace. If Pakistan claims legal inheritance it may be logical in the case of land and resources but I am yet to hear about genes inheritance.
We are standing on the border of life and death, nationally. A Loya Jirga ( Grand assembly} representing all tribes and different schools of thought should be invited with representatives of China, Russia, the USA and united Kingdom, to present our case.
Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
THE PASHTUN TIMES