Pashtun Intelligentsia

ThinkingEvery human mind is capable of thinking. On the pattern of thought process, we can divide the human beings into three categories. First, some people know that they are thinking, but unable to channelize their thought processes. Second, most of the people are not even aware that they are thinking. Third, very few of them know that they are thinking as well as try to channelize their thoughts. The most interesting thing about thinking is that we cannot stop it. Therefore, different kinds of thoughts come into our minds. Some thoughts are so much embarrassing that we even try to hide it from ourselves let alone the society. Whence human realizes about his weaknesses, but it is not something to be ashamed of; because when we embrace it, then we would be able to transform it into strength or at least it would be diminished.

The intellectuals fall into the third category. They are trying utmost to channelize their thoughts. They are ahead of their peers due to their imaginations. Therefore, they face resistance from their contemporaries. However, when a thought is processed and reprocessed, then it turned into a belief (ideology). Ultimately it will manifest itself into an action or actions without caring for the consequences.

The Pashtun intelligentsia is developing for the first time with an unprecedented pace. They are now playing their role in formulation of public opinion. They are united on the issue of Pashtuns rights. They want to have equal say in the affairs of the state pertaining to the domestic, foreign and overall security issues. They are also vying to get their due right on their resources. They want to educate their coming generations in their mother tongue. However, they are divided on the core issue of achieving these objectives. One school of thought advocates, taking divorce from the parliamentary politics and start educating our nation so that they are able to get their fundamental rights. They are giving the example of Dr.Said Alam Mehsud in support of their argument. Moreover, some people from the same group argue that we should start agitation. There is no other way for Pashtuns. I’m naming them ‘sons of Liberty’ (Azad Zalmi) for my convenience. They have a firm belief that the existing political leadership is incapable of leading Pashtuns. Furthermore, the leadership cannot get the rights of Pashtun through any kind of voting system in Pakistan.

It is countered by the ‘other group’, which I name for my own convenience as ‘partisans’ (Forum Zalmi). They argue that Azad Zalmi are emotional; therefore they sometimes start talking about the independence of Pashtuns. They forget about the simple fact that the one division of subcontinent has caused us unending miseries, yet they are demanding another partition. The independent Pashtun land will be a landlocked country with hostile coastline neighbor state. Moreover, they are in a hurry, but changes don’t come over night. It takes time. It doesn’t imply that we should become complacent. However, we should not divert the nation from its path of parliamentary politics. The idea that we should educate our youth without parliamentary politics is absurd. Dr. Said Alam Mehsud who is the founder of the apolitical organization PUT (Pashtunkhwa Ulusi Tehreek) is sometimes quoted as an astounding organization, which is fighting for the rights of Pashtuns. Indeed his work on CPEC is commendable. But the issue came to the national and international front through the parliamentary leaders. Furthermore, Dr. Syed Alam Mehsud himself has been the product of these parliamentary parties. Therefore, it is the sole way ahead that we continue our struggle through political forums.

Forum Zalmi on the contrary advocate to be the part of the system and to change it from within. They believe in the existing leadership of Pashtuns. They are either the active members of PkMAP, ANP etc or just social media celebrities. They are now optimistic about the future of Pashtuns after the promulgation of 18th amendment, and they have high hopes in the continuity of democratic setup.

Azad Zalmi are pretty much straightforward in their response. They say that it has been more than 70 years of struggle and yet we have achieved so far ‘a name’ and to an extent provincial autonomy on papers. Therefore, for resources we have to wait for another 70 years and for language another 70 and it is also a possibility that it might not happen at all. Furthermore, they say that they are confused. They are confused whether we want a secular state or theocratic one (without Mullah as its head). They have to appease their voters, which also includes the regressive elements. But if the Forum Zalmi left the parliamentary politics then they would be able to present a unified stance rather than attaching itself to the appeasement politics.

The brutal killing of Mashal Khan and Abdul Ghafoor Firouz for alleged apostasy has sparked the whole debate again. The Azad Zalmi is giving these unfortunate incidents as a testament for their arguments. I cannot doubt their devotion to our nation. Both want to see Pashtuns to be progressive and on the path of development. But as I have mentioned earlier that all human minds are capable of thinking, therefore both groups are presenting arguments and counter-arguments.

It is a common phenomenon that mind is most of the times ahead of the times. We think of future possibilities through analyzing the existing physical world and also using the power of imagination. Therefore, I am also entitled to add my thoughts as well.

Azad Zalmi have cogently argued about the appeasement policies of the mainstream parties. They sometimes seem dithering to present clear and vivid stance. The conservative lot is acquiesced for the sole purpose of electoral victory. The Mashal case is a clear example of it. Similarly, the secular or the theocratic state is also an issue on which the forum Zalmi have diverging and even extreme opinions. Consequently, it creates confusion in the party cadres and workers alike. Henceforth, it should be addressed through enunciating clear cut policy framework by the mainstream political parties.

Moreover, Azad Zalmi have to work out a plan of action for what they believe is right course for action. Mere criticism will not be of use to the cause of Pashtuns. They have to come out of cyber world and do something concrete on ground, so that they become model for the Forum Zalmi.

By Noman Wazir

The writer is a socio-political analyst from FATA. He can be reached at


  1. During the last 70 years after the creation of Pakistan, Pashtuns need to analyse what they achieved as a community within Pakistan? What was their position and status before the partition and what is their present status?
    What chances are there now that their status will change dramatically in the next decade or two? Who benefitted in Paksitan and who lost?
    Pashtun tribals are mainly used by the Pak establishment to fuel unrest and terrorism in Kashmir in the name of islam and with the help of these Pashtun tribals , could capture a part of Kashmir.
    Subsequently, they were used in Afghan war against Russians again in the name of islam. Now the same game of using these tribals as a fodder in the war with international forces and afghan forces in the taliban groups again in the name of islam. Never, Pashtuns were allowed to get modern education. Never they were part of growth of Pakistan. Never they were part of Power and will never be.
    Pashtuns need to evaluate whether they joined Pakistan for this to achieve in 70 years?
    Once the CPEC takes a final shape , that is going to be the final nail in the coffin for Pashtuns and Baluchis as they will be replaced by Punjabis and Chinese. They will be a migrants in their own country and will face severe genocide. The proof is what they are experiencing now.
    There are many land locked countries in the world, who follow modern education, secular approach , protecting own culture and language progressing very well and providing excellent living standards to their citizens. Just compare Bangladesh and Pakistan. Bangladesh became independant 25 years later to Pakistan. It came out of the genocide done by Pak forces and now its economy is double the size of Pakistan. It has more respect than Pakistan in the international area.
    Pakistan is a fake state and has no future. It is bound to dismantle and ultimately only Punjab will remain as Pakistan. It is for the others to choose their timing and choose their future.

  2. Reza Khan Yousufzai

    The Punjabi fascist has only used their dirty Napakistani army to butcher Pashtun for the last 70 years.Pashtun can survive and thrive in a greater Loy Afghanistan .They dont need a Napakistan. Its by tme they stop being slaves and have dependency syndrome on Punjabi Dirty Raj and stand on their own feet. They have achieved absolutely nothing .Both ANP and Pmap are massive failures and are only serving Punjabi Raj and furthering the Punjabi Fascist project of Napakistan. and Millions of them dies.They can rather die fighting for their freedom than dying for nothing and for the Apartheid state of Punjabi Terrorist.All their problems is because of this fake Punjabi occupation of their land.They deserve better and they can defeat this scurge of Punjab and stop pretending they are free and Napakistan is theirs.

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