The Survival of Pashtun National Question

Hisbullah khanEvery national struggle has fundamental and strong relation with the national question. The question is how to fight for political and economical sovereignty and what role should be essential for national based social equality. The struggle for national and social autonomy, problems solving of language, culture and national identity. This question is about national integration and full authority on national resources, The Struggle against all forms of national oppression.  It is about the formation of national based guaranteed equal security, equal opportunity, equal protection and equal obligation by the country.

The Pashtun question emerged when British occupied the Afghan territories during second Afghan Anglo war, and in 1893 when British created Durand line to divide Afghanistan from the North West corner.After the creation of Pakistan the British occupied area and those areas which cut out from Afghanistan after the Durand line agreement, came in the part of Pakistan.  Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan relation with Afghanistan has been troubled.  Afghanistan refused to recognize Pakistan at United Nations, both countries had the border clashes. Kabul was not ready to accept Durand line and Pashtun territories as part of Pakistan. Unfortunately, conflict increased between two countries and Pashtuns became the main tools and victims on both sides of Durand line of destructive relation.  Pakistan still sees on doubt that Pashtun are loyal to Afghanistan and not considered as first class citizens in the country. They have been given punishment with the imposition of various strict policies and still is a nation deprived from basic human rights.  Noteworthy, this crime punishment has been giving in various shapes since 1947.

Political culture of the country is not dealing with the Pashtun National Question. Here dominant powers create hindrance to solve political problem within political process. And not giving legal and constitutional authority on their wealth and natural resources. Water is a greatest Pashtun nation’s wealth and it is the most important human resource for development. The first requirement for agriculture and industrial system is water. Abaseen river water come from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan ice fountain head.   Pashtun subjection can assess in the country to see only the example of water.  If I only mention the amount of Abaseen and Kabul River which flows under the Bridge of Attock and Khairabad are 93 million acre feet that become part 65.49% Pakistan’s 142 million acre feet water. Abaseen river flows hundreds miles both side in Pashtun land.

Pakistan leaders in 1960 sold three important rivers of Punjab i.e. Ravi, Sutlej and Beyas in Indus Basin treaty to India, and then made several canal and barrage for 3 empty rivers in Abaseen to shift Pakhtunkhwa water.  The real owner of river Abaseen are Pashtuns but canal system and barrage only made to shift Abaseen water to Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan.  Now the arable area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Waziristan are 7,452,100 acres and uninhabited are is 6,254,469 acres. On the other hand, the Punjab’s total arable land is 2, 3035 million acres and uninhabited land is 200,78 million acres.  Only 2057 million acres area is non-cultivated and total uninhabited area is only 11% of whole Punjab province. Similarly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has 3,849 hydropower potential MW and (57 percent of the country’s total installed capacity), Punjab comes behind with 1,699 MW installed capacity (25 percent). A research paper prepared by HPRP in February 2011.  While Punjab produces only 25% of Pakistan’s total power and using more than 60% of electricity.

A company Spokesman of Karak gas project said that 15 million cubic feet will be staged daily of gas, a geologist told that Dubai doesn’t have much gas than Karak, regrettably, we can’t use it.  On the other side, Baloch Nationalist leader Sana Baloch told in a radio interview that Punjab produces 2% percent of Pakistan’s total Gas, while 80% of Punjab province has access to use Gas.  At the same time Balochistan provides 46% of Pakistan’s total Gas production, but only 20% of Balochistan inhabitants have access to Gas.

FATA Development authority wrote in his survey that there are 21 minerals in large amount of FATA. A  Billion tons of marble, 537 million tons chromites, 35 million tons of coal and a large number of other minerals but the circumstances are not favorable which can take it out for use. Pashtun land is rich in resources but poor in development. The principle of federation is that, the right of nation as the key to solution of the national question.  But inequality and biased base distributive principle can create issues inside the country anytime. For instance, Pashto language, culture and national identity are under the domination of others and being exploited.

Pashto has not become official, educational and judicial language.  Pashto is a subjective language and doesn’t have any part in media and other field of life. Pashtun heroes, historians, and poets have not been made a part of textbook since 68 years. Even in Pashtun majority province; our children read only Urdu language literature, poets and Mughul Heroes instead of their own. The most appropriate solution in federation is national autonomy and full right to speak language and practice of their own culture.

The main obstacles for the unity of Pashtun nation are the imperialist powers, because they have been divided geographically and politically to keep them weak. Their voice has been pressed in the corridors of power. Pakistan’s ruling class aims destruction of Pashtun land in the name of national interest.

Pakistan’s policy makers have never made policies under the Pashtun economical and social interest. Pashtun is still surviving in war on terror and has faced three decade of war and its destructive difficulties. More than three million people displaced because of these destructive situations in their own country.

While the search, strike and full operation against the insurgent in Swat and Waziristan agencies from 2005 to 2015 Forty Thousand people have been killed.  Genocide of this nation is going on both sides of Durand line.  Even today regional and international powers are spending money in destruction more than their development.  Pashtun’s current political, economical and social issue is because of past and present destructive policies of policy makers.  This is the responsibility of state to take out Pashtun from dangerous and protect them.  These issues can cause the country’s downfall.

Pashtun Nationalists believe that the pragmatic act of maximum National Autonomy could resolve the issue of grievances among the nation. Federation should hand over all subject to the nations instead of defense, trade and currency.

The practical solution of national problems is to give political, economical, cultural and social equality to all the nations of the country. The grievances of Pashtun can be diminished if they get equal authority in political power. Foreign and interior policy should not make on exploitation basis. The true stability is possible when federation give full authority over national wealth and resources.

Subjection is causing death of a society. If serious mistakes are being made in politics, nations are being deprived from their rights, it will rise devastate difficulties among nations. It is significant to save country from troubles and downfall to recognize the right of nations.

Writer: Hizbullah Khan

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