The Pashtun Quandary


Naseebullah Khan
Are strategic location and economic potential of a territory sins? Why the Pashtun as a nation has been portrayed as the sole protector of the religion like Mahfooz Ali Khan observes that one can win him (the Pashtun) over by use of religious slogan or Nang (Bravery)? Is Jihad a Pashtun phenomenon in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Are the Pashtun easily trapped by colourful slogans? The Mujahedeen who fought in Afghanistan belong to different ethnicities, why the only majority of the Pashtun Mujahedeen were infixed as the Taliban? Why their soil has been an epicenter of the war, proxies, and external intrusions? Why the codes of Pashtunwali were misused for the vested motifs? How the last four decades have seen the loss of thousands of Khans, Maliks, and intelligentsia of this nation which has led to a leadership crisis?Is the Pashtun as a nation anti-modernist? Have extremists bombarded schools anywhere in the world as such as on the Pashtun soil? Do we have any examples where people have been governed by draconian laws such as the FCR for decades in the 21st century? What are the reasons behind their befitting of scapegoats for the fulfillment of others’ vested interests? Why do many individuals and organizations become prey to the proxies of the external forces? Has any nation displaced and migrated more than the Afghans? Why we have been presented as a rigid nation and what we have done to prove Tolstoy wrong who writes that a Pathan can go to any length if he is won over? Have we examples in history where nations have fought with social indicators, institutions, and public and private infrastructures as much as this nation has fought? Can one find a huge diaspora and brain drain like that of the Afghans? Although, the issues of the Pashtun as a nation across the Durand line are the same the causes differ slightly. Two reasons are pertinent to observe vis-a-vis, the foreign intrusion by using this nation as their proxies for the fulfillment of their vested interests, and the second and obviously not the last is the deep slumber of this nation itself and shutting eyes on the realities by playing in others hand. Digging wells for own brother is undoubtedly a curse and one should not be Einstein in understanding this_which has been common in the Pashtuns.Withal their land has been devastated and looted. The killer and the killed are both from the same nation. The infrastructure devastation doesn’t belong to the individual. The surfers are the whole nation, not an individual. The health, education, and living standards of the Pashtun as a whole resemble not less than that of the stone ages. How sad is it that the Pashtun women give birth on roads. Their pride has been kidnapped, killed, bombed, burned alive, tortured, get marriage to unsuitable people, and misbehaved. Their children have been martyred. There has been no single family that has not suffered in one or another case. The fate of the Pashtun as a nation lies in its awakening from bottomless catnapping. The major responsibility is on the shoulders of the intelligentsia, the Scholars (Mullah) who should interpret Religious teachings in the true sense, on the traditional leaders, and on the Politicians. The time has approached for rethinking if its survival_which is much needed as it had never been in its history. Playing in the hands of the others as proxies will lead this nation into the cave of darkness where there is no ray of light.