Naseebullah Khan
A massive power show in Swat against the rising surge in extremism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was stirring in the sense that all Pashtun nationalist parties the ANP, the PKMAP, the NADM, the PTM, and senator Mushtaq Ghani from religious party the JI were sitting on one stage with a common slogan of say no to terrorism and extremism in the Pashtun belt. Tens of Thousands of Pashtuns have gathered in Swat who have been demanding peace and an end to militancy. They echoed their voices by saying that they wanted peace on their soil. Is it the dawn of new era? Will this unification further cement? Will the Pashtun leadership show farsightedness and set aside their political differences? The Talibization was started soon after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which was further cemented in the previous years in the Pashtun mainland. After the Afghan war, the US and its allies left the Pashtun region without any socioeconomic development and deredicalizatin. Consequently, the Pashtun belt was pushed into fire. Slowly, the Taliban were encouraged who even fought with Pakistan army and behaded security forces. The ongoing wave of protests in Swat is the start of a mighty non_violence resistance for peace against militancy and Talibinization whose roots can be traced from the bitter experience of war which the Pashtun nation had been facing since decades during the gruesome hegemony of the Pashtun mainland by Taliban and other terror nets. The fear was broken in 2018 when protests started in Waziristan that have culminated in Swat in an uprising and has spread to other districts like Khyber, Moomand, Bajour, Dir and Bunair. The current protest in Swat has vehemently defaced the statement of ex_prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, who after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan articulated unknowingly that, “When the US removed the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Pashtuns on this side were completely sympathetic [with the Taliban] not because of religious ideology but because of Pashtun ethnicity and nationality” The protest reflects that Pashtun as a nation has never been sympathetic to the Thalibaization and that Taliban is an anti Pashtun project for anatomizing Afghan/Pashtun identity who has closed the doors of progress and development and education. Realistically Pashtun as a nation is victim and not perpetrator of terrorism and violence. The hurdles in the unification are many fold such as political and Ideological differences, strategic importance, the issue of Afghanistan, and world power rivalry. Will the recent uprising in Swat deminsh the influence of these forces on the Pashtun mainland that has resulted in the emergence and proxy of the Taliban? For the time being in near future it might not happen but one thing is inevitable that the Talibization and militancy will suffer unbridgeable resistance from the common Pashtun youth in future. Whether the unification of the Pashtun religious and nationalist leader takes place or not but one thing is for sure that the impressive participation of the Pashtun youth irrespective of their party affiliations justifies that have awoken from deep slumber. They are equipped with the arm of social media. The renaissance on the part of Pashtun youth has emerged. In addition, Dr Fazal ul Rahim Marwat, ex_VC of Bacha Khan university told me that though the unification of the Pashtun leadership is uncertain but the ongoing protest is a clear message for Taliban on bother sides of Durand line. The misiries of the Pashtun nation are common. The victims are common Pashtuns irrespective of their caste or political affiliation. Will the protest in Swat for peace and against Talibization where all Pashtun nationalists parties and movements along with a senator of Jumiat Islami participated prove to be a decisive force for the unification of Pashtun leadership against the ongoing surge in terrorism and extremism in the ex_FATA region or not? The answer is uncertain. Historically, the Pashtun nationalist leadership time and again have been sharing one point agenda of agree on supporting in their area for which they have no reservations in sharing the stage whether it was in Swat or elsewhere in the Pashtun mainland. For the first time a Senator of Jumaith Islami Mustaq Ghani also participated despite the bitter past record of supporting Talibanization by its party Jumiat Islami along with JUI, F who have been traditionally pro_Taliban. The rebirth of the Pashtun youth by their participation in protests in Swat that has spread in other districts of the KPK against Taliban and militancy forcasts that Talibanization in the Pashtun mainland has no future. The Pashtun nation has rejected the Taliban. The integration of all Pashtun nationalists forces along with the participation of the senator of Mr. Mushtaq Ghani in the protest is a ray of hope who have thrown pebbles of hope on the sea.

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