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By: Mohammad Afzal Khan (Khan Lala)
Translator: Dr. Shir Zaman Taizi
Year of Publication: December 1998
In the name of Allah the Compassionate and Merciful
Have a look at the earth! There stand high mountains, some wearing snowy turbans and the others are wrapped in green blankets. There flow torrential rivers, and here stretch deep valleys. And there are seas, deserts, flat and vast plains. All these ground reliefs not only from features of the earth but define climates also. However, above all, there is notable natural objective behind it.
A study of these ground reliefs reveals that they demarcate different geographical units. Somewhere a geographical unit lies between high mountains on one side and vast ocean on the other side. Somewhere a geographical unit or a country is bound by deep and noisy rivers. Somewhere vast deserts and plains mark a geographical unit. In sum-total, these ground relief’s reflect various conditions and needs of the nature from various angles.
Needs of the nature are not limited to geographical units. The matter rolls on. The geographical unit, the ground reliefs and other factors cause development of a particular language and culture. This language and this culture take a long spell of time to grow and mature under the natural impact of ground reliefs of the country. The common culture assembles people together into a society. The society develops a common way of life which evolves gradually and naturally a cultural Unity. When the cultural unity stabilizes its links with the geographical unity the matter rolls on further. The nature provides all necessities of life to people in a geographical unit. Sources exist according to needs of people.
Conformity between understanding and necessity of these sources beget economy, which yields the concept of national and individual properties. Economy strengthens its roots in the society. And the geographical unit becomes a unit of culture and economy. When the sense of ownership of properties matures and understanding se develops, maintenance, defiance and administration of the “triple unit” give birth to politics. And when the triple unit attains the status of a political unit, the process of evolution of a nation completes. So, the nation cannot come up without these factors. Nations are born by nature according to needs of the nature. The more the “four folds unit” grows old, the more its existence becomes stable. Problems decrease and national values and dignity are stabilized.
Besides this process evolution of a nation, there stands another reality to which the history bears a regular testimony. Whenever foreign intervention in a natural geographical unit takes place, and natural boundaries of that geographical unit are changed into unnatural boundaries, problems crop up. Reaction to such problems is called nationalism. Great wars take place and human-beings pass through oppression and despotism. The Nations, built up if thousands-year long cultural solidarity and unity, develops emotional attachment with its geographical unit, which gains so much force that compels the nation to give any type of sacrifice for it. This nostalgia is called patriotism. The more the geographical unit grows old the more that nostalgia is forceful, scared and pure. The nation idolizes its traditions and its glorious national pride.
With these arguments in mind, when we have a look at the world map, every nation has its own country. Even, if the oppressive powers succeed to force changes in the geography of that country and the national solidarity, and the oppression and slavery continue for thousands years, that nostalgia cannot be effaced from the mind. And whenever the nation gets an opportunity, it restores its national unity. Just as the German achieved reunification after a long time, the national units in Estern Europe and Central Asia will also be reunited. In this backdrop, we may look, through the history, for the limits and nature of the geographical and national unity of Pakhtuns (Afghans), in justification of the title of this book.
The scholar of human evolution have attained consensus in the concept that the Homo sapiens (human race) has spread from Central Asia. This statement regarding the humanity is confirmed by the history. The histories of the subcontinent and the Central Asia take start from the time of Alexander of Macedonia. During the epoch of Alexander, existence of the Pakhtun nation in its present homeland is an undeniable fact of the known history. But four thousand years before that, Vedas had mentioned a nation called Pakt in its known homeland. It was the time when nations were in the primary stage of evolution, and migration from place to place was order of the life. That concept of evolution of nations has not yet grown, which forms the vase of the modern and present-day concept. In that epoch if migration, residents of the Central Asia, known in history as the Aryan, moves towards Europe and India. A part of then moved down from, Sulaiman Mountain, or the Kase mountain ( Ghwara Margha or Ghwara Marghae), to their present homeland, stretching from Chatral to Bolan and Oxus to Indus, and lying between the Central Asia and the sub-continent.
The homeland of the Pakhtun has been given different names in different times, such as the limits of Ariana in 24 AD, opined that this land was named after a language. This soil was called Pakhtunkhwa by Ahmad Shah Baba in his verses as:
Hearts are full of blood with your live,
Youths lay down their heads on your way.
I feel relief when I come back to you,
Otherwise, worries constrict my hearts as snakes.
I forget the throne of Dehli, when I recall,
The mountain peaks of graceful Pakhtunkhwa.
How many other lands in the world, I may own!
I will never forget your beautiful gardens.
I will destroy the life fabric of the enemy,
When Pakhtuns brandish and use their swords.
The eras of Farid1 and Ashraf2 will come back,
When I launch attacks on all sides.
Be the world on one side, and you alone on the other,
I would prefer your barren and dry plains.
Ahmad Shah will not ignore your fondness,
Even, if he conquered the whole world.
Long before Ahmad Shah Baba, Hotak Baba has also mentioned Pakhtunkhwa in one of his famous poems, as:
Bravo! Stand for your honour, it’s the time,
Maghuls have attacked,
They are in rampage in Pakhtunkhwa.
Maghuls spread in home and hearth,
Even in Ghazni and Kabul,
Come up! O, the brave of Margha!
Stand for the honour of Pakhtunkhwa!
With sharp swords and arrows,
Maghuls spread in home in hearth,
Even in Ghazni and Kabul.
As this land has been called with different names in different times, residents of this land have also been called with different names, of which Pakhtun, Afghan and Pathan are very famous. The word Pakhtun has been derived from the Bakhd and Pakt of Vedas and the Paktin or Paktia of Greek.
Pakhtun poets and writers mention Pashtun; the people of the Central Asia call the Pakhtun by the name of Afghan. According to new theories of racial and ethnic distinction, led by renowned Norwegian professor Georik Morgan Stern, Pakhtuns are a famous branch of those Sakas who had established a large empire from Sakistan (Seistan) to Kashmir.
All the nationalities of Afghanistan are Afghans so for the rights of citizenship are concerned. Afghanistan was considered by Pakhtuns their homeland, as Mirwais Baba and Ahmad Shah Baba had integrated it into one administrative unit. Afghanistan is being ruled by Pakhtuns for over 250 years: Therefore every Pakhtun is Afghan, but every Afghan is not a Pakhtun. Because there are many other non-Pakhtun nationalities in Afghanistan they are Afghans by the rights of citizenship, although by race they are Uzbek, Tajik, Hazara, Baloch, Noristani and other. People of the sub-continent called Pakhtuns as Pathan. It is said that Pakhtuns has first established their rule over Patna and were, thus, called Pathans. However, we are not concerned with this research. Precisely the person who speaks Pukhto is a Pakhtun and called Afghan also by people of the Central Asia and the sub-continent due to being the citizen of Afghanistan. In other words, Pakhtun, Afghan and Pathan are one and the same nation.
Historians have different theories as regards the race of Pakhtuns. One group claims that Pakhtuns are descendants of those twelve tribes of Bani Israel which had migrated from Babylonia. The first theorist of this hypothesis is Niamatullah Heravi who was a chronicler in the court of Jahangir and had compiled a book under the title of Makhzan-i-Afghani. Before that, this theory had been propounded in a book titled Afsana-i-Shahan, but the old historiographers followed the theory of Niamatulla Heravi.
Sir Olaf Cairo and Khan Abdul Ghani Khan in their homonymous books, titled The Pathans, do not agree with the theory that links Pakhtuns with Bani-Israel. Both of them are of the opinion that the race of Pakhtuns is the cross-breed of all the invaders i.e. Persian, Mongol and Turk etc. But they have not explained with whom those invaders had mixed? Because mixtures are races are universal phenomena.
Of the present writers, Abdul Hai Habibi, Bahadur Shah Zafar , Qiam-ud-Din Khadim, Kausar Ghoriakhel and Dr. Mujawer Ahmad Zyar consider Pakhtuns Aryan, descending from their Saka branch. This point is not so much relevant to our subject, because our main objective is to define the national problem of Pakhtuns and inspire awareness in the young generation of Pakhtun regarding their national problem and invite attention of Pakhtoon scholars, writers, historiographers and politicians to this problem. Although supplementary mention of races have been made, i.e. the relationship of the national problem with the homeland of Pakhtuns, their ancient country, or its defined territory, which can be termed as a geographical unit.
This fact become clear after a study of all the theories that Pakhtuns from, a famous, brave and old nation of the Central Asia, living , since long before the known history, in the geographical unit based on the natural foundations.
All the routes to India pass through the valleys situated in the homeland of Pakhtuns. Before the industrial revolution, India was known as the Golden Bird. Whosoever got the power in any corner of the world, he had ventured upon to catch the Golden Bird. But he had to face Pakhtoons before reaching India. From Alexander the Great down to the Soviets, whosoever had invaded this soil had been countered by Pakhstuns with all the gallantry. When Alexander the Great who had conquered all the countries up to Persia in months and days, entered the soil of Pakhtuns, he was bogged in this small piece of land by its inhabitants for three years. Alexander paid tributes to the Aparthy, now called Apridi, of the Khyber valley. But after a few days, the Aparthy demanded tributes again. So Alexander diverted to the route of Bajaur due to repeated demands for tributes and complexity of the wars in the Khyber valley. On the route, he came face to face to Aspzi. Herodotus says that they were good riders and were, therefore, called Aspzi (son of the horse). But some historians are of the opinion that they were none else but the Youisafazi. Alexander the Great received an arrow, for the first time in his life, from the Aspzi at Katkala, and he admitted that sons of deities could also receive wounds. That wound did not heal up until his death. The armies of Changiz Khan had faced the first defeat on the soil of Pakhtuns between Salang and Ghazni. His famous commander Shegi Tutu was killed at Ghazni. In retaliation, Chngiz Khan destroyed Ghazni. (Changiz Khan Could not enters India because the ruler of India was Allauddin Khilji whose soldiers pushed back the dreadful invaders in the high mountains of Karakorum. SZT). The armed hands of Babur had suffered defeat at Mora at the hand of Shah Mansoor, Khan of Yousafzai tribe. After that Babar adopted fraternity with them.
The Soviet Union entered Afghanistan, as a super power, with sophisticated arms of the 20th century. They were bogged there in a war for twelve years by Pakhtuns. That was the main cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is believed that the entry in to the land of Pakhtuns is easy but retreat from it is difficult. Pashtuns/ Pakhtuns are such a nation that can be not be defeated so easily. But it is more difficult to make him accept the defeat. For this reason, every victor tried his best to break down his strength. In this context, it is necessary to refer to those plans of Maghuls and British, which were being implemented to shatter the national unity of Pakhtuns.
Babar had conquered India with the support of Pakhtuns armies. He imagined that force as a threat to him, and expressed this fear in his will for his son Hamayun that he should not be heedless about Pakhtuns. Maghuls tried for centuries to incapacitate Pakhtuns mentally. Yousafzai plundered the army of Akbar at Ambala, killed his minister Birbal, while the commander-in-chief fled away. That was a great tragedy for Emperor Akbar who came to Attock along with his Nauratan (the famous nine members of the court, which included Birbal also. SZT) and pitched his camp there. He was considering retaliation for that shame and restoration of the image and dignity of the empire. The proposal for attack and capturing the soil of Pakhtuns and building of a network of posts were rejected on the plea that Pakhtuns never yield to accept a defeat, and those actions would ensue continuous conflict at heavy costs of the government. The court considered financial status of Pakhtuns and decided that much less of the amount required for war expenditures, should be paid to Pakhtun elders as Mavajeb3 , Patkay and Loongai4 , and they should also be offered services. In this way the tribe was brought under control their own elders. That strategy caused such a malady in the national entity of Pakhtuns that the head was separated from the Body and the body from the head.
That strategy brought about gradually a great change in the political and social life of Pakhtuns. Most of the institutions of Pakhtuns are based on collectivism. They take decision through Jargas. The tribal leader, Khan and Malak, was elected unanimously by the Jarga. The guest house and the meeting place, called Hujra, of the tribal leader were public places for the whole village, or at least, the dependent Mohalla (quarter). The community defined a public property as the source of income to meet requirements of the Hujra, expenditures on hospitality and defence of the Khani or Malaki. Similarly many other institutions were based on collectivism. Appointment of paid elders by the Maghul inflicted great damages on this social elder. Selected elders were appointed. Personal Hujra and guest houses replaced the collective Hujra. The nation can do nothing without a leader and the leader is nothing without a nation behind. But the leader was obliged on Mavajab and Loongai to switch over to support the usurper.
Apart from this, the Mughul, and then the British in particular, allotted those joint properties to their nominated Khans as fief. In this way, a feudal system grew in this society which was, otherwise, based to a great extent, on national brotherhood and equality. If Pakhtuns want to regain their national unity, they will have to weed out the feudal system and Mavajeb from the society.
In 1972, I had also joined, as a minister, the coalition government of the Jamiat-i-Ulma Islam (JUI) and National Awami Party (NAP) which was formed in our province (called the Frontier Province since the British time). I emphasized at that time that unless this fistula was not cut out from the body of Pakhtuns, the national unity of Pakhtuns could not be achieved. It was a very delicate issue. Members of the cabinet said that all the leaders would hold them responsible for the change. I said that if we wanted national unity of Pashtuns/ Pakhtuns, then there was no other remedy. Let me take the start from my own district Swat. There were Mavajabs amounting to over 500,000 rupies, paid the Khans and Malaks, including those of my family, in Swat. We decided distribution of that amount among the students as stipends, besides those stipends which were paid by the educational department to the students of schools and colleges. Although Khans and Malaks raised hue and cry, the Mavajeb could not be restored by any power after ours, as it was a correct decision. I intended extension of that decision to the whole of Malakand division and then to the entire tribal belt, but our government was forced very soon to wind up.
After the Maghuls, Sikhs entered the land of Pakhtuns for some time. They had not yet set their foot, when the British over ran India, and invaded the land of pakhtuns from the east. Before the British, all the invaders had entered India from the north- west. The British entered the Pakhtuns–land with a plan to ward off the treat from Napoleon and then from the “Tsar of Russia” in the Middle East. Although Pakhtuns were scattered and weakened in their own land, yet they rose against the invaders, just according to their nature, and fought the British with such courage and boldness that the British had no experienced before that, and more losses than all those they had sustained through their long adventures and struggles all and intoxicated by that power, reached Kabul under its “Forward Policy” after running over the “First Anglo-Afghan War”. After the lapse of less than a year, Pakhtuns assembled in Khurd Kabul, in the winter of 1842, under the leadership of Akber Khan and massacred the 13,734 British troops stationed in Kabul to General Sale who was stationed art Jalalabad. It was the time when the British was planning to block the way of the Tsar of Russia and had occupied the area up to the Oxus. That incident confronted the British with a great tragedy. They were more powerful, intelligent and shrewd than the Maghuls. In order to defend and maintain their colonial power, they planned to break down the power of Pakhtuns, and, thus, divided Pakhtuns under their “Three-Fold Frontier Policy” into different geographical units. Soon after implementation of this policy, the British invaded Kabul again with a view to restoring their image and prestige by burning the village from where Afghan had risen against them. General Sale moved from Jalalabad side. They were in such a state of hurry and confusion that they burnt the village of Ghundai instead of Khurd Kabul.
The British drew three lines to break sown the power of Pakhtuns and, thus, divided the land of Pakhtuns into three parts. The area under first line was called the “settled area” in which the British enforced their own law, policy and system of education. Another line was drawn in the name of Durand Line. The area under that line was further divided into agencies, states and Allaqa Ghair (aliens land, but this term was applied to the area which was condoned by the government as free). There the British maintained its existence through the political department, and avoided interference, ostensibly, in those areas other than construction of roads and cantonments. They did not enforce their own law in those areas. This is the central part of the Pakhtuns-land and considered the spinal column. Thus, the Pakhtuns-land was divided into different parts in order to shatter the national unity of Pakhtuns. Unfortunately that division still stands even fifty years after of the creation of Pakistan.
Another line was drawn along the Oxus River. The area between that line and the Durand Line was called Afghanistan. There they did not establish any type of political department, nor they exercised direct interference. Instead, it was handed over to the Amir of Kabul to rule. But, those Amirs were subjugated in case of the foreign relations of Afghanistan. The Afghan delegation for demarcation of the boundary line along the Oxus River between Afghanistan and the Tsar of Russia was led by a British named Simen. It left on doubt about that line that it was, in fact, the boundary between the British Empire and the Russian empire. In this way the geographical unity of Afghans was divided. It was in fact, not the boundary line, but the borders of the visible abs invisible state of the British.
There was no ban on movements of people living across the Durand Line. The appellation of Afghanistan was maintained for one part of the land so that the mind of the Pakhtuns is not given to suspicion as regards the nonentity of Afghanistan in which the Pakhtun nation was living along with other nationalities, and which , once , stretched from Oxus to Attock,. Reaction to this division was, therefore, not so sharp. Rather it worked as slow poisoning. The Amir of Afghanistan, though considered King by his subject, was aware of the fact that he had been installed on the throne by the British. The British had restricted Afghanistan in foreign affairs to such an extent that the Amir who deviated from policy of the British had to loose the throne. It happened to every Amir from Dost Mohammad Khan to Amanullah Khan. The latter had a clash with the British on this very issue, which resulted in the Rawalpindi pact under which the status of Amanullah Khan was raised from Amir to the King. The British recognized sovereignty of Afghanistan also in foreign affairs. Amanullah Khan desired that Afghanistan stand in the rank of independent countries. He was, therefore, famed among Pakhtuns as Ghazi Amanullah Khan. His that very desire cost him his abdication and exile. The British raised certain Pirs against him who led his overthrow at the hands of Habibullah Khan Alias Bacha-i-Saqao who was once a labour at Spina Warai, near Peshawar.
Besides this geographical division, the plan of Mavajeb and offices conceived by Maghuls was not only maintained but enlarged. The unity of that nation had never been split, which has been a unitary entity from every angle, and has remained a unit since the time of known history, whether it was the ruler itself or its land was under the writ of aliens. But the policy of Movajeb and frontier effected its mental and geographical division. Pakhtuns remained ignorant of each other due to this division and were estranged and alienated from each other with the passage of time.
Geographically, one natural unit was divided into three artificial parts, and such a system was introduced in each part which did not have any resemblance with the others. Of them the tribal system is very strange which still exists even fifty years after the creation of Pakistan. This is a system which does not vive the right of adult suffrage. Their fundamental fights have been usurped, so much so that and ordinary political officer can take their freedom under the FCR and can sent them to jail without trial and the right of defence. The tribal people have no right to appeal against destruction of their houses or imprisonment by the political department. But the point of concern is this that they still consider themselves free tribesmen.
When I was appointed Federal Minister for State and Frontier Region, I gave a statement that the tribesmen would be given rights of adult suffrage and representation in the provincial assembly. I also said that tribesmen would be given the right of appeal against the FCR. In reaction to that the tribal Malaks, particularly the tribal members of the Senate and the National Assembly, raised such a noise, at the behest of the political department of Pakistan that all those 16 members would stand against the government. Our minority government was a coalition with other minor parties. Their stand, therefore, posed a serious threat to the government. But I took stand by my statement that it was correct, and that it was not the stand of “Pakhtunkhwa Qami Party (PQP)” only but it was a part of the electoral manifesto of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) also. After that Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto visited Parachinar. She also talked of giving the right of adult suffrage to the tribesmen, because it id the path to political development and progress of the country and nation. But this right has not been given to tribesmen so far.
On the other side, it was the national duty of every Amir on the throne of Afghanistan to work for the national unity of his own people. But he knew that he was there by the grace of the British. He also knew that even if he thought of the national unity of his people, he would not remain as an Amir. He valued his throne more than any other consideration, because sons have killed fathers and fathers have killed sons for the throne. Instead of revival of national unity, the Amir tried to create hatred among the people. Since there was no political freedom on that side of the Durand Line, the people also followed the concept that the King had. They called Pakhtuns in eastern side of the Durand Line as “slaves of the British” and considered them inferior. Whereas, the Dod (tradition) of Pakhtuns binds even a cousin to take revenge of the murder, or subjugation of his cousin. Amir Abdul Rahman, although he was very shrewd and ruthless, also allowed the British to carry out demarcation according to their own plans. He wanted that he should be shown only the area of his Kingdom. It was in his time that the boundaries of the present Afghanistan were demarcated in 1893.
Down of the Durand Line, a great number of Pakhtun leaders exerted long and immutable struggle to attain freedom from the British. But, in my opinion, there was a fundamental flaw that Pakhtuns did not demand freedom from the British on the basis of the national unity of Pakhtuns for restoration of the Afghanistan of Ahmad Shah Baba. All those leaders linked the freedom of Pakhtuns with the freedom of India. The face of Pakhtuns was diverted from the “north” to the “south”.
The split that the British had caused in one body widened more. Therefore, even in a long spell of more than 103 years, a strong national movement could not evolve against those actions of the cruel. That division of 1893 was the result of the conspiracy hatched by a usurper. And the action of the usurper has no legal, moral and constitutional justification.
The land of Pakhtuns is not part of India. It lies between India and the Central Asia. The Pakhtuns has never been considered Indian. All through his life, the Pakhtun maintained his relations, trade and cultural links with Central Asia which is their first home. Hindukhush and Sulaiman mountains are their abodes. They have received knowledge from the north, and so, he gives respect to the north. Before the lines were drawn by the British, his trade continued with Tashkent, Samarkand and Bokhara. After the occupation and rule of the British, the trade links of Pakhtuns were also diverted to the south, but still his relationship with the north was not swerved.
The land of Pakhtuns has remained under the administration of different dynasties and different civilizations since 550 BC, as per the following chronological details:
Achaemenian dynasty 550-331 BC
Alexander the Great (Greeks) 327-305 BC
Morya dynasty 323-190 BC
Bakhtari rulers 185-97 BC
Saka 97 BC – 5 AD
Indo-Parthian 7 AD – 75 AD
Kushan Dynasty 75 – 225 AD
Sasanide dynasty 230 -361 AD
Aphtali (Sakas race) 365 -455
Sasanide dynasty 568 -644 AD
Kabul Shahi dynasty 650 -870 AD
Safarides 861- 900 AD
Hindu Shahi 900- 1021 AD
Ghaznavides 960 – 1150 AD
Ghorides 1181 – 1206 AD
Maghul dynasty 1526 -1739 AD
Hotak 1709- 1735 AD
Duranis (Sadozai, Barakzai) 1747 – 1978 AD
In this order, three dynasties of Pakhtuns have ruled Afghanistan in different eras. They include Ghorides, Hotak and Durranis. During the reign of Ghorides, some parts of the Central Asia were also merged, besides the Western parts, in Afghanistan. The rulers belonging to Hotak clan of Ghalzai included Mirwis Nika (founder); Abdul Aziz Khan, Shah Mahmood, Shah Hussain and Shah Ashraf. They had captured many parts of Iran, including Asfahan. Sadozai ruled Afghanistan for more than 230 years, i.e. from 1747 to 1978. Their first ruler was Ahmad Shah Baba and the last Sardar Mohammad Daud.
Out of their home, three Pakhtun families had established their rules for longer periods. They were not in a succession of government but had spread over different eras. They included Ghalzais, Lodhis and Suris. The particular feature of the governments of Pakhtuns in India was that they did not maintain links with “Roh”. Their strength and stability depended more on local sources. When the local sources of power cooperated, the government was stable. But whenever those sources turned hostile, the government slipped for their hands. Of those Kings, Bahlol and Shirshah had made international attempts to establish links with “Roh” but did not succeed due to the time factor. It was the result of their that intention that a great number of Pakhtuns from tribal areas settled in India, and established local states from Odh to Bangal, having left rich legacy of noteworthy achievements to history. More than twenty States of Pakhtuns, besides fiefdoms, existed at the time of arrival of the British in India.
Almost all then non-Pakhtun rulers in the land of Pakhtuns had one common attribute, i.e. they perpetuated their rules but refrained from interference in the internal freedom of Pakhtuns.
Pakhtuns have particular psychological traits. Their language id Pashto and their way of life are called Pakhtunwali. They abide rigidly by Pashtunwali. Jarga, hospitality, to give shelter, revenge and nanawati are solid fundamentals of Pashtunwali. Pakhtuns indulge in lavish hospitality. They are pleased to receive guests, considering them “the Grace of God”. They give more respect to unfamiliar guests than the familiar ones. They give shelter to others even at the cost of their own lives. A score of matchless events related to shelter are assets of their history.
There is a famous event that a youth wounded in a fight entered a tent of a Pakhtun old lady and requested shelter. The lady gives him shelter. After a little time, a few persons entered the tent and asked for that person from that Pakhtun lady. She refused on the ground that she had given him shelter. Those men told that lady that the same person had killed her sons. But that lady being a Pakhtun, took firm stand and said that she had given him shelter, and that she could not give him over to anyone else.5
Revenge has great importance in the life of Pakhtuns. It is a famous proverb that da badal kanai pa samander ki ham na wrastegi (the stone of revenge dose not rot even in the ocean). There are many events that grandsons have taken revenge of the murder of their grandfathers. Pakhuns take revenge for the bad, but grants pardon even for a murder at nanawati. In fact nanawati means confession of commission of guilt or crime and appeal for mercy. In the tapa6 and folklore of Pakhtuns, mention of hospitality and nanawati reflects their particular traditional trend. The Jarga has great importance in the social life of Pakhtuns. The Jarga is such a representative national assembly of Pakhtuns that does not have a chairman and a secretary. It assembles on one-point agenda, although many other points may come up during the proceedings of the Jarga7. Decisions of the Jarga are unanimous, and they are given national sanctity. Nobody can dare to refuse it. Those issues, which cannot be settled by other nations even through bloody clashes, are settled peacefully by Pakhtuns through Jarga.
There are glorious decisions of Jargas in the history. The Turban of rule was put on the head of Ahmad Shah Baba by a Jarga, therefore the entire Pakhtun nations was on his back.
As I said most of important and historical decisions are made by Jarga, Pakhtuns adopted religions also collectively. When they adopted Buddhism, they were so much dedicated to its service that they expanded the sphere of that religion beyond the northern and southern boundaries of India up to the frontiers of Tibet and China. When they embraced Islam they stood by their collective decision so firm that they carried on that religion to every nook and corner of the sub-continent. Presence of Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia and China is the result of their sincere efforts. Individually as well as collectively, Pashtuns are very bold, broad minded, considerate and free of every type of religious fanaticism. The example of their cultural consideration is that they give up their own culture and language even out of their geographical boundaries. Niazi of Mianwali, Khans of Qasur, Suddhan of Kashmir and Pakhtuns of Rohilkand can be mentioned in this context.
The Pakhtuns is a spirited and cheerful nation, but he keeps up his honour even at the cost of his life. His poverty does not stand in the way of his honour within his home and his country. If he serves that is, too, with honour. He does not consider anyone equal to him out of his abode. He is brave as tiger and solid as steel in war, but soft as silk in company, and delicate more than a flower in matters related to honour.
That was a supplementary argument. We come back to the topic. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, old geographical units re-emerged in form of Free States. The communist occupation had made all round systematic efforts to effect national territories and put an end to continuity of national unity, and convert their languages and names to Russian. But it was proved after seventy years that facts and natural attributes, in form of nations or any other form, cannot be obliterated so easily. Today, the entire world, Pakistan in particular, wants establishment of trade relations with those countries of the Central Asia, and re-open the land –routes of trade, passing through the land of Pakhtuns, which were in use between the Central Asia and the sub-continent before the arrival of the British. However, these routes cannot be re-opened until peace is restored there. But restoration of peace is not possible until the national unity of Pakhtuns is recognized and restored. It is not possible to stop oozing of the blood from the body which has been cut in two.
Today the world has been shrunk to a very small size by the modern sources and instruments of communication and broadcasting. Europe, with free and sovereign states, which have completed all the phases of development and are now competing in conquering the space, has been thinking of reunification into one unit, because they want more progress und prosperity for their coming generations. If the states of the sub-continent and the Central Asia also want to stand in the rank of the developed countries, and want propriety for their coming generations, they should also think with broad mind for broad unification. In my opinion such broad unification cannot be achieved without the national unity of Pakhtuns.
It is a matter of concern that instead of taking effective steps towards restoration of the national unity of Pakhtuns, after the creation of Pakistan, the line drawn by British between the two Islamic countries was considered as the boundary. Pakistan was a movement based on two-nation theory, i.e. Muslims are one nation and non-Muslims are another nation. There is no mention anywhere in that movement that Muslims up to a certain boundary are one nation. The founder of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam, had said in clear words in a radio address to the people of Australia on February 19, 1948, and to tribal Jarga in the government house, Peshawar, on April 17, 1948 , that: we, Muslims, believe I one God, one Book the Holy Quran, and one Prophet. So we must stand united as one nation. You know the old saying that in unity lies strength. United we stand, divided we fall.
After the assertion of Quaid-i-Azam, the Durand Line cannot remain a boundary because people on the upper as well as lower sides are not only Muslims, but are descendants of one father and adherent to one culture and one language also. In the light of this theory the rulers of Pakistan were obliged to initiate efforts for a sort of alliance and reunification with Afghanistan. The refusal by the rulers of Afghanistan is another matter, but the strange aspect of this episode is that rulers of Pakistan considered the Durand Line as boundary with Afghanistan on the plea that it was left to them in legacy by the British. Here, I deem it necessary to put before you the saying of Allama Iqbal:
Asia is a body of water and earth,
Afghan is the heart of that body,
If he is sick, Asia is sick,
If he is well, Asia is well.
If Pakhtuns were not in a position, and are still not able, to restore their national unity, then rulers of Pakistan were bound, and are still bound, by the theory of Allama Iqbal to consider national unity of Pakhtuns, because the ailment of Pakhtuns put the entire Asia in loss, and their prosperity guarantees the prosperity of the entire Asia.
I agree that the representative of Afghanistan had opposed admission of Pakistan to the UNO and had not welcomed its creation as a neighboring country, but it was a matter of two opposite systems. The aristocratic system considered establishment of a democratic system in the neighbourhood a threat. Rulers of Pakistan should consider the fundamental theory presented by Allama Iqbal. A plan if confederation between Pakistan and Afghanistan has almost been drawn when Aslam Khattak was ambassador of Pakistan in Afghanistan during the regime of President Sikanadar Merza, who had gone to Kabul in that connection on a two day state visit, but spent ten days there. All system and the name had completed. But that plan was thrown behind during the regime of Ayub Khan. Relations between the two countries deteriorated again because rulers of both side did not have the competence and courage to step over the division of the British.
When the bi-polar system collapsed with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the unipolar system took its place, and America went up from the super power to the supreme power, a new concept developed in the name of New World Order. The man has made so much progress up to the end of the 20th century that he has reduced the distances, on the planet of earth, of years to minutes. He has reached moon and is struggling for reaching other planets. But, with all this progress, the man is being deprived, day by day, of mental peace and contentment. The reason is the multiplication of the process of exploitation. Not only the individual exploitation, but economic, cultural and political exploitations of small nations also continue. If the world is not bound by a pact, and the system cannot avert the exploitation, peace will have to give place to frustration and discontentment. The exploiting powers do not want to understand that the process of exploitation does not destroy the peace of the weaker nations only, and put them in difficulty, but the life of the oppressor is also blighted by mental confusion and physical discontentment.
If the point is considered that the world has shrunk to such a size that everyone knows about every corner of the globe, then it becomes imperative that a universal pact should come into being, and all this is accepted with broad mind that the small nations also have the rights of life as the powerful nations have. The small nations also need a peaceful and happy world of cultures, languages and traditions as much as the prideful nations need. The small nations need freedoms of religions and traditions as the big nations have. If it happens, this world will become the cradle of peace. Nothing is new in this assumption. This, and more than this, has been incorporated in the Charter of the United Nations, and has been recognized officially by all the nations. But problems have never been solved with signatures. Solution of problems can be made possible by recognition of the equality of the human beings. In such a case, the small nations will not feel helpless and dejected. And the same big powers, which have divided the small nations in their own interests, will open up avenues for their unification.
Many nations on the surface of the earth are still divided. They have been struggling for countries for their reunification to regain their honours and places among other nations of the world. But those small nations still writhe in shackles of the time. The Pakhtun nation is one of them, which had been divided more than 105 years ago. More than 50 years of the formation of Pakistan have also lapsed, but Pakhtuns still live in three separate divisions, i.e. Frontier, Tribal Area and Balochistan, of the country. Although all these three divisions are parts of Pakistan, yet they are nameless. The Frontier Provinces was the Northern-Western Frontier of a colonial state. That state expired on August 14, 1947, with the formation of Pakistan, but the land of Pakhtuns is still called North-West Frontier Province instead of a name which must reflect the identity of its residents. Whose North-West Frontier is this? This is the point for thought!
Second is the Tribal Area. There is no word or name to identity the tribes. Tribes live in other countries also where they have their proper names and their proper identity, but here the tribes have no name, nor their own identity.
One part of Pakistan lives in Balochistan which was reconstituted as a province in 1970. It is clear that the Baloch reside in Balochistan, as Panjabis live in Panjab and Sindhis in Sindh. When Pakhtuns of Balochistan come to the Frontier Province, Pakhtuns of this province call dem “Balochi Pakhtuns”. This term is so much harsh and painful for them as an abuse. In this matter, the Pakhtun of this land is not to be blamed. He thinks that the inhabitants of Balochistan are Baloch. If they are Pakhtuns, they should be Baloch Pakhtuns. If all these three parts which are adjoining, and have one culture and one language, and still hold the age-old racial relationship, are united, and given a proper name, this land will automatically prosper. And when this land prospers, a part of Pakistan will prosper.
I have mentioned before, and repeat it again with a stress, that so far Pakhtuns have not regained their national unity, their difficulties and deprivation cannot end, and they cannot enjoy respect as member of a nation. If this political awareness and sense have not developed among Pakhtuns to achieve their national unity, then it is incumbent on all those nations which call themselves civilized, “that nation” which had divided Pakhtuns, and those nations in particular which know the pains of division, to help Pakhtuns in restoration of their national unity, in order to ensure restoration of peace in this whole region, stretching from the sub-continent to the Central Asia, to usher in an era of prosperity. It is my conviction that if it happens and the way to great unities of nations is opened up, peace and prosperity will return to the whole region.
The history bears testimony to the fact that if those natural units, which have been divided by force, are not reunited in peaceful ways, they are led by the history to their natural goals on the way of compulsion. The start of the 21st century must have this distinction that the issue of the national unity of Pakhtuns is solved through peace, patience, tolerance, understanding, and national consideration instead of compulsion. Then a new era of peace and prosperity will start in the world, particularly in this region.
I am extremely grateful to Almighty Allah that I have offered this brief message, as a Pakhtun, to the afflicted Pakhtun (Afghan), and entertain complete faith that every member of this shattered nation, wherever, and in whatever condition he is, and to whatsoever profession he belongs, would take a turn with this idea and pen to achievement of his national unity and identity. I also beseech all the civilized nations and the humanitarian agencies to extend active political and moral support to the Afghan (Pakhtun) nation, so this afflicted nation should free itself from the ugly shackles of the division, made by usurper and achieve its national unity.
Late Fazal Mahmood Makhfi was a well-known nationalist poet and writer. He had passionate ambitions for reunification of the shattered body of the Pakhtun nation. His poem reflects his ambition for the National Unity.
O, God! Flourish the Hujra of our oneness,
Unite the scattered Pakhtuns,
Make them one heart and one soul,
Grant them rid of fivision.
Kashmir to Herat, Balochistan to this place,
All they are Pakhtuns, but are scattered,
Assembled them in one body,
All these pieces, O God!
Grand group of Pakhtuns, in hills and on plains,
Descendants of great groups, let us be united.
Unite all scattered grandsons of one grandfather of Pakhtuns,
Why are they so low, not aware of one another?
O, God, destroy,
The sinister division!
O, Our Pashto! Where are you! Why are you away from us?
You are our heart and soul; you are wings of our nation,
Make easy the journey for us,
So, that we join the total.
O, God! Take away, just now enemies from our land.
Make our Khan from us, from our own nation,
And enlighten us from our ownselves,
The darkness of Pakhtuns.
To the young generation of Pakhtuns and all those Pakhtun conscientious writers, literary figures, scholars, politicians and workers who are struggling for National Unity of the Pakhtun.
(Mohammad Afzal Khan)
1. Shir Shah Suri
2. Shah Ashraf, grandson of Pakhtun ruler Mirwais Khan Hotak Baba, who had attached some portions of Iran and Isfahan with the Kingdom of Afghans.
4. Patkay means turban and Loongai means the cloth of turban. These terms are used for honour. The Maghul court cajoled the elder to receive the political bribe as “distinction and honour”. This order of distinction was followed by the British also. Its continuity corrupted not only the beneficiaries but the whole social order of Pakhtuns. The term Patkay, once considered a symbol of honor and respect as ´the crown´ was degraded to such an extent that it is, now, used for exploitation of the needy, to mean “the additional and unaccountable money” received by the owner of property, being leased from the lessee. It was then that Khushal Khan the national poet of Pakhtoons , visualized the ignominious impact of the policy on the glorious tradition of Pakhtuns, and that he condemned the Patkay-holders in his this famous line of verse:
Che dastar tarree hazaar dee
De dastar sarree pa shmar dee.
(They are thousands who wear the turban;
But they are numbered who bear the turban!) SZT.
5. Pashtoon Qaum. By: Preshan Khattak.
6. A verse of two uneven lines. SZT
7. Manners and Customs of the Afghans. By: Professor Dr. Mohammad Ali.