Pakhtunkhwa Times

Challenges Faced By The Pakhtoons: BY: Dr.Adalat Khan

Posted in 1 by ppfcanada on February 4, 2009

Wed, 04-Feb-2009

Waiting for a bright Future Photo by Majeed Babar

In the history of nations there comes a time when either they have to wake up and carve a better destiny for themselves or lose their very existence. Today the Pukhtun nation has reached such a stage where it faces enormous challenges and risk being annihilated. Continued violence with the resultant deaths of many innocent people, extremely fragile law and order situation, disunity and many other difficulties are faced by us. Let us reflect and examine what are the key challenges faced by the Pakhtuns and what remedial steps are needed to meet them.

-The terrorism and extremism label: Both the international as well as the national media has painted such a distorted picture of Pakhtuns that the minute you tell someone you are a Pukhtun, Pashtoon, or Pathan they visualize you as a terrorist, extremist, Taliban or pro-Taliban or some type of other irrational person who is bent on destroying humanity. Of course this label is equally used for Muslims at large but specifically for Pakhtuns on both sides of the Durand line these terms have become synonymous with our race and nation. Granted there are some bigots in Pakhtuns who have brought havoc not only on others but also on their own people. But then which race and nation do not have the same type of misguided elements? Ku Klux Klan and the Neocon in the US, global Jewish superamists , RSS in India and Western Evangelists all preach hatred and intolerance but none of them has been given the same labels by the media pundits as the Pakhtuns. The reasons being that these groups are extremely organized and do not allow anyone to point fingers at them. For example anyone calling a Jewish extremist even though they kill innocent people, destroy homes and illegally occupy others’ lands will be branded as anti-semite. Why must Pukhtun allow its nation to be misrepresented and given bad names?

– Disunity: The only thing over which Pakhtuns are united is to be dis-united and this is our biggest weakness. At their zenith of unity they were the master of the world and were ruling others but when they started fighting one another they lost everything they had including their power, land, and overall dignity. It makes people think why the born fighters people who ruled others are now being ruled by others including some illiterate band of people who in the name of Islam are taking their liberty. Where is the tradition of cooperation and unity to get rid of these evil forces who has brought dis-unity and bloodshed to our land. Pakhtuns need unity and unison of thoughts desperately at this juncture of time to consolidate into a true Nation. Disunity is the old disease with which the Pakhtuns have been suffering. Moguls, British and all adversaries of Pakhtuns exploited this weakness. Unite we must else we wish to perish from the face of the earth.

– Illiteracy: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation ” the advice put forward more than fourteen hundred years ago by the Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) has profound application for today’s Pukhtuns too who face enormous challenges. One of the greatest challenges faced by all nations today is to keep pace with the rapid changes taking place in the world. These changes require every one in the world to continuously update their knowledge and skills. In fact the nation as a whole should develop strategies which encourage everyone to learn new knowledge, upgrade their skills and acquire better attitudes. Why Japanese are the economic giants of the world despite the fact that they do not have any natural resources? The answer is their passion for knowledge and Human Resources development. To gain our past glory, to help our selves and positively contribute towards humanity we must acquire contemporary knowledge and get rid of the curse of illiteracy which is one of the biggest challenges faced by us. Along with the mastery of the guns we must acquire the mastery of the pen.

– Globalisation: Globalisation is storming the whole world and all less developed people are in danger of losing their culture. This also applies to Pakhtuns. It can be defined as the increasing interconnectedness of people and places as a result of advances in transport, communication, and information technologies that cause political, economic, and cultural convergence. Pakhtuns risks losing its culture not only because of globalisation but occupying powers see our culture as the only obstacle to subdue us. Across the Durand line the Americans and Nato forces are not only engaged in defeating the so called terrorism or Taliban but they are also actively promoting the Western culture, Christianity, and Westernization. What can the Pakhtuns do to be a respectable global citizen? Sadly the answer is nothing at this moment? However sitting idle and doing nothing is not an answer. Pakhtuns while maintaining the good traits of its culture and faith must acquire new traits and skills to be able to effectively compete with other advanced nations. Instead of serving as a security guard or shoe shiners in our own country and foreign lands Pakhtuns must be able to lead and manage businesses and people and be able to perform other tasks which are generally respected.

Every race, nation, and people face tough times and those who are intelligent and brave emerge of out of them as winners. Today the Pakhtuns too face enormous difficulties and challenges. The unjustifiable label of extremism and terrorism, disunity and lack of good leadership, bombing of its people and inability to be global citizens are some of the challenges faced by Pakhtuns. Self defeating traditions such as internal enmities with its fellow Pakhtuns, superstitions, and close-mindedness also keep us backward. By confronting these evils Pakhtuns must write a better destiny for themselves and their coming generation. I am sure in the past too Pakhtuns have weathered various storms and by sheer unity, acquisition of modern knowledge and fast action Pakhtuns can not only help themselves but can positively contribute to the welfare of its countrymen, its neighbours and the human race at large. When is the time to do this? The time is NOW!!!

Dr Adalat Khan is a senior coloumnist based in Malaysia. He can be reached at

Pukhtoonkhwa MAP protest in London

Posted in 1 by ppfcanada on February 4, 2009