Peace Talks: Who speaks for the Pakistani Pakhtuns?

Authored by Rafiullah Kakar


Criticizing the on-going peace talks with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), leader of the opposition in the Upper House Senator Aitzaz Ahsan rightly pointed out last Tuesday that the real stakeholders are not a part of the process. The veteran politician also demanded that representatives of women, shia and minorities should also be included in the government negotiation committee.

One of the many ironies confronting Pashtuns is that, despite being the main victims of terrorism, their perspective is conspicuously missing in the national and international discourse about terrorism.

Building on the concerns expressed by the Senator, I wonder if the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, who have been affected the most by the erstwhile ‘Afghan Jihad’ and the current ‘War on Terror’, have a meaningful say in the so-called peace talks with the Taliban. According to data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, nearly fifty thousands have been killed in terrorist violence across the country from 2005-2014. Out of these, 31,300 casualties have occurred only in FATA and KPK. This accounts for 63% of the total fatalities, as against only 3% (1602) in Punjab during the same period. It is worth mentioning that the figure of 31,300 does not include pre-2009 data for FATA. In addition, the socio-cultural fabric of the Pakhtun society has been destroyed. More than 700 schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have been either demolished or damaged since 2007. More than 600 tribal elders have been killed, leaving behind a huge social void that is being filled by the militants. Besides, Pakhtun singers, artists and actors have either been killed or forced to flee the country. Shias and non- Muslim minorities who had been living peacefully in the Pakhtun areas for generations have been persecuted. The uniquely pluralistic outlook of Pakhtun society has been demolished.
On one hand, these figures are a shocking reminder of how Pakhtuns, after being used as fodder in a re-gional geo-strategic rivalry, were left to fend for themselves in trying to manage the ugly outcomes of an overly-ambitious Afghan policy. On the other hand, these figures are also a sharp riposte to those who equate Pakhtuns with the Taliban. One of the many ironies confronting Pashtuns is that, despite being the main victims of terrorism, their perspective is conspicuously missing in the national and international discourse about terrorism. Many of the so-called Af-Pak region experts are out of touch with the complex socio-cultural dynamics of Pakhtun society and, therefore, have fostered a stereotypical understanding of the Pakhun society. For instance, there are some distinguished scholars and politicians who would lead one to believe that Taliban represent a tribal Pakhtun resistance movement. There are still others who, perceiving secular Pashtun nationalism to be breathing its last, argue that Pashtun Islamists are gradually absorbing Pashtun ethnic grievances and are becoming the torch-bearers of Pashtun nationalism. Finally, there are those who preposterously trace the radicalization of Pashtun society to what they perceive as the inherently “violence-prone” nature of Pashtun culture.

Pakhtun youth is frustrated by the fact that while the pluralist and progressive voices have been stifled, the radical voices have always found more willing/sympathetic ears in the media, academia and policy-making circles.

In reality, religion has never had much political significance in the Pashtun society, though it has had some social relevance. In contrast, ethnicity, tribalism and Pakhtunwali have historically played a more promi-nent role in shaping the Pakhtun political discourse. This partially explains why the freedom struggle for Pakistan with its heavy Islamic overtones could not significantly fascinate the Pakhtuns. Similarly in the post-colonial Pakistan, the Pakhtuns, concerned about their distinct cultural identity, expressed their un-ease with the over-arching Islamic nationalism of the State and strived for achieving cultural recognition in a more inclusive national narrative. Things began to deteriorate when the State began making concerted efforts to ‘politicize’ religious militancy and exploit Pakhtunwali for achieving its perceived strategic inter-ests. The subsequent tale of the Afghan Jihad and ‘Strategic Depth’ policy is too well-known to merit repetition. Not surprisingly, state patronage of a militant discourse in the Pakhtun land continued even after the chickens started coming home to roost.
Coming back to the on-going peace talks, I cannot agree more with Aitzaz Ahsan when he commented that ‘Taliban are negotiating with the Taliban’. One really wonders if the negotiators are even thinking about considering the Pakhtun perspective. Critics may ask if Pakhtuns are a politically homogenous group. The answer is, of course not. Broadly speaking, they are divided between the left-leaning nationalists and the right-wing Islamists. However, Pakhtun youth is frustrated by the fact that while the pluralist and progressive voices have been stifled, the radical voices have always found more willing/sympathetic ears in the media, academia and policy-making circles. Consequently, a spurious perception has been created that the Pakhtuns, especially the tribesmen, crave for Sharia rule and support Taliban.
While representatives from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (S) are playing leading role in the discourse on peace talks, the Awami National Party (ANP)— which alone has lost more than 800 workers in the fight against the Taliban — is not a part of the process. Similarly, the viewpoint of Pakhtun civil society and intelligentsia has not even surfaced in the increasingly religiously charged debate about dialogue with Taliban. Those wondering about the perspective of Pakhtun civil society need only look at the Peshawar Declaration (2009). Interestingly enough, the people of the war affected areas have a quite different take on the issue of militancy than those living in the mainland Pakistan. The people of the conflict zone are fed up with the Taliban’s barbarianism but they also distrust the military. Most of them believe that the army and the Taliban are not enemies but friends. They cannot understand why the military failed in either killing or capturing the core leadership of the militants in all the previous military operations in FATA? Be it peace deal or military operation, the tribesmen find themselves trapped in a lose-lose situation. Particularly perturbing is the case of the anti-Taliban tribal Lashkars (militia) that have been facing the wrath of Taliban for ‘siding’ with the government? One of the recurrent features of the previous deals was that such anti-Taliban people were left at the mercy of their adversaries in the wake of each deal. Will these peace negotiations be any different? A big ‘No’, at least from the Taliban’s standpoint whose bloodthirsty intent was clearly revealed by their recent killing of the Chief of Mashokhel Quami Lashkar, Pir Israr Shah, along with his 7 relatives.

Those wondering about the perspective of Pakhtun civil society need only look at the Peshawar Declaration (2009). Interestingly enough, the people of the war affected areas have a quite different take on the issue of militancy than those living in the mainland Pakistan. The people of the conflict zone are fed up with the Taliban’s barbarianism but they also distrust the military

For peace talks to succeed, the government must take on board the Pakhtun civil society and tribal elders. The self-delusional distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban must be abolished. Besides, cessation of hostilities against anti-Taliban Lashkars, Shias and other minorities should be made a fundamental part of any would-be agreement. Moreover, Taliban owe an apology to the people of Pakistan in general and to those of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular. For ensuring social harmony in the tribal areas, Taliban, following the Pakhtunwali tradition of NANAWATE, should seek forgiveness of the families of all the tribal people they have ruthlessly killed. Finally, the ruling elites need to take serious practical steps to demonstrate that they care equally for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Otherwise, the current apathy is likely to have serious implications for the already-fragile national unity.


Rafiullah Kakar is a Rhodes Scholar currently studying at Oxford University. He hails from Balochistan and can be reached at


Pakistan’s Internet Hall of Shame: 2013-2014

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

The Elephant’s Foot Approach – Blocking Encryption

Author- Bholo Bhai

What was introduced in 2010, is being implemented on a large scale now. The Monitoring & Reconciliation of International Telephone Traffic Regulations 2010(MRITT), stipulates there is a “prohibition to use all mechanisms which conceal communication to the extent that prohibits monitoring.” An outcome of this is the issuance of directives banning the use of VPNs – unless registered and pre-authorized by the regulator. Although the regulation was never fullyimplemented in 2010, it is being implemented with a lot of zeal now.  In recent months. Internet users have faced service disruptions, slow Internet speed as well the inability to access several websites.

Very recently, as a result of an investigation into customer complaints, popular VPN service Spotflux officially announced that their data centers had been blocked by the Government of Pakistan. The use of encryption is not only important for individual privacy but also for the integrity and security of business and financial transactions, and the banking sector. Despite grave concerns voiced by the industry, the ‘crackdown’ continues, reportedly because the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) is in charge of managing the filters – and there is no accountability there.

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

“Banning Google”

The day after she was sworn in as Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom, Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan announced that the government would be acquiring filters to block access to ‘objectionable material’ on the Internet, followed by an (allegedly misreported) ‘warning’ that access to Google itself could be blocked, if the company failed to remove blasphemous content.

See our timeline on the YouTube ban and our report card of the Minister’s six months in office for more details.

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

The Return of the Firewall

 After going on record in 2012 to say the The Ministry of IT and Telecom (MOIT)would not be pursuing the installation of a URL filtration system, filters made a comeback under new Minister for IT. The new leadership  projected filters as a one-stop solution to unblock YouTube. There have been reports since of Netsweeper’s presence in Pakistan. The Ministry, while not naming the equipment or its source, said it would be ‘borrowing’ filters from PTCL for a period of one year. Soon after, a statement regarding the ineffectiveness of filters was issued. However, what happened to the already acquired filters was not disclosed.

For more details, see our timeline on content filtration over the years and our submission to court on the same.

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

The ‘Proposed’ Three-month Ban on Whatsapp, Viber & Skype

In October 2013, the Sindh Government announced it was looking to ban access to Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Tango and other such applications in the interest of national security. The ‘proposed’ ban caused an uproar online, and Internet users in Pakistan demanded that the government focus on more concrete policies to fight terrorism rather than restricting access to communication. Caught amid fiery reactions from citizens, the Sindh Government rolled back its proposed plan with a rare disagreement from the Federal Interior Ministry. IT and Telecom, it is important to point out, is a federal subject.

Since 2012, authorities have restricted access to mobile services on public holidays & religious events as a “counter terrorism measure.” See our survey on the human cost of communications blockade.

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

Block the Box Office: IMDB Ban

Access to the popular Internet Movie Database (IMDB) was blocked in November 2013, reportedly after the Interministerial Committee for Evaluation of Websites issued a notice to the PTA to enforce the ban. Owned by Amazing, IMDB is a popular portal for users to get information and box office review of films and TV series. The ban was lifted within a few hours, restoring access to the site.

There exists no official explanation on why access to the IMDB website was blocked. However, there are speculations that it was done to prevent access to the review of “The Line on Freedom”, a film depicting military brutality and torture of civilians in Balochistan. The IMDB page for the documentary remains blocked from Pakistan.

Besides IMDB, previously Dailymotion, a video-sharing website that hosts music and videos, was also blocked briefly for reasons unknown. Access was temporarily restricted and restored, but no explanation was offered. YouTube was blocked in 2012 and remains blocked to date.

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

Blocking Commonsense

Following reports on Twitter that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has blocked access to certain Wikipedia pages, through access tests in various cities, we are able to confirm that access to specific Wikipedia pages had been restricted. (Particular Wikipedia pages continue to be blocked on PTCL connections across the country).

Wikipedia is an academic crowd-sourced encyclopaedia, which is globally known to be the go-to resource on the Internet for information on essentially any topic in the world.

Some of the Wikipedia pages blocked included pages on sex, child pornography and breast. Other than these, boxer Muhammad Ali’s page was also found blocked on Qubee. Besides Wikipedia, technology websites such as Disqus, Verge and Gizmodo were blocked in the first week of February 2014.  education and child exploitation.

Similarly, medical students reported they could not access breast cancer research on Google Scholar as search results with the term “breast” were being filtered. All this demonstrates the approach towards academic information relating to the human body.

 Pakistans Internet Hall of Shame: 2013 2014

Blocking Gamers

Access to networks such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Game Ranger has been denied, again without any reason or explanation offered to the public. There has been no news or updates since, and many believe that the blockade is accidental. The aforementioned networks are communication channels for gamers in order for them to interact and enhance their gaming experience.


I am Malalaa- Book Review

Best Selling "I am Malala Book " By Malala Yousafzai .

Best Selling “I am Malala Book ” By Malala Yousafzai .

I am Malala is Book , Recently Published Costing about 600 Pakistani Rupees and Available as Paper Back available in Select Places as Punjabi Establishment of Pakistan is hell bent on not making this Book as common in Pakistan for Obvious reason for their Support of Taliban , the Strategic Assets of Pakistan , which they use to conquer Kashmir , Iran and Afghanistan to  make Durrand line as Reality although it is not recognized by Pashtun on both sides of Durrand line .

The Threats to Book Shops in Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan, by the Same Strategic Assets, The ” Taliban ” is understandable as Punjabi Establishment is highly exposed in this Book , as Malala Bring the True feelings of Pashtuns how they feel about Punjabi Establishment of Pakistan in form of Pakistan Army and Bureaucracy and now Sadly the Highly Manipulative Media and the Taliban.

Even the Internet is Highly Filtered and in words of “Time Berner Lee”,  founder of Internet as he said this Month Nov-2013 , the Threat to democracy and Human Rights is being hatched in form of censorship on Internet and he especially mention Pakistan Saudia and China and Iran as examples of filter and Censure ship .

In Pakistan Baluchistan , FATA and Pakthunkhwa there is no Media and its coverage and this makes an Interesting Perspective as Voice of Pashtuns and Baluch is Un Heard and never given coverage , the Political Parties also don’t Bother as they all Based from Punjab the Province with has everything in Pakistan the Power and Army and bureaucracy . They Journalist 99.9 % are from Punjab and Urdu Speaking community of Immigrants . Alien to Culture of Pashtuns and Baluchis . Pakistani media is Highly Monitored with journalists on pay role of Army and ISI .

The Media controlled by Punjabi Establishment with Punjabi and  Immigrants  Anchors and Media Barons  is Highly Instructed not give Air time to Pashtun Political Parties in form of ANP , or anyone who wants to Defy Taliban or Punjabi Establishment .

History is Highly Manipulated as Well , with Ban on Teaching of True History in Pakistan , after 1980 , Pashtuns were removed from History Books and its Hero,s , 5000 Years of History of Afghan and Pashtun and their foot Print on India and its Inhabitants was poof like a Sand dust removed by Punjabi Establishment and Pakistani Army under General Zia Ul Haq . This was done to subjugate the Past Rulers of India who ruled the Punjabi and Indian or Immigrants to Pakistan for thousands of years and also to mislead the People of Pakistan of their true Past .

Pashtun and Baluchi Hero,s , Leaders and Poets were Pushed into Oblivion and History was shortened and Altered in form of ” Pakistan Studies” , where Lies and Propaganda material Approved by Punjabi and Urdu / Hindi Speaking Immigrants of Karachi is taught in Pakistani Schools both Public and Private .

Malalaa and Taliban

Malalaa and Taliban

Since Pakistan Birth , 90% of Time Pakistan has been ruled by Army and or its Approved Political Parties the Mullah Military Alliance or Right Wing Parties called Muslim league with mostly Leaders who are not Born on Soil of Pakistan or thier Parents  like ” Nawaz Sharif , Ch Shujat , Shiekh Rahsid,  Liaqat Ali Khan , Shurwadi , Ghulam Muhammad , Ch Bogra , Abdul Qayum Khan , Altaf Hussain , Skinder Mirza , General Zia and General Musharaff , and famous Generals who caused Break up of East Pakistan , General Yahya , General Tikka Khan , General Rahimudin Khan were all Immigrants from Now India as Immigrants mostly from Delhi and Utter Pardesh , Bihar Area or Bengaldesh.

Pakistan all Lands were allotted to immigrants in Karachi and Best Lands in cantonments of Rawalpindi , Karachi , Lahore and Agriculture Lands from Attock to Jehlum and South Punjab by Liaqat Ali Khan an Immigrant Himself  after Princely states of South Punjab and Pakhtunkwa were Disbanded and its lands were distributed to Immigrants from India and to Punjabi Generals , and they used Islam and Mulluhcracy to Silence the Dissenters now Swat Lands and its Precious Mines  is their target as well and off course Taliban is best Tool to conquer the Lands by our ever Imaginative Punjabi Establishment as they did in Baluchistan with its coal and copper Mines .

Pakistan Army Generals and Media and Mullahs are mostly from Punjabi or Immigrant Urdu/ Hindi Speaking community of Pakistan from either Punjab or Sindh. they have no compassion or Empathy for ” Pashtun Perspective” , it is all Policy and Strategy to them to subjugate the Voice of Pashtun and Baluchis .

IT  is so funny if you Ask a Question to any Pakistan Now Today : ” Who was Ruler of India in 1857 , when the British took over as British Raj , Nobody would tell you about the Ruler of India ” Ahmad Shah Abdali also Titled as Durrani Empire or Kings of Kings ” , who co ruled India with Mughals from Afghanistan ( As Uzbekistan was Part of Afghanistan till 1890,s)  and Bahudur Shah Zafar -2 , as King of India. The School Books Briefly Mentions Mughals ( 1550 Ad -1757) but not complete History is Taught when Afghan Pashtun ruled India as Delhi Sultanate ( 700 AD –  1550) or Durrani Empire ( 1757-1857 ) are Totally Deleted from Pakistani History . The Pashtuns don’t Exist in Paki Radar of  Paki media , the School books of  History or  in Books of Punjabi Establishment

They Think of Afghanistan as Fifth Province and Pashtuns as their Subjects and not capable of any Human rights as from Where Malala is in SWAT ( 5 Districts as Shangla, Upper and Lower Dir , Malakand , Kohistan ) as PATA ( Provincially Administered tribal  Areas controlled from Islamabad ) their is still Existence of FCR ( Frontier Crime Regulations ) a Draconian and Inhuman Rights Treating Pashtuns as  unworthy of Being Treated as Human Beings. These Laws are Still Present in FATA ( 7 Agencies or Tribal Areas controlled as Federally Administered Tribal Area) and Baluchistan Dera Bugti Kohlu ( PATA) Baluchistan Areas and 6  FR Areas ( Located inside of Pakhtunkhwa settled areas as small Islands of land controlled inside the Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Area )

Even in Pakistan has 70% Youth who are Oblivious to Game of Punjabi Establishment and are born after 90,s when Afghan war Finished and they understand the Cold war and Role of Pakistan as Agent of USA or the U2 Spy Planes that were flown from Peshawar Pakhtunkhwa to Spy on Russia , and from where Garry power flew and no from Where all the Drone Flight also Operate from Bases in Baluchistan and Pakhtunkhwa

Islamic Hate from Madrisahs ( Running on Saudia and US Money from CIA )  that were Targeted Manufactured on Uneducated Pashtuns of Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan along the Durrand line Border with Afghanistan and Iran , that was Generated as a Policy by Punjabi Establishment after coffers of US Treasury was opened on Pakistan in Shape of US Dollars and Saudi Riyals from Protege’ and Royal Kings as Servants of USA the Saudia Arabia , that all went to Punjab and spent on Building Punjab on less then 50-100 Year old cities like Rawalpindi where the Head Quarters of Punjabi Establishment and Islamabad where the Punjabi Establishment other half the Islamabad or Karachi is Situated. 

So it was a Strategy ” Dollars and Saudi Riyals for Punjab , and Drones Destruction Deaths of Pashtun,s Baluch,s of Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan as Policy now and this is how the Life of Malala changed from Peace and life of Tranquility to now Deaths and Destruction with Horrific Taliban and its Uneducated High School Drop outs Madrissah trained with CIA approved Syllabus and Hate speeches and not education or common sense .

The Madrissah were Made by Saudi and US Money to make Jihadis and Taliban , for Objectives of Punjabi Establishment and its Partners the Saudia and USA . They want to control Iran and Afghanistan ( 50% Shia Population ) for US and Saudia Arabia as a Duty .

The Taliban were Instructed to blow out Schools in Pashtun Belts on both Sides of Durrand line , in Afghanistan and Pakhtunkwha and FATA . So they could get their Manpower and Foot Soldiers , as Previously the most Highly Educated were Pashtuns and very few people from Pakhtunkhwa joined the Taliban or Mujaheddin for last 40 Year and USA and Saudia had to Import a lot of Jiihadis from Middle East , Europe , Africa , Central Asia etc and from Most Populous Province of Punjab ( LEJ , Sipah Sahaba , Ahle Sunnat Wall Jumaat, and Jaish Muhammad etc who now form bulk of Pakistani Taliban in FATA as TTP ) .

Punjabi establishment wanted to keep the Taliban as Pashtun Ethnicity fighting for Afghanistan but they were failing they Desperately needed the Pashtun Manpower and blowing up schools was one way of providing manpower . But Now the cat is out of the Bag .

Malalaa Yousafzai Teenager 14 Years old as Activist for Education and Human Rights , Noble Prize Nominee and Recipient of Multiple Awards equaling Nelson Medela and even More .

Malalaa Yousafzai Teenager 14 Years old as Activist for Education and Human Rights , Noble Prize Nominee and Recipient of Multiple Awards equaling Nelson Medela and even More .

Malala Yousafzai a Young Teenager 14 Yrs old when she was shot , Defied the Pakistani Establishment as Someone who spoke Against the Atrocities and Sufferings of Pashtuns , She brought to lame Light the Opinions and Realities Discussed in Drawing Rooms of Pashtuns and made it Public in Form of a Diary she Anonymously wrote for BBC , Urdu and Pashto Service and later she came in lame light when her Identity was revealed , Bringing Danger and Fame to her that Propelled her to Heights that is unthinkable by any one on this Planet Earth .

Her voice became the Heart and sound of Pashtun as Gul Makai ( Pashtun Heroin of Folklore ) as Anonymous Kid who was telling about life under Taliban on BBC , but the Paki Media was oblivious on Pashtun perspective and BBC gave a Break as its Urdu and Pashtun Service was Heard on radios there while the TV and cable was Banned by Taliban there .

Although Later one the Dawn Media Group with Links to Pakistani Establishment ( General Athar Abbas of ISPR real Brother run Dawn media group as group Editors as Abbas Family of Journalists  and his other brother are found in GEO and other Cable News Media ) made a documentary on Swat where her Identity was revealed by Paki Journalists and she came into Lame Light .

This made her a Target of Taliban and now they Knew where she live and who she was , that was When Taliban decided to Kills her and she was almost Pronounced Dead in CMH Peshawar and her Grave was also dug up in Her Native Swat ready to take her in .

But it was Miracle of God that she was saved by Doctors from UK and Pakistan and her timely evacuation to Birmingham Queens Hospital in UK and due to Efforts of Dr Fiona and also army Dr Col Junaid and Team of Doctor in UK.

Although Scared and Disabled now she had remarkable recovery about 87% , that made her go on with her life and then on her Birthday to United Nation and later nominated for ” Noble Prize ” , and “Sakhrov Prize ” for Peace Highest European Prize for Working for Peaces and Education which she Loved . She won the Sakharov prize but not the Noble Prize and has Millions of Dollars collected for her ”  Malala Foundation ” that would work for Girls Education in Pakistan .

She is Wrote the Book with Christiana Lamb and her fathers Mr. Zia uddin Yousafzai,s help and it is incredible Naration of Story of their Struggle from Extreme Poverty to now being Able to make 8 Schools , and 1,1000 Pupils and 100,s of Teachers to work and their Struggle as ” Aman Jirga “, or People who were Opposed to Violence and Against Taliban and countless Endeavors as Organisation which raised voices for People of Swat and for education .

Swat was Saved Ultimately as Pakistani Army was  forced to take a proper Measure to clear the Taliban but they did not clear it completely which was reason Malala was attacked and later the Peace is still shattered with bombs and Suicide Bombers as Pakistan Army and its Establishment is still hobnobbing with Taliban as they are apparently fighting with the Products the ” Taliban ” in Waziristan but not the Factories mostly found in Punjab other areas of Pakistan .

The Strategic Assets are Still Dear to Establishment and the Pashtun continue to Suffer in Pakistan as ” Policy “, of Terrorism and its support from Pakistan has not finished as Pashtun or their Voice on both Sides of Durrand line is not Dear to them .

The Book is very Smooth and Easy to Read and it is very Informative for those who really wants to Know about Pashtuns and About Taliban Atrocities and about the Reality and sound Reporting from Pakhtunkhwa and its people , it is a lot Better to read this book then be Lost in Too much and untrue Information called Garbage New of Pakis and International media , it is Must read book to read to known about the real Pashtuns of Pakistan .

This book will open the eyes of International community and how wrong they were about Pashtuns and how the lies were fed to them by Paki Controlled media and its Punjabi Establishment . How the People are same like Any International immunity and how they watch the same TV shows and Hear the same English Music and Programs and Pashtuns are not some cone form Mars or Venus Aliens as Wrongly projected by Pakistani media and Establishment .

Even Today in Pakistan the Highest Amount of Movies made are Pashto Films . Malala Love for Swat and her father love for her country and her homeland is undeniable as well as Right for Education as well .

Now this Teen Age Girl is a Celebrity and she has a lot to offer to World and Definitely as Nice Person and a Nice Book to read for All Policy makers and International Key player if they want to understand Afghanistan and Pakistan and Pashtuns as well as Taliban

Collective Amnesia and Apathy

Written by Khadim Hussain

A scene from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Nobel Prize winning novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, has vaguely remained my memory for a long time. The scene is about a gun battle  in 1967 between liberals and conservatives in Macondo city. The conservatives, being in power, have all the state resources to construct and disseminate propaganda. Leader and commander of the liberal force gets seriously injured and is left dying in pool of blood, perceived as dead after his force is defeated. Early next morning when the Colonel comes to consciousness, he is taken aback by the fact that there are no traces of a ferocious gun battle in the main square of the city. While moving to his house, he keeps asking about the gun battle last night but nobody in the city seems to be aware of the incident. The Colonel, severely injured, wishes to lose his memory but of no avail while on the other hand people around him start doubting him to have lost his mind . The people of the town keep arguing with each other regarding the claims of the Colonel while the Colonel himself starts showing signs of abnormality. The era in the novel seems to depict political and ideological wars in 17th and 18th Century Europe.

Since then , states around the globe have achieved sophisticated techniques to monopolize construction and dissemination of political and security narratives. The narratives mostly pertain to the prolonging of political arrangements to keep wielding, using and distributing power.

The events in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a north western province of Pakistan, and Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (FATA) in the last three weeks provide an interesting case study as to how narratives are constructed, used, and disseminated through media that sideline the issues having direct bearing on the common masses.

On July 26 2013, twin blasts in Parachinar (Headquarters of Kurrum Agency) left almost 57 dead and 167 critically injured1.The locals on the other day expressed their emotions:

Hussain said almost all the dead and wounded were Shias. Moreover, Ali said at the time of the explosion the market was full of Shias, who were buying items for their evening meal that breaks the daytime fast during the holy month of Ramazan. ”We demand protection. We request the government to take action against those who routinely kill our people,” he told The Associated Press. One of the blasts was carried out by a suicide bomber while the other might have been a planted one, Political Agent Riaz Mehsud said.[2]

Target killing of Peace Committees, police officials and Shias has remained a routine matter in the meanwhile. On August 2, two policemen and a House Station Officer (SHO) were shot dead in Daudzai in the suburbs of Peshawar.[3] A member of the Peace Committee was shot dead in Kabal Tehsil of Swat distrct on July 24 2013.[4] These are just two of the dozens acts of target killings that continue in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa unabattedly.

On July 30, “As many as 243 prisoners escaped as militants carrying heavy weapons stormed Dera Ismail Khan’s Central Jail, holding as many as 5,000 prisoners including 250 inmates belonging to various banned outfits here on late Monday night, Geo News reported.”[5]

These unfortunate events would have been considered as part of the war the militant network has launched against the state and society of Pakistan, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, had both the state and private electronic and print media of Pakistan not melted the story through other high profile stories that have little or no direct bearing on the citizens. Let me count the events that were hyped by media in the meanwhile which intentionally or unintentionally sidelined the terror events mentioned above.

A controversy on presidential election that was destined to be won by PML-N made banner headlines in print media and occupied more than 70% of time in electronic media which successfully marginalized killings in Parachinar.

After section of media started reporting target killings, news of the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan started doing the rounds. The stories of target killings thus relegated to cold storage by mainstream media.

As if it were not enough, when media started analyzing various aspects of the DI Khan jailbreak, another high profile issue occupied almost the whole space of print and electronic media. Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a show cause notice to Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan. This issue successfully engaged print media, electronic media and social media in a way unprecedented in this part of the world.

Is it demand of the consumers for a story as some media exponents would argue or depiction of a stark reality of the political economy of Pakistan? Is it information, education and entertainment as classical journalism envisages or monopoly on construction, distribution and dissemination of narratives that are related to power? Does this phenomenon indicate thirst for information by the common masses or does this signify hold of power by the political, corporate, and military and intelligence elite and urban middle classes in the state structures of Pakistan?

Academia in this part of the world has so far failed to analyze the above questions that have close relationship with the political economy of the state of Pakistan for three reasons besides lethargy. Firstly, most of the academia that resides in the urban centers has a share in the monopoly of the narratives and hence has some share in the hold of power by the elite and urban middle classes. Secondly, the overbearing state institutions on the one hand and the militant network on the other hand have successfully permeated fear with respect to evidence based analysis that might lead to a difference of opinion with respect to popular narratives. Thirdly, socio-cultural space for the dissenting narratives has been reduced to the extent that academia might not lay its hands on something that might touch the boundaries of non-conformism.

(The writer is a Peshawar based political analyst. Email: , twitter@khadimhussain4


Educational Reforms in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Written by Professor Khadim Hussain
ANP vs PTI Agenda

ANP vs PTI Agenda

It is interesting to note that the ‘working groups’ formed by the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for ‘reforms’ have almost made their recommendations public to some extent with the exception of education, especially curricula and textbooks. It seems recommendations of working group on curricula and textbooks have been shrouded in a weird kind of mystery. Hence, one can base analysis only on the sporadic hints that appear in media on and off.

Only cursorily mentioning of the issues of access and governance, which may be pivotal for achieving Millennium Development Goals, what seems evident from the press reports since working group for reforms in education was formed in July 2013 is that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ( PTI), Jamati Islami (JI) and Qawmi Watan Party ( QWP) coalition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has focused only on the following areas of quality of education:

1-      Medium of instruction

There seems to be an intriguing lack of understanding to differentiate between language education and medium of instruction. Two views seem to be prevailing in the government circles. The JI view, which might in all probability, prevails to achieve uniformity of education through imposing Urdu language as medium of instruction. The next step in their plan might be to nullify the Languages Act passed by the previous Provincial Assembly mainly represented by Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The Act had introduced indigenous languages like Pashto, Hindko, Seraiki, Torwali and Khwar as compulsory subjects in public schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The JI might also keep pushing for nullifying the Act on Languages Authority and might convert it into something like National Languages Authority with a focus on Urdu, Persian and Arabic.

The PTI dominant view in this regard seems to introduce English as medium of instruction so that graduates are able to be absorbed by the job market. Besides lack of capacity of majority of teachers to teach in English, this view utterly confuses English Language Education and medium of instruction. The working group has so far not touched English Language Teaching reforms, if press reports are to be believed.

2-      Curricular Narrative

The JI might push for doing away with the indigenous icons in Social Sciences replacing them with pan Islamist icons. Not only this, they seem to have an inclination to include those pan Islamist icons who might be remembered for their achievements in wars and imposition of their brand of religion on indigenous communities. The JI may also push for including verses from the Quran and Traditions of the Holy Prophet that relate to Qital with a specific perspective. For example, the JI ideologues in the working group might go for Sura Anfal and Sura Toba for 13 and 14 years old learners. Both of these Suras had been revealed for specific circumstances and cannot be used in a generalized manner according to scores of interpreters of the Quran. This seems to be in sync with the Salafi jihadist narrative that has brought about a shift in religious authority with respect to ‘Jihad’. On the one hand the Salafi Jihadists have equated ‘Jihad’ with ‘Qital’ and on the other hand they have authorized privatization of that ‘Qital’.

The JI and some in PTI might, in all probability, lobby to segregate curricula leading to religious, sectarian, gender and ethnic marginalization in terms of the discourse of representation. The JI might also manipulate to have more quantity of Salafi religious contents in Islamic Studies. Pan Islamist narrative of history might be incorporated into the textbooks with the argument to fulfill the demands of ‘Islamic Education’ enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. The social sciences and Islamic Studies textbooks might be re-written with the intent to purge them of indigenous narratives, indigenous history, modern civilization and critical thinking. Liberal arts will most probably be curbed in all levels of education.

3-      Academic environment

What seems ahead is that through mainstream media and through religious educational networks, pressure would be exerted on educational institutions of all categories to ensure gender segregation. This discourse seems to be manipulated in media in the shape of a popular demand for ‘pure’ and ‘sacred’ education. The walls of public schools and their class rooms might again be decorated and painted with the verses of Iqbal that teach Muslims to conquer the world, especially India, Israel and America. The overall environment will again be closed a little more leaving no space for any kind of rational debate. Questioning in the class-room and entertainment outside the class-room might be strangulated in the garb of a particular interpretation of Islam. The first victims of this educational paradigm might be women and ethno-lingual and ethno-religious minorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Rahman Baba, Khushal Khan Khattak, Ghani Khan and Bacha Khan might again be banished from the academic world on the one hand and the indigenous discourse of non-violence and pluralism might be undermined on the other hand. The emphasis would remain on recruiting those as teachers who more or less think the way the JI ideologues think.

4-      Higher Education

It seems all the centers of excellence, educational boards and administrative positions would be manned by those who pay allegiance to the discourse of segregation, jihadization (Qital), and centralization. For this to happen, they would probably burry the constitutional obligation of a Provincial Educational Council on the one hand and push for Amendment to the Universities Act on the other hand.

Research proposal on Free Masons, Indian Evil Designs on Pakistan, the 3rd World war, features of Islamic Society, Islamic Banking, and wars by the Muslim generals would be encouraged in the faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Shouldn’t the working group on education make their recommendations public, especially those that pertain to curriculum and textbooks?

The writer is a political analyst based in Peshawar. Email: Twitter/@khadimhussain4



Why Federalism is not Good for Pakistan

By Professor Khadim Hussain

The demand for a genuine federal democratic republic of Pakistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is as old as Pakistan itself and in some cases is even older than Pakistan. Initially, it was the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement and its various offshoots that struggled hard in the colonial era to win the status of a separate province with the right of adult franchise. The struggle that started for an autonomous province in the early 1920s culminated in the 1930s and as a result of which NWFP was made a separate province under the colonial constitutional framework of 1935. A separate NWFP assembly was formed after the elections held in 1937 in the united India.

After the inception of Pakistan, democratic secular nationalist entities from the then NWFP like Khudai Khidmatgars, and Balochistan, Sindh, the then Bengal and some leftists from Punjab formed People’s Party and later National Awami Party in the 1950s. The National Awami Party initiated its struggle in all parts of Pakistan on a three point agenda—separation of state and religion, provincial autonomy and an independent foreign policy. The National Awami Party started a mass movement across Pakistan, especially in NWFP, after General Ayub imposed martial law in the country and formed the notorious One Unit for the so-called parity between the Eastern and Western wings of Pakistan. The movement was later joined by the provincial chapters of Pakistan People’s Party, Jamiat-e-Ulamai Islam and Jamiat-e-Ulamai Pakistan.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the movement for autonomy of the provincial units of the federation for the political development of a genuine federal parliamentary democracy in Pakistan historically revolved around three major sets of grievances.

Besides long lasting struggle for identity, the first and the foremast on the agenda of the movement for autonomy and genuine federal democracy remained in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to be the issue of ownership and distribution of natural resources. Though not limited to water only,  the grievance over water gained prominence after hydroelectric power generation and irrigation channels from the water owned by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legally, technically and traditionally were used by the centre for Punjab without the consent of and due compensation to the province. Other resources that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa historically agitated and protested for include natural gas, cess on tobacco grown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, precious stones, minerals and forestry besides tourism.

The second set of grievances pertains to economy that includes unequal development and investment in trade and commerce, infrastructure for trade and commerce, unequal development of industry and market, agriculture, fishery and poultry. The third set of issues that became the source of long lasting demands in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa includes public policy and governance. This set of grievances was assumed to be the direct consequence of the deprivations mentioned in the first and second sets of grievances. This was thought to be the result of the centrist mindset of state institutions.  Denial of justice, lack of the Rule of Law, bureaucratic hegemony, non-responsiveness of state institutions, and lack of basic facilities like sewerage, clean drinking water, due share in taxes and revenues continue to breed negative attitude for political, institutional and capitalist elite of Pakistan in the common masses of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The landmark 18th Amendment passed and enacted in April 2010 not only resolved the issue of identity but also mitigated the grievance of resource distribution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to some extent. Abolition of concurrent list altogether and bringing of Federal Legislative List II in the purview of the Council of Common Interests might have resolved most of the outstanding issues between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the centre. There are still three irritants that continue agitating the governments and people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa persistently.

Firstly, the issue of centralization of governance and distribution of power by the centre has continuously made relations between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the centre in jeopardy. Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) based in Lahore and managed by Islamabad is considered not only hegemonic but also a stumbling block in fulfilling the needs of electricity of the people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Secondly, there is a fear that devolution of certain institutions is being resisted by sections of the political, military and bureaucratic elite with lame excuses and invalid arguments. Resistance to allow devolution of Higher Education Commission to provinces is just one example to nourish the fear of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The resurrection of the ministry of education and health with pseudonyms after the PML-N government was elected to power in Islamabad strengthens the fear of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that powerful sections of political, military and bureaucratic elite in Islamabad and Punjab are not sincere in realizing the dream of a genuine federal parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. As if it were not enough, the statement of the Federal Minister for Petroleum indicating review of the Article 158 of the constitution of Pakistan added salt to the injuries. Article 158 of the constitution of Pakistan had established the first right on the use of the natural gas and petroleum by the province where it is produced.

Thirdly, there is a strong demand by the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that half ownership of resources ensured in the 18th  must be constitutionally converted to the full ownership of resources while share of the cost for administration of state and distribution of resources may be worked out  in the Council of Common Interests and National Finance Commission.

The third set of grievances mentioned above may be considered the domains of provincial governments exclusively after the 18th Amendment and 7th NFC Award. Responsibility for governance, law and order, education, health, socio-cultural development, women development, youth affairs, agriculture, tourism and local government must be taken up by the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Abdication of this responsibility by the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be deemed as complicity in revoking autonomy and decentralization. The civil society, academia, professional organizations, media and research organizations have to form networking for taking ahead the true spirit of federal parliamentary democracy in Pakistan.

(The writer is a political analyst based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Email: twitter/@khadimhussain4

source :


Teen Beat’s Masood Ahmed Paracha

Peshawar’s passionate music lover, Collector , Teen Beat’s Masood Ahmed Paracha, passes away

Masood Ahmed Paracha of Teen Beet

Masood Ahmed Paracha of Teen Beet

PESHAWAR: Born in Kohat to a conservative family, Masood Ahmed Paracha fought against all odds to pursue his dream. In 1978, he established Teen Beat, Peshawar’s largest and oldest music store, despite resistance from his orthodox family and the generally conservative Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region. “He was a brave man who always followed his dream despite facing opposition from the family,” says Nasir Khan, the assistant who worked with Paracha at Peshawar’s popular music store. “It was due to his bravery and love for music that I remained associated with him for over 26 years.” Paracha breathed his last on Sunday, due to “old age”, according to Khan. “He did not really have any health problems,” he says, adding that he was buried in his ancestral village in Kohat. When it started out, Teen Beat had only 150 music records. Today, it has the largest audio collection in the province, with 10,000 CDs, 10,000 cassettes and around 14,000 LPs. Apart from the collection, autographs from prominent singers and musicians such as Mohammad Rafi, R D Burman, Jagjit Singh, Noushad, Manna Dey, Reba McEntire, Nayyara Noor are also prominently displayed inside the shop.

Aside from the expected classic and contemporary Pashto music, Teen Beat used to be the region’s hotspot for English music. It offered a great collection of classical and semi-classical Urdu songs. Customers would come from far-flung places and were left dumbfounded with the variety of music available in Peshawar. Paracha’s knowledge in music was immaculate. “He had profound knowledge about both Eastern and Western music,” asserts Khan. “People from far flung areas would come in search of music. Not once did anybody go back empty-handed.”

The people of the city loved him for keeping their culture and heritage alive. Records from old Pashto singers like Ghani Khan, Hamza Baba and Sabz Ali Khan, could only be found in his personal treasure.

Zeeshan Parwez of the band Sajid and Zeeshan recalls memories with the popular store owner. “I was introduced to him in 1992,” he posted on Facebook. “Since then, I have been going there to purchase countless albums and order selections. The Teen Beat card [receipt for order collection] is my most treasured thing,” he says. “I think many people would back me up when I say this — a lot of times I found that a record was available at Teen Beat only 10 days after its worldwide release. In those days, it was unheard of because new records would reach Offbeat and other shops a bit later,” he adds.

Parwez shares details of his last meeting with Paracha. “I met him last year when I went to buy some Pashto CDs. He had aged quite a bit but still had that smile on his face. Only, this time, he was asking for an autographed poster of me and Sajid so that he could put it up on his wall alongside other posters.”

In his last years, Paracha worried about the decline in his business due to the availability of free music online. The number of visitors at his shop gradually dwindled, but he continued to pursue his dream till his last day.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2013.


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