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pakhtunkhwadevelopment

pakhtunkhwadevelopment

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Published by Qissa Khwani
The book "Pakhtunkhwa: A Development Framework" is an attempt by a group of
political workers, intellectuals and economists headed by Afrasiab Khattak,
prominent human rights activist and lawyer.

The book, published in 2003 analyzes pakhtun society
and suggests ways and means for social economic development. (Khattak et al 2003)
The book "Pakhtunkhwa: A Development Framework" is an attempt by a group of
political workers, intellectuals and economists headed by Afrasiab Khattak,
prominent human rights activist and lawyer.

The book, published in 2003 analyzes pakhtun society
and suggests ways and means for social economic development. (Khattak et al 2003)

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Published by: Qissa Khwani on Nov 04, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/04/2011

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By: NDCP; National Democratic Consultative Process A framework of shared geography, language, culture and history along with commoninterests in life, make the building blocks of a distinct community. Such a group, besidescooperation, is always in competition with other human groups for the control of resources.
Therefore, to speak for one’s own community and to defe
nd its cultural, economic andpolitical interests is very natural. 
INTRODUCTION
 The history of Pakhtuns
[1]
is full of stories of valor and resilience. The complex mosaic of tribal structure of  Pakhtun society has proved to be an asset as well as a liability in the history of Pakhtuns. This pattern of tribes emerged and was strengthened in view of the uniquecircumstances faced by our people through different epochs of time. The difficult terrain anddictates of mountainous geography placed each tribe in separate compartments andobstructed increased interactions among different tribes. In political terms, this hindered theprocess of nation building.The process of nation building among Pakhtuns has been mostly triggered by externalchallenges. Pakhtun national movement has seen different epochs of its existence. The rise of  Shaikh Malli, Pir Rokhan, Khushal Khan Khattak, Mirwais Nika, Ahmad Shah Abdali, Bacha Khan, Faqir Api and Samad Khan Achakzai were not individual events, which were limitedto the persons of these great Pakhtun personalities alone. Rather, each one of them representsa unique historical phenomenon in the history of Pakhtuns. In fact, the national aspirations of Pakhtuns culminated in the persons of these leaders to give a response to the prevailinghistorical challenges of their times. Although the history of Pakhtun National Movement
 – 
stretching over a period of more thanfive centuries
 – 
is full of countless stories of sacrifices but even today, sadly enough, thisMovement has not been able to achieve the desired goals i.e. full and effective control overthe natural and human resources of Pakhtuns for the welfare of the entire people of Pashtunkhwa.Several reasons may be counted for this failure but the foremost is the lack of a scientificunderstanding of the social processes. Sentimental slogans and emotional catchwords mightprove effective tools in the overall strategy of rallying support for a national cause but, alone,it cannot actualize national goals.Today, Pakhtun nation is faced with momentous challenges. As ever before Pakhtun land is atheater of rivalries among foreign powers and no one seems willing to take our nationseriously because we have not been able, so far, to present our national cause in a scientificand convincing way. End of the Cold War in general and the post September 11th world inparticular has confronted Pakhtuns with formidable challenges. The world media and think tanks are depicting various scenarios for our region. Unfortunately, Pakhtun leadership hasnot been able to grasp or express the vision that encompasses Pakhtun national rights. Whatshould be the response of  Pashtun nation to these vital aspects of geopolitical changes that may sweep this region and how best can they articulate the complexity of the situation fortheir national interests? These are questions of momentous importance, which will determinePakhtun destiny for a very long time.Pakhtuns occupy a mass of land, which has been of great geo strategic importance in the pastand will remain so in the future as well. Pakhtuns are living at the crossroads of Chinese,Indian, Russian and
Persian civilizations. ‘The Great Game’
[2]
rivalry of the world powershas not ended and has resurfaced with renewed ferocity.In the past, Pakhtuns have responded with ferocious vengeance to any encroachment on their
 
land but all such gallant endeavors were individualistic and limited in scope and effects.Except the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement of the early 20th century, none of the oppositionmovements against the foreign aggressors were organized political movements in thetechnical sense. Hence, they could not capitalize on the unprecedented sacrifices rendered inthose movements by all segments of Pakhtun society.The new circumstances have put our region into a fluid situation that may unfold in a numberof scenarios. Probably, Pakhtun land will be the center stage of many events with radicalimplications for its people. This has made the assessment of the present state of affairs, amatter of great exigency. It is, therefore, imperative that the probable developments must berationally conceived and a proactive response be formulated and presented before thePakhtun masses.This region is in the grip of momentous changes. Pakhtuns
 – 
left unaware
 – 
will once againbe the fuel for foreign rivalries. Therefore, Pakhtun National Movement must be resurrectedand redefined along scientific and modern democratic lines so that Pakhtun national interestscould be actualized in the best possible way.In order to create democratic structures and systems along scientific lines, which will carryPakhtun national aspirations towards the desired goals, it is imperative to make an analyticalstudy of the prevailing sociopolitical and economic conditions of Pakhtun society. Thisanalysis will help in creating a framework to build a national movement of all Pakhtuns alongscientific lines. The grand aim of this Pashtun National Movement (See Annexure A fordetails) is to bring to an end the colonial division of Pashtuns and unite them in a singleadministrative unit of Pashtunkhwa. It is only by exercising their democratic rights andcontrol over their resources that Pakhtun men and women can achieve full empowerment.The southern Pashtunkhwa or Pashtun belt of Balochistan is a vital part of the efforts fornational unity. The National Democratic Consultative Process (NDCP) intends to conductthorough research on the problems and prospects of Southern Pashtunkhwa that will besubsequently added to this document. Before that, however, a cursory look at the history of Pashtun National Movement seems desirable.
PAKHTUN NATIONAL MOVEMENT IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
 Long before the efforts of Pir Roshan to unite Pakhtuns on his revolutionary mysticism and
long before Khushal Khan Khattak’s call for defending the honour of Afghans
[3]
(Pakhtuns),Ghories and Lodhies had formed vast empires. But these empires were centered and based inforeign lands far away from the high mountain peaks and stormy rivers of Pakhtunkhwa.Rising high in their pride of Pakhtun nature, silent and magnificent, the mountain ranges of Hindu Kosh, Solayman, Toba, Khyber, Maban, Malakand, and Lawaghar have been gravelypondering over the tragedy of Pakhtuns. Representing the typical Central Asian nature, thesemountains present a very poignant symbolism of the culture and history of Pakhtunkhwa.Their defiant looks symbolize the determination of Pakhtuns to continue their struggle againstall odds.
ېک اخ کڅ نوغ ګند د
 
ےک يش هن رتفر نوس ټهپ
 
"Living beside the towering peaks of high mountains, Subjugation is simply unacceptable."Pakhtuns are basically a Central Asian stock. In fact they are one of the largest nation of Central Asia. Pakhtunkhwa, thanks to its peculiar geography, could absorb the ancient
cultural traditions of both Avesta and Sanskrit. Nawroz (or New Year’s day falling on March
21) keeps the memory of Zoroastrian times alive and the contents of some Vedas point
 
towards this land as origin of their composition. But successive invasions and immigrationsbrought many more cultural trends. Geography has played such an enormous role in shapingthe history of Pakhtunkhwa that it is very difficult to find any parallel to it in world history.Pakhtunkhwa is lying on the south eastern edge of Central Asia bordering at South Asia.Practically forming a gateway to Indian subcontinent, Pakhtunkhwa had been continuouslytrampled by waves of invaders and conquerors who were leading towards the "treasures" of India. For centuries this factor has proved to be of decisive importance in charting the courseof life in Pakhtunkhwa and it has left an indelible imprint on the national character of Pakhtuns.The birth of two very important phenomena in our society can also be attributed to our uniquegeographical situation. Firstly, the devastating and destructive wars brought about by wildhordes of invaders created deep ruptures and gaps between different stages of our historicaldevelopment and civilization. This peculiarity in Pakhtun history deprived the people of Pakhtunkhwa of an historical memory of their own existence, rendering them vulnerable tocolonialist manipulations. Like an individual, a nation without memory of the past hasproblems of orientations in the present and future.This is how Pakhtunkhwa lost many of its rituals and books that could have provided her withan anchorage in the stormy seas of history. This historical discontinuity has created a vacuumin knowledge about the origin and development of Pakhtun society that is filled very often byconcoctions prepared by colonialists. This historical deformation has turned Pakhtunkhwainto a society deprived of full-fledged hinges of its own, thus opening it to foreign culturaland political dominations. The catastrophe brought about by the invasion of Pakhtunkhwa byWhite Huns or Ephthalites in the 5 th century A.D. is a case in point that has resulted in therupture of the subsequent history of Pakhtunkhwa from the golden age of the great Gandharacivilization.Secondly, as Pakhtuns were living at the fringes of different empires for most of the times, sotribal formation among them has persisted for a very long span of time. Long and old tribaltraditions have engraved particular traits on Pakhtun national culture and psyche. Resistanceagainst foreign invasions only reinforced tribal and clan relations as they provided Pakhtunswith the best form of social organizations for mustering their military strength, apart frommaintaining their identity and defending their ancient traditions.
BARRIERS TO STATE FORMATION
 Difficult geographical barriers, tribal and patriarchal fragmentations and the persistence of aprimitive type of natural economy had made the emergence of a strong, united andcentralized Pakhtun State awfully difficult. The primitive type of subsistence economycoupled with very strong unruly traditions were important factors against the emergence of astrong centralized state as it minimized the prospects for extracting the necessary amount of taxes for running a strong and elaborate state machine. Apart from colonialist. machinationsand outright aggressions, these factors also provide some insight into the decline of DurraniPakhtun State in 19 th century that had emerged in the previous century on the ruins of Moghul
[4]
and Safavid
[5]
empires. As soon as the resources from the external conquests ended,the Afghan State became weaker and fell victim to colonialist interference and aggressions.But the most severe blow to the unity of Pakhtunkhwa in the 19 th century came from thenorthwest ward expansions of the British colonialists in the Indian subcontinent. Britishinvasion of Afghanistan in 1838 was a first step to conquer Central Asia and to put an end tothe southward march of Russia. The tough resistance put by Afghans, coupled with Europeanpressures stopped the onward British march into Central Asia (or the socalled ForwardPolicy), but the British did not give up this ambition altogether. To get themselves entrenched

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