A R I A N A

M O N T H L Y


T H E V I S I O N O F R A I S I N G A W A R E N E S S T O T H E N E E D F O R T H E
D E V E L O P M E N T O F T H E P A S H T U N P E O P L E
JANUARY 2010


Welcome to Ariana Monthly! We would like to wish
everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year!

This is the very first Newsletter produced by the
Society, and what a time it is to start! Let me first
begin with a brief introduction. The Pashtun Society
was set up and created by Shaneela Rahman in
October 2009 as the President and Salla Hakanen
has been placed in the position of the Vice-President,
along with Shazia Shahzad, who will be taking
responsibility as the treasurer of the Society.

The Society, which is a part of the University of
Westminster Student’ Union, was formed mainly to
help raise awareness of the Pashtun peoples
language, culture and history. In the western world
especially, there is a lack of general knowledge about
the Pashtun people and any knowledge out there is
stained by contemporary issues, such as the war in
Afghanistan and terrorism. 9/11 was the point when
the international community placed its attention on
Central Asia, with US forces entering Afghanistan in
their pursuit of Al-Qaeda. The United Stated also
pursued another enemy – the Taliban. The time now
has come where the international community are
becoming more affluent, who have the need to seek
knowledge about international relations and current
affairs. The aim of the Society is to help spread
knowledge about the Pashtun people. Alongside this,
the Pashtun Society aims to provide a platform from
where the Pashtun people can have their voice heard
and this is especially important, since the Pashtuns
are one of the most oppressed nations on this earth.
This newsletter will focus on issues concerning



Pashtuns and we will cover various topics, such as
Pashtun Arts & Culture, History, News features, and
information on any coming events that the Society will
hold, coverage on events we have held and any other
articles and features concerning the Pashtuns.

If you think you would like to contribute to Ariana
Monthly, please email us on

pashtun.society@googlemail.com – you are welcome
to contribute anything from news pieces to feature
articles or anything to do with arts & culture.

Please do remember to have a look at our website for
more in depth details about the Pashtuns and we also
update regularly on our Facebook page.

Happy reading!

Shaneela Rahman


Shaneela Rahman, President
UWSU Pashtun Society




















Salla Hakanen, Vice-President
UWSU Pashtun Society


Shaneela is an Arabic and
International Relations student
at Westminster University,
London. She is 27 years old
and previous work experience
includes: American Express, Q
News International, BBC,
Universal Studios, Warner Bros,
Fairtrade Foundation, Daily
Jang and Rogers
Communications.
Salla is an Arabic and
International Relations
student at University of
Westminster, London. She is
20 years old and was born in
Finland, Valtimo. She
graduated from Upper
Secondary school in 2008
after which she moved to
Ireland to work for IBM. She
enjoys travelling and music.
Salla is interested in the
Pashtuns and is taking her
interest a step further by
being a part of this Society.


AFGHANISTAN AND THE WORLD

CHINA’S WAR IN AFGHANISTAN – OR NOT?

Along with India, China’s journey to being the ultimate
world superpower doesn’t happen without an agenda.
China have it all mapped out and will hit back to the
world, where it hurts. So, considering the Chinese
ambition, it’s not surprising that Robert Gates,
America’s Defense Secretary has noticed that China
hasn’t contributed military resources in the United
States’ Afghan mission. Instead, China is looking at
way that it can profit from the US presence in Central
Asia – targeting the United States exactly where it
hurts them the most.

The Logar province of Afghanistan holds the world
second largest source of Copper in the world, and it is
not surprising that China has invested $3.5 Billion in
the former Al-Qaeda stronghold. And who maintains
it? Let’s see…

The mine is guarded by the Afghan Police, paid for by
the Japanese and the area is patrolled by the
American army’s Tenth Mountain Division. On top of
this, China seems to be Pakistan’s best friend, with
huge Chinese projects going on in Pakistan’s Kashmir
– seems like China has got quite a few good deals
going on, pushing them onto the highway for world-
wide domination. Even the Taliban are sitting up and
taking notice. The Taliban wrote to the Chinese
dominated Shanghai Co-operation Organization
(SCO), whose members include mainly Central Asian
States and Russia, asking for help in driving the
American ‘Infidels’ out of Afghanistan. However, the
Chinese have a few






concerns of its own, in regards to the fear of Islamic
radicalization. Chinese ethnic minority Muslim
Uyghur’s are cause for concern, especially at the
advent of them forming connections with Jihadist
across Pakistan and Afghanistan and of course having
American military power on their doorstep, isn’t
something that the Chinese like to smile about, but in
secret China is happy about the fact that the US has
its tabs on another neighbour – Japan.

If China keeps on playing its game as it is at the
moment, this is one Great Game that the Chinese
could win.

HAMID KARZAI: THE PRESSURE IS ON

When Karzai was inaugurated into office, after an
election which was stained by the scandalous vote-
rigging fiasco, the international community set their
sights on progress in Afghanistan and started to hope
for its stable future.

Much of the International community sided with Hilary
Clinton’s campaign that wants to highlight the need for
end to corruption. Indeed, this is something that
needs to be addressed with a solid head start, in order
for Afghanistan to progress ahead in its vision for
economic stability. Karzai has a lot in his hands and
expectations to meet – the world’s wide eye will be
watching him, paying attention to his every move. In
his speech, he mentioned the need to stop wasting
development aid funds, but will involve International
prosecutors to help combat corruption be something
that Karzai would be open to? In answer to this –
Karzai would most probably not want foreigners to
meddle in Afghanistan’s sovereignty, but maybe it
could be the best route to prosperity that Afghanistan
could take. On the other hand, however, law



enforcement agencies are being set up – of course
with the guidance of American and British intelligence
(FBI and Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency
(SOCA)).

So Maybe we can see the end to corruption on the
Afghani horizon after all, especially since these
western intelligence services have been in operation
in Afghanistan for a while.

However, the turning point for the end to corruption in
Afghanistan would be when Karzai takes action
against his half brother, head of Kandahar’s Provincial
Council. Ahmed Wali Karzai has faced allegations of
being involved in the drug trade. Of course both
Karzai and Wali have strongly denied any association
with the drug trade. But, it seems like that when Wali
is sacked from office by his half-brother, only then can
the Americans rest in the knowledge that Afghanistan
is well and truly dealing with its corruption problem.

MORE AMERICAN TROOPS COMMITTED TO
AFGHANISISTAN – IS THIS REALLY THE END?

With Obama’s commitment to 30,000 more American
troops being deployed to Afghanistan, along with
NATO promising that member states will commit
5,000 more troops, the question comes to mind, “Is
Obama really going to withdraw from Afghanistan at
all?”, with the final departure from Afghanistan being
dependent on the “conditions on the ground” and with
the Taliban growing and coming back stronger since
their topple in 2001, it seems like the ‘American
dream’ of withdrawing from Afghanistan isn’t going to
come into fruition anytime soon. The United States
still has a lot of work on its hands, including working
with Pakistan to help them strengthen their
commitment to eradicate the ‘Taliban havens’ across




the Afghan-Pak border. Just by having a brief look at
what America has on its Afghani plate, we can see
that it looks like the American presence in Afghanistan
is not going to end anytime soon. They will be
involved in training the Afghan forces and protecting
the population from the vulnerability of being infiltrated
by the Taliban in Kandahar. The troops will also be
concentrated in the Pashtun-dominated heartlands of
both Kandahar and Helmand province. NATO will
hold the farmlands east and west of Kandahar and the
surrounding areas. This will help secure the passage
between the two areas and allow for commercial trade
between them, which hasn’t happened for years.

However foreign control of Kandahar City will be the
hardest, especially since the city hosts the Taliban’s
second largest and main Taliban front. Large
percentage of Afghan population do not agree with the
involvement of more foreign troops, as people are
concerned with the advancement of Taliban from
Pakistan and trouble coming from the border region.
They believe the foreign troops should concentrate on
those areas, as these areas constitute the ‘Taliban
havens’.

With American troops being ignorant to the ways of
the Pashtuns, the likelihood of Taliban infiltration in
Afghanistan is stronger then ever before.

PASHTUN DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES

PAKHTUNKHWA PEACE FORUM
Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum is a forum of individuals
and civil society organizations committed to project the
true aspirations of the Pashtun people. The objectives
of PPF are to promote, strengthen and maintain peace
and justice in Pakhtunkhwa. It promotes dialogues and
discussion on different Social (Peace, Democracy,
Human Rights) and Political issues. PPF is involved in


advocacy efforts, including public advocacy and
lobbying, and training related to its work. In addition,
PPF carries on research in the fields of development,
education, employment, peace and security and works
in collaboration with other organizations to promote
activities that will advance progress toward peace and
prosperity in Pashtun populated regions.
PPF seeks to contribute to the implementation of these
goals through producing relevant and high-quality public
policy documents, and encouraging a pluralistic and
informed public policy debate on Pashtun issues. PPF a
Campaign of the Canadian Institute for Peace and
Development (CIPD) is committed to bring People
together for Peace and justice in Pakistan, Afghanistan
and around the globe.
Specific Objectives:
The Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum is a non- profit and non-
partisan organization working for the realization of the
following objectives:
- To support the rights and legitimate interest of
Pashtuns and act in matters affecting their rights and
status in Canada, UK, France, Germany, USA and
elsewhere.
- To support and strengthen peace, democracy and
stability in Pashtun populated regions.
- To purport and conduct non-partisan research
activities about Pashtun language, history, culture,
economy and politics.
- To impart and promote skills development, training
and education for Pashtun youth to prevent their falling
into the hands of extremists and militants propelled by
obscurantist ideologies.



- To raise environmental awareness in Pashtun
community.
- To improve human rights situation among Pashtuns,
particularly women and children rights.
- To raise awareness among the world community
about Pashtun language, culture, history and social
system.
NEW YEARS IN SWAT

‘If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’

By Zubair Torwali

Recently in a meeting with the Hotel Association of
Swat the army has decided to celebrate the New Year
with a festival whereby to invite tourists to Swat; and
the hotels scattered in the valley will offer them free
services of lodging. It was decided that the festival will
begin with the eve of the New Year and would go on till
January 10. It was also decided that the visitors would
be provided with all necessary security; and that they
would be undergone screening at only one point, at the
entrance to Swat. It is a just decision though many
tourists will surely not take the risk due to the winter
cold in Swat. But hopefully many would come to enjoy
the snow fall; and many would certainly love to see the
situation themselves. People of Swat are hopeful that a
large number of guests would visit the beautiful valley
despite the winter. People also expect that they would
not suffer much in the name of security in the areas
where the guests would go.

Few weeks back, it was suggested that the army in
Swat should chalk out measures which would
strengthen the people-army relationships. It was



suggested that the military must take the people on
board, and fill the gap in communication, otherwise the
people would soon consider their own army as
invaders. Now, the military has moved on that
direction. There are now more occasions of get-
togethers seen in the valley. These include contests
among the school children, though for now more
emphasis is on holding of contests in Qirat recitation.
Such contests need to be extended to speech contests,
tableaus, musical concerts and quizzes. Similarly more
advanced conferences on various topics and cultural
shows need to be held in the valley. It would be better if
the conferences could be attended by intelligentsia from
other parts of Pakistan. There is of course much in
these suggestions, and these events are sure to foster
a new hope in the people as well.

However, we must not forget that strict security
measures and blockage of the busy routes should in no
way add to the predicament of the people. For instance,
the Saidu Sharif Mingora road has been closed for
hours because of such events at the famous Wadidia
Hall in Saidu Sharif. This causes a lot of trouble as all
the major hospitals and the courts lie on this road. This
road is one of the busiest as it is used not only by the
people of Saidu or Mingora but also the people of the
whole valley, who use this road daily. Similarly at the
main stations of the army where an officer of the
brigadier rank is stationed, is closed down due to
movement of the officers.

Apart from this the military need to consult people from
all walks of life in Swat. The mere gathering of a few
sycophants will not help much. Swat needs concrete
rethinking, and this can only be achieved by
taking all the stakeholders on board. Any impropriety in
this regard would certainly be doomed to failure. It has
also constantly been a subject of reproach that the
army usually does not care much about the concerns of



the people. We hope that this does not owe to the
cliché ‘bloody civilians’.

Coming back to the main point, the tourists and Swat, it
would be better if such a move is well advertised via
media. The people of Pakistan could be moved to come
for the solidarity with the people of Swat who have
undergone many hard times owing to the insurgency.

The people of Pakistan would hear the call and will
definitely come to encourage the affected Swatis.
All is well but: will those days reel back when the
jubilant Lahories would come to the scenic towns of
Swat and celebrate?

O, for those days when they came and play Bhangra in
the bazaars of Bahrain and Kalam. Gone are the days
when the joyful girls from the elite universities and
colleges would rush to Swat and celebrate their
birthdays here. We had seen many such great times
when we would enjoy the car drives in the full moon on
the Swat roads running between lush green fields and
fragrant orchards. Bitter to recall the days when Heers
and Rhajhas, Sharins and Farhads or Yousaf Khans
and Sher Banos would be seen absorbed in ecstasies
on the green belts and grey boulders along the bank of
the azure River Swat. These people would come to
celebrate their honeymoons in Swat. And imagine the
days when Sher Banos and Heers were publicly lashed.
We have also seen those days when beheaded bodies
were found strung over the poles each morning. We
have really experienced the Kabul of 1995 in Swat.
During the rule of Taliban in Afghanistan the only
entertainment of the people seemed to be the daily
lashing and the beheading at the playgrounds in Kabul.

We have also witnessed such scenes in Swat when the
children would gather and watch the lashing as some
entertainment. Kabul was described during that period
as ‘entertainment starved capital’. We in Swat were



also forced to entertain with songs singing of more
brutality and with sickening videos of butchering and
lashing. The people of swat now deserve all kinds of
entertainment. To provide them with such occasions
would be of much blessing. But still we are fearful as
much has yet to be done in Swat. This is now winter.
We expect no great fun from our fellow Pakistani.

Many of them would not venture to come amidst the
chill and security. But we expect all Pakistan to be with
us, and boost us and our economy when spring comes
and the orchards of Swat begin to sprout and fill your
way with sweet fragrance. We hope, and in Shelly’s
words say ‘The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If
Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

The writer is a freelance analyst based in Swat and
coordinates Idara
Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi i.e. Center for Education and
Development there. Email: ztorwali@gmail.com

THE PASHTUN SOCIETY: THE MISSION

Most people will most probably know by now what the
aim of our Society is, however we have received quite a
few suggestions from people, who think that we should
also work to help Pashtuns who want to move to the UK
or anywhere else in the west. People have suggested
that we offer a service where we can help Pashtuns
regarding residency and immigration issues, finding
accommodation and jobs, careers guidance and advice
and general support in settling into a new country. We
would like to emphasize what the aim of the University
of Westminster Students’ Union Pashtun Society is.

One of the many aims behind this Society is to raise
awareness of Pashtun culture, history and language,
primarily amongst non-Pashtuns, and also to provide a
voice for the Pashtun people all over the world. We



want to provide a platform for the Pashtun people
where we can show the west that we are not all Taliban
sympathizers and we are not terrorists. We need to
reflect on the reasons why Pashtuns decide to leave
their motherland and move away – mainly to the west.

People move for two main purposes:

1. For education, with majority of students moving away
to the west with a vision of staying there, due to the
economic instability of their own country
2. To find a job and settle here, again, due to lack of
economic stability and opportunities in their own
country.

This problem, however, is not limited to the Pashtuns -
most developing countries around the world have
citizens who look for a way out to a better life, and who
can blame them? If you look at the NWFP, you can see
the lack of opportunities there are in comparison to say,
Punjab. This is due to lack of Pashtun leadership and
investment within the NWFP. This includes a lack of
Jobs, hospitals, schools and basic life provisions, such
as transportation, reliable energy resources (we all
know how many times the electricity cuts out, especially
in the summer!). The simple matter of fact is that the
government is not doing enough.

So, in a nutshell, what is the Pashtun Society? Our
vision is:

1. Create awareness of Pashtun culture, language and
history in the west. By doing this, the west notice that
existing arrangements in place, in regards to
development aid, is not being used where it should be.

2. Provide a platform from which Pashtun communities
across the world can have their voice heard.




3. In the future, we aim to contribute, towards the
development of the most deprived Pashtun
communities around the world.

First and foremost, the most deprived Pashtun
communities are located in and around the NWFP and
Afghanistan. Once we have dealt with this priority
group, we can reach out to our second priority group -
which are Pashtun communities across the world,
whether that be the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa,
Australia, New Zealand and so on.

Our aim is development and this of course includes
helping to put in place provisions of healthcare and
education where Pashtuns can easily have access to
them. Once this Pashtun grievance has been
addressed, along with the need for a stable economy
that the Pashtuns can live under, we may find that the
percentage of people wanting to move away for a better
standard of living, will be much less.

We do have a lot of work ahead of us, and we will need
a lot of help in making this happen and it will not be an
easy ride. But may God guide us and protect us in this
journey.


THIS MONTH IN
AFGHAN HISTORY


JANUARY 1842 – MASSACRE OF ELIPHINSTONE’S
ARMY

This massacre, still debated about today, was a victory
for the Afghan forces. It was led by commanders Akbar




Khan, an Afghan Prince and British General William
Elphinstone. The British East India Company was
concerned about Russian influence in Afghanistan and
the British forces had started to march in difficult
environmental conditions, towards Kabul. Tribesmen of
the rural areas of Afghanistan were not easily
influenced by the British and so Akbar Khan had gained
their support. The Afghans had killed some of the
British army by setting their tents on fire and
Elphinstone become a hostage. Only one member of
the British army, William Brydon, had survived and
made it to Jalalabad. On arrival, he was asked “Where
is your army?” Brydon answered “I am the army”.
Akbar’s father, Dost Mohammed was a British prisoner
and shortly after his release, the British had resolved to
never meddle with Afghanistan’s affairs again.

JANUARY 1878: ANGLO-AFGHAN WAR

Afghan Amir of the time, Sher Ali Khan refused to allow
a British diplomatic mission in Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, Lord Lytton, the Viceroy at the time had
ordered a diplomatic mission in Kabul, but was then
turned back when they had attempted to enter via the
Khyber Pass. This led to an Anglo-Afghan war. Britain
wasn’t the only diplomatic mission that was refused –
Russia had also been refused, but when Russia’s
envoys appeared in July 1878, the Amir had failed to
keep them out.











ARTS AND CULTURE

POETRY

The Beasts
In the house of men
we were preached
to embrace the past
and forget the future.
We did so!
we happily lived in the past
deliberately forgot the present
and shunned the future too.


After centuries
when we rubbed our eyes from a deep slumber
we found…
that we were turned into beasts inside past’s
metaphorical walls
but then….
when we looked above the walls
there were only beasts
walking ….
with two legs
driven by their greedy desires
patrolling on my streets
with their khaki uniform
and stupid weapons
to glorify
what beasts can do for beasts?

Me and my lonely night
As the long winter night comes to me
I hug your memories
like a child of war






who embrace his toys against the chill of the night to
stay calm at the face of a terror.

But then
I look at the clock on the wall
and the calendar on the table
a realization
that I live in the present
so.....
I start undressing
the tedious daily works
dusting my formal afternoons
and start arranging myself
to go to bed
it is getting dark now.

But then....
I need someone
someone...
to guard me of devils
someone...
with a flicker of light
to embrace me against the chill of the night
embrace my emptiness
and because I have nothing to do tonight!
except
talking with your pictures
so I will stay silent tonight!
And will ask myself:
is there someone who talks that sweet!
As you?


By Farid Gul, is a London based Pashtun Poet.





Ulusyarr Khan Tareen coming back with a bang!

Pashtun singer Ulusyarr Khan Tareen, of popular melodies ‘Sanam Jana’ and ‘Wale
Wale Shereno’ is coming back with a bang, after taking some time out to hone his
talents. Although his next new album is not set to release for a few months,
Ulusyarr promises to win the hearts and minds of his fellow Pashtuns and others
with his multi-lingual mix. His new album called ‘Meena Zama’ (My Love) will
feature an array of sad, happy and romantic poetry, set to smooth beats composed
by the popular Fay Khan. Apart from being a multi-lingual album featuring Pashto,
Urdu, Arabic and Farsi languages – what also makes this album unique is the fact
that the lyrics were penned by Ulusyarr’s Poet father Afzal Shauq. This really helps
to set Ulusyarr’s music apart which, we are pretty sure, will be music to quite a few
ears…




Irfan Khan on a roll!

Using his music to reach out to the expatriate Pashtun community, Pashtun singer, Irfan Khan has added a new
modern twist to his music that, without a doubt get Pashtuns all over the world nodding their heads to his modern
beats. But it’s not just the Pashtun communities across the world that
he appeals to, considering that one of this latest singles called
‘Chounay Dai’ is sung in the Urdu language, making Irfan Khan
appealing to a wider audience. He also created a bit of a magical
cultural twist, by singing a duet with non-Pashtun Pakistani female
singer, Hadiqa Kiani. The duet, called ‘Janaan’ was sung in Pashto by
both artistes and has been a success throughout Pakistan. Keep up
the good work, Irfan!








MESSAGES FROM SOCIETY MEMBERS

“Love to be a part of every Pashtun community”, Shurjeel Shah

“Dear sister thank you too much for making this group, you haven’t
make only this group you have made the unity of Pashtuns and you are a real Pashtun and I pray for you every time
best of luck sis, God bless you”, Iqbal Khan

“Good work brothers and sisters of proud Pashtun father.
Let it be a place of cooperation and peace and understanding between all brothers and sisters”, Abdul Majid

“Dear Shaneela Rahman, Pashtoons are no fool, but we have to accept that rest of them are illiterate,
rest of them cannot read and write, and the thing that is panic for me, is that
Pashtoon are not united, even a lot of them have forgotten their language, they speak Urdu or Farsi,
even those Pashtoons who access internet, they have no Pashto font in their computers, Pashto language is poor,
and Pashtoon even fight against each other, it is really panic, if are killings, war, suicide attacks and so on… in
Waziristan, Kabul, Quetta,… every where but the people who are killed, all are Pashtoon, those who are jailed are
Pashtoon, schools that are destroyed are Pashtoon schools, those who are called terrorists are Pashtoon so please
be united and do not kill each other, do not let any one destroy your schools, hospitals and Mosques, do not let
others remove your language Be united LAR and BAR”, Fatah Durani

“Dear Friends, A nice step towards unity of Pukhtoons. I would stress to lay emphasis on reminding the world the
glorious days of, Pukhtoons. We can achieve it provided we join hands sincerely and work with more dedication and
zeal. I am with you. Best Luck”, Ghulam Nabi

“Oh My God! Finally a Pushtoon society!!!!!! All I heard was Pakistanis Tamils, Hindus, never heard no Pushtoon
society! Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who eva made this?! xxxxxxxxxxx”, Palwasha Afridi

“Wow what a great step taken by the Pashtun students at Westminster university.
People in the west have so many false ideas about Pashtun and I hope the Westminster
Pashtun Society will do its best to polish some of those ideas with the reality. Good luck to the Pashtun Society, we
will keep our contributions towards its success, Pashtun Zindabad, Pashtun society Payanda bad”, Abdul Haleem

“An excellent move go forward, I am sure you are successful”, Abdul Reshtin
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