Plight of the Pashtuns And the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province

When the war between the former Soviet Union and the Afghan Mujahideen began who were backed by the then Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq, offered the Afghan refugees to come to Pakistan and take refuge. He also appealed to the people of Pakistan to welcome them and give them food and shelter as a sign of good-will gesture and that they are our brothers-in-faith.

This offer of the erstwhile President literally wreaked a havoc over the populace of the then NWFP, and aided to channelize the exodus from Afghanistan into the KP Province only. If he was that much desperate why didn’t he ask the administrations of the rest of the provinces to help those refugees, too? Well, He obviously meant the KP province to suffer the hardships only. He wanted to exercise his claim of being a hospitable nation, while implicitly implying only Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province.

The same sorry state of affairs is once again at the threshold of this poor, poverty stricken and terrorism-plagued province as the IDPs of North Waziristan are fleeing their land and coming to KP. It is the only province to bear the ‘Hospitality’ of those IDPs as the Heart of Pakistan – Punjab – has already closed its doors to those IDPs over certain lame excuses. Some of them fear the spread of Polio while others remain in the awe of terrorism import in the guise of refugees.

Sindh Government led by the Pakistan Peoples Party, who claim to be the only true National Party of Pakistan, has already deployed the Rangers over its border to not allow any IDP into its territory. This act of PPP has already forfeited its claim to be the true National party representing and voicing for the whole country and all of its ethnicities.

The IDPs of North Waziristan are not even allowed to cross into Afghanistan where they are reportedly being welcomed and are comfortable than in the camps here in Bannu and DI Khan.

IDPs from NWA fleeing for safer areas with the herd of cattle. [Courtesy BBC Urdu]
KP has been suffering since the Soviet war in Afghanistan and this predicament has fortified and reinforced with the War on Terror. The Pakistan Army has been engaged in operations against the extremists and militants in various parts of the Province, e.g. Swat, Bara, and almost all the FATA region. This has caused a huge influx of the people to move to the safer places like Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, DI Khan, etc. This inrush has left the aforementioned areas in quandary as the resources are not enough to meet the needs of such a large number of people. In fact, Pressure on Peshawar, in terms of being populous, is so much so that it literally is about to implode.

Meanwhile the PML-N government is not doing enough to facilitate them. In fact, Abdul Qadir Baloch of PML-N party, who is in charge of the affairs of IDPs, has said that computer registration of the IDPs has been initiated that would facilitate the government to help them in appropriate way. Giving such statements clearly shows that he is only playing to the gallery. How come a person would have fetched his/her ID card while they were in such a hurry and had been given the deadline to evacuate the areas urgently on such a short notice. Also, those who have now arrived here, how would they go back to their homes and fetch an ID card for the honorable Mr. Baluch to get their issues (like ration and financing) iron-out.

The Pakistan Army has vowed to end terrorism and eliminate all the terrorists now once and for all as it launched its current offensive against the ‘suspected’ terrorists under the name ‘Zarb e Azb’. We hope that all its claims be fulfilled and come true but a serious note, knowing the history of past operations and its results, one cannot hold on to much hope of Terrorism abolishment and Peace establishment.

The only thing I know is that there is no such thing as Pakistani, there is Baluchi, Sindhi, Pukhtun, or Punjabi etc. If it wouldn’t have been so, they would have all been welcoming those wretched people with open arms and warm hearts.


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