Should Achakzai’s Afghanistan out­burst be al­lowed to go un-no­ticed?

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - SALAHUD­DIN HAIDER

Should it hap­pen? Can or Should the out­burst from the Pak­istan Milli Awami Party chief, Mah­mood Khan Achakzai dur­ing visit to Afghanistan be al­lowed to go un-no­ticed? The ques­tion has been ag­i­tat­ing the peo­ple at al­most ev­ery level, but the of­fi­cial si­lence on such a sen­si­tive sub­ject is in­trigu­ing.

On his re­turn to Pak­istan, the el­derly politi­cian from the Push­toon belt of Balochis­tan laid the en­tire blame on the Kabul news­pa­per that splashed his in­ter­view on its front page and that too in scream­ing head­lines. His clarification that he was quoted out of con­text, or the in­ter­view was pre­sented in distorted form, is a mere ex­cuse, and un­ac­cept­able till such time it is proven right. He claimed that he had merely stated that Khy­ber Pukho­tonkhwa was once part of Afghanistan, can­not be dis­missed lightly. It is a mere af­ter­thought, a crude at­tempt to es­cape from the af­ter­math.

His­tory has been re­plete with ex­am­ples of geo­graph­i­cal changes in the world for thou­sands of years. Aus­tria’s links with Ger­many, or Aus­tro-Hun­gar­ian Em­pire, the Great Ro­man and the Prus­sian Em­pires all bear tes­ti­mony to that. Afghanistan’s his­tory too dates back to 500 Years BCE, but changes kept com­ing whether it was Ari­ans who left their foot­prints of Pushto lan­guage in Afghanistan, or whether Afghanistan shrunk in ter­ri­tory is a de­bate on that will be of mere aca­demic na­ture now.

Hitler, burn­ing with re­venge, tried to con­quer neighour­ing States, met its water­loo in Len­ingrad, like Napoleans did in Bel­gium. Whether the KP, which un­til re­cently, was known as the North-West Fron­tier Prov­ince, was part of Afghanistan, is fu­tile to dis­cuss.

Afghans do have claim on KP, re­ject­ing the Bri­tish-cre­ated Du­rand Line, but it is also a fact that KP, af­ter his­tor­i­cal ref­er­en­dum in the 40s, chose be part of Pak­istan. This is some­thing that is in­dis­putable, and ir­refutable re­al­ity, which can­not be un­done by such il­log­i­cal state­ments as that of Mah­mood Khan Achakzai. Like Mir Hasil Biznejo, Achakzai, too, is son of a celebrity. Both Sa­mad Khan Achakzai, and Mir Ghous Bux Bi­jenzo, were tremen­dous lead­ers. Their sons, how­ever, have aban­doned the golden prin­ci­ples, their il­lus­tri­ous fa­thers had cher­ished and de­voted their lives for.

Both of them have now fallen prey to lust and greed. The two iden­tify them­selves as war­riors for the rights of Balochis­tan, but both pre­fer to be in the cosy com­fort of Islamabad in­stead of be­ing with their peo­ple in the back­ward south-western prov­ince.

Although a min­is­ter in the fed­eral cabi­net, Hasil’s bar­gain for ben­e­fits still al­lows him space for self-de­fence, but same can­not be said about his com­pa­triot. The fact that he went for of­fices and ben­e­fits for his fam­ily, is now a mat­ter of of­fi­cial record. Even cur­sory glance will prove that point ir­re­vo­ca­bly.

Mah­mood Khan’s brother is gov­er­nor Balochis­tan, sec­ond brother is MPA, sis­ter in law of Achakzai’s wife is MPA, and sis­ter of wife is MNA, brother-in­law is man­ager, Quetta air­port, sec­ond brother in law (wife’s brother) is DIG, Mo­tor­way, the nephew of wife is lec­turer, and sec­ond brother is reg­is­trar.

The en­tire fam­ily is now in the gov­ern­ment. And now Mah­mood Khan de­clares KP as part of Afghanistan—treach­er­ous state­ment, and ought to be taken no­tice for trial of im­peach­ment.

A vi­tal ques­tion is as to why Mah­mood Khan not deny the con­tents of that in­ter­view while be­ing in Kabul. Why did he speak up af­ter he was taken on for that on his re­turn to Pak­istan. The in­ter­view, must, surely be a taped one. Let that English news­pa­per of Kabul re­play that tape, and re­pro­duce the ex­act words of what Achakzai had said. Ev­ery­thing will be crys­tal clear.

Push­toons do have his­tor­i­cal links with Afghanistan, but they are now a sep­a­rate en­tity, just like Urdu speak­ing mi­grants from In­dia, are now pure Pakistanis. They can­not look back at their ori­gins. Mi­grants or those per­form­ing Hi­jra are cat­e­go­rized as val­ued clan or cat­e­gory of peo­ple. Push­toon his­tory too is re­plete with courage and valour, but now that KP is part of Pak­istan, link­ing it back to his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive is bound to cre­ate doubts. And it can be rip­ples in the pond.

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