Achakzai’s KPK non­sense

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - MARYA MUFTY

Afghanistan Times on June 29 car­ried an 8-col­umn lead story with a 4-col­umn pho­to­graph of renowned Pak­istani politi­cian Mah­mood Khan Achakzai. The lead head­line reads: “Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa be­longs to Afghans: Achakzai”. This co­in­cided with Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif sign­ing a six-month ex­ten­sion to the stay of 3 mil­lion Afghan refugees in Pak­istan, who will be pro­vided wheat and flour by Pak­istan even if they are shifted to re­lo­cated refugee camps in Afghanistan. Mah­mood Khan Achakzai is the main ally of Nawaz Sharif as he was the key Par­lia­men­tar­ian who hap­pened to be on the fore­front to de­fend Nawaz Sharif gov­ern­ment against Im­ran Khan and Tahirul Qadri’s 126-day dharna. In re­turn Mah­mood Khan Achakzai has got nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits and perks from Nawaz Sharif. His brother, neph­ews, fam­ily mem­bers have been posted on key po­si­tions in Balochis­tan and at Cen­tre.

His lat­est in­ter­view with the Afghanistan Times has trig­gered the al­ready pushed Ashraf Ghani gov­ern­ment-led de­bate that whether or not the Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa is part of Pak­istan or Afghanistan? This comes in the wake of the fresh Torkham bor­der at­tacks by the Afghan side, which re­sulted in killing, among oth­ers, a Pak­istan Army Ma­jor.

The Afghan troops re­sorted to mor­tar shelling on the gate Pak­istan is build­ing sev­eral feet in­side Pak­istani ter­ri­tory only to check the il­le­gal cross­ing by thou­sands of Afghans ev­ery­day who also in­clude ter­ror­ists. If Pakhtukhwa is part of Afghanistan, then why talk of vi­o­la­tions of the Du­rand Line, which for­mally rec­og­nizes KPK as part of Pak­istan. And if for Achakzai it is the is­sue of blood and races, then who knows who has whose blood and race across the width and breadth of sub­con­ti­nent?

KPK is not only a well rec­og­nized and his­tor­i­cally es­tab­lished part of Pak­istan even be­fore the times of Bri­tish In­dia, and there should be no ques­tion of rais­ing it at a time when Pak­istan is fight­ing the fi­nal phase of war against ter­ror­ism. I am sure no one would dare to ini­ti­ate a law­ful suit against Achakzai for trea­son, but the weak gov­ern­ment of Nawaz Sharif would like to ap­pease him and his likes. —Lahore

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