TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements
The Khudai Khidmatgar Movement of: Unity, Reform and Non-Violent Political Struggle
The Rise of Islamist Religious Right and the Retreat of Secularism
Southern KPK: The lesser Pashtuns or Political Neglect?
How will History Judge Hamid Karzai
Abdul Hayee Aryan
Talibanization of Youth in Pakistan
Tayyab Ali Shah
The Nexus Of Exorcism And Empowerment Among Pashtun Women
Mohammad Yousaf Sahil
َد رﺿﺎ ﺧوب
Raza Mohammad Raza
Ahmed Hussain Nadeem
Emerging Pashtun Talent: A Football Champion in the Making
Azra Nafees Yousafzai
Interview With Haroon Bacha
Azra Nafees Yousafzai
Ghani Khan-His Life and accomplishments
Celebrating a poet: Abdul Ghani Khan lives on in portraits
د ﻏم ژړا ده ؟
Guidelines For Submission
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This Magazine offers a platform to young and volunteer writers for expressing their views on the various issues of our region and is not a professional venture. This effort would not have been possible without contributions from the Pashtun Academia, Diaspora, Journalists, students, members of Pashtun communities abroad and other social forum friends. Thanks for sharing your articles and writings with SAHAR-The Voice of Pashtuns. We urge you to keep up the good work. Editing A very special thanks to the very dedicated Riaz Papin who helps me in editing the magazine despite his very hectic and challenging routine of his own. Technical Assistance My special thanks to the Omar Farooq Yousazai who designed the title cover for this monthâ€™s magazine. Contributions We, at the editorial board, extend gratitude to all the young and upcoming Pashtun as well as non-Pashtun writers for sparing time to write for SAHAR-The Voice of Pashtuns. Heaps of thanks to Ms Angela Merisi for sharing with us her research on the history and evolution of the Pashtun non-violent Khudai Khidmatgar movement and the efforts of the legendary non-violent resistance leader Abdul Ghaffar Khan aka Bacha Khan for reforming the Pashtun society. Of particular interest is her observation that in an incredible feat of ingenuity Bacha Khan reconciled Pashtuns to the concept of non-violent measure at all costs. This concept was contrary to the traditional Pashtun code of honour which approved of reciprocal revenge for any misdeed or insult. Equally remarkable, having regard to the inflexible observance of purdah, is the fact that Bacha Khan encouraged education for women, further suggesting they join the nationalist struggle. Our special thanks to Ibrahim Nasar for his insightful article on the the encroachment and monopoly of mullahs on non-religious public affairs throughout the Muslim world, where the boundaries between state and religion have over time diminished. Mr Mehran Khattak in his ariticle focuses on another very important issue within the context of KPK : the developmental differential of the northern and southern parts of KPK and its impact on the population and politics as well as militancy. SAHAR
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Profound thanks too to Mr Tayyab Ali Shah for sharing the conclusion of a very deliberate study focussing on micro-level factors that influence youths from, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as other parts of the country towards Talibanization, which should serve as a good input to policy makers to initiate remedial measures. Another wonderful contribution on the “The Nexus Of Exorcism And Empowerment Among Pashtun Women” by Samar Esapzai must be of great interest to all our readers particularly women. Abdul Hayee Aryan in his piece deliberates on contributions of Hamid Karzai to the modern Afghan state. We are particularly indebted to all the artists, writers and contributers who allowed us to share their valuable work on the legenday Ghani Khan Baba which we are sure will be immensely liked by our readers. This quarter’s interview features on the amazing Pashtu singer Haroon Bacha whose contribution to Pashtu music and culture needs no mention. We also extend our gratitude to Mr Yousaf Sahil, Mr Raza Mohammad Raza, Mr Mumtaz Orakzai and Ahmed Hussain Nadeem for their contribution in the poetry and literary segments. We hope that this magazine brings you insight about the various issues of our region particularly those of particular concern to the Pashtuns, but not restricted to them only, as well as help you remain in touch with your land, culture, art and literature. Happy Reading!
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Editorial Once again we present to our dear readers ‘SAHAR- The Voice of Pashtuns’, now a quarterly emagazine. Sustaining this effort on voluntary basis though a huge challenge, it is a collective effort that keeps us engaged with our readers and brings to us a wide variety of views on the diverse issues in the fast changing environment of the Afpak region. We thank you all for your support. We are particularly pleased to declare this issue of SAHAR as a Special Dedication to the great Pashtun philospher, poet and visionary Ghani Khan ( 1913 – 2014) on the occasion of his centenial celebrations. The preceeding three months have been a period of great turmoil and change. The political and security situation on both sides of the Durand Line remains in a flux, while the violence in the region continues unabated. This year is going to see some major changes in the region with far reaching consequences for the Pashtun people on both sides of the border. The American’s are on their way out and with that in view, a change in their approach to the region is now becoming clearly discerable. The broad contours of their exit plan envisage a reconciliation effort to bring the moderate elements within the Taliban into the fold of the Afghan political power play, while at the same time pushing for signing the BSA to allow presence of part of the US forces on the Afghan soil and ensure continued support of the international community. With the presidential elections in Afghanistan just around the corner, President Karzai seems to be not keen on signing the BSA and his relations with the West are precarious. The reluctance of President Karzai to sign the BSA and his severe criticism of his Western backers must be seen in the context of the Afghan national politics as well as the regional impact of long term presence of US/NATO military presence in the region. All is now on hold till the presidential elections, as US/NATO have announced a possible change in the draw-down schedule pending finalization of the BSA. On the east of the Durand Line, Pakistan seems to be keen to bring an end to the decade long violence of TTP- albiet through an appeasement of the radical groups. The Pakistani Government on its part is bending its back to kickstart negotiations with the TTP, hoping to end the decade of violence. The dialogue process underway for almost a month has little credibility though, as is evidenced by the composition of the negotiating teams and the conditionalities put forward by the Taliban side including imposition of their version of Sharia across the country. Intertestingly the Government’s insistance of restricing the perview of the dialogue process only to the “ Violence Affected” parts is an indicator of the SAHAR
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worst case scenario that we projected in our previous issue in November 2013. It appears that in an efforts to secure the core areas of the country from the Taliban blow back in case of military operations, the government is ready to sacrifice the Pashtun areas on the altar of compromise. As we projected; “in a few months time the BAD amongst the Taliban will become less visibly bad. We probably will hear very little of Taliban as terrorists or militants or their symbols in the Af-Pak region. We will only have moderate good Taliban supported by US, Pakistan, Qatar Saudi Arabia and several others.” From the latest developments, it is apparent, that the Taliban have been acknowledged as stakeholders on both sides of Durand Line. And they will have substantial share in shaping our governance, society, our way of life , our institutions and our’s as well as our children’s future. That is a dilema that the Pashtun nation and society is likely to be confronting in the immediate future. While it may or may not mean relative peace, it surely suggests a perpetuation rather acceleration of the same dominant narrative, the same power structure and the same forces that want to push us more and more towards radicalisation, obscurantism and away from knowledge, reason and rationale as a society. While the dialogue is underway, several dreadful terrorist acts in KPK and elsewhere suggest that peace may be elusive : with or without dialogue. After all it wasn’t long ago when the Government reached a peace deal with the same Mullah Radio, only to be used by him to spread his rule to Buner and surrounding districts. The rest is recent history. Though the situation seems pretty hopeless, at the cost of being over-optimistic, one could point out some silver lining among these dark clouds. There are significant and pretty loud voices from within the Pakistani civil socoety and media that are actively highlighting the pitfalls of the proposed dialogue process and its ramifications. This alternative narrative is helping in opening the eyes of many unintended blind people to the realities and allowing them to see the wickedness and falsehood in the way our people are being systematically misguided, driven to extremism, religious fanaticism and obscurantism. In this backdrop we bring you this new edition of SAHAR which focuses on some of these issues in addition to our traditional segments on culture, poetry, literary issues and interaction with young and promising Pashtuns. We wish our readers health and happy spring season. Regards, Azra Nafees Yousafzai, Editor SAHAR email@example.com SAHAR
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Section 1 : History, Geo-Politics & Current Affairs
The Khudai Khidmatgar Movement of: Unity, Reform and NonViolent Political Struggle. Angel Merisi In light of the current state of unrest in Pashtun lands, where militant activity is rife, violent killing of innocents an everyday occurrence, trust in political leaders at an all- time low, conspiracy theories and insinuations of corruption the norm, it’s difficult to imagine that there was a time when thousands of Pashtun people united steadfast in a movement which advocated egalitarian social reform, unity and nonviolence as its principal ideology. The Khudai Khidmatgar (servants of God) movement was established in 1929 by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan 18901988 (aka: Bacha Khan), a man whose unparalleled leadership, sacrifice, insight, humanity and courage, transcended all preconceptions of stereotyping, leading his people to a new level of thought and non-violent political action. At a time when British Colonial power had reached its zenith on the Indian Subcontinent, the British further sought to hermetically validate their empire by creating the geographical border known as the Durand Line in 1893. With growing fears of Russian interest and possible invasion, the British recognized the importance of controlling Pashtuns as the ‘vital gatekeepers of the Indian empire.’ While the border arbitrarily divided Pashtuns , leaving some in Afghanistan and some in what was then called the North West Frontier Province, Pashtuns nonetheless ‘paid little attention to the International boundary.’ The continuous trade, communication and interaction between Pashtuns on either side of the border caused tumultuous anxiety for the British leading to the creation of a ‘regime of control in the Frontier, which was substantially harsher than elsewhere in the Subcontinent.’ This ‘divide and conquer’ policy was accompanied by the
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heavy administering of oppressive militarization, crippling high taxation, poor sanitation and little or no educational facilities. This division has long lasting implications on the society of Pashtuns. New actors were supported to keep the society far from unity and a sense of cohesiveness was lost. Gradually the traditional set up eroded. Apart from the physical division the society was divided within. The tribal Pashtun society was abound in feuds and mutual mistrust. Geographic and social division served the purpose and interest of the Empire. This was the historical, socio-political backdrop in which Bacha Khan (aged 20), set about travelling around the Province trying to convince, mostly illiterate locals, of the values of education. Having managed to open many schools, with the help of the Haji of Turangzai, a religious leader, he was nonetheless arrested by the authorities and the schools were closed down. Bacha Khan further became involved in nationalist politics, through participation in the Muslim Khilafat protests opposing British rule, leading to the hijrat of 1920 to Afghanistan in which he was further detained and imprisoned on return to the Frontier. Once freed, Bacha Khan decided to go back to his village (Utmanzai) and adopt the path of non-violence. While the hijrat confirmed the unreliability of religious leadership in the political sphere, it further convinced Bacha Khan that in order to achieve sustained solidarity, dedication, and unity of Pashtuns, he would need to create a new ideology, readdress Pashtun traditional social practices, particularly Pakhtunwali (code of honour) and communicate with his people at grassroots level. In 1921, with the help of members of Pashtun intelligentsia and small Khans, Bacha Khan launched the Anjuman I Islah ul Afghania (Society for the Reform of Afghans). Their plan of social reform involved touring villages in Settled Districts, discussing the importance of education, and urging Pashtuns to refrain from feuding and discord. Gradually, many schools were established in various areas. As well as seeing this as a means of empowering Pashtuns, he viewed education as the greatest tool to opposing British rule. Eventually up to 70 schools were established and hundreds of children were learning Pashto, Mathematics, history, Qurâ€™an, Hadith and various vocational skills. In launching the KK movement, Bacha Khan travelled (sometimes by bicycle, often on foot), to hundreds of villages in an effort to convince people how the movement of social reform would secure improved living conditions and political freedom for Pashtuns. He began by setting up a network of training camps where volunteers would undergo SAHAR
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physical training, he urged people to clean their villages and improve sanitation. Another innovation was the idea of a uniform, where members dipped their clothes in dye, thus acquiring the popular name of â€˜Red Shirts.â€™ In 1929, at an All Indian National Congress conference, Jawarhalala Nehru launched a mass campaign of civil disobedience in an effort to gain complete independence for India. Being a member of the Frontier Congress, Bacha Khan pledged his alliance to the campaign, advising Pashtuns not to pay taxes or rent, he further stated that any villagers working for the state as collectors should resign or be socially boycotted. The significant event which propelled the KK organization into political action with conviction was the Kissa Khani Bazaar massacre of 23rd April 1930. Congress delegates were due to arrive from Delhi to investigate Frontier Crimes Regulation and other repressive measures imposed by the British Empire. Hundreds of civilians including many hundred Red Shirts gathered at Peshawar station to meet the delegation, but were instead informed that the committee had been refused entry to the Province. Having again arrested Bacha Khan, mayhem thus ensued, with troops opening fire on the crowd, killing 200 people in cold blood. The stance of non-violence, on the part of the KK, in light of extreme provocation, was clear indication of their commitment to a nonviolent ideology, and consequently provided substantial evidence of the different standards of political repression in the Frontier compared to the rest of India. The massacre further increased Congress interest in the KK movement, offering financial and technical support. In gaining momentum, and further increase in membership, the KK movement proved a major obstacle for the British, who in turn adopted more lethal methods of oppression, by burning homes, looting property and incarcerating KK sympathisers. Bacha Khanâ€™s approach of leadership did not employ elusive and distant bureaucratic control measures. His methodology was to address his people personally, touring villages delivering hundreds of speeches: drawing attention to the unjust policy of British rule. In an incredible feat of ingenuity Bacha Khan reconciled Pashtuns to the concept of non-violent measure at all costs. This concept was contrary to the traditional Pashtun code of honour which approved of reciprocal revenge for any misdeed or insult. In order to achieve unity SAHAR
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each member would have to set aside their traditional differences; practice self-restraint and forego all violent and aggressive behaviour. Bacha Khan argued ‘how can a man be truly honourable when he had allowed the British to insult Islam and reduced women and children to wear rags?’ Equally remarkable, having regard to the inflexible observance of purdah, is the fact that Bacha Khan encouraged education for women, further suggesting they join the nationalist struggle to assist their men in civil disobedience. Throughout the 17 years of the KK movement, brutal measures were employed by the authorities causing enormous suffering and loss of life. In 1932, during a demonstration at Kohat, the British opened fire killing three hundred KK members and injuring thousands more after the arrest of Bacha Khan. Techniques of cruelty such as physical beatings and shootings regularly took place in prisons; Bacha Khan himself was incarcerated on several occasions and spent much of his life in prison. When the partition of 1947 was announced it came as a major blow to Bacha Khan and his brother Dr. Khan Saheb, who was then congress chief minister in the Province. Bacha Khan had always supported congress in combined effort to combat British Rule. Partition would place Pashtuns at the mercy of the Muslim league, which Bacha Khan had strongly opposed. Nevertheless, Congress decided to come to terms with the Muslim league and partition was agreed without consultation with the Frontier and its Leaders. Bacha Khan considered this an act of treachery, telling Ghandi: ‘you have thrown us to the wolves. The scheme of things favoured ML and the partition was accepted. The new found government of the frontier opposed reconciliation between Jinnah and the Khan Brothers; and incarcerated all KK leaders and its members without any legal charge or trial. The Martyrs of Babrra on 12 August 1948 is a lucid example of the atrocities of the then Govt of Pakistan against the nonviolent soldiers of BK in which hundreds of innocent Khudai Khidmatars were soaked in blood. Bacha Khan was further detained in Pakistani prisons for many years during the post-partition phase. However, his legacy, achievement and struggle were not in vain. The Khudai Khidmatgar movement revolutionized Pashtun culture, society and politics by strategic non-violent oppositional measures, radical reforms, and redefining traditional sociological structures and customs. The organizational structures put in place by Bacha Khan were essential to the endurance of the KK movement. As an inspired leader, Bacha Khan managed to raise Pashtun national pride by instilling a sense of autonomy and by preserving culture amongst Pashtun people. Under his charismatic supreme leadership, thousands of Pashtuns practiced selfrestraint and non-violence, through ‘a creative ideological position that was grounded in Islam and Pashtun Custom. His legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of Pashtuns today. Angel Merisi is a freelance writer, poet, and MA student of Contemporary Religions at University College Cork. Pashtun Culture is her specific area of research where she will pursue her PhD in this area of study. Since undertaking this area of research, she has built up a rapport with many Pashtun scholars, academics, poets and political activist
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The Rise of Islamist Religious Right and the Retreat of Secularism Ibrahim Nasar During a radio call-in show on women’s rights, a mullah called the radio studio, spoke a few words of Arabic and then said, “Allah clearly says in this verse of Quran that a woman’s place is either in the home or the grave”. The talk show host, who was advocating women’s rights to work and education, was taken aback and at a loss for words in response. She was clearly not well-versed in religious issues and had no knowledge of Arabic. She could not figure out if the few words were truly Quranic verse or the mullah had just made them up to have her and the millions in her audience believe God is against women’s rights to education and employment. This mullah, like many others, had used his basic skills in Arabic and presumed knowledge of Islam to hijack a discussion and ‘defeat’ his opponent. There is no such verse in the Quran, but since religion is the monopoly of the Mullahs, this caller was able to invalidate a one-hour discussion with his claim. This is just one small example of the power the mullahs have over our society, and how have they mastered the skills of manipulation through the effective use of religion. The monopoly of mullahs on religious matters is neither new nor surprising. Clergies in all religions take care of religious affairs of their particular creeds. What makes Muslim mullahs different from their counterparts in other religions is their encroachment on nonreligious public affairs throughout the Muslim world, where the boundaries between state and religion have over time diminished. The control of mullahs over mosques and madrassas, and their use of religion as a tool in controlling the affairs of state and society have given them the upper hand over everybody in shaping society. For better or worse, ordinary Muslims through the centuries have stayed away from interfering in matters of religion and, out of respect, left it to the mullahs. It’s unthinkable for an ordinary Muslim to lead a Friday prayer, speak to a prayer congregation in the presence of a mullah, or even ask a question of the mullah, who addresses the congregation for hours. The pronouncements of Muslim clerics have become ‘words of God’ and are, therefore, unquestionable. Questioning a mullah risks being charged with blasphemy – a crime punishable by death in many Muslim countries. The female radio host might also have had that threat in mind when she didn't refute the claims of the Mullah who called her program. Mullahs on the other hand have never shied away from crossing the lines of religion, demanding a full say in the secular affairs of the state. Their increasing influence and efforts towards complete control over society have paid off in most parts of the Muslim world. Secular Muslim organizations in the Muslim world are in retreat. The demands for a separation of state and religion have largely been abandoned. The word ‘secularism’ has lost its meaning and is translated as ‘kufr’, meaning infidelity. Sharia is replacing all other political and judicial systems, since it forms the foundations of the constitutions in the Muslim countries. Even countries such as Turkey and Morocco with decades-old and strong secular political systems have in recent years succumbed to the growing influence of world’s SAHAR
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Islamist movements and the powers of Mullahs at home, after Islamist political parties won elections in these countries. They have introduced their own ‘softer versions’ of Sharia. During the 'Arab Spring', secular dictatorships in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt also fell to Islamists who preferred Sharia over secular democracies. At a time when the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is banned and declared by the country’s powerful military to be a terrorist organization, the ‘Mujahiddin’ of Syria continue to destroy their country brick by brick in a bid to topple the Asad’s secular dictatorship and replace the political system with Sharia. In our part of the world, the rise to power of the mullahs is not complete yet, but they have gained enough influence and power to encourage them in their ultimate goal of a Sharia dictatorship. The intensity and force of the Jihadi march to power has pushed aside secular Pashtun nationalist parties, who have retreated to their comfort zones of ‘nonviolence’. Even peaceful protests and small demonstrations against the most brutal acts of violence by Jihadis are avoided, giving a free hand to the religious conservatives to impose their will over the people through terror and intimidation. The state’s none-too-secret backing of the Jihadis for its own strategic purposes further helps speed their access to power and the death of secularism. Only time will tell if a strong and influential but also divided religious right will give its factions enough space in order to keep their hold on political power, or bleed each other to death, destroying themselves in the name of Allah, together with the ‘political system of Allah’ and the ‘Islamic Republic’. Ibrahim Nasar is an ethnic Pashtun journalist who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Southern KPK: The lesser Pashtuns or Political Neglect? Mehran Khattak Traveling from Karachi on Indus Highway when one enters KPK, dry and arid landscape welcomes you. This is in sharp contrast to a popular image of KPK of lush green mountainous landscape. As one travels along the highway through D.I. Khan, Lakki Marwat and Karak towards Peshawar, lack of economic activity is visible. Few vehicles can be seen on the road. The journey becomes quite a torture due to ill maintained highway. Bad economic conditions can be seen written on faces of people who are mostly traveling to Peshawar for treatment or education or employment. People are staunchly conservative. But the landscape changes as one gets gets closer to Peshawar. Uptake of economic activity along the highway coupled with fertile lands and population centers along the road can be seen. This is how uneven social development is in KPK. Crunching the Numbers KPK can be divided into two distinct geographical parts, the northern KPK and Southern KPK. The northern KPK starts from outskirts of Peshawar upwards to Abbotabad and Chitral. Northern KPK can again be divided into Peshawar valley, the hazara region and Malakand. The southern KPK part consists of Karak, Hangu, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and D.I.Khan. Kohat can be called a buffer zone between north and south. Southern KPK is mainly hot, barren and arid. The total covered area of Southern KPK is 17865 sq Km with a population estimate of 4.4 million as of 2010. This is almost fifth of total KPK population. The population density in the area is projected to be 246 persons /sq Km, which is below provincial average of 332 persons/ sq Km. Most of the population is diffused in rural areas with a very low urbanization ratio. The economy is centered on agriculture, minerals,trade and services. Agriculture is mainly dependent on rainfall which is scarce. Even water scarcity is a big social problem in the area as access to clean drinking water is low. The area has negligible industrial base. Indigenous employment is low and people are forced to migrate to other parts of Pakistan and abroad for jobs; sending remittances to support families. Since urbanization ratio is low, trading and business activity is also low. Most people prefer to be employed in armed forces, govt services sector and private sector jobs often in northern KPK, Punjab and Karachi. The socio economic backwardness of this large part of KPK can be gauged from the fact that with exception of Karak, all districts of Southern KPK score lower on Human Development Index (HDI) than KPKâ€™s average HDI. A story of consistent neglect KPK has a natural disadvantage when it comes to profitable industrial and commercial activities. This is because of its huge distance from sea port and being away from important indigenous raw material production centers like cotton, which is mainly grown in Punjab and Sindh. However Southern KPK has relative advantage over remaining parts of the province. The important and relatively shorter trade route from Karachi all the way to Afghanistan and central Asia enters KPK through D.I.Khan. While its relative SAHAR
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proximity to seaports in comparison to northeren KPK and being located on important trade route offers a logistical advantage on one hand and the indigenous availability of Natural Gas and oil in the area, one of the most crucial components for industrial base, gives resources advantage on other hand. There were proposals floated time and again to establish industrial estate in Karak and provide electricity and gas on priority basis from local oil and gas fields. Land is in abundance in Karak, coupled with general peace in the area throughout a decade of insurgency in KPK,which makes it an ideal choice for establishing such estate. But every time such proposals are placed in cold storege. While Southern KPK could become industrial back bone of the province and provide a sustainable growth in all aspects to the area, the planners in Peshawar seems to be more interested in reviving, strengthening and establishing more industrial estates in Northern KPK. By establishing industrial base in the area, it will also provide employment opportunities to youth of these districts as well as to people of Waziristan, effectively taking youth away from violence and militancy. Indus Highway only for Nato supplies If anybody in the country is aware of NATO Supply lines blockage at the hands of PTI zealots in Peshawar, there are fair chances that he or she will also be aware that one of the routes used by NATO to supply ISAf in Afghanistan is the Indus Highway, starting from Karachi, passing through Southern KPK and then via Peshawar and Thorkham to Afghanistan. There can be no two opinions about vitality of this important Highway. The highway was upgraded almost 3 decades ago as an alternative to the grand trunk road linking the southern parts of the country to KPK. This made it a 4 lane road (in some areas it is still 3 lanes). But since then the highway has remained in bad condition. No major expansion and repair has been undertaken. This is despite heavy damage caused by NATO Containers movements. But at the same time, Peshawar valley (Peshawar, Charsadda. Mardan, Nowshera) is connected to Islamabad and the countrywide motorway network by 8 lanes Motorway. Huge sum of money was spent on the project and it received much hype in the media. This is despite the fact that Peshwar was already connected to these areas through GT road, providing lots of business to population centers on the way. The Gvt execution of the project, arranging funds for it, while at same time neglecting a much important highway shows naked discrimination against Southern KPk in favor of Northern KPK. It is not only the major roads projects which are suffering from neglect in the south. Secondary and tertiary roads in the area are not enough and whatever roads are available are in bad condition. Improving connectivity between population centers provides impetus to trade and commerce, ease movements for education and improves access to healthcare. Low population density means south needs more roads for connectivity. But taking a look at statistics suggests that politically important districts like Mardan, Charsadda have more roads (km of road/ area of District) despite their small area in comparison to Southern districts. Kalabagh Dam Controversy and Southern KPK SAHAR
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Rainfalls are scarce in southern districts of KPK. Water for drinking and household use is mostly made available through gvt run tubewells. Irrigation is mostly dependent upon rains which is the reason that despite its vast area, agricultural productivity is very low. Despite these challenges the gvt has not made a comprehensive plan to address the water woes of the people of the area and bringing barren lands to agricultural use. KPK is losing its water share as per IRSA accord of 1991 because of lack of use. River Sindh passes on border of Karak and D.I.Khan. but while provincial leadership cries foul about not disbursing electricity production dues, it lets its water go to other provinces neglecting the fact that a big part of KPK is lying barren and in dire need of water for irrigation, drinking and household use. Kala Bagh debate in KPK is entirely centered around the real or perceived dangers to the all important Peshwar valley. Southern KPK may take advantage of the project by having major canal irrigating vast lands. While it does not imply that concerns of Peshwar Valley must be ignored, they must be addressed at engineering and design level; still sympathetic view must be taken of the advantages it may bring to the people of south. Agriculture is one of the main sources of employment in Pakistan and also in KPK. KPK has only 30 percent of its land cultivatable. It may change fortunes of the province overall. Need Good education, travel northward It is recent phenomenon that provincial govt has increased its focus on establishing new educational institutes. While secondary and primary level schooling is not much different in all of KPK, which is in bad condition, it is higher education where Southern KPK is neglected. Out of 8 public sector Universities operational in KPK, only 3 are in south. If Khushal Khan University is excluded from it, which is still under construction, we are left with only two higher education institutes. Kushhal Khan University was established after much effort by the local leadership. But even then most of the funds would be diverted from districtâ€™s own oil and gas royalty for the project as provincial leadership is unwilling to arrange funds for the project. Areas like Lakki Marwat, Hangu, Tank and Bannu needs urgent focus both on secondary level and higher level of education. This is very important to combat and counter rising militancy in these areas. Being on fringes of FATA the Taliban insurgency is spilling over to these areas. Quality education can deter extremistic ideologies. The list of problems of southern KPK goes long. But why all these demands and aspiration of the people failed to compel the provincial and federal leadership pay attention. One of the most obvious reasons is it being an unattractive vote bank. Southern KPK, because of low population in comparison to densely populated Peshawar valley, has limited seats in provincial and national assembly. It reduces the political bargaining power of the people. More funds are diverted to the north because of much bigger political vote bank. This situation brings a dilemma for countries like Pakistakn, suffering from uneven social development and diverse ethnic mix. Why canâ€™t political experiment undertaken which strengthen political power of under populated, vast areas by giving them more weihtage. A simplistic approach of population based representation in assemblies is no more workable. This formula is only increasing the differences and alienation in the weaker political class. Situation of Southern KPK mirrors a wider dilemma of Pakistan uneven SAHAR
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internal growth. The political system feeds the inequality by giving more power and consequently more resources to the already powerful. Resultantly this makes those power centers more insensitive to the aspiration of weaker groups. Nationalists Paradox Nationalistic sentiments on level of different ethnic groups are result of such negligence due to democratic formula, especially when a country is as diverse as Pakistan. For this reason Nationalist politics is as old in Pakistan as its age. Pashtun Nationalists have raised voices for rights of Pshtuns over its own resources and for giving Pashtuns more political power. Pashtun Nationalists when complain from center of exploitation of resources, it does not pay attention to its own house that how wrong footed it is when making such demand. Nationalists demand from center for allocating a greater percentage in NFC formula to factors like backwardness and inverse population density and losses incurred due to war on terror. A very important question it must ask itself is that how much it is applying the same principal when it comes to distribution of provincial Annual development fund. The previous govtâ€™s ADPs were heavily focused on projects in its own power base, Peshwar Valley. Not a single mega project was initiated in Southern KPK during ANP/PPP five years tenure. Despite KPK receiving billions of funds in shape of oil and Gas royalty, Hangu and Karak were unable to reap any fruits. On the contrary have to live with environmental hazards as environmental regulations are not strictly enforced. The oil and gas companies are disposing waste in water channels and open atmosphere. Not only Southereners are neglected in distribution of funds. They suffer from lack of representation in provincial and federal government. Provincial Cabinet of ANP saw only two ministers from South KPK, of which only one belonged to ANP who was infact a PTI turncoat.The question is that does ANP have any moral authority to complain against Punjab dominance in power when it practically did nothing to address similar problems within KPK? A cursory look at 2010 Economic Growth Strategy of P&D Department KPK will reveal how much provincial leadership of ANP was focused on development of northern KPK. While a lot of focus is given in report as to how to utilize provinceâ€™s hydel power capacity, marble industry and tobacco industry, only one paragraph was dedicated to oil and Gas production from southern kpk. This is despite the fact that from last few years, oil and gas is generating more revenue and jobs to the province than all other natural resources. Ironically natural gas coverage in Peshawar valley is higher than southern KPK despite its production in Southern districts. Aftab Sherpao and his new love for Pashtun cause is no different. The two times Chief Minister, like others, neglected the South. But in his new naktionalist outlook he is not focused on south. He and his party did not show any interest in even symbolically awarding tickets to its candidates in Southern KPK in Mqay 13 elections. His party speaks at length about rights of pashtuns, he promises of converting barren lands of Sawabi, of bringing canals and agricultural revolution in his constituencies but silent on evening out the disparity in social development of KPK.
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Incapacity of local leadership It would be unfair to place all the blame on others. Southern KPK’s own leadership has seldom raised any voice for its people. It has produced a good number of provincial and national level leaders. More than 3 times Provincial Chief Ministership was with politicians belonging to Southern KPK. Unfortunately while some tried to develop their home constituencies, they did nothing for the whole region. Akram Khan Durrani is credited for initiating a far reaching social development program for Bannu , but he too neglected the other districts. Aslam Khattak, another national level leader, spearheaded campaign for Indus Highway, but he too did not undertake any efforts to alleviate lives of people beyond his constituency. He is even accused by Khattaks outside his home constituency for neglecting other parts of Karak. Mufti Mahmoud, a national level leader and CM during Bhutto’s premiership also was oblivion to problems of Southern KPK. Maulana Fazlur Rehman is known for seldom keeping himself away from power either at provincial or federal level. Looking at social development progress in D.I.Khan one can safely say Maulana energies were never spent for betterment of the people who always vote him to represent them. Rather he is respresnting the mdressha network of Deobandi Islam and only strengthening his religiously conservative narrative in south. The Change that Change nothing - Enter PTI So what has the new revolutionaries achieved? Taking a look at PTI’s pre and post election posturing and policies one can deduce that PTI has no clear political ideology. It is riding on promises of fighting corruption, anti Americanism and bringing social development to Pakistan, all popular slogans. This lack of clear political ideology was reason that its candidates in Southern Districts were flirting with all most everything popular during its election campaign. Some were vouching for rights of Kahttaks, others for neglect of Pashtuns of South, apart from other revolutionary promises. But yet again when the cabinet was sworned in, curiously late Gandapur was the only representing south; interestingly he was an independent candidate in election. Nothing has changed for Southerners under “Naya KPK”, the catchy slogan of PTI promised change. ADP is as usual heavily tilted towards northern KPK, with announcements of new cities in Abbotabad and Swabi, medical colleges and other educational projects, canals and irrigation schemes all located in Northern KPK. Southerners have to wait again to have someone in Peshawar to remind the policy makers that there is an area which is resource rich but under-developed which needs your attention. Till then Southerners have to commute daily for small surgeries to Peshawar, to hostels of good universities and colleges, for business and work. While the policy makers sleep, Southern KPK is fast transiting from conservative Islam towards extremism. If you don’t trust me, ask the talibans in Waziristan how many comrades they have from Lakki Marwat. Mehran Khattak is a young and enterprising textile engineer based in Saudi Arabia who writes casually on politics and social issues and can be reached through editor SAHAR.
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How will History Judge Hamid Karzai Abdul Hai Aryan After the two World Wars and Cold War in 20th century, the tragic incident of 9/11 can be considered the biggest incident of the early 21st century in the world history to date. It was not only just an attack on buildings but straightforwardly shifting of policies, change in political interests and above all demarcation of friends and foes on the global stage. However catastrophic it was for the world, one could argue that it was explicitly a curse for the American but implicitly a blessing for the Afghan state. It is never too late, the international community that was once responsible for the destruction of Afghanistan, finally, lent hand to Kabul. The terrorist’s Empire built on the Afghan land was destroyed and the Pashtun-Afghan got emancipation forever. The international community and the US realized their blunder once they had made in the past for not restoring peace, rehabilitation process and reconstruction of institutions in Afghanistan and supporting the then government in Kabul after the withdrawal of USSR forces from Afghanistan. In these all, the holistic role of Afghan president Hamid Karzai cannot be denied at any cost. His second epoch as president is also going to end next year but his wittiness, political vision, idyllic and protagonist role is awe-inspiring. Since 2000 to date, his imperative stratagems in Afghanistan, his subtle kindred with the international community, the US and with the neighboring countries paved the ways for re-emergence of the Afghan state and some semblence of prosperity for his nation. Governance and Development in his era is something the region has never witnessed in such war trodden countries. Karzai and his well-educated cabinet were capable to give Peace, development to Afghanistan, Constitution was drafted in a very short period, a national army and para military forces were formed and trained; all the warlords in Afghanistan who were once arch enemies and killed thousands of people of each group, were favorably friended and brought under one roof. During the Karzai’s two imperative tenures, the overall progress since 2000 in Afghanistan’s development over the past years also includes a dramatic increase in school enrolments - from around one million in 2001 to over six million today, there are over 8.2 million students enrolled in schools, of which almost 40% are girls. In fact, there are more public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and trade schools in that country today than ever before. A significant increase in the availability of basic health services, which were available to less than 10 per cent of the population under the former Taliban regime, but are now extended to around 85 per cent of people. The identification and management of over 39,000 community-based infrastructure projects - such as wells, clinics and roads – in over 22,000 communities throughout Afghanistan, through the Afghan-led National Solidarity Program. The rehabilitation of almost 10,000 km of rural roads is something never expected in the past, supporting the employment of hundreds of thousands of local workers, through the National Rural Access Program. The telecommunications industry has created about 100,000 jobs since 2001. Almost 10 million Afghans today have access to telecommunications; Afghanistan's national economic growth has also been strong. There have been two elections for the lower house of parliament since 2001. Around 27 per cent of seats in the lower house and one sixth of the seats in the SAHAR
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upper house are reserved for female members. From the fall of the Taliban until 2009, 110 political parties were established that enjoy all the democratic rights more than ever seen in the past 30 years in the country. The Taliban suppressed freedom of speech but the people elected government now let the Afghan people to have access to over 400 print media publications, 150 FM radio stations and 26 television channels. These give Afghans an outlet to discuss publicly issues that were previously off-limits, such as human rights abuses and women’s rights. Afghanistan’s National Security Forces have now accumulated a decade of training and mentoring. At this very moment, Afghan Security Forces are being educated locally and some groups are sent abroad for more advanced training in India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Europe, and the United States. This training comes from some of the world’s best forces which also provided aid in major defense related acquisitions to build up their capabilities. As a result of this robust development, the number of Security Forces, to include the Afghan National Army (ANA) and National Police (ANP), have increased from several thousand disenfranchised individuals in 2001 to well over 300,000 professional soldiers and police today according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. In addition, women have been integrated into these forces at all levels and are now training other women. Suffice to say that the capacity and capability of the Afghan Security Forces has dramatically improved from a decade ago. According to the U.S. State Department, 75% of the Afghan population’s security is in the hands of the ANA and ANP today, with plans of securing their country in entirety by 2014. Public works projects included reconstruction of bridges, highways, local roads, and irrigation systems as well as redevelopment of government institutions and capacity building of its work force. Capacity building of locals is beginning to show positive results with less dependence on international mentors. Today, an ever-increasing number of locals are taking leadership roles in both the private and public sectors. Remarkably, a mammoth number of the skilled and unskilled labors from Pakistan have now been traveling to Afghanistan in search of better jobs. In addition, the work force is more balanced, with reintegration of women into government institutions to include security forces, hospitals, schools, as well as private industries. The World Bank estimates Afghan GDP growth from under $2.5bn in 2001 to well over $17bn by the end of 2014. Increased levels of security and commerce attracted additional investments into the growing economy. These all developments which in other words stand for ‘Peace” in Afghanistan started from zero and relief to development and now progress. The big achievements in the country merely became possible through the visionary politics of President Karzai hence, the country has got a wow president, Karzai deserves to be titled ‘Ahmad Shah Sani’ after the great Ahmad Shah Durrani who integrated all the Afghans and founded the present Afghanistan. President Karzai also deserves to be awarded next international Peace award !! The Author is a US based Pakistani journalist. Currently studying media in the US through CCIP oneyear scholarship financed by the US State department. He can be reached at email@example.com
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Talibanization of Youth in Pakistan A “non-scientific” study focussing on micro-level factors that influence youths from Swat, KhyberPakhtunkhwa towards Talibanization.
Tayyab Ali Shah Aside from macro-level global and state policies, there is a very wide range of pressures and pulls upon young Pakistani youth to join Taliban and other Jihadi organizations. These influences, while operating in isolation of other factors may not be strong enough to push youth towards joining Taliban; yet different combination of these factors, combined with enabling conditions, may be strong enough to push the youth into the fold of Taliban or other Jihadist organizations. This paper has listed the key influences upon Pakistani youth. The plethora of factors that can influence Pakistani youth and determine whether they would become jihadi or not can be subdivided into “supply-side” and “demand-side”. The supply side consist of the so-called “push factors” or the conditions that drive youth towards extremism or Taliban. These mostly consist of factors responsible for or promoting the dissatisfaction of youth with their current socio-psychological and politicoeconomic circumstances, and hence promote supply of potential youth recruits to Taliban or other extremists/jihadists organizations.These factors can also be labelled as drivers and triggers. The Demand side can be interpreted as pull factors; conditions that motivate and inspire youth to join Taliban or some other jihadist organization because they may satisfy a socio-psychological and politico-economic need of the youth in question. Besides, there is also a distinction between active and permissive causes or conditions. While active causes actively push or pull youth towards jihadism, permissive causes are those in whose presence it becomes easy for the youth to move towards extremist organization or cross the threshold. Some of these influencing factors are are discussed below.
Supply side factor or “Push” factors Poverty and exclusion Youth coming from poor or low income households have greater probability of joining Taliban or other Jihadists organizations. Youth from these households tend to have low level of education, poor performance at exams-if at all they go to school, are usually jobless or are stuck with very low-paid jobs, and are therefore very vulnerable. These symptoms are aggravated due to hyper inflation and extreme socio-economic inequalities in Pakistan. They would therefore jump at almost any opportunity that provides them with social clout as well as decent money to make both ends meet. Feelings of powerlessness visa-vis parents and society Most Pakistani and particularly Pashtun parents are usually very authoritarian and disciplinarian. Moreover the pakhtun customs and traditions are also very stringent. In this age of satellite TV and the internet, where the youth come to know about avenues of SAHAR
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freedom and possibilities to go out, the control that is imposed upon them by parents and traditions is abhorred, and many young minds looks for opportunities to rebel. This feeling of powerlessness sharpens with exclusion of younger people from decision making processes, which is usually the prerogative of elders in a traditional societies. Generation Gap and alienation from elder generation: Absence of father or another father-figure at home or alienation/distance between the younger and older generation is another factor. Many pakhtun fathers leave for places like the middle east, Europe, North America or work in the major cities of Pakistan due to absense of any job opportunities closer to home. Their sons grow up without a fatherly figure at their home, or if there is an uncle at home, he is usually too stern or is unable to take the place of the father because of the traditional famil rivalries e.g. tarboorwali( cousin rivalry). These youth are very vulnerable to exploitation by the jihadist propaganda as there is no one to guide them or help them deal with their sense of anomie. Political grievances and sense of Muslim Umma Grievances, especially related to domestic and world politics-in particular concerning foreign policy-,reinforces the sense of victimhood and besiegement on one hand and the alienation from the government – who are looked down upon as American stooge-, on the other hand also plays a role in persuading the young men to opt for siding with the Taliban. In this context, the concept of the ummah– the global Muslim communion – which means that Muslims throughout the world feel deeply connected with and sympathetic to the plight of fellow Muslims elsewhere in the world, is very important. Pakistani youth are generally groomed specially sensitive about Afghanistan, with whom they share close language, history and cultural linkages, and Palestine-Israel conflict, as that conflict involves the third holiest Muslim place. This emotional link underscores the perception by Muslim youth of the oppression by “the West” and the servility of their own governments to the interest of the “anti-Islam” west. Thus any real or perceived injustice committed by the west or its perceived agents ( e.g Pakistani government and security forces ) produces a longing for revenge among these youth. The stronger this perception in a youth, the greater his chances for radicalization and joining Jihadist organizations to seek his revenge. Loss of near and dear ones to Military operations or Drones Those youth who have lost close relatives and friends to security forces operations or extra-judicial killings or to the drones are particularly vulnerable to join Taliban or other jihadi organizations because of the anger they feel and the yearning for revenge they have. Inadequate education, Poor Religious Knowledge and exposure to Radical Message An inadequate understanding of Islam makes Pakistani youth vulnerable to misinterpretations of the religious doctrines. In general, Pakistani youth do not come from strong religious backgrounds. Almost universally, they either have an incomplete religious education or are raised in a household where the faith is routinely practiced but no deep knowledge is imparted. Whether their religious education comes from a traditional Pakistani madrassa ( seminary),or from a radical imam preaching at the mosque they regularly attend , or from CDs, DVDs and cassettes that a friend or peer may have handed them, they are typically exposed to a very narrow interpretation of Islam. The teachers in most religious SAHAR
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madrassas and other religious leaders value memorization of key phrases( Quranic verses and Sayings of the Prophet(PBUH) ) over rigorous analysis of the texts. They are not exposed to the over 1,400 years of Quranic commentary and scholarship, nor are they encouraged to question their teachers or imams on finer points. This coupled with inadequate secular education in the state run schools, where the curriculum is full of hate material, and students’ analytical and questioning ability is suppressed, make zombies out of the youth. As a result, when they become exposed to radical sermons in the mosques combined with radio and TV glorification of jihad and martyrdom, their inspiration is aroused and those young impressionable minds become zealous adherents to an unorthodox and distorted version of Islam where religious arguments are used to justify the violent redress of grievances. There are CDs/DVDs and cassettes that regularly glorify “martyrs” and “martyrdom” through portraying the pride they brought to their families, scenes of people congratulating the families of “martyrs” on the “martyrdom” of their sons, or through farewell messages of the would-be suicide bombers. Exposure of an already gullible mind to all these propaganda material is usually enough to help an innocent youth cross the threshold to jihadism. Exposure to Hate-Monger Media Exposure to televangelists who continuously churn-out anti-muslim and antipakistan conspiracy theories also make the Pakistani youth more likely to get radicalized. These televangelists preach that the west, specifically the Jews, and their agents who govern most muslim countries are currently responsible for the sordid plight of muslims in general and Pakistani in particular. By quoting from Quran and Hadith out of context, they try to prove that the Christians, the Jews, and their stooges who rule the muslim world can never be the friends of muslims and therefore muslims should join struggle against them. In the absence of exposure to programs that may promote a counter-narrative, the credulous youth seeks out organizations through which he they can vent their anger against the west and its agents. Low engagement with political/democratic process: Youth who come from politically active families or who are otherwise politically more active, especially if they are affiliated to non-religious parties, are less likely to get into jihadism. Politically active youth have better access to political leaders and other powerful people, and thus have better opportunities to exploit the system for their personal, family or community purpose . They feel less powerless and have some purpose in life. A look at the profile of the known TTP cadres shows that almost no political activists-even from hardcore religious parties like JUI and JI, joined Taliban. On the other hand those youth who are not actively involved in politics, tend to have less connections, higher sense of deprivation and powerlessness and lack purpose and direction in life. They are therefore more likely to get into jihadist organizations. Peer Pressure and Social connections Social connection and friendship with youth already fallen into extremism or jihadism is an important factor in the radicalization of youth. Many youth joined Taliban precisely because of their peers and friends-who are already part of Taliban. This phenomena was widely observed among the youth in Swat, where neighbourhood youth influenced youth living in the same neighbourhood, and friend influenced friend and SAHAR
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persuaded them to join Taliban. The peer pressure also comes into play after joining Taliban when some members will go to great lengths in proving, to other members, their worthiness. Their greatest fear is that the group will reject them, therefore, they become intensely loyal. One ploy to prove their loyalty to the organization is to bring-in more recruits-usually friends as they are the easiest to sway.
Demand side factor or “Pull” factors Salary and compensation Taliban provide jobs to otherwise jobless youths and pay them better than an average worker in the public as well as private sector. This is a great attraction for youths in areas where there are not many job opportunities. Taliban also promise heavy compensation to families of the “martyrs” and “suicide bombers”. In addition to the normal youth, Pakistani Government is facing a more severe challenge in the case of formerlyjihadist youths, who have been rehabilitated through different rehab programs, in preventing their relapse to Jihadism as the government finds it difficult to provide alternative livelihood opportunities. Solutions and answers Taliban offer potential solutions to many psycho-social and economic problems and answers to many confusing questions the youth have. Thus they provide a simple, straightforward worldview based on dichotomy of “us” versus “them”, of Taliban and its supporters versus all others. They provide opportunities for youth to envision a higher purpose of life, opportunities to become powerful vis-a-vis non-taliban thus overcoming their sense of powerlessness, opportunities of upward mobility within the Taliban hierarchy and opportunities to solve the many real and perceived problems of the society through the imposition of what they call Sharia law. The Taliban sermons usually provide answers to the plethora of questions that fill the head of these young men. They then see Taliban or other jihadist organizations as having ready answers to all their queries, and doubts and to their path to success is clearly. Taliban also address issues of day to day concern to these distraught youth and general cynicism about “mainstream” political parties while providing an attractive “ certitude” and “assurance” which is absent from “corrupt” westernized elites governing the country. Taliban and other jihadist organizations also provide a sense of camaraderie and community that may be absent in the pre-taliban life of the youth. That camaraderie helps members stay in the organization and influence other friends to come into the organization. In addition, joining Taliban provides opportunities for thrill and adventures that many youth seek in their growing days. The allure of simplistic and extreme views can then prove attractive to some younger people and may be subsequently developed into a more coherent extremist ideology at some point, especially where this is supported by close contacts in their communities or networks. Opportunities for Revenge Taliban offer opportunities for specific revenge in case a youth has lost his near and dear ones to the US UAVs( drones) or Pakistan army’s shells , mortars or extra-judicial SAHAR
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killings, as well as to avenge the dishonour and humiliation meted out to Muslims throughout the world, specifically in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine. Values and Norms Taliban also offer a working style lifestyle that is for less hierarchical, simple to understand, straightforward, without much protocol and quick and efficient. The values and norms are very attractive for youth who find it difficult to understand the complexities of the current political and bureaucratic system in Pakistan. Taliban offers a coherent worldview with a simplistic, unitary explanation of ostensibly disparate phenomena that neatly packages the seekerâ€™s frustrations with the struggles of Muslims across the globe. In this narrative, there are only two choices: continue to suffer or join us and fight. Complacency of elders This a facilitating factor and is very important factor because it is applicable to a vast number of Pakistani households. There is complacency of parents where they turn a blind eye to the mixing of their children with extremist youth or take that casually. Children are usually open to parental guidance and mostly need the guidance of parents. However, when they don't find answers from parents, and they find that parents have no objections to their company with radical youth, they feel encouraged to cozy up to those radicalized youth. By the time their parents realize, the situation is already reached the point of no return. Tayyab Ali Shah is a freelance political and security analyst specializing in the Taliban and other Islamic extremism. He is a Pakistani Pashtun and has a post-graduate education in Political Science, Business Administration and Public Policy. He has extensive experience in community development, policy advocacy and political education with both Pakistani and Afghan Pashtuns. He moderates the pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum and has written for The Jamestown Foundation, Pakistanâ€™s Frontier Post and the Daily Times.
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The Nexus Of Exorcism And Empowerment Among Pashtun Women Samar Esapzai
The belief in superstitious customs and traditions is not unique to the Pashtun culture; as a matter of fact, they are a common phenomenon. These superstitions are a product of historical, regional, economic al, and social conditions that have evolved over a significant period of time, thus becoming so embedded in the culture and the day-to-day lives of Pashtuns that it has almost become customary to adhere to them. Such superstitions include utilizing amulets, charms and talismans to ward off the evil eye (“tor nazar”) to protecting and ridding themselves, and their loved ones, from demonic possession and supernatural beings (“piryaan”) either through religious readings/prayers or – in more extreme cases – the antediluvian practice of exorcism. Exorcism is a practice that involves a series of chanting, singing of traditional songs, and dancing called “the dance of the possessed,” in which the “possessed” woman attains the opportunity to directly, or indirectly, express her inner feelings or turmoil that she would otherwise never convey in a normal situation. And while there is a cornucopia of superstitious beliefs in the Pashtun culture that could virtually fill volumes, it is this intriguing practice of exorcism that is of keen interest, especially among Pashtun women, and the ways in which this method of healing empowers them. Historically, it was believed that within Pashtun-dominated regions, as well as its surrounding areas, supernatural beings, or piryaan – as they are called – caused numerous adversities, of which included an intricacy with mental illness. Yet, the belief in piryaan is not only limited to the past, for, it also leaks quite extensively into the present time, especially in highly repressed and conservative societies. Pashtun women, in particular, are more than often inclined to believe in such superstition due to the reason that their way of living, outside of the immediate family, is vastly limited. Lack of education and exposure to the ‘outside world’ further limits women in their capacity, as well as ability, to comprehend and identify illnesses; particularly those that are psychological in nature. Some are completely unaware that there are modern medicines available, which aid in either curbing or completely curing mental illnesses. As a result, these women seek alternative methods of therapy – self healing, so to speak – to rid themselves of evil spirits that they believe is causing them this supposed “mental illness.” This is achieved through hujra sessions – hujra is a Pashto word, which means “a place to sit” – in which a group of women gather to SAHAR
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participate in the exorcism of evil spirits. These all-female hujra sessions serve two functions: the first is that of a healing function for the treatment of psychosomatic illnesses (or, in other words, ousting the piray that has possessed a woman); the second is that of a social function of providing an opportunity for women, who observe purdah (which literally means ‘modesty’ and refers to the seclusion of women), to get together and share their feelings of hopelessness and distress. These women grow up in a society knowing, from very early on, that their whole life will be limited to the narrow confines of their family’s homes. Their rights are even further limited when they get married – more so than often at a very young age – to live with their in-laws where they may practically have no rights at all.
And although some are, or appear to be, happily married, others are married to much older men, who may restrict them further, depending on the man’s lifestyle/beliefs. It is no wonder that these hujra sessions serve as a form of ‘group therapy’ – a means for these Pashtun women to escape from the troubled realities of their daily lives, guised in the form of “healing from demonic possession,” where they have the freedom to act out their feelings, while at the same time find socially sanctioned solutions to their problems. This, hence, serves as a tool of empowerment where, for once, women feel like they are in power and are taking control of their own lives – albeit secretly—serving as a sort of resistance. Nevertheless, the notion of empowerment is understood quite differently in this context. It appears that healing mental illnesses is the main force and driver in mobilizing modes of power, which aids the individual's – the woman’s— sense of personal empowerment and self-actualization. Also, mental illnesses in such highly conservative societies have become closely tied with issues of power and authority, where the “dominant (male),” modern medical system seems to have played a significant part in the tacit disempowerment of the supposed sick – or the “possessed”— whereas healing movements, like exorcisms, represents a counter-statement against this feature of modern medicine, which is that of empowerment. Thus, the nature of ‘power’ in this context takes a shift from female dependency on the male to females relying on each other for emotional expression and SAHAR
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comfort. These Pashtun women are free to express themselves, in any way they want, while under the supervision of other fellow womenâ€”from outside the family circleâ€”who, too, have gone through similar experiences and tribulations. These women, hence, empower and support each other; exemplify empathy and bonding; and become like a 'secret' family. Additionally, these hujra sessions attempt to create a sense of belonging for these seemingly deprived women and instill hope in their otherwise bleak lives. Conversely, it is important to note that this custom of holding women-only hujras to carry out exorcisms is gradually disappearing in many parts of the Pashtun region throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan; especially now that more women are becoming educated, as well as becoming more mobile, particularly in the cities, i.e. Peshawar. These women are also becoming more aware of new scientific inventions and discoveries, mainly through radio and television, and have further come to realize that mental illnesses are not a result of demonic possession, but are instead actual sicknesses that require treatment through modern science. However, at the same time, it continues to be practiced in some, rather highly remote and conservative, areas â€“ especially those areas that are yet to be exposed to more modern and/or progressive means of livelihoods. Though, due to the lack of literature and research on the nexus of exorcism and empowerment amongst Pashtun women, this is indeed a topic that will require further research and exploration, as it is an important one, considering that superstitious beliefs are still vastly prominent amongst the Pashtun populace. The author is a visual artist and is currently pursuing her PhD in international rural development and gender studies. She blogs at http://sesapzai.wordpress.com and tweets at @sesapzai
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ﻣﺣﻣد ﯾوﺳف ﺳﺎﺣل , ,د ﻣﮑﺗب ﭘﮫ ﻓﻠﺳﻔو ﮐﻲ د ژوﻧدون ﭘﮫ ﺗﺟرﺑو ﮐﻲ, داﻧﺳﺎن ﭘﮫ اوﺳﯾدو ﮐﻲ, د ازل ﭘﮫ ﮐﺗﺎﺑو ﮐﻲ, , ﺳﺎﻗﻲ ھﻠﺗﮫ ﭘر ﺟﺎم ﭘورت دی ,زاھد دﻟﺗﮫ ﭘﮫ ﺗوﺑو ﮐﻲ ,د اظﮭﺎر ﭘﮫ ﮐﺗﺎﺑو ﮐﻲ ,د ﺟﻧون ﭘﮫ ﺳرو ﻟﻣﺑو ﮐﻲ , , ﺷﺗﮫ ,ﻧﮫ د دار ﭘﮫ زوﻟﻧو ﮐﻲ ﺳﺎﻗﻲ ﺗﮫ ﺑﮫ راﺣت ﻣوﻣﯥ ,د ﺧﯾﺎم ﭘﮫ ﻣﯾﺧﺎﻧو ﮐﻲ ,د ﻗﺎرون ﭘﮫ ﺧزاﻧوﮐﻲ ,د درﯾﺎب ﭘﮫ ﺗوﭘﺎﻧو ﮐﻲ , 28 | Page
, ﺟﻧﺎره وي ﺟﻧﺎزو ﮐﻲ,د ﺑﻘﺎ ﻣﻧزل ﻣو دا دی , , دﻟﺗﮫ ھﻠﺗﮫ ﭘﮫ ھدﭔرو ﮐﻲ,دﺷﮭﯾد ﻧﺎوي ﺗﺎوﯾږي ,ﻏﺟﺑﮫ ﻏوﻧدي ﻣﻧظر دی ,داﺳﺎﺣل اﺣﺳﺎس ﻗﺗﻠﯾږي ﻏم ژړا ده
Yousaf Sahil is an ethnic Pashtun poet based in Malakand and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن دا ډاډ .. ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن. . ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن.ﻣﺴﮑﮯ ﺑﮫ وي وﻻړ ورﺗﮫ ﻟﮫ وراﯾﮫ !
ﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن.ورﺗﮫ واﯾﮫ.
Mumtaz Orakzai is a renowned poet. He hails from Orakzai Agency and is presently based in Dubai. He can be reached at email@example.com
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َد رﺿﺎ ﺧﻮب ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﻪ! ﭘﺮوت ﻳﻢ
ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﻪ!
ٰ َ َ "ﻓﺎﻧﻮس" ،ﺑﻞ "ارﻣﻐﺎن" وي َ َ َ ٰ َ َ
َ ﻟﻮﻳﻪ ﻧﻨﺪاره وي َد ﮐﺎﺑﻞ ﭘﮥ ارﻳﺎﻧﻪ ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﻪ! َ ٰ
اﺧﻠﻲ ﻗﺼﺎﺗﻮﻧﻪ ﺑﺮﻳﺎﻟﻲ ﭘﮥ ﻣﺦ روان وي ھﻐﻪ! ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﻪ! ٰ ﻧﻪ َ َ وﻳﻨﻢ اﺣﻤﺪ ﺷﺎه وي ،ﺑﺎﻳﺰﻳﺪ ھﻢ ﻣﯿﺮوﻳﺲ ﺧﺎن و َ ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﻪ! ٰ َ ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ اﻣﻮ وي اﺑﺎﺳﯿﻦ ورﺳﺮه ﻣﻞ وي ﻟﻮی اﻓﻐﺎﻧﺴﺘﺎن ويَ ،د ﺧﭙﻠﻮاک ژوﻧﺪون ﺗﮑﻞ و ﭼﻐﻪ َد ﺳﺮ ﻧﻪ اﻓﻐﺎن ﺗﭕﺮ وي ،ﻳﻮ "رﺿﺎ" َ ﺧﻮب وﻳﻨﻢ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﻪ! ٰ َ Raza Muhammad Raza is a famous Pashtun poet and hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
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ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن د ﻓﻦ او د ﻋﻠﻤﻮﻧﻮ ﺧﺰاﻧﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن ﻧﺎوﯾﺎﺗﮫ ﺷﺎن ﺧﺒﺮه دورداﻧﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن ﺷﺎﻋﺮ ھﻢ ﻓﻠﺴﻔﯽ دی ﻣﺼﻮر ھﻢ ﺳﯿﺎﺳﺖ دان دې ﭘﻮره ﭘﮫ ﭘﻮھﻨﺘﻮن دی اداره ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن ﺧﻤﺎر دی ھﻢ ﻣﺨﻤﻮر دی ھﻢ ﺳﺎﻗﯽ دی ھﻢ ﺟﺎﻧﺎن دی ﺧ
ﺧﻮږ ﻧﻈﻢ دی ﻏﺰل دی ﺗﺮاﻧﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن
ﯾﻮ رﻧګ د ﺧﻮﺷﺎل ﺧﺎن دی ﺑﻞ ﻟﻮړ ﻓﮑﺮ د ﺑﺎﺑﺎ دی ل دی ﻧﻈﺮﯾﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن
ﻣﺎﺿﯽ ﺣﺎل ﻣﺴﺘﻘﺒﻞ دی زﻣﺎﻧﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن
ھﻢ ډاډ ھﻢ ﮐﺮاﻣﺖ ھﻢ ﻣﻌﺠﺰه ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن
ﻏﻨﯽ ﯾﻮازی ﻧﮫ دی ﻗﺎﻓﻠﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن ﻧﺪﯾﻤﮫ اﺗﻤ د ﻓﻦ د ﺧﺎوﻧﺪاﻧﻮ ﭘﯿﺮ ﺧﺎﻧﮫ ده ﻏﻨﻲ ﺧﺎن Ahmad Hussain Nadeem hails from Kanju, Swat. He is currently based in UAE and is the Vice Chairman of Pashtu Literary Society, Dubai.
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Emerging Pashtun Talent
A Football Champion in the Making
Hussain Saddam was born in Jalalabad Afghanistan on the New Year day in 1997, months after Taliban took over control of Afghanistan. Forced by circumstances, this little boy from a nomadic Kochi family travelled towards Peshawar along with his family as refugees and settled in the refugee settlement of Tajabad at Peshawar, where he spent his childhood like all other impoverished afghan refugee families. Peshawar was a completely new adventure for the still young child torn away from the comfort of his ancestral home and hamlet in Jalalabad. Determined to provide the best possible education to the child, his parents managed to get him admission in a local private English language school. ‘Unaccustomed to the strange place and environment, I used to cry a lot because I really hated to wake up and go to school’ Saddam opined when inquired about his early childhood. But he hastens to add that ‘as the time passed during my study in the Pakistani schools I started making good friends and settled down comfortably with my new Pakistani environment’. Growing up in a very typical rural Pukhtun family meant that there were no extra activities like cricket, football and not even in school except studies. ‘So we never knew what actually the word sports meant’ remembers Saddam while narrating how he got to taking active part in sports. ‘One day I just went outside and saw some boys playing. One kid SAHAR
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was holding a wooden type of thing (which I came to know later was a cricket bat) and the other guy were throwing a ball to him. I was really impressed by the way they were playing and enjoying themselves’. My elder brother Noor also joined them. I was very excited and was watching every single ball carefully. I was terribly impressed by them. That was the real start of sports for me. I started playing cricket; slowly and gradually I learnt how to bat, and what is four, six etc. From 2005 to 2007 I regularly played cricket at Tajabad and became a regular player despite being relatively much younger to the other kids. I now remember that Mohammad Nabi who is current Afghan National Cricket Team Captain also used to play in the same team though he was much older to me’ Gradually I started getting bored with most of the time standing out in the waiting for a turn at the bat. At times I would start really hating it. My interest in football started one such day when we were playing cricket and a guy with long hairs entered the ground. I later came to know him as Omar. He was doing dribbles and I was like ‘Oh my god what is this thing!’ Everyone was like whoa!!!. Suddenly he kicked the ball towards me and I kicked it back to him, unknowingly, as a reflex action. The guy told come Ohh Come! Come! you kicked very well and I started playing with him. That was 8 years ago. Later, when I saw a football match on TV, the funniest part was
that I never knew what is goal and was very confused about it. But it was always fun watching the best players playing on the TV. At the very first, me and my brother Ajmal started to play football with a balloon ball and were always laughing at each other. We were always copying the players on the TV and feeling great that we can also play football like them. My mother was shocked to learn that we play a strange type of a game. She would often remark; what actually are you doing? Which type of game is this? My mother used to call it “ghoo n daskaa”. Slowly I developed an immense SAHAR
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interest in football as it gradually occurred to me that I am a real fit player for this game. But the real inspiration I got was when I watched Ronaldo playing in the World Cup. They were like magicians on TV. Sports in my family were not a commonly talked about or preferred activity. No one even knew about what actually football is. When I bought my first football and would keep playing for the whole day; I was even scared to take it home so I hid it in the local mosque for fear of my father finding out. My father and mother would really hate it when their sons would play cricket, football or any other sports: the only thing they wanted was to make their sons a doctor, businessman but never a sportsman. I really don’t know why? My father would often beat me for playing football and would tear my football kits. I used to play in streets in the beginning. My real life of football started when I joined a local football coaching academy called ‘Pakhtunkhwa Football Academy’ where I started gaining confidence. Later when I joined the Beaconhouse School, their intra-region tournaments changed me completely to a new player allowing me to play outside the cities and in front of crowds. At that level at the age of 12 playing with high level players was just a dream come true. Ever since, I have played in Beaconhouse All Pakistan Intra Region Tournaments for the last four years besides participating in several other competitions. I was twice declared best player of the Northern Region, declared twice as man of the match in Peshawar Premier League. I was a member of the winning squad of Peshawar Premier League and as well as Peshawar Champions league. This year I was declared best sports man of the Beaconhouse School System. He has won a number of tournaments and received innumerable trophies, shields, certificates and cash prizes. Saddam reminded us that it is not that he only plays football. He is actually an outstanding debater too and participated in international MUNS and twice won best diplomacy awards.
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Interview of Editor SAHAR with Haroon Bacha. Haroon Bacha (HB), the legendary Pashtun singer, who is considered to be the singer of peace, tolerance and resistance to war, spoke to Editor SAHAR-The Voice of Pashtuns (ES) and discussed his journey of music and singing in the terror-struck city of Peshawar and his commitment to spread the message of peace through music.
ES: Pakhair Bachajee! HB: Pakhair Azra! ES: When and where were you born? HB: I was born on July 20, 1972 in village Panjpeer, District Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. ES: Where did you receive your early education from? HB: I received my early education from my village Panjpeer, did Matric from Peshawar, F.Sc. and B.A. from Edwardes College Peshawar in 1992. ES: Which university did you go to and which subject did you study there? HB: I did my Masters in Social Work in 1994 from Department of Social Work, University of Peshawar. ES: Is there anyone else in the music industry from your family? HB: So far I am the only one from my family in the music industry. ES: When did you realize that you had a talent for music? HB: I used to take part in Naat Qirat and singing competitions during my school time which provided me an opportunity to exhibit my singing talent. But the music club of Edwardes College Peshawar offered me the platform to create a real place in the world of Pashto Music. ES: Do you sing only or can play musical instruments too? HB: I have learnt to play Tabla and Harmonium too. ES: Who were your biggest musical influence? HB: Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan, Asha, Jaggit, Udhat Narain in Urdu, while Gulnaar Begum, Kishwar Sultan and Khiyal Muhammad have always remained a great source of inspiration for me.
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ES: Did you go out on any international tour to promote your albums? HB: I have been performing in Dubai, USA and UK . ES: When you sang your first song, how did you feel at that time? HB : After receiving permission for singing from my parents, Prof. Zia-ul-Qamar a famous TV artist took me to PTV Peshawar Centre, where Shaukat Ali (Senior Producer) PTV introduced me on mini-screen to widen the range of my voice. There I sang the famous song of Dr. Israr (Khalaq badal sho ka badal sholo wakhtoona Jenakai na razee godar ta) which was altogether a new tune to the ears of music lovers. ES: Most young people who become famous as performers start off with their work quite early in life so how did it feel when your dream came true as a successful glamorous singer? HB: Well obviously I felt really good as I was performing on special occasions and events, both nationally and internationally. So the feeling was really good . ES: When did your release your first solo album? How many albums have you released so far? HB: My first volume (Da Rangoono Makhaam) came to market in 1996, which was followed by another (Ghunchakoona) consisting of songs, ghazals and tappas. Ulas Janan kra is my 47 Album. ES: Which do you like doing the best? State in order, Producing, recording, composing, performing live? HB: Performing live Composing. Recording Producing.
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ES: Time has changed a lot since you started in the business…significantly because of the internet. Has it helped or hindered the music profession in general? HB: Well it’s good for the people abroad who can’t get hold of a music album if it has not been released yet internationally but it’s a great financial loss to the Releasing company and singers as well. ES: Now I must ask you the age-old question. What does a young person, looking to break into the business, need to realize his goals? Many aspiring singers have talent but no links and contacts. How would you advise such a person who may be reading this to proceed? HB: Devotion, dedication and honesty of purpose are the main ingredients that paves the way for the success of an aspiring singers who are about to break into this field. Commitment and dedication to one’s cause can take one to new heights of success and glory. ES: Do you have any plans to re-record/re-mix any of the archive songs? I think an album under your own name; sing the pre-sung songs would be terrific! What do you suggest? HB: I have already sung the archive songs, especially tapay, with a new touch and I would still love to sing and re-record/re-mix more archive songs as most of the new generation haven’t heard the legendary and melodious songs. ES you: Do have any near future plans to hold shows abroad? HB: I recently held shows in UAE.
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ES: How much loss have you suffered so far due to the current situation in the country, as many were forced to leave the country for risk of lives? HB: It is indeed a great loss that many singers and musicians, including myself, have migrated to other countries as there is risk of life in our region. Most of the singers are being threatened to leave the music as music shops were blown up and the continuation of music and singing was not possible in our region. ES: Tell your readers something about your personal life..Are you married? HB: Yes, I am married and have two sons. ES: Any message you want to leave for your fans? HB: I personally do believe in hard work so what ever you guys are doing, do it with motivation and put your heart and soul in whatever you do. Hard work really pays off. ES: Thank you very much Bachajee for your time. HB: The pleasure is all mine Azra.
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Ghani Khan-His Life and accomplishments Ghani
Hashtnagar in 1914. He is widely considered the best pashto language poet of the 20th century and stands on a par with Khushal Khan Khattak and Rehman Baba. He was the son of the Red-Shirt Leader, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, aka Bacha Khan and The Frontier Gandhi. His wife Roshan came from a parsi family and was the daughter of Nawab Rustam Jang. The couple had three children, two daughters, Shandana and Zareen, and a son, Faridun. Abdul Ghani Khan was the youngest parliamentarian in the Indo-Pak subcontinent and was incarcerated on several occasions before and after Partition. He was trained at Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan Academy in painting and sculpture. His most famous works include the collection of his poetry called Kuliyat-e-Ghani and an English book by the name of The Pathans. Despite his affiliations with a political family, his poetry was totally non-conformist and his approach towards life, religion and the world is what makes him interesting for today’s youth. Through his works, he appears to be a humanist, a romantic, a nationalist and a realist, all at the same time — qualities which seemingly contradict each other. He is a true romantic as he advocates that beauty in thought, deed and action is essential for civilization. Indeed, Ghani is at his best when he is critiquing the social contract theory. Ghani has the multifaceted personality of one of the greatest Pashto poets, his verses having strains of romanticism, nationalism, humanism and a scathing animosity towards the social contract theory. “Ghani always talks about peace and tolerance in his poetry In one of his writings he says that human beings today are thirsty for each other’s blood and even their love for a beloved, is more like lust, so it’s better to spend one’s life in a desert full of masti. If one compares Ghani Khan to other Pashto poets like Rehman Baba, one realises that Baba’s poetry is Sufi and is written in a preachy sort of manner and today’s youth is fed up of him, whereas Ghani wrote about topics relevant to youngsters and gives them a new perspective”, says Wali Orakzai, a singer who sang Reidi Gul of Ghani Khan Baba. On the contrary, some people, who have studied Ghani Khan’s poetry in detail, believe that it was his interpretation of God and faith which distinguished him from other SAHAR
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Pashto poets. Ghani is also opposed to the mindset of the radical cleric, which he views as an attempt to exercise social control in the name of religion. Pashto poetry, due to the emphasis that Pashtuns put on religion, the concept of a beloved has only been used for God, whereas Ghani Khan himself, being a strong opponent of the clergy and clerics, believed that your destiny or your purpose of life can also be your beloved, which is much more pleasing. Ghani Khan’s poetry suits well to the situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because the people there have lost hope in the state and every other form of authority and it is important that poets like Ghani Khan are revisited, who are symbols and rays of hope in the pitch of darkness. Despite all the misery, terrorism, bloodshed and grief, Pashtuns “love the sound of the Rabab, enjoy singing and if anything can give them hope now, it is inspirational poetry of the poets like Ghani Khan. Here is a selection from his poetry translated into English.
Reverie I sit alone and fancy creating a beloved for myself; Sometimes I paint her eyes black, sometimes I kiss her lips. I sit here planting beads of light in the string of sorrow; Joy still flows from the amphora of colors into my cupped hands. I hail your generous hands – how wise your disposal! I am a single drop, but harbor oceans in my heart. You took gold, power, and throne, and gave me beauty, sight and thought; You drowned hunger and thirst in the red storm of elation. A sorrow, not yet meted, kept hiding somewhere in the dark; It slowly crept up to my heart like a serpent on the prowl. I am happy with your will, o lord, of gem and gold! Sorrow? I’m even ready for death and would willingly embrace it, Were it not for the firefly of joy you’ve blessed me with, Allowing me to light up my dreams in this dark manor. People say, ‘There, Ghani grows old; consumed by his passions’ While I sit and arrange narcissi in the beloved’s hair. Death, go somewhere, get lost! I’m not done as yet – Joy still flows from the amphora of colors into my cupped hands.
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Celebrating a Poet: Abdul Ghani Khan lives on in portraits As the province gears up to celebrate Abdul Ghani Khan’s centenary this year, several artists have decided to pay tribute by painting portraits of the poet. Painters from the KPK province, including Brekhna Shehzad, Mavra Khan and Mohammad Arshad, are trying to incorporate Khan’s philosophy and politics into their work to express their affection for the man who was not just a poet but a painter, sculptor and vital part of Pashto literature.
These pieces of art will be exhibited in shows organised not only in KhyberPakhtunkhwa but across the border in Afghanistan as well. Ghani Khan was born in 1914 in what is now Charsadda district. His father Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a prominent leader of the Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek. Abdul Ghani was the youngest parliamentarian in the Indo-Pak subcontinent and was incarcerated on several occasions before and after Partition. He was trained at Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan Academy in painting and sculpture. He passed away in 1996. Ghani Khan’s poetry was mostly humourous and satirical. He is considered to be one of the grand masters of Pashto literature in the same league as Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari and Qalandar Momand. Hamdullah Arbab, a painter who works mostly with oil and water colours, while talking about his portrait of Ghani Khan, said it was an interesting way to highlight the poet’s work and philosophy. He added that his real aim was to convey Ghani Khan’s philosophy to the masses through his art. So far, the artist has completed 27 portraits and abstracts of Ghani Khan which reflect different dimensions of his poetry. He claimed that he planned to work on 50 others. These pieces will be sent to Swat, Peshawar, Kabul, Jalalabad, Quetta and abroad for exhibitions to celebrate Ghani Khan’s centenary. “A painting is usually based on a few verses or a poem or some part of Ghani Khan’s personality,” said Arbab. “My sole aim is to show the common man who Ghani Khan was.” He added that in one of the paintings there was a minaret rising from Ghani Khan’s turban and he had done this to show that the late poet was not against religion. SAHAR
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The artist has also worked on other series of portraits which include Dr Muhammad Azam Azam and Bacha Khan. His works have been exhibited not only at home but also Europe and America. Other artists who are painting portraits of Ghani Khan are Mohammad Arshad, Riffatullah Khattak, Salman Khan, Arshad Atal and Murad Khan. Article written by Hidayat Khan, Published in The Express Tribune, January 18 th, 2014.
Hamdullah Arbab Portraits and Sketches
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Mavaraâ€™s Portraits and Sketches
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Faisal Kohzad Portraits and Sketches:-
Salman Khanâ€™s Portraits and Sketches SAHAR
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Brekhna Shahzad’s Portraits and Sketches
Abdulrab Habibyar Portraits and Sketches
Shahid Takor’s Portraits and Sketches
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Portraits and Sketches of Arshad Atal
Portraits and Sketches of Abdus Satar
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Portraits and Sketches of Imran Dawood
Portraits and Sketches of Murad
Portraits and Sketches of Ahmad Murtaza
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Portraits and Sketches of Taj Khan
Portraits and Sketches of Different Artists Saddam Murad
Muhammad Arshad Khan MAK
Azra Nafees Yousafzai
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ABOUT US Welcome to SAHAR - The Voice of Pashtuns-a monthly publication that commits to engage with the ever-evolving and increasingly significant paradigm in Pashtun thought and psyche transformation. The need of SAHAR was felt due to the ever increasing misconceptions about Pashtuns in the region and the criticality of the same in the development of various stereotypes about Pashtun nation in general. SAHAR is an initiative to engage the Pashtun intelligentsia and youth, both at home and in the Diaspora with the aim to discuss Pashtun issues and contribute to a more informed debate on the Pashtun question on both sides of the Durand Line. The Magazine also intends to provide a forum to our youth to remain in touch with their culture, art and literature and at the same time, to illustrate a softer image of the Pashtuns to the outer world. On another level, and more importantly, it is of particular relevance to mention that SAHAR aims to provide input to the policy and decision makers in the public/private sector both at home and abroad by providing a more authentic and indigenous debate and analysis on the various aspects of the crises currently being fac ed in the region. Finally, SAHAR will act as a platform to bring out the immense talent in our youth and make them stakeholders in the debate with the long term aim of preparing them for leadership role in the future. It is our hope that the contributions in SAHAR will help burnish and restore the credibility and essence of true Pashtun society while also proving useful to provide input to policy making in the region.
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GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLE SUBMISSION SAHAR-The Voice of Pashtuns welcomes article submissions by all, particularly Pashtuns, or those who are interested in Pashtuns regardless of their age, location, creed, race, caste, as we intend to become the real ‘Voices of and for Pashtuns’. If you have an article you think would be suitable for publication in SAHAR, please send an e-mail with the subject heading “Submission” to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org Articles that adhere to the guidelines given below shall be considered for publication. Please remember that SAHAR does not pay for submissions as we work as a volunteer team. Content You can write on any subject that relates to Pashtun issues (ie Pashtun history, politics, geo-politics, economy, society, current affairs and contemporary issues, culture, war/peace, leadership, interviews of Pashtun celebrities, travelogues, cuisine, art and heritage or anything that revolves around Pashtuns). If you want to know first whether we would be interested in featuring your article before you write it, e-mail your proposal to us at the given mailing address and we will be glad to discuss it. SAHAR seeks fact-based analysis and opinions but well-thought out views or arguments that are well supported will have a much better chance of being featured. If you source information used in your article, you must mention the source at the end of the article or provide footnotes. Please facts check your work. Particularly if your article is about something controversial, it’s best to provide sources to support your assertions. Format Please attach articles as a Word document with your email. Please single-space and do not indent. Type your articles in Aerial Style, Size12 font. Also send photos if any with relevant captions. Submitted articles should be final drafts. Please take care to proofread SAHAR
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your own work before submitting it. If you think that your English is not up to the mark, the editor will be happy to work with you provided sufficient time is available. If the editor decides your article requires any kind of significant revision before publication, you will be notified and given the opportunity to approve of any such changes. Such revisions may include correction of factual statements, revisions for grammar and readability, and changing the title to something likelier to draw more readers’ attention or improve search engine optimization. Any proposed revisions are intended only to improve the quality of each article. Please include a short bio with your submission to let readers know a little about you, just something brief to let people know who you are. You may also submit a photograph of yourself that will appear with your bio. Please let the editor know whether a piece is an exclusive submission or not, and whether it has been published elsewhere previously (this will not affect the consideration your article is given, but the courtesy is appreciated). Deadline for receipt of articles Articles should reach the editor by the 10th of each month. Your articles, after due editing might find place in any of the upcoming issues depending upon the quality and suitability of the articles. However, selection of articles for publication is the sole discretion of the Editorial Board.
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