The Heated Politics of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Hazara

Posted on April 14, 2010
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Politics
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Owais Mughal

It has taken me few days to write on the topic because I wanted the noise and chatter to settle down a bit. While we have a war like situation in the newly named Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, it was interesting to see how all political parties came together for and against renaming of the province and ended up creating a new war zone within a war zone. The parties for it got it all settled within 2 weeks and those against it are still battling it out on the streets of Hazara Divsion.

Renaming of old NWFP has been at fore and back of ANP politics since atleast 1980s but the speed with which it got passed this time baffled even its supporters. My opinion on this issue is ‘fine!’ If the majority of people want this name for the province then why not? However, what is happening in Hazara for the past two weeks has been more a muted reaction. Just yesterday several people lost their lives.

What I have not completely understood yet and I am sure our readers will have a lot to say about it in comments below is why renaming a province has been such a polarizing issue in Hazara? May be my views are very simplistic but naam mein kia rakha hai yaar? Naming a province to one ethnicity or group doesn’t give or take anybody any extra rights. I however still think that a decision like this should’ve been taken by referendum where majority of people could have voted on the issue rather than few people deciding on it.

Another dimension of last few days’ events, and it appears quite obvious is that PML(Q) seems to be exploiting the situation in the area which has been the vote bank of PML(N) in the past.

Looks like what started with just renaming of the province may actually end up creating a separate province – Which by the way, may not be a bad idea either. At ATP we’ve discussed the idea of creating more provinces in Pakistan few times. See here and here. Yesterday PML(N)’s Javed Hashmi gave a very strong statement in favour of a separate province of Hazara region. Today PML(Q)’s Chaudhry Shujat has also called for a separate Hazara province.

Urdu newspaper Jang reported that in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s assembly two resolutions have been submitted – by two ANP members – to carve out Hazara province. So this appears to be another dimension of the conflict. The news cutting is to the right.

While the streets of Mansehra-Abbotabad simmer with burning tyres the usual blame game is also going on in full swing. So much so that it appears to be a league tournament – where everybody takes on everybody else. I’ve seen on-record news items where PTI has blamed ANP, PML(N) has blamed PML(Q). PML(Q) has blamed PML(N), local PPP guys have blamed ANP and ANP has blamed every body mentioned above for creating the chaos in Hazara.

This is time to rise above petty politics, because I think all parties want good in the end – It is just their inflated egos which they can’t seem to overcome. The name Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is fine. Congratulations to all those who wanted it. Those who want separate province called Hazara, I hope they lobby and arrange for public referendum on the issue and measure their support by ballot and not by burning public property.

I was especially saddened to see an Edhi ambulance burnt by the mob protesting for Hazara rights two days ago. Photos of this burning Edhi ambulance were published in news media all over – see our title photo above which captured this sad moment. Which cause teaches anybody to burn an ambulance? It is a shame. An excerpt from Dawn news of April 12 goes like this:

The protesters blocked roads, pelted police with stones, torched two police vehicles and an ambulance of Edhi Foundation, smashed billboards and also set a police station on fire.

On the ground – just by renaming the province, nothing changes in terms of rights of people, creating more jobs, better sanitation, more electricity, more schooling etc – Those issues still remian where they were before North West Frontier province was renamed as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

41 responses to “The Heated Politics of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Hazara”

  1. Color says:

    I am also a Pashtun. I support the Hazara Province, because we want to be free to take our own decisions, when ever we do some thing for Pashtuns or Pashto language people starts creating problems for us. The 74% (Pashtuns) are always black-maled by 18%(Hinko people), So let them have their own tiny province and enjoy … !

  2. Abdul Mannan says:

    word of thanks for producer of this site. This is to thank the producer of this site. It gives all of us
    to express ourseves. But right of free expression is very nice but interest of our beloved homeland that is Pakistan is more important. Even if some body speaks the truth but it can harm Pakistan we must rfrain from expressing it in the media. We must not do or say anything which is against the solidarity and integrity of our country. Of course we must see that all sections of our population get their rights and thaks to you my dear Pakistanis.
    Abdul Mannan.

  3. Abdul Mannan says:

    Right of free expression
    I shall ask my countrymen to give the right to express themslves even if they differ with you.We may try to convince each other politely but no body should be forced.It is not simply not possible to agree with allwhat the other party has to say.But it is possible that inspite of our differences on some points we do have agreement on many other points. This is something we can use tocooperate with one another for the glory and prestige of our motherland Pkistan and make it a progressive peaceful state.A heaven for all of us irrespective of our religion and sect.Thanks.

  4. Mona says:

    We are all Pakistanis and until we do not learn to go beyond ethnic differences we will keep suffering.
    I m from hazara and i absolutly donot agree with khyber pakhtunkhwa. Reason above all is all the parties who agreed on this constitutional amendment did not bother to consider the reservations of all those people who were against this name, the people of hazara are on top of the list in this regard. ANP did not bother to even try to campaign for a name that was acceptable for all even with the word pakhtunkhawa. It makes me so angry when i see people on the media saying that this is a politically driven issue. Wrong. They have no insight in this regard whatsoever. Come to the streets of Hazara ask anyone you like and you will know the discontent of the people in this regard. I m also not in favour of a separate province. This issue can be resolved simply if the leaders of all parties talk to the people, come out of there drawing rooms and build consensus on whatever name possible. Donot ignore the people who donot share your ideology or politics. Still they are your people if you think you are a pakistani and you care for your pakistani brothers and sisters

  5. ali khan says:

    In pakistan sadly everything is done with violance and this is bade news for democracy. Hazara should be given another name if that is what the people of Hazar wants. In England the law for scotland and wales and northern Irland is totally different to England yet is one country. In USA every state has different law and order. In some there is execution in others no execution at all. The People of swat does not want the Anglo saxon law and they should be given a law that works for them just like scotland has a different law to england and every state in America has different laws. Sadly pakistan is millions of miles way from real democracy so people take to the street or join some crazy groups who raise their concerns and cause trouble for all people.

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