Context of Pashtunistan

Pashtunistan (Pashto: پښتونستان, lit. 'land of the Pashtuns') is a historical region located on the Iranian Plateau, inhabited by the indigenous Pashtun people of southern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan in South-Central Asia, wherein Pashtun culture, the Pashto language, and Pashtun identity have been based. Alternative names historically used for the region include Pashtūnkhwā (پښتونخوا), Pakhtūnistān, Pathānistān, or simply the Pashtun Belt. Pashtunistan borders the geographical regions of Turkestan to the north, Kashmir to the northeast, Punjab to the east, Balochistan to the south and Iran to the west.

During British rule in India in 1893, Mortimer Durand drew the Durand Line, fixing the limits of the spheres of influence between the Emirate of Afghanistan and British India during the Great Game and leaving ab...Read more

Pashtunistan (Pashto: پښتونستان, lit. 'land of the Pashtuns') is a historical region located on the Iranian Plateau, inhabited by the indigenous Pashtun people of southern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan in South-Central Asia, wherein Pashtun culture, the Pashto language, and Pashtun identity have been based. Alternative names historically used for the region include Pashtūnkhwā (پښتونخوا), Pakhtūnistān, Pathānistān, or simply the Pashtun Belt. Pashtunistan borders the geographical regions of Turkestan to the north, Kashmir to the northeast, Punjab to the east, Balochistan to the south and Iran to the west.

During British rule in India in 1893, Mortimer Durand drew the Durand Line, fixing the limits of the spheres of influence between the Emirate of Afghanistan and British India during the Great Game and leaving about half of historical Pashtun territory under British colonial rule; after the partition of India, the Durand Line now forms the internationally recognized border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The traditional Pashtun homeland stretches roughly from the areas south of the Amu River in Afghanistan to the areas west of the Indus River in Pakistan; it predominantly comprises the southwestern, eastern and some northern and western districts of Afghanistan, and Pakhtunkhwa and northern Balochistan in Pakistan.

The 16th-century revolutionary leader Bayazid Pir Roshan of Waziristan and the 17th-century "warrior-poet" Khushal Khan Khattak assembled Pashtun armies to fight against the Mughal Empire in the region. During this time, the eastern parts of Pashtunistan were ruled by the Mughals while the western parts were ruled by Safavid Iran. Pashtunistan first gained an autonomous status in 1709, when Mirwais Hotak successfully revolted against the Safavids in Loy Kandahar. The Pashtuns later achieved unity under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Durrani, who founded the Durrani dynasty and established the Afghan Empire in 1747. In the 19th century, however, the Afghan Empire lost large parts of its eastern territory to the Sikh Empire and later the British Empire. Famous Indian independence activists of Pashtun origin include Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, and Mirzali Khan. Abdul Ghaffar Khan's Khudai Khidmatgar movement was strongly opposed to the partition of India along Hindu–Muslim religious lines. When the Indian National Congress declared its acceptance of the partition plan without consulting Khudai Khidmatgar leaders, Khan expressed staunch disagreement. Despite the Bannu Resolution, in which the Khudai Khidmatgar movement demanded that the Pashtun-majority North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) become an independent Pashtun state, the NWFP was incorporated into the Dominion of Pakistan following the 1947 NWFP referendum. The NWFP referendum was boycotted by Khudai Khitmatgar and rejected by Khan and his brother, then-chief minister Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan, who remarked that it did not give voters the option to make the NWFP an independent state or merge it with Afghanistan rather than independent India or Pakistan. Later on in his life, he regretfully stated that "Pashtunistan was never a reality" and that the idea of an independent Pashtunistan would never help Pashtuns and only cause suffering for them. He further stated that the "successive governments of Afghanistan only exploited the idea for their own political goals". Furthermore, the growing participation of Pashtuns in the Pakistani state and government resulted in the erosion of any remaining support for the secessionist Pashtunistan movement by the end of the 1960s. In 1969, the autonomous princely states of Swat, Dir, Chitral, and Amb were merged into the Pakistani NWFP. In 2018, the Pashtun-majority Federally Administered Tribal Areas, formerly an autonomous buffer zone with Afghanistan, were also merged into the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (previously known as the NWFP), fully integrating the region with Pakistan proper.

More about Pashtunistan

History
  •  
    The area during 500 B.C. was recorded as Arachosia and inhabited by a people called the Pactyans.

    Since the 2nd millennium BC, the region now inhabited by the native Pashtun people had been conquered by Ancient Iranian peoples, the Medes, Achaemenids, Greeks, Mauryas, Kushans, Hephthalites, Sasanians, Arab Muslims, Turks, Mughals, and others. In recent age, people of the Western world have nominally explored the area.[1][2][3]

    ...Read more
     
    The area during 500 B.C. was recorded as Arachosia and inhabited by a people called the Pactyans.

    Since the 2nd millennium BC, the region now inhabited by the native Pashtun people had been conquered by Ancient Iranian peoples, the Medes, Achaemenids, Greeks, Mauryas, Kushans, Hephthalites, Sasanians, Arab Muslims, Turks, Mughals, and others. In recent age, people of the Western world have nominally explored the area.[1][2][3]

    Arab Muslims arrived in the 7th century and began introducing Islam to the native Pashtun people. The Pashtunistan area later fell to the Turkish Ghaznavids whose main capital was at Ghazni, with Lahore serving as the second power house. The Ghaznavid Empire was then taken over by the Ghorids from today's Ghor, Afghanistan. The army of Genghis Khan arrived in the 13th century and began destroying cities in the north while the Pashtun territory was defended by the Khalji dynasty of Delhi. In the 14th and 15th century, the Timurid dynasty was in control of the nearby cities and towns, until Babur captured Kabul in 1504.

    Delhi Sultanate and the last Afghan Empire
     
    Coronation of Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747 by a 20th-century Afghan artist, Abdul Ghafoor Breshna.

    During the Delhi Sultanate era, the region was ruled by mainly Afghan and various, largely Sunni, Hanafi-jurisprudential driven Turkic[4][5] dynasties from Delhi, India. An early Pashtun nationalist was the "Warrior-poet" Khushal Khan Khattak, who was imprisoned by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for trying to incite the Pashtuns to rebel against the rule of the Mughals. However, despite sharing a common language and believing in a common ancestry, the Pashtuns first achieved unity in the 18th century. The eastern parts of Pashtunistan were ruled by the Mughal Empire, while the western parts were ruled by the Persian Safavids as their easternmost provinces. During the early 18th century, Pashtun tribes led by Mirwais Hotak successfully revolted against the Safavids in the city of Kandahar. In a chain of events, he declared Kandahar and other parts of what is now southern Afghanistan independent. By 1738 the Mughal Empire had been crushingly defeated and their capital sacked and looted by forces of a new Iranian ruler; the military genius and commander Nader Shah. Besides Persian, Turkmen, and Caucasian forces, Nader was also accompanied by the young Ahmad Shah Durrani, and 4,000 well trained Abdali Pashtun troops from what is now Afghanistan.[6]

    After the death of Nader Shah in 1747 and the disintegration of his massive empire, Ahmad Shah Durrani created his own large and powerful Durrani Empire, which included all of modern-day Afghanistan, North east Iran, Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan and Kashmir. The famous couplet by Ahmad Shah Durrani describes the association the people have with the regional city of Kandahar:

    "Da Dili takht herauma cheh rayad kam zama da khkule Pukhtunkhwa da ghre saroona". Translation: "I forget the throne of Delhi when I recall the mountain peaks of my beautiful Pukhtunkhwa."

    The last Afghan Empire was established in 1747 and united all the different Pashtun tribes as well as many other ethnic groups. Parts of the Pashtunistan region around Peshawar was invaded by Ranjit Singh and his Sikh army in the early part of the 19th century, but a few years later they were defeated by the British Raj, the new powerful empire which reached the Pashtunistan region from the east.

    European influence
     
    King Amanullah Khan, son of Habibullah Khan and grandson of Abdur Rahman Khan.

    Following the decline of the Durrani dynasty and the establishment of the new Barakzai dynasty in Afghanistan, the Pashtun domains began to shrink as they lost control over other parts of South Asia to the British, such as the Punjab region and the Balochistan region. The Anglo-Afghan Wars were fought as part of the overall imperialistic Great Game that was waged between the Russian Empire and the British. Poor and landlocked, newly born Afghanistan was able to defend its territory and keep both sides at bay by using them against each other. In 1893, as part of a way for fixing the limit of their respective spheres of influence, the Durand Line Agreement was signed between Afghan "Iron" Amir Abdur Rahman and British Viceroy Mortimer Durand. In 1905, the North-West Frontier Province (today's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) was created and roughly corresponded to Pashtun majority regions within the British domain. The FATA area was created to further placate the Pashtun tribesmen who never fully accepted British rule and were prone to rebellions, while the city of Peshawar was directly administered as part of a British protectorate state with full integration into the federal rule of law with the establishment of civic amenities and the construction of railway, road infrastructure as well as educational institutes to bring the region at par with the developed world.

     
    Bacha Khan (left) with Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi

    During World War I, the Afghan government was contacted by the Ottoman Turkey and Germany, through the Niedermayer–Hentig Mission, to join the Central Allies on behalf of the Caliph in a Jihad; some revolutionaries, tribals, and Afghan leaders including a brother of the Amir named Nasrullah Khan were in favour of the delegation and wanted the Amir to declare Jihad. Kazim Bey carried a firman from the Khalifa in Persian. It was addressed to "the residents of Pathanistan." It said that when the British were defeated, "His Majesty the Khalifa, in agreement with allied States, will acquire guarantee for independence of the united state of Pathanistan and will provide every kind of assistance to it. Thereafter, I will not allow any interference in the country of Pathanistan." (Ahmad Chagharzai; 1989; pp. 138–139). However the efforts failed and the Afghan Amir Habibullah Khan maintained Afghanistan's neutrality throughout World War I.[7]

    Similarly, during the 1942 Cripps Mission, and 1946 Cabinet Mission to India, the Afghan government made repeated attempts to ensure that any debate about the independence of India must include Afghanistan's role in the future of the NWFP. The British government wavered between reassuring the Afghan to the rejection of their role and insistence that NWFP was an integral part of British India.[8]

    During World War II, the government of Nazi Germany proposed an alliance with neutral Afghanistan in order to destabilize British control over the north-west of its domain in India. In return, the Afghans sought that NWFP and the Port of Karachi would be ceded to the Kingdom of Afghanistan with German military aid, so that it could gain valuable access to the Arabian Sea.[9] Such a plan would require annexation of NWFP, Baluchistan and Sindh provinces.

    The Khudai Khidmatgars (also known as the "Red Shirts") were members of a civil rights movement. Its leader Bacha Khan claimed to have been inspired by the Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi. While the Red Shirts were willing to work with the Indian National Congress from a political point of view, the Pashtuns living in the NWFP desired independence from India. However, the Bacha Khan wanted the Pashtuns areas in British India to remain part of United India instead of gaining independence.

    Bannu Resolution

    In June 1947, Mirzali Khan (Faqir of Ipi), Bacha Khan, and other Khudai khidmatgars declared the Bannu Resolution, demanding that the Pashtuns be given a choice to have an independent state of Pashtunistan composing all Pashtun majority territories of British India, instead of being made to join the new state of Pakistan.[10] However, the British Raj refused to comply with the demand of this resolution.[11][12]

     
    Flag of Pashtunistan, originating in Afghanistan after 1947[13]
    1947 NWFP referendum

    The NWFP joined the Dominion of Pakistan as a result of the 1947 NWFP referendum, which had been boycotted by the Khudai Khidmatgar movement, including Bacha Khan and then-chief minister Dr. Khan Sahib, as they were ditched by the leadership of Congress. About (99.02%) of the votes were cast in favor of Pakistan and only 2,874 (0.98%) in favor of India.[14][15][16][17]

    Independence of Pakistan in 1947
     
    Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969, belonged to the Pashtun Tareen tribe of Haripur and fought against Pashtun rebellions for the British Crown

    The concept of Pashtunistan has varying meanings across Pakistan and Afghanistan.[18] In Afghanistan, Pashtun nationalists look after the interests of the Pashtun ethnic group and have support only from them.[19] They favor the ideas of Lōy Afghānistān or "Greater Afghanistan", and maintain an irredentist claim on the entire Pashtun-populated region.[19][20] The Pashtunistan demand also served the cause of domestic Afghan politics, where several successive governments used the idea to strengthen "Pashtun ethnic support" for the state. This policy intensified ethno-linguistic rivalry between Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns in the country.[18] These claims are contested in Pakistan, where Pashtun politics centers on political autonomy rather than irredentist politics.[21]

    Since the late 1940s with the dissolution of British India and independence of Pakistan, some rigid Pashtun nationalists proposed merging with Afghanistan or creating Pashtunistan as a future sovereign state for the local Pashtun inhabitants of the area. At first, Afghanistan became the only government to oppose the entry of Pakistan into the United Nations in 1947, although it was reversed a few months later. On July 26, 1949, when Afghanistan–Pakistan relations were rapidly deteriorating, a loya jirga was held in Afghanistan after a military aircraft from the Pakistan Air Force bombed a village on the Afghan side of the Durand Line. As a result of this violation, the Afghan government declared that it recognized "neither the imaginary Durand nor any similar line" and that all previous Durand Line agreements were void.[22] Bacha Khan when took an oath of allegiance to Pakistan in 1948 in legislation assembly and during his speech he was asked by PM Liaquat Ali Khan about Pashtunistan to which he replied that it's just a name to the Pashtun province in Pakistan same like Punjab, Bengal, Sindh and Baluchishtan are the names of provinces of Pakistan as ethno-linguistic names,[23] contrary to what he believed and strived for Pashtunistan an independent state. During the 1950s to the late 1960s, Pashtuns were promoted to higher positions within the Pakistani government and military, thereby integrating Pashtuns into the Pakistani state and severely weakening secessionist sentiments to the point that by the mid-1960s, popular support for an independent Pashtunistan had all but disappeared.

    An important development in Pakistan during the Ayub period (1958–1969) was the gradual integration into Pakistani society and the military-bureaucratic establishment. It was a period of Pakistan's political history which saw a large number of ethnic Pashtuns holding high positions in the military and the bureaucracy. Ayub himself was a non-Pashto speaking ethnic Pashtun belonging to the Tarin sub-tribe of the Hazara District in the Frontier. The growing participation of Pashtuns in the Pakistani Government resulted in the erosion of the support for the Pashtunistan movement in the Province by the end of the 1960s.[21]

    — Rizwan Hussain, 2005

    Afghanistan and Pashtun nationalists did not exploit Pakistan's vulnerability during the nation's 1965 and 1971 wars with India, and even backed Pakistan against a largely Hindu India. Further, had Pakistan been destabilized by India, nationalists would have had to fight against a much bigger country than Pakistan for their independence.[24]

    Sardar Daoud Khan, who was the-then prime minister of Afghanistan supported a nationalistic reunification of the Pashtuns in Pakistan with Afghanistan. He wanted Pashtun-dominated areas like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baloch-dominated areas like Balochistan to become part of Afghanistan. However, his policy of reunification of Pashtuns antagonized Non-Pashtuns like Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras living in Afghanistan. Non-Pashtuns believed that the aim of reunification of Pashtuns areas was to increase the population of Pashtuns in Afghanistan. As a result, Daoud Khan was extremely unpopular with Non-Pashtun Afghans.[25]

     
    Daoud Khan with Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 1961

    Bacha Khan stated that "Daoud Khan only exploited the idea of reunification of Pashtun people to meet his own political ends".[26] In 1960 and later in 1961, Daoud Khan made two attempts to capture Bajaur District in Khyber Pakthunkhwa, Pakistan. However, all of Daoud Khan attempts failed as the Afghan army was routed with heavy casualties. Several Afghan army soldiers were also captured by Pakistani soldiers and they were paraded in front of international media which in turn caused embarrassment for Daoud Khan.[27] As a consequence of Daoud Khan's actions, Pakistan closed its border with Afghanistan which caused economic crisis in Afghanistan. Because of continued resentment against Daoud's autocratic rule, close ties with the Soviet Union and economic downturn caused by the blockade imposed by Pakistan, Daoud Khan was forced to resign by King Zahir Shah.[27] Under King Zahir Shah rule, relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan improved and Pakistan opened its border with Afghanistan. However, later on in 1973, Daoud Khan seized power from King Zahir Shah in a military Coup d'état and declared himself the first president of Afghanistan. After seizing the power, the Daoud Khan's government started proxy war against Pakistan. Daoud Khan's government established several training camps for anti-Pakistani militants in Kabul and Kandahar with the aim of training and arming those militants to carry out their activities against Pakistan.[28] On the other hand, Mirzali Khan and his followers continued their guerilla war against the Pakistani government from their base in Gurwek.[29][30] In 1960, Afghan Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud Khan sent the Afghan military across the poorly-demarcated Durand Line into the Pakistani Bajaur Agency in order to manipulate events in the region and press the Pashtunistan issue; these plans ultimately came to nothing after the Afghan troops were defeated by Pakistani irregular forces. In support of the quasi-invasion, the Afghan government engaged in an intense propaganda war via radio broadcasts.[31]

    Pakistani government decided to retaliate against the Afghan government's Pashtunistan policy by supporting Non-Pashtun opponents of the Afghan government including future Mujaheddin leaders like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Ahmad Shah Massoud.[32] This operation was remarkably successful, and by 1977 the Afghan government of Daoud Khan was willing to settle all outstanding issues in exchange for a lifting of the ban on the National Awami Party and a commitment towards provincial autonomy for Pashtuns, which was already guaranteed by Pakistan's Constitution, but stripped by the Bhutto government when the One Unit scheme was introduced.[clarification needed]

    Bacha Khan who previously strived greatly for Pashtunistan later on in 1980 during an interview with an Indian journalist, Haroon Siddiqui said that the "idea of Pashtunistan never helped Pashtuns. In fact it was never a reality". He further said that "successive Afghan governments have exploited the idea for their own political ends". It was only towards the end of Mohammed Daoud Khan regime that he stopped talking about Pashtunistan. Later on, even Nur Muhammad Taraki also talked about the idea of Pashtunistan and caused trouble for Pakistan. He also said that "Pashtun people greatly suffered because of all this."[26]

    In 1976, the then president of Afghanistan, Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan recognised Durand Line as international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He made this declaration while he was on an official visit to Islamabad, Pakistan.[33][34][35]

    Following the outbreak of the Soviet-Afghan War in Afghanistan, millions of Afghans including non-Pashtun people fled to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[36]

    ^ "Country Profile: Afghanistan" (PDF). Library of Congress. Library of Congress Country Studies on Afghanistan. August 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-10. ^ "Kingdoms of South Asia – Afghanistan (Southern Khorasan / Arachosia)". The History Files. Retrieved 2010-08-16. ^ John Ford Shroder. "Afghanistan – VII. History". Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31. ^ "You are being redirected..." www.astrojyoti.com. ^ Misra, Amalendu (30 August 2004). Identity and Religion: Foundations of Anti-Islamism in India. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9780761932260 – via Google Books. ^ Griffiths, John Charles (2001). Afghanistan: A History of Conflict. ISBN 9780233050539. ^ "باچا خان مرکز میں کلاسیکل محفل موسیقی' نامور گلوکاروں سمیت نئے چہروں نے آواز کا جادو جگایا". The Khyberwatch (in Urdu). Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2023. ^ Roberts, J(2003) The origins of conflict in Afghanistan. Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0-275-97878-8, ISBN 978-0-275-97878-5, pp. 92-94 ^ Hauner, Milan L. (1982). "Afghanistan between the Great Powers, 1938 - 1945". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 14 (4): 481–499. doi:10.1017/S002074380005217X. ISSN 0020-7438. JSTOR 162977. S2CID 161835556. ^ "Past in Perspective". The Nation. August 25, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019. ^ Ali Shah, Sayyid Vaqar (1993). Marwat, Fazal-ur-Rahim Khan (ed.). Afghanistan and the Frontier. University of Michigan: Emjay Books International. p. 256. ^ H Johnson, Thomas; Zellen, Barry (2014). Culture, Conflict, and Counterinsurgency. Stanford University Press. p. 154. ISBN 9780804789219. ^ "Stamp: Pashtu Flag (Afghanistan(Pashtunistan Day (1957)) Mi:AF 454A,Sn:AF 443,Yt:AF 452,Sg:AF 420". ^ Cite error: The named reference prr.hec.gov.pk was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference auto1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ Jeffrey J. Roberts (2003). The Origins of Conflict in Afghanistan. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 108–109. ISBN 9780275978785. Retrieved 18 April 2015. ^ a b Barnett R. Rubin (25 March 2015). Afghanistan from the Cold War Through the War on Terror. Oxford University Press. pp. 367–. ISBN 978-0-19-022927-6. ^ a b Zalmay Khalilzad, "The Security of Southwest Asia", University of Michigan, 2006, ISBN 0-566-00651-0 ^ Caron, James M (2009). Cultural Histories of Pashtun Nationalism, Public Participation, and Social Inequality in Monarchic Afghanistan, 1905-1960. ^ a b Rizwan Hussain. Pakistan and the emergence of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan. 2005. p. 74. ^ The Pashtunistan Issue, Craig Baxter (1997), Library of Congress Country Studies. ^ Bukhari, Farigh (1991). Taḥrīk-i āzādī aur Bācā K̲h̲ān. Fiction House. p. 226. ^ Paul Wolf. "Pashtunistan." Pakistan: Partition and Military Succession. 2004. ^ Saeedi, Sayed Ziafatullah (7 November 2018). "Daoud's Footprints: how Afghanistan's First President Influences Ghani". The Globe Post. Retrieved 1 March 2019. ^ a b "Everything in Afghanistan is done in the name of religion: Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan". India Today. Retrieved 13 January 2014. ^ a b Tomsen, Peter (2013). The Wars of Afghanistan:Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflict, and the Failures of Great Powers. Hachette UK. ISBN 9781610394123. ^ Venkataramakrishnan, Rohan (19 May 2013). "Send Section 66A bullies home". India Today. Retrieved 24 October 2016. ^ The Faqir of Ipi of North Waziristan. The Express Tribune. November 15, 2010. ^ The legendary guerilla Faqir of Ipi unremembered on his 115th anniversary. The Express Tribune. April 18, 2016. ^ "Afghanistan - Daoud as Prime Minister, 1953-63". countrystudies.us. Retrieved 2023-02-08. ^ "Remembering Our Warriors: Babar 'the great'." Interview of Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Naseerullah Khan Babar, by A. H. Amin. Defence Journal. April 2001. Retrieved 15 April 2010. ^ Rasanayagam, Angelo (2005). Afghanistan: A Modern History. I.B. Tauris. p. 64. ISBN 9781850438571. ^ Dorronsoro, Gilles (2005). Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to present. Hurst & Co. Publisher. p. 84. ISBN 9781850656838. ^ Nunan, Timothy (2016). Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan. Cambridge University Press. p. 125. ISBN 9781107112070. ^ Bajoria, Jayshree (20 March 2009). "The Troubled Afghan-Pakistani Border". Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
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