Pakhtuns bearing brunt of war on terror, claim speakers
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakhtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been bearing the brunt of the international war on terror on their soil since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, speakers said at seminar in Peshawar. .
The two-day event, jointly organised by the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University and Abdul Wali Khan University, began in the capital of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Tuesday.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said: “Pakhtuns are passing through a critical juncture of their history. The Pakhtun intelligentsia should find out an indigenous solution to the current crisis in their region.”
Vice-Chancellor of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Dr. Razia Sultana, her Abdul Wali Khan University counterpart Dr. Ihsan Ali, and Prof Anatol Lieven from Georgetown University of Qatarspoke on the occasion.
The war against terrorism had changed the culture, traditions and lifestyle of Pakhtuns living on both sides of the Durand Line, Qaiser noted, urging the people to face the current crisis as one nation.
Dr. Ihsan Ali highlighted the history and civilisation of present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the tribal region and Afghanistan. Pakhtuns and other nations have been living in the region since pre-historic period.
Archaeologists had discovered a cave in the Sangao area of Mardan district, where they found signs and remnants of the people living in the area about 40,000 years ago. He also presented documentary proof of his research and excavation of the Gandhara Grave Culture.
Dr. Ali shone a light on Persian influence, Indo-Greek period, Buddhist civilisation, Hindu Shahi and Islamic period in the Gandhara region comprised of present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and parts of Afghanistan.
In his speech, Prof Anatol Lieven alleged imperialist forces had drawn a line between the Pakhtuns of Pakistan and Afghanistan and exploited it for decades.
He stressed the need for enhanced security to curb the movement of militants in both directions across the border. However, he suggested the free movement of common people and goods.
“Unfortunately, Pakhtuns have been portrayed as warriors, violent and terrorists. But if we look at history, they have been used as tools in alien wars and conflicts on their soil,” he remarked, cautioning against the redrawing of borders.
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