Pakhtuns in border areas worst hit by terrorism: Sherpao
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakhtuns on both sides of the Durand Line, branded as terrorists internationally, are currently going through a tough phase of their history, a senior Pakistani political leader says.
Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao, also a former interior minister, said on Friday Pakhtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan were facing extremism and terrorism, which had damaged their cultural values.
The menace had devastated the entire infrastructure in Pakhtun-inhabited border areas, he told an international conference on ‘The Question of Pakhtun Identity in the Pak-Afghan region: Challenges and Prospects’.
The event was jointly organised by the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Peshawar, and Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan.
While making a pitch for cordial relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said: “The Pakhtuns in both countries are victims of terrorism. It is time for Islamabad and Kabul to formulate a joint strategy to curb the menace.”
Both countries should have taken Pakhtun leadersinto confidence before framing policies on restoration of peace and development in the Pakhtun belt,believed Sherpao, who has twice served as chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
He added QWP had always advocated for stronger relations between Islamabad and Kabul at all levels to overcome the bilateral trust deficit.“The peace jirga was a ray of hope for normalisation of relations but it was not given a chance to succeed.”
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