FATA’s mainstreaming and Gilgit-Baltistan

Karim Khan

Is there mere historical coincidence or something else here? More of political point-scoring across the national political spectrum or part of overall security reasons in the background?

FATA’s national mainstreaming bill was finally passed with overwhelming majority in the NA yesterday, while voices for Gilgit-Baltistan’s constitutional rights were being raised outside the national parliament! Is at a mere historical coincidence of its sort? This so because both places have in history been part of the amphitheaters of big powers’ game called the Great Games.

Pushtuuns have mostly in history proved themselves defiant for identity’s sake. I mean the broader perspective of the long drawn out Afghan War, first with Great Britain in the previous century and the US in recent history in early eighties, both being Super Powers of their Time!

GB people are mostly labelled as a martial race but without political awareness. GB still has to learn a lot from them; although not all Pushtuuns or any non-Pushtuuns have always been having a unified political stance or vision in this regard. The presence of various opponent war lords and militant forces and their divergent perspectives in history proves this all as their overall distinguishing national feature. The reason of being warriors is the fact of the stronger Pushtuuns or other ethnic groups, who love their identity and culture!

We, the GB people, have, despite being a martial race, not been so in comparative terms on the contrary, when it comes to forging a unified stance or resistance along with having a clear cut political vision or roadmap of ours, except in 1947-8’s War of Liberation!

Although, they ostensibly look backward, Pushtuuns are really something to be reckoned with and learnt from in political dynamics and loving their culture, their possible weaknesses not withstanding here. Apart from so many other factors possibly involved, may be it is because of their unique linguistic homogeneity that binds them together under such a strong tie; I am not here necessarily talking in terms of the nationalistic overtones here anyway. Sometimes this nationalistic undertone of theirs rather provokes their nationalistic love of cultural affinity across their northern border.

This means we in GB have our own unique kind of socio-historic and linguistic or ethnic dynamics to take stock of and consider for configuring our various divergent expressions of national mainstreaming efforts to be made heard and heeded to in power corridors.

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