Pashtu Literature Part II
Some new periodicals, Jirga, Shamshad, Gorbat, Gandhara, Waraze, from Peshawar and Mewand and Palana from Quetta, started publication for peace and reconciliation and the promotion of Pashtu language and literature in this period. Among these periodicals, Likwal (Writer, 1992-1997) was more vocal in championing the cause of Pashtu language and literature. Most of the Urdu articles of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib were translated into Pashtu. Likwal also countered the vilification of those who were writing from Islamabad and Lahore against the Pashtuns, and their culture and language. Most writers discussed political and cultural issues, the Afghan problem, as well as local, regional and international concerns, seeking to subject these to scientific and objective analysis. Some of the issues and questions they raised constantly included: 1. It is the right of every nation to demand the protection and development of its own language. Why then is the demand for Pashtu considered treasonous in Pakistan? Why does the state look upon the Pashtuns with suspicion? 2. The Afghan war is not a war between Islam and non -Islam but rather a war between the USA and the USSR, whose only victims are the poor Afghans. 3. The name "Pashtunkhwa" should be given to the NWFP. Why the Pashtun’s national question always is exploited in the name of political priorities, party interests and constitutionality? 4. In an article "Literature and Democratic culture", Salim Raz criticized the militant policies of the Government, demanding to know how democratic norms of peace came to be replaced by the violent cultural trends of terror and the Kalashnikov? Why was the Kalashnikov culture nourished under the shadows of modernization and an anti-Soviet posture? He claimed that Pakistan’s rulers were trying to artificially "oxygenate" an old system, to produce a fake leadership for Afghanistan, and the result of this was unending war. The late Sher Ali Bacha focused on the history of the nationalities, arguing that the Muhajir were considered an invading force, who used Urdu as tool to impose their own will and culture on the other nationalities of Pakistan. The Muhajirs (here referred to those migrated from India) first talked of the ideology of Pakistan, a strong Centre and Urdu as the national & state language. With the passage of time, the Muhajirs abandoned the ideology of Pakistan and Islam and were now projecting provincial autonomy, not a strong center, Jinnah not Iqbal. Another article by Ali Bacha focused on "Modern Democracy", which was identified with pluralism and the idea of "unity in diversity". He argued that those in the echelons of power had forgotten that, in a uni-polar world, Cold War policies had to be abandoned. In the emerging New World Order, modern Pashtun nationalism had also adopted a new progressivism, democratic and liberal qualities. It was no more a comparison with particularism and was making strides to reconcile with and embrace other progressive forces in Pakistan. In the new economic order it was evident that, on the one hand, Pashtun nationalism was declining politically and, on the other, rising both culturally and economically. Pashtunkhwa had been a bridge for Central Asia and South Asia and needed to be restored to this status. In the words of Allama Iqbal (1877-1938): Asia is comparable to a living body. The heart that beats inside the body is the nation of Afghans. The destruction of the Afghans is the destruction of Asia. In their progress and prosperity lies the well-being of Asia. Among the Pashtu dailies, Hewad, Wahdat, Maidan, Sahar and the Frontier Post (though originally an English daily) started a weekly page from 1992 to 1995 for the promotion of Pashtu literature and Pashtun nationalism. Resource-less poets and writers were at the forefront of the campaign for Pashtu literature. As a result, literary societies, associations and the media were important vehicles for the projection of their desires and expectations through their own language and literature. As one writer expressed it: "A civilization can only prosper or develop when its cultural and social ethos blend harmoniously into its political and administrative structures."53 There exists utter confusion in Pakistan, generally, as a nation’s state built for the Muslims of South Asia, which has denied a majority of its citizens their fundamental rights free individuals. Political sovereignty and economic prosperity have long been elusive goals and the discussion about nationalities within Pakistan, their cultural identity and development was deliberately suppressed during long spells of dictatorship and "undemocratic democracies." This has resulted in the fragmentation of social structures within the different nationalities living in Pakistan, and a loss of a cohesive value system, other than religion. The media has falsely projected the "ideological identity" that was conducive to the perpetuation of the ruling elite of Pakistan. It reinforced the idea of "homogeneity" on the basis Islamic traditions alone, consequently ignoring wide cultures and political differences. The late Ghani Khan once observed that a culture grows and develops in centuries. Conversely, it takes centuries to wipe out a culture. One of the basic factors that have paradoxically contributed to the survival of Pashtu is the economic backwardness and lower rates of literacy among the Pashtuns, as compared to some of Pakistan’s more privileged groups.54 The last five years of the 20th century and the early years of the new century saw more than 700 new titles in Pashtu, on history, legal systems, technical subjects, fiction and poetry. A cursory look at these titles indicates that young writers have come up to expectations, following closely in the footstep of the retiring generation. A majority of these authors is drawn from the middle classes and their writings are replete with anti-war slogans and a desire for peace and reconciliation. Thus, Akbar Sial, Paa Jang Day Aoor Wa Lagi (To Hell with the War), Abdullah Jan Maghmoom, Armanoona auo Hasratoona (Ambitions and Aspirations), Dr. Sher Zaman Taizai, Nara Zaba (Virile language) and Dr. Suhail Insha Pukhtane neway jorakhat (Pashtun social & tribal structure) reflect anti-war themes and a powerful assertion of the Pashtun identity.55 All contemporary events, both regional and global, have found expression in this phase of Pashtu literature, including Habibullah Rafie’s Da Bootano Hangama (The Crisis of Idols); Ghaos Khaberi’s Pa Afghanistan Kay Topan (Storm in Afghanistan); Muhamad Kamal’s book on 9/11, Naray da Topan pa Oogo (World on the Shoulders of a Storm), and the periodical Hillah of April-May 2002, which raised the crucial question: Are All Pashtuns Taliban?56 Afrasiyab Khattak and Dr. Taizai are optimistic about the role and place of Pashtu in globalization and a fast-changing world. But the situation calls for an urgent and fundamental change- a change from the old parasitic ethos to the technological heights through "intellectual insurgency" if possible, otherwise the rusted system and anachronistic order will collapse under its own contradictions. For many years, the Pashtun nationalist movement remained underdeveloped and enmeshed in "particularism", yet its literature contains all the qualities of modern global literary trends. Pashtu literature has effectively articulated the new Pashtun nationalism, including the demand for a new federal relationship with Pakistan, and has not failed to accommodate the imperatives of the decentralization of administration within Pashtunkhwa. There is a clear recognition that a quantum of autonomy is essential in order to assert a political identity, and this can be achieved only through a restructured relationship between the federating units of Pakistan. Democracy and a genuine federation of Pakistan tops the list of Pashtun demands, and includes the ideas of political autonomy and rights over natural resources to the constituent States of the federation, as also the right to independently develop their cultural and national identity. These demands may appear sentimental to some, but it must be made abundantly clear that the Pashtun movement is not isolationist in its essence. The Pashtuns are bound to benefit from a dynamic socio-economic intercourse with the rest of the region. However, the uniqueness of the Pashtuns has to be emphasized precisely because it has been denied and suppressed. But the ideal is a unity in diversity, and the positive and modern objectives of democracy and economic development Pashtu was chosen as an identity-marker by Pashtun nationalists for educational, economic, cultural and political reasons, to create a place for themselves within Pakistan. Their aspirations for independence changed into a demand for maximum provincial autonomy, and this shift was expressed in literature, at times in the form of Pashtunistan, at others, in the form of Pashtunkhwa. These efforts, however, are all part of the Pashtun nationalist demand for greater autonomy, the right to preserve the indigenous way of life, and pride in the Pashtun identity. The Pashtun ideal and aspiration is articulated in Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar’s famous couplet: I am not such a fool as to want to rule over other people [in Pakistan] All that I want is: The reflection of the Pashtun entity in the constitution of the country, The region where I live to be named after my people, the Pashtuns who live there and Good education for my children in their own language, Pashtu. As long as these aspirations are fulfilled, I do not mind even if I remain poor, hungry and naked. 1. From revolutionary scholars like Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghan to Sardar Daud Khan, from Abdul Ghaffar Khan to Afrasyiab Khattak (Chairman, Pakistan Human Rights Commission) all blame the “Great Game” as the principal cause of Pashtun disunity, backwardness and poverty. For more details, see Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat, The Evolution and Growth of Communism in Afghanistan (1917-1979), Karachi: Royal Book Agency, 1997; Also see the monthly Diplomat, Peshawar, March-April 1994, pp. 36-37. 2. The Afghan Wars seriously damaged the urban economy of Afghanistan. The loss of Kashmir, Peshawar Valley, tribal areas and Balochistan dealt a severe blow to the Afghan urban economy and the royal treasury. Charles Masson comments on the deteriorated economic situation of Afghanistan thus: “...the monarchy, which also gradually lost its tenuous hold over Baluchistan and the tribal trade fair centres of Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Darband was left with few hopes of freeing itself of its dependence on the Afghan tribes or of achieving the political and economic integration of the country." The weakness of Afghan authority in the east provided an opportunity and excuse for expansion by the British into the tribal areas and Frontier hills. V. Gregorian asserts, “the military importance of the independent tribes of the frontier also strengthened the position of the tribes within Afghanistan: through blood ties or political alliance they could obtain needed support. Tribalism was thus preserved at the expense of the Afghan monarchy and the growth of national institutions.” Marwat, Evolution and Growth of Communism in Afghanistan, pp. 22-3. 3. Sir William Barton, India’s North-West Frontier, London: John Murray, 1939, p. 83. 4. The name Pakhtunistan or in soft Pashtu dialect Pashtunistan evolved originally from the Indian word Pathanistan. The very concept of Pakhtunistan was taken from the old word Pakhtunkhwa. Obaidullah Sindhi used Pashtania for Pashtu speaking area of his Proposed People's Republic of India or Saro-Rajia-i-Hind (Obaidullah's letter to Iqbal Shaidai on 22 June 1924), Muhammad Aslam, Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi Kay Siasi Maktubat, Lahore: Niduatal Musanifeen, 1966, p. 34; The report entitled Conditions in India, of the delegation sent out to India in 1932 by the India League under the Chairmanship of Bertrand Russell, devoted a chapter to the NWFP, noting: "...It was also stated to us by a very high official that Abdul Ghaffar Khan's real plan was to create a "Pathanistan" and not to work for Indian self-Government". D.G Tendulkar, Abdul Ghaffar khan: Faith is Battle, Bombay: Times of India Press, 1967. pp. 152-3. The British, Indian leaders and even the Khudai- Khidmatgars were using Pathanistan for Pakhtunistan in the beginning, but later on they started using the word Pakhtunistan. According to Pohand Sidiqullah Rishteen, "in 1947, A. Rauf Benawa, Chief of the Pashtu Tolana Kabul, translated Pakhtunistan from Pathanistan". When newspapers and particularly the “Pakhtun” journal of A.G. Khan started to use Pakhtunistan for Pathanistan, it was acknowledged with enthusiasm in the “Kabul” magazine of Afghanistan, Kabul 1326 (1947) vol: 8, first page (Abdur Rauf Benawa was the editor in chief of the Kabul Magazine). 5. Marwat, Evolution and Growth of Communism in Afghanistan, p. 235. 6. Dost Mohammad Khan Kamil, ed., Kulyat-e-Khushal, Peshawar: Idara-e-Ishaat-e-Sarhad, 1952; Muhamd Nawaz Tahir, Pashtu Zaban wa Adab: Akk Mutalya, Peshawar: Pashtu Academy, 1988, pp. 38-39. K B Sayeed admits that the Pashtun’s sense of distinctiveness was a thing apart from the Islamic Identity. He wrote: “The Pashtun consciousness was not of recent origin. The famous Pashtun poet Khushal Khan Khattak had lyricised about the historic role of the Pashtuns and how they had hurled defiance at the mighty Mughals. One could see that this separate Pashtun consciousness could not be submerged in the larger Islamic identity, for the Pashtuns, though Muslims, had taken up arms against the Muslim Mughals.” 7. The Herald, Karachi, July, 2002, p. 64. The emergency Loya Jirga held in Kabul from June 11 to 19, 2002, was attended by Malik Darya Khan Afridi from the Khyber Agency, Haji Ahmad Jan Mohmand from the Mohmand Agency and Malik Mian Shah Jahan from the Bajaur Agency. Haji Khan Gul Chamkani from the Kurram Agency and some delegates from North and South Waziristan were also invited as observers. 8. Act vii of 1974, Prevention of Anti-national Activities, Act, 1974. 9. Tahir, Pashtu Zaban wa Adab: Akk Mutalya, pp 43-44. Researcher Zalmay Hewadmal, Da Pakhtu Nasar Atth Sawa Kala (The Eight Hundred Years of Pashtu Prose), Lahore: Milat Printer, 1996. 10. Some other eminent writers and poets of the period were Muhammad Akbar Khadim, Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq, Amir Hamza Shinwari, Abdul Ghani Khan, Ajmal Khatak, Amir Nawaz Jalia, Wali Muhammad Tofan, Fazal Rahim Saqi, Master Abdul Karim, Mian Akbar Shah, Syed Rasul Rasa, Abdul Malik Fida, Khan Mir Hilali, and Mir Mehdi Shah Mehdi. The eminent littérateurs of this period in upper Pashtunkhwa (Afghanistan) were Gul Pach Ulfat, Abdul Hay Habibi, Sadiqullah Rishteen, Abdur Rauf Benawa, Mirajan Sial and Noor Muhammad Taraki. Some of the important Pashtu works and dramas of this period were Abdul Ghaffar Khan Journal Pukhtun, Qazi Rahimullah’s drama Nawi Roshni (New Light), Amir Nawaz Khan Jalai's Dard (Pain), Muhammad Aslam Khan Khattak's Da Wino Jam (the Goblet of Blood) 1935, Abdul Khaliq Khan Khaliq's Shaheeda Sakina (Martyr Sakina) 1936, and Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar's Jungara (The Hut), 1945. 11. See for poem of Makhfi the dedication of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Zama Zawand Aw JudoJuhad (My Life and Struggle), Kabul, nd. 12. Fazal-ur-rahim Marwat and Syed Wiqar Ali Shah Kaka Khel, Afghanistan and the Frontier, Peshawar: EMJAY Publishers, 1993, Chapter 13. 13. Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai was the father of Mahmud Khan Achakzai, the chief of Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. 14. Pohand Abdul Hay Habibi translated “Le Miserable” into Pashtu “Bay Nawayan” in 1930s. 15. In September 1947, the meeting of the Khudai Khidmatgars at Sardaryab, near Peshawar, passed the following resolutions: The Khudai Khidmagars regard Pakistan as their own country and pledge that they shall do their utmost to strengthen and safeguard its interest and make every sacrifice for the cause; The dismissal of Dr. Khan Sahib’s ministry and the setting up of Abdul Qaiyum’s ministry is undemocratic, but as our country is passing through a critical stage, the Khudai Khidmatgars shall take no step which might create difficulties in the way of either the Provincial or Central Government; After the division of the country the Khudai Khidmatgars sever their connection with the All-India Congress organization and, therefore, instead of the Tricolor, adopt the Red Flag as the symbol of their party. 16. The political ally of Khudai Khidmatgars, the All Indian National Congress and its political rival the All Indian Muslim League accepted the 3rd June (1947) Plan of Lord Mountbattan, including a proposal for a referendum in the North West Frontier Province on two options only: India or Pakistan. This left the Pashtuns in a lurch. 17. Syed Minhajul Hassan, Babra Firing Incident: 12 August1948, Peshawar: University of Peshawar, 1998. 18. Ibid. 19. Rukhsana Hidayatullah, unpublished MA thesis, “Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar,” Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 1987. 20. Aslam, a monthly journal of Kaka Sanober Hussain. 21. The file of Pashtu journals 1952, 1955, 1956. Jamuhar-Islam and Abaseen. Published from Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Karachi respectively. All these files are in the library of Pashtu Academy, University of Peshawar. 22. See Jamuhar-Islam, October 1956. 23. Tendulkar, op. cit, p. 485. 24. Formed in 1956, originally it included six parties namely: (1) Khudai Khitmatgar led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, (2) Sindh Awami Mahaz led by G. M. Sayyad, (3) Sind Hari committee led by Hayadar Bakhs Jatoi, (4) Ustman gall of Balochistan led by Prince Karim Khan and Mir Ghous Bakhs Bizenjo, (5) Wrore Pashtoon Party led by Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai and (6) Azad Pakistan Party led by Mian Iftikharuddin. In 1957 the party was named National Awami Party when Maulana Bhashaniâ€™s Awami League from East Pakistan joined it. 25. Hidayatullah, unpublished MA thesis, “Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar.” 26. On the title page of monthly, Lar, Peshawar, was inscribed: “Speak Pashtu, Write Pashtu, read Pashtu” And, Ka Ghar Ochat Day Pa Sar ya Lar Shta “ There is a Path to the top of even the highest mountain (Meaning: Where there is a will there is a way). See the October 1956 issue quoting a speech by Mian Mumtaz Daulatana at Peshawar, in which he demanded the detention of Abdul Ghaffar Khan because he was the “enemy of the Revolution.” He referred to the Russian revolution of 1917, in which all counter-revolutionaries were killed. There is a poem by Qalander Mohmand “There is a Might” [Might is Right?]; See also Hamesh Khalil, Jamhuriat in 1957. (1960 Ghuncha, Peshawar, April 1960, Criticism on Pashtu Seminar conducted in Urdu, with articles in Urdu. In its May 1960 editorial, the issue was raised, why Pashtun writers and poets were dubbed traitors and anti Pakistan? Why did the Government ban the books of some writers like Ajmal Khattak, Abdul Akbar Khan Mir Rahman Ghazi? Because there was nothing against Pakistan in their writings. Only mentioning Khushal Khan and Pashtunwali was not a crime. 27. Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Pashtun Aw Yoo Unit (Pashtuns and the One Unit), Peshawar, 1958. 28. Tariq Rahman, Language and Politics in Pakistan, Oxford Pakistan Paperbacks, 1996, p. 145; See also Mohammad Said Khan, The Voice of the Pakhtoons, Lahore: Feroz Press Limited, 1972. On page 66, he states that once a very senior military officer in Quetta was once made to tremble in his shoes, when the local police officer reported him as a “Pashtunistani”, for presiding over a meeting (mushaira) of a Pashtu symposia. 29. Marwat, Evolution and Growth of Communism in Afghanistan, p. 295. 30. In The Lahore Resolution, the grouping together of the Muslim majority areas in the Northwest and Eastern zones of India “constitute[ing] independent states” having an ‘autonomous’ and ‘sovereign’ statues was demanded. See Abdul Sattar Khan, ‘Pakistan Resolution and Politics in NWFP’ in Pakistan Resolution Revised, eds., Kaniz Yosuf, M. Saleem Akhtar and S. Razi Wasti, Islamabad: National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, 1990, p. 204. 31. Interview of Ajmal Khattak, Akora Khattak dated October 12, 2002. 32. Ajmal Khattak, Da Ghairat Chagha (The Call of Valor), Akori 1958. See also Louis Dupree, Ajmal Khattak: A Revolutionary Poet, AUFS vol. xx, No: 9. 33. All works of Abdul Ghani Khan; See also Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat, Ghani Khan- A Renaissance Man, The WUFA, March 7, 1996. 34. Ibid. See all works of Abdul Ghani Khan. 35. Qalander Mohmand, Sabawan, Peshawar: Qami Maktaba, 1988. 36. Abdu Rahim Majzoob, Da Majzoob Kulyiat, Peshawar, 1999. 37. The Six Points included: 1. A Federal Constitution in the true sense, and Parliamentary Government based on the supremacy of a directly elected legislature on the basis of universal adult franchise. 2. The Federal Government shall deal with only two subjects; Defense and Foreign Affairs. All residuary subjects will be vested in the federating states. 3. There should be either two separate, freely convertible currencies for the two Wings (East & West Pakistan), or one currency with two separate reserve banks to prevent inter-Wing flight of capital. 4. The power of taxation and revenue collection shall be vested in the federating units. The Federal Government will receive a share to meet its financial obligations. 5. Economic disparities between the two Wings shall disappear through a series of economic, fiscal, and legal reforms. 6. A militia or paramilitary force must be created in East Pakistan, which at present has no defense of it own 38. Ghaus Bakhsh Bijenjo was NAP leader and Governor of Balochistan during NAP-JUI government in 1972-73. 39. In October-November 1972: Qand, Mardan, Sahar Yousfzai, quoting Mao-Tse Tung’s concept of “Literature and for whom it should be”. In this conception, literature is for the revolutionary workers, then for the peasants, then for the revolutionary forces, then for the middle classes in the cities. But Pashtu literature was more for the common people, and it is the democratic right of the Pashtuns to have their own language 40. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had established the Hyderabad Tribunal, with especially hand-picked judges, to try all cases of “high treason.” 41. Hafizullah Amin, the Afghan President, organized a seminar on Khushal Khan Khattak during his three-month rule in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, this seminar was organized by eminent Pashtu writer Prof. Parashan Khattak at Khushal Khattak’s mausoleum. 42. Major (Retd.) Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Da Naway Zamani Tappay, Mardan: Gandhara Markaz Shabaz Ghari, 2001. 43. Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat, “The Role of Pakistan in conflict resolution in Afghanistan.” Seminar paper, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford, UK, 2000. 44. Out of 300 theses in the Pakistan Study Centre (University of Peshawar), some 125 titles were related to the Pashtuns and Pashtu. 45. The Federal Government of Pakistan is planning to construct the Kala Bagh Dam in Punjab. The remaining three provinces of Pakistan - Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP are deadly against the construction of the proposed dam. 46. Personal collection of Salim Raz and the published record of the conference. 47. Frontier Post, Peshawar, November 14, 1990. 48. Ibid, November 30, 1990; Also see Wahdat, Mashriq and other dailies. 49. Almost all nationalist parties launched the anti-Kala Bagh movement in the NWFP. This agitation was followed by demonstrations in the Sindh province. 50. Emma Duncan, Breaking the Curfew, “A political journey through Pakistan,” London: Arrow Book Ltd, 1990, p. 6. 51. Frontier Post, May 26, 1990. 52. Brig (Retd) Muhammad Yousaf revealed in his two books Silent Soldier: The Man behind the Afghan Jihad, Lahore: Jang Publisher, 1991, pp. 39-47, and The Bear Trap: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, Lahore: Jang Publisher, 1995, pp. 79-86, that it was General Akhtar who “urged Zia to take the military option” instead of the diplomatic option for countering the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. 53. Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Da Naway Zamani Tappay. 54. S. Inamur Rahman, Contribution of daily the Frontier Post to Pashtu Literature (1992-1995), unpublished MA thesis, Pakistan Study Center, University of Peshawar, p. 155. 55. Among some important books of the period are: Rahmat Shah Sahil’s Da Wino rang Paa Lambu Singa Khkari (How looks the colour of blood on the flames), Ajmal Khattak’s Da Afghan Nang, Mirza Halim Hamidi, Da Kanro Zaroona (The Stone Hearts), Najibullah Amir, Da Bachai Akhri Warz (The last day of the Kingship), Syed Wiqar Ali shah, Khushal Khan Khattak aw Tarikh Nawisi (Khushal Khan Khattak and Historiography). Interview with Dr. Sherzaman Taizai, Peshawar, October 10, 2002; Interview with Afrasiyab Khattak, Peshawar, October 25, 2002 Dr. Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat is Associate Professor at the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar, Pakistan. Currently he is honorary Director of Bacha Khan Research Centre, Bacha Khan Markaz Peshawar. He is also the editor of English quarterly The Journal of the Writers Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA) and the Human Rights Bulletin, Peshawar. He has authored a number of books including Talibanization of Pakistan, From Muhajir to Mujahid: Politics of War through Aid (A Case Study of Afghan Refugees in NWFP) and the Basmachi Movement in Soviet Central Asia.