Pashtuns and Palestinians: On Two Fronts of the Same War

Pashtuns can hardly realize that like Palestinians in the centre of the Western flank of the world of Islam, they are at the centre of the Eastern flank. This difference of realization is directly proportional to their struggle towards self determination against the American and Israeli occupations respectively.

Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation knows no limit to sacrifice for the cause, whereas Pashtuns were hardly known till the appearance of the Taliban on the world stage.

In total contrast to the Palestinians’ determination to stand up to aggression and injustice, Pashtuns are indifferent to their fate. There are some core reasons for this lack of any vision and struggle towards self-determination.

First, Pashtuns have accepted the myth of Indianism. The myth of Indianism teaches that India is “the country of India” and the exclusive domain of Caste Hindooism and Cast Hindoos. This has been built by the Caste Hindoos, buttressed by British Imperialism and, thanks to our folly, believed by the world.

Secondly, they have accepted the defunct Durand Line -” the scratch across Pashtun heart -” as an international boundary across which two distinct people are living, which is not the case.

Thirdly, they have become part of the Muslim majority that doesn’t care about their claim to believing in Allah, his Messenger PBUH and the Qur’an. Answers to the oft-repeated question asked of youth -” what would you become? -” remain focused on material gains. Like everyone else, making money has become the sole objective of existence for the Pashtuns as well.

The result of these core misconceptions is that occupation of Afghanistan is an external, unrelated matter of least concern for many Pashtuns on this side of the border. Similarly, many Afghan consider the Pakistani military regime’s exact replication of Israeli crackdown in the occupied Arab lands in the Pashtun areas is considered as Pakistan’s internal affair. The real fruits of the divide and rule approach are on full display here.

The situation is compounded by the Pashtuns’ serving the occupation authorities on both sides of the defunct Durand Line from the the grassroots to te top level. Pashtuns can hardly realize the historic role to lead, which they can and which they must play at this critical juncture.

The roots of these problems are deeply rooted into the colonial adventures in South East Asia. During the imperial rule of South Asia, many falsehoods and distortions have been propagated about the region and its history, and these have continued under neo-colonialism to conceal the true and original concept of Islamic State or Khilafah or the solidarity of Muslim Ummah.

The history of this region shows that since the time of the four Caliphs in 7th century, the Eastern Flank of the Islamic State existed in one or another form till the 18th century. The initial movement for independence from the British colonial occupation was also to re-establish the Eastern flank to the heartland of Islam, as it had been before it was broken up through the Mongol invasions beginning in 1221; then through infighting by the Afghans, Moghals and Safavids; and finally by the colonial legacy of the McMahan, Durand and Goldsmid Borders.

Those who are determined not to allow Muslims to get united and re-establish Khilafah or a single Islamic State or just a Union of Islamic countries on the pattern of European Union with one currency, one army and one foreign policy, know the important role that Pakhtoon can play in this regard.

The Taliban’s emergence on the scene and the Pan-Islamic interest they generated in this regard was a warning signal for the Islamophobes. Regardless of all the charges against the Taliban, close observers can remember how scientists, social workers, businessmen and people from all walks of life were flocking towards the burgeoning Pashtun movement for re-establishing the Eastern flank of Islamic state at the very least.

Under the heavy doses of propaganda by the Western mainstream media, readers would be compelled to think about the crimes associated with the Taliban. There is no denying the fact that the Taliban had many weaknesses and excesses cannot be ruled out. However, a comparison to the state of affair in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan since the departure of the Taliban is sufficient to expose hypocrisy of the supporters of the fascism of the US and Israel.

Before proceeding any further, it is important to remind that land for the sake of land or resources has never been a goal in Islam. Struggle for nationalist causes also has no place in Islam. The real objective behind acquiring land and securing power has been the establishment of Islam and making living by Islam easy for Muslims. Unlike, the US butchery to convert Muslims to secular democracy, there is no concept of forceful conversion to Islam.

Thus the struggle of Palestinians and Pashtuns should focus on making living by Islam easy for Muslims in their Islamic entity. Any nationalist struggle, for land and rights of people will have little relevance in the future. Palestinian struggle seems to be on track, at least at the mass level. Pashtuns, however, seems to have given totally given up.

What we witness at the most is some occasional outbursts of grievances against Punjabis or some struggle to save Pashtu language from extinction. This is not what Pashtuns are destined to do. No one is going to hold Pashtuns accountable for not establishing Pashtunistan: a lost cause, which even its former flag bearers are hardly ready to mention in discussion or statements, let alone their long term policies and strategies.

This is the time for Muslims at every place to work for re-establishing a single Islamic State, irrespective of it being called as a Union or Khilafah or a state. At the moment, it seems Palestinians at the Western Flank, Iraqis at the heart and Pashtuns at the Easter flank are destined to lead the Ummah out of the mire of self-destruction and external oppression.

For shouldering this leadership role, Pashtuns would need to realize that they are the people who have disappeared in the myths and became one of the main brunt bearers of the former and present colonial adventures.

Unlike Palestinians and Iraqis, most Pashtuns have no idea of what has happened to them, because they have been kept disconnected from history and they do not see Palestine kind of Israeli occupation. The direct occupation of Afghanistan is being blamed on the Taliban and the indirect occupation of Pakistan is considered as part of Pashtun and Pakistan’s legacy.

Pashtuns need to realize that they are the target of oppression in Afghanistan and Pakistan -” the central part of the originally envisioned and historically existed Pan-Islamic federation.

Two kinds of forces are fast emerging: the forces for bringing about the pan-Islam federation or the establishment of the now inevitable single Islamic entity, and the forces determined to break up even the existing units that are considered strong enough to provide some kind of impetus to the creation of such a State.

Plans to breaking up Afghanistan and Iraq, and ideas of amalgamating Pakistan into India are part of the negative forces in this regard.

Pashtuns, being in the principle victims, can play a central role of mass awareness and building mass movement against the imperialist adventures and for the self-determination for Muslims of this region as a first step towards the larger goal.

Pashtuns need to become the leaders in highlighting the historical and Islamic TRUTH of the Pak Nation i.e. the people who inhibit the land between the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia. If Pashtuns failed to wake up and take the lead, someone else would because in the face of global changes, emergence of a single Islamic state has become inevitable.

It is just a matter of time, when the forces opposing this destiny consume themselves with their hatred and the needless struggle to deny Muslims the chance to live by Islam as a single entity. The self-conscious Iraqis and Palestinians are doing their job well. It is Pashtuns’ turn to wake up and lead.