PSDP proposes dual nationality for Pakistani, Afghan citizens
By Zakir Hassnain
PESHAWAR: Pashtuns Social Democratic Party (PSDP) President Dr Kabir Stori on Thursday proposed dual nationality for Pakistan and Afghanistan citizens to ease travel restrictions between the two countries.
Addressing a seminar organised by the Pakhtunkhwa Qaumi Party (PQP) on the Durand Line, Dr Stori urged the need to form a Jirga to bring the two countries’ relations closer and work for the promotion of Pakhtun culture and development.
He said the importance of borders had lessened and various countries were forming organisations to promote regional economy. Dr Stori said Pakistan, Afghanistan and newly independent states in Central Asia had common interests and these states needed an “economic union” like the European Union to boost their economies.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-QA) Central General Secretary Salim Saifullah Khan said the Pakhtuns could not make progress and achieve their rights unless political parties united.
He said a Jirga consisting of all representatives political parties should be formed to resolve Pakhtuns’ problems. He proposed Afzal Khan Lala to head the Jirga. He urged other parties to accept the veteran nationalist, Afzal Lala, as leader. He said the Afghan Pakhtuns should be given representation in the Afghanistan assembly.
Awami National Party (ANP) Central Senior Vice President Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said the ANP never accepted the Durand Line, adding that Bacha Khan, the great Pakhtun nationalist and ANP founder did not accept the Durand Line either.
Mr Bilour said Pakistani clerics had never accepted Pakhtun status. “If clerics belonging to different schools of thought could unite, why can’t Pakhtuns?” Mr Bilour asked.
PQP chief Muhammad Afzal Khan Lala said the Durand Line was not an international boundary but an “ administrative line”. He said the British who made the Durand Line agreement with the then Afghan ruler wanted to weaken the Pakhtuns.