PMAP chief calls for Pakhtun parties’ unity
By Zakir Hassnain
PESHAWAR: The provincial president of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) said on Monday unity among Pakhtun nationalist parties was indispensable to achieve the Pakhtuns’ rights.
However, Mukhtar Yousufzai said the unification “must be among genuine nationalist forces representing the Pakhtun population”. Mr Yousufzai said a joint struggle with the Awami National Party (ANP) to obtain Pakhtuns’ rights was not possible as “the ANP is not a Pakhtun nationalist force”.
“We do not consider the ANP as a party of the Pakhtun population as there is no restriction on non-Pakhtuns to become its members,” said Mr Yousafzai, while talking to journalists here on the occasion of Umer Khan Khattak’s joining of PMAP. Mr Khattak who belongs to Karak is the younger brother of the ANP’s Provincial General Secretary, Fareed Toofan.
“One will have to confess that Maulana Fazlur-Rehman, Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Maulana Samiul Haq are all from the Pakhtun tribes but they cannot claim to be the leaders of Pakhtun parties as their parties do not represent only Pakhtuns. So like JUI-F, JI and JUI-S, one cannot realistically call the ANP as the party of the Pakhtun population,” Mr Mukhtar argued.
He said there were people from Punjab, Sindh “Pakhtoonkhawa”, Balochistan and Saraiki belt, therefore, it would be wrong to call it a real party of Pakhtuns, adding that there was only one party which qualified to be the real representative of the Pakhtun population and that was PMAP.
The party leader said his party believed in the unity of the Pakhtun population across the country and for this purpose it supported the formation of “Pakhtoonkhawa” comprising the NWFP, the Pakhtun belt of Balochistan and Punjab.
Mr Yousufzai said the Pakhtuns should be given control over their resources within the federation. However, he totally rejected the idea of a confederation. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khattak said he had been with the ANP for a long time but the incident of 9/11 compelled him to reshape his ideas and choose a Pakhtun nationalist political party whose ideology and acts fully matched each other.