By: Aimal Wali Khan
It has been 73 years since Pakistan came into being and look at our bad luck or maybe good luck that we are still offering to “Let’s make Pakistan’’. Not only that but we have been making this offer since the formation of Pakistan till today but still a specific lobby inside Pakistan, which wants to tear Pakistan to pieces, is trying to prove us traitors since day one. The slogan of “Let’s make Pakistan” is not being offered by Aimal Wali Khan after 73 years, but this offer was made by Bacha Khan in the very first Legislative Assembly of Pakistan. Instead of accepting the offer, that particular lobby of Pakistan martyred unarmed Pashtuns and servants of God (Khudai Khidmatgars) in the Babarra massacre and even arrested Bacha Khan along with Khan Abdul Wali Khan for six years. At that time, he was accused of conspiring with Faqir Aipi to attack Pakistan. Six years later, Bacha Khan was released from prison, but the state of Pakistan has not been able to prove the charge of attack on Pakistan.
Later on, Wali Khan not only tried to save Pakistan from being dismembered during the fall of Dhaka, but also strengthened Pakistan by playing a vital role in the formation of the “Constitution of Pakistan” as an opposition leader in the National Assembly. At that time the same tradition was repeated once again and those few elements of the state of Pakistan not only imprisoned Wali Khan but also imprisoned his father Bacha Khan and his young son Asfandyar Wali Khan at the same time. There is hardly an instance in the history of Pakistan where three generations were simultaneously imprisoned. This was celebrated by the state claiming it as a success. Great hardships and atrocities were inflicted upon them from Bacha Khan to Asfandyar Wali Khan but due their perseverance and courage they never backed off from their fight for the rights of their nation.
During the fall of Dakka in 1971, no leader dared to go to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and talk to its representatives. But Wali Khan, in spite of all the dangers, went to East Pakistan and talked of uniting this country. Students of history will know that at that time Sheikh Mujibur Rehman had said to Wali Khan, “We made this country Pakistan. You people opposed it and today you are talking about saving this country?” Wali Khan’s response was, “We were against partition then and we are against partition today.” It was a matter of saving Pakistan from being divided, but in return they were always accused of treason, called as foreign agents and given the hardships of imprisonment. When the Constitution of Pakistan was being drafted in 1973, Khan Abdul Wali Khan was the Leader of the Opposition. If he did not want to, this constitution could never have been passed unanimously, but he talked about strengthening this country. Because of this Wali Khan angered his own Pashtun brothers and to this day they taunt to us. But look at their foresight that they fought for the rights of all subjugated and oppressed nations by successfully representing the small nations in this country.
Our current leader Asfandyar Wali Khan also followed the footsteps of his elders and stood with this country. If we look at the parliamentary history of this country, when terrorism and extremism were being promoted in the 90’s, he was the only political leader, who loudly said in the parliament that this fire is about to ignite. Unfortunately, his words were not taken seriously at the time and we pushed ourselves into the fire of extremism and terrorism.
After 9/11, new international blocks were formed, our policy on Afghanistan changed on 180 degrees and we became allies of the United States. It is my personal opinion that if there was a democratic government at that time, we might not have suffered as much as we did between 2001 and 2008. We have paid the price for those “decisions” during the period of our government from 2008 to 2013 and sacrificed our leaders and workers for peace in this country but did not bow down to terrorists. On one hand we were fighting against terrorism and on the other hand we were fighting for our rights in the Parliament. At that time, only one party was openly standing against terrorism in this country. Asfandyar Wali Khan came to the fore and openly stood in the front line against terrorists to save Pakistan from the fire of terrorism.
This was akin to defending Pakistan and the third generation also chanted the slogan “Let’s make Pakistan”. But what was given in return?
In the fight for his rights, Asfandyar Wali Khan along with the then President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari strengthened Pakistan by giving the 18th Amendment to all the provinces and people of this country, but in return Asfandyar Wali Khan was accused of conspiring with the Americans against his own Pashtun brothers and sisters. Just like these elements could not prove the charges of treason against Bacha Khan and Wali Khan till date, they are yet to give any proofs of Asfandyar Wali Khan making any deals with anyone even after eight years.
Today, the fourth generation of Bacha Khan has entered into politics. Even today, the family of Bacha Khan is facing different accusations and fatwas because of this specific lobby. Once again, I offer the state of Pakistan, “Let’s make Pakistan.” This Pakistan will be a Pakistan where the people’s mandate is respected, where the people are the source of power, a Pakistan where the Constitution and Parliament truly prevail and where every institution plays its role in the development of this country within its jurisdiction. A Pakistan in which there is no room for extremism and terrorism. This Pakistan will be a developed Pakistan in which all the units will have their rights and will have control over their resources. A Pakistan where there will be Free media and Free Judiciary. Where relations with neighboring countries will be established on basis of fraternity and equality. Where there will be an independent foreign policy formulated by an independent parliament along with a strong internal policy. A Pakistan, where those who speak up for their constitutional and legal rights will not be charged with treason. This Pakistan will be a peaceful Pakistan in which there will be no room for non-state actors. A Pakistan where instead of war there will be investment in education, health and welfare of humanity where all federating units will be like brothers. A Pakistan which will be free from poverty, ignorance, outdated traditions, prejudice, internal strife, political engineering and conspiracies against democracy. A Pakistan where all individuals and nations will have freedom, where there will be peace, where there will be religious harmony. And everyone will respect each other’s opinions and rights with a spirit of mutual respect.
Today, it must be acknowledged that the heroes of Tehreek-e-Azadi played a more effective role in the liberation of the region than Tehreek-e-Pakistan. Had it not been for the Tehreek-e-Azadi, perhaps the Tehreek-e-Pakistan would not have been born. This distinction must be abolished and the efforts of the heroes of Tehreek-e-Azadi should be equally highlighted & made part of the curriculum.
Following the footsteps of my forefathers and representing the fourth generation of the family of Bacha Khan, I offer the same, “Let’s make Pakistan.”