Achakzai says K-P belongs to Afghans

Published: July 1, 2016
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Tells Afghan newspaper he will not allow ‘harrassment’ of refugees. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

Tells Afghan newspaper he will not allow ‘harrassment’ of refugees. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pashtun nationalist leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai stoked a fresh controversy on Thursday after he reportedly said that Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province ‘belongs to Afghans’.

In an interview with Kabul-based English language daily Afghanistan Times, the Pushtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief directly said that “K-P belongs to Afghans and they can live there without fear and irritation”.

“I will not allow anyone to harass Afghan refugees in their own land… If Afghans are harassed in other parts of Pakistan, they should come to K-P where no one can ask them for refugee cards, because it also belongs to them,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

‘Harassment’ of refugees: Afghan envoy conveys concerns to PTI chief

Talking about recent skirmishes between Pakistani and Afghan security forces at the Torkham border crossing, Achakzai said: “Kabul and Islamabad should exercise extreme caution to resolve the conflict.”

“Otherwise, they [Pakistan and Afghanistan] should leave the issue to the United States and China, which will resolve it within two weeks.”

“Torkham and forced repatriation of Afghan refugees are two separate issues. It not only raised concerns among Afghan officials in Afghanistan, but also made Pashtun leaders concerned here,” the PkMAP chief also claimed in the interview.

Afghan troops opened fire on Pakistani security officials earlier this month when Islamabad started building a gate well inside its side of the border at Torkham. The clashes resulted in casualties on both sides. Pakistan and Afghanistan have now declared a ceasefire and have agreed to constitute a bilateral mechanism for discussion of issues related to border management.

Achakzai’s comments drew anger and derision in Pakistan. Lashing out at his remarks, K-P Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak said the PkMAP chief has ‘humiliated all Pakistanis’.

“The people of K-P gave their verdict in favour of Pakistan, not Afghanistan, in 1947,” Khattak said in a statement issued on Thursday. “Does Mehmood Khan Achakzai still envision a Pakistan without K-P?” he asked.

Temporary relief: Pakistan extends Afghan refugees stay for 6 months

The chief minister added that the people of K-P “are united and reject Achakzai’s claims.”

Senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former K-P minister Shaukat Yousafzai also expressed annoyance with Achakzai, telling the PkMAP chief to “move to Afghanistan if he has such love for that country.”

As Achakzai’s remarks sparked condemnation in Pakistan, he issued a clarification on Thursday and claimed the Afghan media had taken his words out of context.

He insisted that he had been referring to K-P’s historic background before the Durand Line agreement and did not say the province belonged to Afghans.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2016.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Jul 1, 2016 - 9:01AM

    Pakistan has, often, been stabbed in the back by, no one else, but the leaders of political parties, Presidents, Prime Ministers and its Ambassadors, abroad. If Mr. Achakzai was an Iranian, Chinese or even a US citizen, and had given such a statement, he wouldn’t have lived the next day. Mr. Achakzai may get followers, in this regard, from the KPK, because there are other traitors, who like to be either Hindu or Afghan, not Pakistani. If I was the head of Pakistani state, Achakzai would have been expelled, his citizenship cancelled and arrested, if he attempted to enter Pakistan. His family would have been expelled too. We look forward to how the Pak gov feels and moves against traitors of Pakistan?Recommend

  • Chris
    Jul 1, 2016 - 9:22AM

    Right to self determination for the pashtuns Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 1, 2016 - 9:22AM

    An insignificant and opportunist man who does not deserve to be taken seriously.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jul 1, 2016 - 10:13AM

    I would like now to see how the Parliament responds. In any case it appears to be a deliberate attempt to involve Military on borders and has all the ingredients of a Pakistani Brutus. Of course such Achakzais are always available. They are the real Jadev Bushans. Parliament has no choice but to to respond. Imagine a country whose President,Prime Minister, Chairman Senate are not in the country and is being governed by some riff raff.Recommend

  • Salman Hasan
    Jul 1, 2016 - 10:46AM

    Enough of these cartoon characters like Achakzai to speak on behalf of millions of pashtuns living in KPK. If Achakzai is so much in love with Afghanistan, then he should be sent back to Afghanistan along with all the Afghan refugees. Pakistan has done all it can to take care of these refugees. Now since Afghanistan has found new friends like India and Iran, they should ask them to support these refugees. From day one I was against giving these refugees any space in Pakistan because I knew that they cannot be trusted. They brought into Pakistan some of the gifts like heroin, Charas, Kalashnikov, lawlessness, radicalism etc. and we paid a very heavy price for the sake of this country. Enough is enough. It’s time for them to leave honorably before we are forced to kick them out in humiliation.Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jul 1, 2016 - 10:47AM

    Its. Ture and reality that Punjab belong greater punjab , Baluchistan belong greater Baluchistan , sindhi already said that greater sindh divided at the time of 1947. In KPK first Khan wali Khan and now Mr. Achakzai told for greater Afghanistan. now only Islamabad and Rawalpindi are left . what about greater Rawalpindi with adjoin islamabad.Recommend

  • Abdul Awwal
    Jul 1, 2016 - 11:35AM

    Pakistan has to respect the just aspirations of the Afghan people and hold a plebiscite under UN observation if they want to be independent of Pakistan.Recommend

  • wb
    Jul 1, 2016 - 11:39AM

    India must fuel the separatism in KPK region. The whole of KPK, wazirstian, FATA must belong to Afghanistan.

    India must arm and fund the freedom fighters of Pakhtoonistan. Let them fight the occupying forces. Pakistan must know that one cannot occupy a land using force.

    India must start a similar campaign in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Karachi, Sindh and Balochistan.

    Only Punjab should remain as Pakistan.Recommend

  • Raw is War
    Jul 1, 2016 - 11:44AM

    Not just KP, even areas like Waziristan should be with Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Point
    Jul 1, 2016 - 12:45PM

    How about Public poll. Just like a house belongs to it’s owner and not everyone else. KP belongs to Pushtons and is not and will never be a property of anyone be it Afghan Pushtons or Rest of Pakistan. Afghans must be either divided between all pakistan as refugees or else we are not ready to serve snakes anymore. India may take them.Recommend

  • Janay Khan
    Jul 1, 2016 - 12:56PM

    Pakhtuns are one people. So Achakzai is right. Tehreeke Insaaf is not representing Pakhtuns, it’s a party with its base in Punjab. No body is surprised by its reaction to Achakzai’s comments. Recommend

  • Milind
    Jul 1, 2016 - 12:58PM

    And Pakistanis talk about self-determination of Kashmiris leaving peacefully in India (save a few nutcases sponsored by Pakistan).Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jul 1, 2016 - 1:59PM

    @Khalid Latif:
    We look forward to how the Pak gov feels and moves against traitors of Pakistan?

    You are a fool to question the five thousands history of Pashtuns and believe in the militarised government of Sharifs who take their orders from the yankees. Pashtuns from Afganstan are at home in KPK as they are in the country called Afghanistan which does not recognise the dividing durand line drawn by the colonialists.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 1, 2016 - 2:36PM

    @Raw is War:
    Please stop taking drugs. Obsession with pakistan never ends!!Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 1, 2016 - 2:41PM

    @Milind:
    That’s a bit rich coming from someone whose leaders are responsible for some of worst human rights recordRecommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani
    Jul 1, 2016 - 2:46PM

    When the word PAKISTAN was coined before partition, it was derived from— P for Punjab, A for Afghans, S for Sindh and Tan for Balochistan. So, if Achakzai says KP belongs to Afghans he is simply reminding the Pakistanis how the name Pakistan was coined before the division of United India. I ask all the young Pakistanis to go and check it in the Pakistan history books and it’s exactly what I said. Recommend

  • pashtoon of pak
    Jul 1, 2016 - 2:48PM

    @wb, come out ur dream, nationhood does not belong to ethnicity, let me remind u that Pashtoons of KPK played active role in creation of Pakistan, when Nehru went to Waziristan, he received stone reception but when Jinnah went there ,he received warm and historical reception,it was pashtoons of Pakistan who went to Liberate Kashmir from Indian Juggernaut when India sent its jackboot to Kashmir. Many Pashtoons were Army chief of pakistan.There is NO such movement as ur dreaming.i think u plz get admission into Times now and rattle a bottle thereRecommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani
    Jul 1, 2016 - 3:06PM

    One thing I forgot to mention— once PML campaigned for naming the KP (NWFP at the time) to AFGHANIA. This was in the late nineties when the provincial wing of PML opposed naming the province as Pakhtunkhwa.Recommend

  • imran
    Jul 1, 2016 - 3:13PM

    He is right actually if you see the history.
    JalalAbad , Nangerhaar , Kabul , Paktia and Qandhar all should be part of Greater kpk . Recommend

  • S s ayub
    Jul 1, 2016 - 3:15PM

    Invalids trying to divert attention away from Panama Papers……Recommend

  • M.S.
    Jul 1, 2016 - 5:58PM

    This is a serious matter but cowards in government would ignore it. This guy should be charged with treason. If KP belongs to Afghans then why we have sacrificed thousands of our brave soldiers to protect it. Imagine if Altaf had said the similar thing. Punjabi establishment should stop pick and choose.Recommend

  • imran ali
    Jul 1, 2016 - 6:43PM

    200 FIRs against Altaf Hussain for demanding a separate province but no action against Achakzai…. Ch.Nisar acts only against soft targetsRecommend

  • SYED
    Jul 1, 2016 - 10:02PM

    Ok Mr. Achakzai go back to your beloved Afghanistan, become their MNA and then demand for KPK. Recommend

  • Jul 1, 2016 - 10:40PM

    @Chris:
    You must be from India. Have some dignity and self respect. Look inside your country. Do you know the number of your states that want ” self determination ” you are talking about. Remember occupied Kasmiris? They want self determination too.Recommend

  • Faisal Hamid
    Jul 1, 2016 - 11:11PM

    First the news reports should not be based on assumptions. Because, by doing that, the media (print and tele) are creating disturbance in already disturbed society.

    I suggest, being citizen of Pakistan to media (print and tele) that you all should show some responsibility when doing your work.

    On the same note, if this report is true, somebody should tell Mr. Achakzai that, if he didn’t get his share from international funds received for Afghan refugees, leave it this time please.

    At the same time, if this report is true, Mr. Chaudhry should act and use his constitutional right, so shall no one make such statements in future.Recommend

  • Sam
    Jul 2, 2016 - 12:00AM

    Afghans have a country of their own that has democracy and there is no reaso they should be refugees anymore. Nationalists never think for country and there is no surprise this person is only thinking what helps his cause. Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jul 2, 2016 - 3:03AM

    @Chris: I belong from Hazara division. We do not accept the name of KP and for your information many regions of KP are Majority Non Pushtoon regions. We reject this idea that KP belong to Pushtoons only. That is why we need our own Province “Hazara Province” or “Hazara-Potohar Province”.
    If Pushtuns believe in self determination then kindly first give the right to Hazara division, Kohistan, DI Khan, Chitral and Mountaneous Swat region ( Region of Gujjars) to separate from KP. We do not want to be a part of KP. We want our own province where Racism will not prevail and one ethnicity will not bang the door that this region belong to them.

    Most Pushtoons are migrants of this land. We are the original Inhabitants of this land and we will never ever leave our lands no matter what. Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani
    Jul 2, 2016 - 4:33AM

    Asfandyar Wali khan in a recent interview with AVT Khyber news TV channel conducted by Hasan Khan, a journalist from Mardan, said similar things but there was no uproar in the media. In the interview, Khan said, Afghanistan is the motherland of all Pashtuns of Pakistan. And he added that he was proud of that. So, the point is that these statements should not be taken seriously. These are just slogans. When PTI condemns such statements it looks that it is a party of the non-Pakhtuns and as a result the Pashtun nationalists thrive and Pashtun nationalism gets promoted. This is what the Pashtun nationalists want. Recommend

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