Pashtun heroes deserve to be remembered

Published: October 25, 2013

The ANP parliamentary leader in the K-P assembly Sardar Hussain Babak has said that the PTI-led K-P government, at the suggestion of its coalition partner JI, wants to exclude two essays from the Pashto Book of class six and seven — on Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (commonly known as Bacha Khan), a Pashtun social reformer, and Ghani Khan, a famous Pashto poet, as the former is the grandfather of ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan and the latter is his uncle. Sources in the PTI have rejected the statement which was published in many Urdu papers but speculation about the issue lingers.

The two people under discussion are both famous Pashtun personalities, which is why the ANP government has added an essay on both in the local textbooks. Pashtuns have a rich history and especially so in the Pakistan movement for which they have rendered many sacrifices. Unfortunately, our textbooks say nothing about these Pashtun heroes. The local youth possesses knowledge of all those who have nothing to do with their region but are unaware of local heroes like Haji Sahib Turangzai, Sardar Ayub Khan, Umra Khan of Jandul, Faqir of Ipy, Malalai of Maiwand and many others who also sacrificed much in the struggle for independence.

There is no doubt that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the founder of the modern education system in India but it is also a fact that Bacha Khan and Haji Sahib Turangzai had laid down the foundation of Azad schools on Pashtun land. It is a fact that Tipu Sultan and Nawab Siraj ud Daulah were heroes, but Umra Khan and Faqir had also fought bravely against the British Empire on Pashtun land. Our youth knows about Rani of Jhansi who was an Indian, and General Bakht Khan, both heroes from the War of Independence fought in 1857, but only a few know about Sardar Ayub Khan and Malalai who defeated the British on Afghan land.

As a student of the history and politics of the Pashtun people, I am of the opinion that Pashtun history is very rich, and it is our responsibility to teach our youth about these heroes. Entering essays on Ghafar Khan and Ghani Khan was the first step in the right direction. If their names are excluded from the (Pashto) textbooks that are already not being used in K-P’s private schools, then how can one expect other Pashtun heroes to be added to our textbooks in the future? Will we not forget our own heroes like this?

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Lioness
    Oct 25, 2013 - 5:05PM

    Mr. babak we may include Ghani Khan because he was a great Pashto poet BUT again if we go into his role in forming some outfits he would turned out to be founder of a terrorist youth group that had unleashed terror activities against Muslim League after independence.

    Anyway still we can have some sympathy for him and include him in books HOWEVER, Mr Bacha Khan whatever he was has least to do with PAKISTAN.

    He was against creation of Pakistan so we do NOT find any connection or even a slightest feeling to include him in our books.



  • Abid P. Khan
    Oct 25, 2013 - 9:14PM

    “….Anyway still we can have some sympathy for him and include him in books HOWEVER, Mr Bacha Khan whatever he was has least to do with PAKISTAN.
    He was against creation of Pakistan so we do NOT find any connection or even a slightest feeling to include him in our books.”

    Not many nations in the world celebrate their enemies as heroes. Bacha’s hatred for Pak was so compact that the seeds sown by him are still keeping the hatred alive.
    Perhaps the day when PTT, PTI the left overs of ANP form a united front and declare the wilderness beyond Durand Line as their homeland Pakistan should accept that not every one is worth being treated as a civilised citizen.
    Khas kam jaahan paak. (Good riddance)


  • confujxed
    Oct 25, 2013 - 9:38PM

    Well the very definintion of hero is confused now. What seemed to be the hero of tomorow are the zero of today. Faqir of api , Malalai of Maiwand, General Bakht khan, Haji Sab Turangzai, are just to name a few, are the heroes of Pashtuns. You are suggesting the inclusion of these heroes in Pakistani textbook which is filled with the agents of British Raj. If heroism is struggle against oppression then where is Bhagat Singh in Pre-Independence And bengalis , Pashtuns and Balochs in the Post- Independence are the heroes.Recommend

  • Pukhtun
    Oct 25, 2013 - 9:53PM

    @lioneess and @Abid Pa khan sorry you both have that knowledge which have been taught in your schools or college no personal study about Pukhtun heroes Bacha khan has never oppose Pakistan you must read his book my life and my strugle also Wali khan, Bacha khan and khudai khidmatgari also Dr Waqar ali shah have done research work on Bacha khan also read that, what you think about the rest?


  • Pukhtun
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:00PM

    thanks if thay are hero then must be added in Baloch text book and Punjab one too punjab called Ranjeet singh Punjabi hero but pukhtun can not do so to there one [email protected]:


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