Home Political History Abdul Samad Khan’s Perceptions of Pashtoonistan (Part-III)

Abdul Samad Khan’s Perceptions of Pashtoonistan (Part-III)

Abdul Samad Khan’s Perceptions of Pashtoonistan (Part-III)

Abdul Samad Khan opposed the British imposed system of Nawabs and Sardars, and had also demanded the abolition of Sardari and Nawabi system in Pakistan.

By Aman Ullah and Dr. Kaleem Ullah Khan Barech

[Pak-Afghan border remain one of the important factor, which influenced Pak-Afghan relation since the emergence of Pakistan. It is important to highlight the significance of Durand line in historical perspective. At one end Durand line is internationally agreed as border between Pakistan and Afghanistan but on the other side time and again officials from Afghanistan denied it. This resulted in the sparking of a movement in Pashtun areas of Pakistan to undo Durand Line and include the Pashtun areas of Pakistan in Afghanistan. This movement was named as Pashtoonistan movement and it lasted basis in the province of KPK and Balochistan. The main supporters of the moment were some Pashtun nationalist, whom politically supported the idea of Pashtoonistan. This paper deals with the perspective of Abdul Samad Khan Achekzai regarding Pashtoonistan. Abdul Samad Achekzai was the pro-Pashtun nationalist leader, whose political idea dominated Pashtun-nationalist political perspective in Balochistan. This research aims to explore and analyze the perceptions of Abdul Samad Khan Achekzai regarding Pashtoonistan. This work is important as Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) inherited the legacy of Abdul Samad Khan and PkMAP is one of the dominant political parties of Balochistan (Southern Pakhtunkhwa)]

Abdul Samad Khan asserted that Pashtuns are the name of an ethnic group who lives in different parts of the world. The main concentrations of the Pashtuns are in Pakistan followed by Afghanistan and India. He further elaborated his idea that Pashtuns living in Pakistan are Pakistani and that of Afghanistan are Afghanistani and of India are Indians. Once he stated that “I would like to declare with honesty and clout that this is wrong perception even Pashtuns did not ask about such ideology but rather it is fact that Pashtuns are not agree and satisfied with recent geographical condition and they should not be agreed because Pashtun have complaints”. Apart from this explanation Abdul Samad Khan also recorded his complains about this misperception of the authorities and noticed the following problems.

* After the declaration of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 75 percent of Pashtuns representatives are deprived from vote in their particular areas which is one of the most valuable blessings of the independence.

* The administrative division of Pashtuns with in Pakistan deprived them from impartial benefits of legislation regarding the constitution making.

* Though the Pashtun Jirga whose representative’s members are still the same, who were selected by British. They were used by the British to increase the control and strengthen the authority of the central government regardless of the local people of their jurisdiction. The members of the Shahi Jirga were used by British against the real representatives and can be used against the locally elected member by the federal government.

* The members of Shahi Jirga are the privileged class; they can act above the law of the state, due to their status and power given by the federation.

* The extreme distinctive behavior (Political imposition of Sardars and Nawabs) adopted by British are considered legitimate by our constitution, but our government nationally and internationally is fighting against discriminatory laws. There will also be no discrimination epically for Pashtun in the administration or any other institution of the government.

* Pashtun majority is victimized by English dictator system; they ruled the Pashtun through Jirga system and Frontier Core which is against democratic and judicial system of the country.

* In important matter of the country such as one unit Pashtuns are treated as second category citizens and gypsies. The Pashtuns are deviated from the accurate use of vote. Some representatives are given bribery and these representatives are presented as the genuine representatives of Pashtuns as such kind of deviation were done by British as well.

* The Pashtuns are considered to be citizens of Pakistan equal rights and representation be given to them. The Pashtuns are dealt in the newly established state with discriminatory values.

Abdul Samad khan was well aware of the consequences of the Pashtun division in different administrations. He believes that the administrative setup will change them in minority, which was also the concern of All India Muslim League, on the basis of which they demanded the partition of India. Abdul Samad Khan asserted that in these administrations the Pashtuns cannot chose a leader or member of their own choice, who can participate in the process of central legislation in Pakistan. Samad Khan was of the view that Pashtun being as a separate ethnicity had their own challenges and they have unique culture to respond these challenges.

Abdul Samad Khan was against the British oriented system of Sardars and Nawabs. He believed that in the presence of the Sardari system the graveness of the common masses could not be addressed. The presence of the Sardari system will deprive the public from their rights, which will produce anger against the government. The sardars were given power in the British administration and they never struggle for the rights and independence of the local people. These powers and privileges marked them above the law. The continuation of Sardari system will produce anarchy and the roll and law of the state cannot be enforced. Thus Abdul Samad Khan rejected the British established system of Sardars and demanded the enforcement of the democratic values in the political culture of the Pashtuns.

Abdul-Samad-AchakzaiAbdul Samad Khan believed that the outcome of the Jirga and Sardari System is in the form of representations that were not aware of the problems and demands of the public. These pack representatives produced miss-perceptions among the state and public. They also deprived the real leaders of the society to flee the public case in the court of the state. This not only results in the increase of discrimination among the governed and government but will also results in producing trust deficit between regions and federation. In past the British used force against the Pashtuns and they were not given their rights. Pakistan is just like a home in which brothers is enjoying the joint family system. In Pakistan too, Punjab and Sindh were to be considered as big brothers. It is the value of the society and federation that the younger brothers are supported. But here it goes against the ethos of the political culture of federation. Punjab and Sindh are not supporting the backward Pashtuns. Instead of support they are further aggravating their rights (Ibid, p. 340). Abdul Samad khan stressed on the central government and Punjab for their support for the political and economic development of the Pashtun dominated areas.


Pak-Afghan relations remain deteriorated most of the time. Their relation is mostly coasted under the shadow of Durand Line and the support and claims of Afghanistan for separatist movements. Durand Line agreement was made by the king of Afghanistan at the time when political culture was dominated by monarchy and state was considered as king’s property.

Thus these political values of the nineteenth century handed Pashtun inhabited areas of Pakistan to British India. The Pashtuns of current days Pakistan were treated from both sides as second degree citizens as Amir of Afghanistan never consulted the tribal heads or common people of this area while concluding agreement with British. The British also deprived the Pashtun people from the political rights of that time enjoyed by other citizens of British India.

These conditions of the Pashtun required for the emergence of ethno-nationalist leadership among them. Two of such well known leaders of that time were Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Abdul Samad Khan. Abdul Samad Khan was from current days Balochistan. The difference between these two leaders was not only geographical but also ideological.

Referring to the idea of Pashtoonistan; Abdul Samad Khan perceived it as unified province of the Pashtuns of Pakistan, which was quite different from that of the idea of Bacha Khan or his followers. The history of Pakistan is evident of the fact that not only foreign policy of Pakistan toward Afghanistan is reflected by the issue of Pashtoonistan or Durand Line but it also guided the Pashtun treatment by the federation of Pakistan. Abdul Samad Khan’s political idea of Pashtoonistan reflects his realist approach of thinking. He was well aware of the fact that the unification of the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan would not present the solution of the miseries of Pashtuns nut it will further increase troubles for them. He also realized the political needs of the time and perceived that the fate of the people of any nation would not be decided by Kings or single person but by the people and their democratically elected representative. That is why he asserted the idea of unified Pashtun province with in Pakistan. Abdul Samad Khan wished a progressive Pakistan in which all the ethnicities and citizens enjoy the constitutional rights. Initially struggling against the British but after the establishment of Pakistan he focuses the rights of the Pashtuns. Abdul Samad Khan opposed the British imposed system of Nawabs and Sardars.

He demanded the abolition of Sardari and Nawabi system in Pakistan, as for that instead of minimizing the gape will further widen the gap among the state and citizens. (Concludes)


Courtesy: Bilingual/Bi-annual Pakistan Studies English / Urdu Research Journal VOl.No.09, Issue No. 01 January -June, 2019 

Click here for Part-I and Part-II 


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