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12th monthly Study Circle for Bacha Khan Fellows

Monday, 07 August 2017 14:39
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The BKTEF organises 12th monthly Study Circle for Bacha Khan Fellows

Report: Natasha

The Baacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation(BKTEF) held 12th monthly study circle at the BKTEF Head Office on August 5, 2017. The study circle was attended by almost 30 Bacha Khan Fellows belonging to Quetta, Swat, Charsadda, Swabi, Hangu,Dir, Waziristan and Bannu. The text of discussion was Bashir Khan Matta's book "Da Pakta Wena".

The study circle started with a brief introduction of the participants. Excerpts from various sections of the book were read out by Afsar Afghan. Bahar Wazir summarised main ideas contained in the book. Hakeem Afridi discussed integration of the Pakhtuns in the context of the book. Dr. Muhib Wazir discussed stylistic and thematic aspects of the book in great detail. Anwar Aurakzai, Imad Khalil, Wagma Feroz, Ashraf Khan, Tariq Pakhtunyar, Gul Shahrina and others discussed various aspects of the book elaborately in the open discussion that followed.

The participants discussed geography, history, culture, politics and economic resources of the Pashtuns in the context of the book. The participants were of the opinion that the book paints mesmerising scenes of the region and the Pakhtun geography, mountain peaks, rivers and forests in a sublime language. But the books also suggests a sense of despair regarding the deviation of the Pakhtuns from the real cause, i.e., integration, despite the resources that this region is bestowed upon. The participants highlighted that powerlessness, deprivation from resources and historical ruptures are the impacts of lack of collective integration of the Pashtuns.

The participants threw light on the symbolic characters created by the author of the book, like Pakta, the old man, the book and the grand parent of Pakta. The participants were unanimous in their claim that the character of the old man who descends from the mountains and who carries an important message seems to represent Bacha Khan.

The participants explained that the major causes behind the powerlessness and disintegration of the Pakhtuns described by the author were: their distance from the ports, their geographical location and the lack of smooth communication routes among their various geographical units.

The participants expressed that the beauty of the text of the book lies in the fact that it starts from creation of the genes, the origination of humans in general , the creation of groups and clans while it ends with the Pashtun society and the problems it faces due to its disintegration.

The study circle was concluded by Dr.Khadim Hussain who said that the term "Pakta" was first used by Herodotus when he wrote about this region. He maintained that the main theme of the book was collective evolution of the Pakhtuns. He said that the style of the book seemed allegorical but it was so unique that author seemed to have created a separate genre besides conveying his sublime message.

Dr. Khadim Hussain further said that the main reason behind the powerlessness of the Pakhtuns today was that they had yet to move from tribal identity to identity of nationhood. The fact that there are no connecting routes among the Pashtun lands keeps them disconnected. He expressed that the Pashtuns lay disintegrated among five geographical zones within the region which forced them to evolve in five different cultures. He further said that there were ruptures in Pashtun history which need to be mended. The states of the region have manipulated the Pashtun society and permeated an elitist narrative of power which has contradictions of the elected vs the non-elected, homogenisation, class, gender and centre vs the peripheries.

Dr.Khadim Hussain said that given the challenges to the Pashtuns today, it was need of the hour to challenge the narrative of the State elite with an alternative discourse of human dignity, social justice, plurality, gender equity and collective consciousness of nationhood. Pakhtunwali could be reconstructed by the youth taking the thread from where Bacha Khan and Khudai Khidmatgaar Movement had left and then actively engage in taking forward this narrative through cultural, social, political and educational platforms.

The next study circle is decided to be on September 9. The text decided for the coming study circle is 'Pukhtanay khazay o da Qam Khidmat' by Dr.Waqar Ali Shah.


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