What do you think about THE VOICE TIMES (TVT)?
A media which is sincere to the cause can bring a nation up and if not will bring it down. Nations fall and rise through media. Since Pukhtuns have no media in Pakistan and THE VOICE TIMES Will be free from the clutches of PEMRA so I hope very strongly that THE VOICE TIMES will be the voice for Pukhtuns who have no voice right now.
You have recently organized a movement called Pashtunkhwa Ulasi Tehreek (PUT پت) Pukhtunkhwa Peoples Movement, tell us what exactly Pashtunkhwa Ulasi Tehreek stands for?
Thanks a lot for giving me an opportunity to explain the pains and suffering of Pushtun nation residing in Pakistan.
PUT was launched on 12th April 2014. We placed the objective realities of Pushtun mother land in front of us .Then we concluded what we, the helpless can do?
The objective realities are, 1) The British India divided Pushtun /Afghans into Two parts. The current Afghanistan and the other part was made part of British India. The part in British India was further divided into NWFP, British Baluchistan (a clear misnomer) and FATA.
After the inception of Pakistan the division continued as such . In 1970 the area between River Indus and Margala Hills was snatched from the then NWFP and was made part of Punjab. This 4th division enabled Punjab ( the land of 5 rivers (Satlaj, Bias, Ravi, Chanab & Jehlum ) to reach to the left hand side of Mighty River Indus. 2) In Pakistan our resources of Water, Electricity, Forests, Tobacco, Oil & Gas ,Minerals were usurped. 3) Currently from all possible definitions our mother land is HOSTAGE Area/Nation. Our Culture, History, Language, Commerce/finance, Politics in short everything is hostage. Moreover we are divided with no common goals and objectives. 4) The opponents are not ready to forgive us and remain us in this Hostage state for few years. We are still being threatened to face further divisions/cleavage in the form of Hazara Province, free zone in FATA, different province of FATA. Our resources are more aggressively usurped.
Now the owner of Hydropower are abused as the thief of electricity .The federation is neither ready to pay our dues of electricity, worth 500 billion of rupees, nor is willing to develop our future hydropower potential of 40,000 MW.
What are the objectives of PUT ?
We know that no single party can address these issues . So we need a broader alliance on minimum points. Since we are very helpless people, so it will be very difficult task for us to unify the political parties on minimum agenda. Meanwhile we also know that our mother land can’t afford another division in the form of another political party. We also realize that the rest of political parties will not unify if we become a party too. So we made our self to face all the bounding and compulsions. We will not be a party. We will not be candidates for assembly, senate, and local bodies. We will never be part of any political party either in treasury or opposition benches. Whatever we say, it will be based on research ,reliable data and will be in black & white.
Do you really think that Pukhtuns need such movements for their survival?
Pukhtuns are geographically, politically divided. They definitely need a movement to unify them with no precondition for themselves .This nation has all the required qualities and talents. They are resource rich. In current situations when their resources are not fully taped, they are the only part of the country who are energy surplus. Emotional words or rhetorics cannot help us. We have logic based on solid proof. Unity is the other thing which this nation needs very badly. Convergence on issues is possible in this divided nation. That’s all what PUT is doing. In other words the much needed is being done.
What do you think about the status of Pashtuns in Pakistan? Are they really colonized by the dominant Punjabi bureaucracy and military?
Baluch, Pushtuns, Seraiki and Sindh are by all possible definitions the oppressed nations of the country. Their share in civilian establishment can be gauged by their ratio in these institutes. All the Federal institutes and corporation are occupied by Punjab (80 to 85 %) and Muhajirs i-e the one who migrated from India 7 to 12 % ,the rest is the share of these four nation.
Please can you explain to our readers, what is China Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC , what is its international importance?
It’s a multi gigantic project addressing trade, energy and infrastructure . It comprised of 6 components, 6 or 8 Lane Motorway, Fast Railway, oil and gas pipelines , fiber optic cable , trade zones with habitats and industrial perks from Kashghar till Gawadar,
The government of Nawaz Sharif added further projects to it ,which are , Transmission lines, Energy projects, LNG lines, Metro System etc. Its early harvest is worth 46 billion US$. The total influx of money by year 2028 will be more than 150 Billions US$.
International importance can be gauged by the papers and write up of Chinese ,who call it cluster/agglomeration corridor. They presume that 3 billion people of the world , half of the planet will be benefited from this project. It will be the passage way of 25 % business of the world.
Once the Communist Russia was with running at full galloping to reach to the warm waters but we resisted the USSR’s move because the encroachment of the USSR towards the warm waters was for considering it a threat to Pakistan as well as to the religion Islam in the region. But today if we see Communist China which should be called an infidel state according the religion of Islam is approaching towards the warm waters then the Muslim of Pakistan, their leaders and intellectuals have no reservations about this very move?
Making Gwadar Port operational and extending China Pakistan Economic Corridor, what is the agenda of China? What do you think?
1).Well China has nearly the same problem in regard to Sea as the Russians had. Chinese connection to Sea is via narrow strait of Malaca ,where 5th fleet of America is guiding it. From Hurmoze to Shinkiong its 1490 km LONG DISTANCE. Gawadar will be just around 2000 Km.
2). Second problem of China is the unrest in West part. They conclude that all because of unequal development . Through this Corridor they will give prosperity to the West China.
3). China is a regional power it will be naturally interested in the power game of the region. We think that China has the blessings of US in this project.
Being a Pashtun, what are your reservations about the project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor?
In Pakistan ,Pukhtunkhwa contributes 22% of the GDP, 80% of the forests,75% of the Marbles,75%of the flue cured Virginia Tobacco, 67% of Water, 26% of the labor force , 80% of the cheapest and most clean Hydropower . Its the only province which is Energy surplus. Even then it’s the most poor, most illiterate, 10 million sons of the soils are compelled to live away from their home land and families to earn bread and butter for their kids. This area have no control on any resource which they have .
This corridor ,if goes through its natural Wester route route ,will change their fortune .
The reservation is that Punjab has changed it to Eastern route ,which is lengthy, prone to Fog,& floods and passes through already developed areas . This developments of their was also based on usurping the resources of other nations of Pakistan.
The natural western route is 500 KM short, all season friendly, passes through the areas of Punjab pukhtunkhwa,FATA ,and Baluchistan ,who were always discriminated and kept deprived .The hills of Pukhtunkhwa,FATA and Baluchistan are mineral rich which are still untapped . This route is nearer to Central Asia. So its good for these areas and Pakistan both . If it goes through the Easter route on the one hand it will lose the benefits of benefiting 3 billion people,catching 25% of the business of the world, on the other hand it will develop one and only Punjab to the standards of Singapore,Hong Kong while Pukhtuns, interior Sindh and Baluch will only be able to remain their drivers, laborers ,Gun men. IF THIS OPPORTUNITY IS LOST THEN MY NATION HAVE NO FUTURE ACCEPT THAT OF A CLASS STRUGGLE FOR LIFE.
Apart from its merits what demerits you see of China Pakistan Economic Corridor for the people of Pakistan and for the Pushtuns in particular?
The demerits in our views are very few, if it goes through its natural Western route. It can be minimized by proper environmental studies. If it goes through Eastern route then there will be hell of problems .
Do you have any collaboration with the rest of Pashtuns leaders and also Baloch leaders about this issue?
We are in touch with all the Pushtun leadership at large including ,PTI,JUI,JI. We don’t have any formal liaise with Baluch.
Amidst ongoing insurgency in Baluchistan, do you think that this project is feasible?
Well I think it’s a catch 22 situation . Apparently though Baluch seems to be the ultimate losers because of many counts .
a)Gawadar will be linked with Coastal high way in current financial year 2015-16.On coastal high way there is very scares and minimum population of Baluch . These areas are relatively safe as well . When we relook at the Two routes of corridor,Eastern&Central ,figure ,we do find a win win situation for Islamabad .The insurgency on these areas is minimum
b)Erection of 9 battalion of Army and 6 battalions of Special force for Corridor will be utilized against all those who will resist.
c) The historic truth is that right from Mughal, British era till date ,pushtuns were also dealt with Gold and Guns or Carrot and stick policy .To defeat a nation you have to create fissure with in . Baluch were never tasted on this policy. It’s the first time they are being dealt with like that. Is it dictate of China or not looks to be irrelevant . The most relevant fact is that National Party NP is spear heading this policy ,dictated by the apex committee of Baluchistan. We do see desertion of insurgents quite frequently. Please keep it in mind that the total number of insurgents do not look to be more than 20,000.
Did anyone among you, has asked the opinion of those Baloch who have climbed up the hills fighting against Pakistan for freedom, what do you think about their intentions?
We have no liaise /linkages with them. However through media we do know that their only option is separate Baluch state. They say quite openly that we are not ready to hand over Gawadar to Pakistan. If it happens millions of new people will get settled in Gawadar . The total population of Baluch is around 4 millions. Hence they will become red Indians in their own home land .
How many routes are under consideration and in your view which should be the ideal route for the Pak-China economic partnership and why?
There cant be more than one Route of Corridor. China has offered one Corridor . From Kashghar till Khanpur all the 6 components are together. When it reaches to Punjab then the word alignment gets introduced .When it reaches to Gawadar again all the 6 are together . The issue of alignments/number of routes is the all time famous jugglery of words used by Punjab times and again.
Motorway,oil &gas pipelines, and Fiber optic cable will have to go together. Railways will be a bit away but will be around it,as a main supply, linkage line. The trade zones and industrial perks will be on the same where the infrastructure exists. It is not possible to have All the four mentioned components on east route and industries and trade zones on West route.
To keep pukhtuns confused ,this terminology of Planning commission and the Punjabi minister for Panning is repeatedly presented on media. This minister is known for two things ,anti pukhtun,and being a master of jugulary of words .
The western route is the only natural route, all the rest are mentioned to divert Corridor towards Punjab.
As per your study what will be the distribution and allocation of fund from early harvest to Punjab and other provinces ??
Out of total 45,69 BILLION US$ 33,79 ARE FOR ELECTRICTY PRODUCTION . All the hydropower projects of Pukhtunkhwa are ignored. Just one project of Suki Kinari hydropower project of Mansehra got approved. That’s the sole share of FATA,Khybar Pukhtunkhwa in CPEC, WHICH IS LESS THAN 1%. All the costly power projects of Punjab &Karachi got approved . This will generate 17000 MW of electricity from costly source like ,Futnace oil,Diesal,Gas,LNG, Solar,Wind and Coal. All the projects are on Eastern route. Nothing for us. 11.19 Billion US $are for Motorway of Eastern route. Then by year 2022 central route in Punjab will get Motorway. There is no Motorway,Railway,or any developmental project for Khybar pukhtunkhwa,FATA, interior Sindh, Baluchistan( excluding Gawadar.The Metro system is exclusively for all the big cities of Punjab ,Karachi is the only example ,which is in Sindh.
Doctor Said Alam Mahsud Interview to “THE VOICE TIMES”
Pukhtun Nationalist and Political Activist