In yet another incident of antipathy towards Pashtuns in Pakistan, Four Pashtun boys died while crying for help in a deluge in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province even as the district authorities exhibited least interest in saving their lives.
The incident took place in the Dubair valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Five Pashtuns, all young boys, were stuck when surrounded by gushing waters. Despite repeated appeals, the administration took little interest in saving their lives.
The locals somehow managed to pull one of the five boys. But the other four died after getting stuck in the waters for over five hours.
Protest in Pashtun Areas
The Pashtuns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have strongly protested against the Pakistan Government, accusing it of treating the Pashtuns as second class citizens. This comes amid the inefficiency of the provincial government in handling the recent floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Why are The Pashtuns Protesting
The protesters alleged that four deceased boys were stuck in the torrent for about five hours but the district administration made no effort to rescue them.
According to the residents of the Dubair valley, the five victims climbed onto a rock to save themselves after being surrounded by heavy flooding. The locals were successful in saving one of the boys by pulling him out with the help of a rope. The other four were killed as they drowned in the gushing river.
Pashtuns a neglected lot in Punjab dominated Pakistan
The Pashtuns are complaining that the Punjab dominated Pakistan has again highlighted their discriminatory attitude towards Pashtuns. The recent flood has led many Pashtuns to be left alone with no government help reaching them.
Pahstuns allege that the administration knowingly was reluctant in sending help to the stranded people even though the locals send videos of the stranded youths to the administration.
Locals have complained that the government could have sent one of their helicopters to help the people. The helicopter can arrive from Peshawar or Gilgit within an hour. Had the administration wanted they could have easily saved the lives of the people.
Discrimination even in relief and rescue operations
Pak army have sent their Helicopters and fighter aircrafts like F-16 to bombard the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in their so-called anti-terrorism operations. These strikes have resulted in killing of innocent Pashtuns. The irony is that the Pak Army can send helicopters to kill Pashtuns but not to save them.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been ruled by former Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf(PTI) for the past 9 years. PTI leaders can be seen conducting the aerial survey of the flood affected area but failed to provide helicopters to rescue those in distress.
The Pashtuns are now criticizing the administration. They say that the Pak government could send Helicopter to dry the cricket pitch but not to save the lives of Pashtun people. Pakistan have used two army helicopters to dry out the rain-hit wet pitch and outfield at Lahore’s Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in 2018.
The Pashtun have been accusing Pakistan of using the Pashtun province for its proxy wars and in return earning dollars from super powers. The Pashtuns have been left all alone during the crisis.
Punjab is Pakistan and Pakistan is Punjab
Despite the heavy rain and flood warnings given by the Meteorological Department of Pakistan, the government of Pakhtunkhwa did not took any prompt measures. The government did not make any timely arrangements to save the flood victims from the impending calamity.
The Pashtuns have been facing such discrimination from Pakistan for long. The famous saying “Punjab is Pakistan and Pakistan is Punjab” is evident of it.
Failure of NDMA Pakistan
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is an agency to deal with disaster management at the Federal level. It is chaired by a retired army general of Pak Army.
The locals are protesting against the failure of NDMA to deal with the crisis. They have termed the NDMA as corrupt and are demanding to abolish it.
Pashtuns allege that the disaster management authority in Pakistan has become a source of employment for retired army officers who are corrupt and earn billions of rupees in corruption.