The philosophy of nonviolence that has been developed through much of the twentieth century has made great contribution to the theories of legitimate revolutionary social change. We write and talk about nonviolence as if it were simply a technique but it isn’t since it’s principle gives us teachings to fight the injustices through peaceful methods. therefore, non-violence is not only about not using weapon rather it’s a way of responding to violence with non-violent means. It’s an act of kindness, it’s about positive energy, it’s about being at peace with yourself and rest of the world and it’s also a way of taking positive action to resist oppression or bring a positive change in society. Bacha Khan says “it is a power and has an army just like violence. But its weapon is preaching while the weapon of violence is the gun. Some people argue that violence is necessary for self-defense but they don’t realise that by adopting this attitude they close the door on non-violence. Non-violence has a self-defense mechanism because it does not believe in the concept of defeat while there is a possibility of defeat in violence. The aim of non-violent conflict is to convert your opponent; to win over their mind and heart and persuade them that your point of view is right. An important element is often to make sure that the opponent is given a face-saving way of changing their mind. Non-violent protest seeks a ‘win-win’ solution whenever possible”.
Abdul Ghafar Khan, known as Pacha Khan/ Bacha khan (King of King) was born in the Utmanzai village of Charsadda district in 1890. He was a pashtun independence activist and fought for the rights of his people in the British Raj in the early 20th century. He was a close friend of Ghandi. They both were known for their non-violent opposition hence ‘Frontier Gandhi’ became the nickname of Bacha khan.
In 1929 Bacha khan founded the Khdaui Khidmatagar (Servant of God) movement to confront the British Empire and strongly opposed the All-India Muslim League’s demand for the partition of India. He believed that partition of India will jeopardize the circumstances not only for his people but the entire region too. However, when he heard that, Indian National Congress declared its acceptance of the partition plan he felt shattered and told the Congress “You have thrown us to the wolves” History has repeated itself on 20 January 2016, when several gunmen opened fire at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and launched a similar attack on a minibus in Kabul transporting journalists affiliated with TOLO. Both of these events reminded us of Bacha khan quote “You have thrown us to the wolves” indeed his people were thrown to wolves irrespective of where his people live Pakistan or Afghanistan.
Seeing that Afghanistan and KPK both were in blood yet the government of Pakistan again repeated the blame game and issued a statement saying ” a deadly assault on a university in a northwestern city on Wednesday was being controlled from a location in Afghanistan through an Afghan cell phone” The Afghan government accordingly has rejected “that the Afghan soil was used by the terrorists to launch attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda area of Pakistan” the government further added that “The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has never supported a terrorist group and has never provided sanctuaries for the terror groups” Although, the blame game has been the integral part of Pak/Afg relations, this time, the words of Pakistani government has hurt every single Afghan. For Afghans, Backh khan was not only a non-violence activist but he was like a grandfather to Afghans. If one study the values and principles of Afghan society they would notice a principle that says, you should face your enemy instead of backstabbing. Therefore accusing the Afghan government for such a disgusting attack was totally wrong. We will never attack the school of thought of our own grandfather.
Although we are hurt by the recent remarks of Pakistani government yet we still believe that not only Afghanistan but both nations are faced with issues like insecurity, poverty, illiteracy, health etc and in these depressing circumstances the life of Bacha khan is a living example for both nations to learn from. Bacha khan was not only a non-violent leader, he was a reformer and was deeply concerned about the political, social and economic lives of his people. He advocated for the fight against social differences, injustice unwanted customs, illiteracy and poverty. In one of his speeches, Backh khan said “I don’t want the destruction of Pakistan nor of anybody else, whether Hindu or Muslim. An Advantage lies only in progress. If you have some constructive plans for this country I assure you on the floor of this honorable house that I and my people will stand by you.”
War, weapon and violence will not make either of the society a better place for living. Violence has potential to destroy be that, an individual, country or a nation. thus, It’s the time for both states to re-write their strategic narratives and strive to put an end to violence on the both sides of the border. The leadership in both countries must cease the blame game and should make efforts to strengthen the ties between the two nations. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan need to work together to effectively overcome the Taliban dilemma and work on reforms.