If there is one person who can be in the main credited with the change of name of the NWFP to Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, it is President Asif Zardari.
The movement for renaming the NWFP saw many ups and downs over the past few decades as the country made its way though dictatorial regimes and democratic governments. Since 1947, Pashtun nationalists like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Khan Abdul Wali Khan and Ajmal Khattak led the movement for the change of NWFP’s name as an expression of their people’s distinct identity.
The Awami National Party, which emerged as the ruling Pakistan People’s Party’s main coalition partner in the NWFP after the 2008 general election, pushed for changing the name of the province to Pakhtoonkhwa.
The party did not want to miss an opportunity as it was aware that President Asif Ali Zardari was in conformity with the demand.
Zardari (as well as his hand-picked Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani) frequently referred to NWFP as Pakhtoonkhwa in public appearances, something that was unimaginable for Pashtuns.
Such developments rejuvenated the spirit of ANP leaders, who cashed in on the situation despite some opposition to the renaming of the NWFP from Punjab and Hazara based leaders of the main opposition party PML-N.
“There has been a long debate as to why the ANP could not muster support for the name Pakhtoonkhwa despite the fact that Pashtuns are in a majority in the province,” said legislator and dissident ANP leader Arshad Khan.
The proposal to rename the NWFP is part of a groundbreaking constitutional reforms package finalised by a parliamentary panel led by Pakistan People’s Party’s Senator Raza Rabbani.
Source: Zee News
“Pakhtoon will always remember President Asif Ali Zardari. Historical day for Pakhtoon today”: says Asfandyar Wali Khan
Upadated on: 01 Apr 10 06:46 PM
ISLAMABAD: This is a historical day for the Pakhtoons today as their long lasting wish has been fulfilled, said President Awami National Party Asfand Yar Wali Khan.
While talking to media persons outside the parliament on Thursday he said that Pakhtoon will always remember President Asif Ali Zardari.
Asfand Yar is leading the largest Pakhtoon secular party ANP of NWFP (Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa) which is the coalition partner of the present democratic setup in the country.
He said that the role of the head of the constitutional reforms committee, Mian Raza Rabbani, is pivotal and would not be forgotten in history. He paid thanks on behalf of Pakhtoon people to all political forces including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
Source: Samaa TV
Renaming of NWFP celebrated in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa
Updated on: 01 Apr 10 04:43 PM
PESHAWAR: Information Minister NWFP (Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa) Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said that Pakhtoons have got an identity whereas Pakistan’s map has been completed by renaming the province.
Renaming of the province was celebrated at Qayoom Sports Complex Peshawar that was attended by provincial minister Mian Iftikhar Hussan, Syed Aqil Shah, members of NWFP assembly and large number of Awami National Party members. During the celebrations, party members expressed their joy through dance.
On the occasion, Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain said while addressing the joyous crowd that the renaming of the province shows success of Bacha Khan’s and Wali Khan’s struggle. He said that the renaming of the province as Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa has given identity to Pakhtoons as well as it has completed Pakistan’s map.
Source: Samaa TV