The concept of hujra and mosque in Pakhtun society
For a very long span of time Islamic state of Afghanistan and our beloved province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been the centre of attraction for both national and international media with respect to many factors. It is a general perception regarding Pakhtun people that they are prejudiced and narrow minded by its nature. Even they are not prepared to give freedom and human rights to the people living in the globe. Especially, their women are confronted with many problems and issues in their marginalized society.
Moreover Pakhtun are also considered to be extremist and violent people-as they are continuously involved in interfaith riots, sectarianism, and exploitation of the women and other regarding evils prevailing in society. If review this theory in the backdrop of the Pakhtun nation history then it is very natural to arrive at unified conclusion in the light of the deliberations, observations and analysis made by the thank tanks of Pakhtun nation so far.
It is never proved at any time in the history of mankind that Pakhtun are violent and fundamentalist people. It is indeed a totally wrong and fallacious concept and has no link wit truth and reality in any form and shape.
Basically, Pakhtun, are liberal and free minded people. They not only want progress and development for themselve but also want to see peace, progress and development in the world over.
They are in quest to get excelling in the race of progress and surpass the other advanced nations of the world.
Further more in Pakhtun society people attached with other religions and notions also enjoy equal rights and liberty at their own sweet will. In other words followers of others religions and beliefs live free and independent life in this society. While Pakhtuns women are also regarded with great honor and veneration.
Thus it reflects the nefarious designs of all those elements that are antagonistic to the very existence of Pakhtun people. This feature and fact is testimony to the fact that the impression labeled by world community against Pakhtun does not match or reflect the culture and history of Pakhtun society. It seems to be a collective and well planed conspiracy hatched by the different forces to malign and tarnish the true image of Pakhtun nation in the eyes of the comity of the nations.
For this very reason the distinguished writer, analyst and thinker Salim Raz has aptly remarked that verily Pakhtun is progressive and independent nation by nature and its main proof is the Pakhtun culture and society itself. Where like all other features and tributes, the concept of Hujra and Jumat (mosque) owes much weight and significance and both the institutions play vital role in Pakhtun life and society. They represent and magnify our culture, civilization and social ethics. With the help of Hujra and Masjid we can judge the main principle of life i.e. Love, unity ,respect and other social political and economic values of our life which can best be realized in our society.
Similarly pakhtun nation also extend great respect to religious norms and traditions. They do not like to have any conflict with religion. Even from the very beginning religious extremism is not visible in the nature and life of the Pakhtun people. The Pakhtun society from the very inception has been a peace loving society. Nevertheless as far as our internal riots and conflicts are concerned – have some other peculiar reasons and causes. In other words these feuds and disputes among the various factions of Pakhtun society arouse due some other reasons.
But in this regard the institution of Jirga (a reconciliatory body) plays a vital role in resolving the issues of conflicts amicably. The elders or elites of the areas try their level best to resolve the issue through the system of jirga among the factions. The history is also testimony to the fact that never we see any evidence or proof of Pakhtun, involvement in any dispute of sectarian or religious nature. Our nation is being maligned in the name of peace and violence.
We are being labeled as violent and warrior people which is a notion totally unacceptable to us. It is a nation which wants progress and development with the help of knowledge and research. So that the future generation could be able to see a stable, peaceful, educated, prosperous, developed and enlightened Pakhtun society. Let us all pledge to shun our pity issues and prove ourselves as the most liberal, peaceful and educated segment of society to foil the evil propaganda and conspiracy hatched by the enemies against our patriotic and peace loving people.
Shaukat Hayat Buneri