Living in central and South Asia, Pashtuns are well-known for bravery, hospitality, generosity, and their rich culture. Different theories trace back the origin of Pashtun. In Greek and Rajput theory, Henry states that Pashtuns are an admixture of Greek and Rajput tribes of India. On the other hand, Yu V. Gankovsky claims that Pashtuns are descended from East-Iranian tribes. According to Bani Israel theory, Pashtuns belong to the lost tribes of Israel.
Pashtuns are considered to be the lion of mountains. No powers on earth have ever defeated Pashtuns. The history of Pashtun is packed with the legendary tale of ancestors who never bow down their heads before the superpower of their time. About the bravery of Pashtuns Alexander said that “I am involved in the land of a leonine and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander.”
Indeed there is no doubt about the above mention Excellencies of Pashtuns but there lies countless malevolence in Pashtunism that lead it to the extreme level of sheer blasphemy. Today’s Pashtuns are considering such malevolence as the sole part of Pashtunism or Pashtunwali. In most cases, the Pashtunwali thoroughly contradicts the teaching of Islam but one prefers to follow Pashtunwali instead of religious teaching. He thinks that if he alienates himself from Pashtunwali people would call him “Be-Ghairta” (shameless or impertinent). To avoid such worldly shame the one even defies the teaching of Islam to carry out Pashtunwali.
In the cemetery of Pashtun’s majority areas, much of the graves are the rewards of Pashtunism. Singing the songs of chastity, morality, and guiltlessness, lots of demised souls are protesting against Pashtunism but, nobody is there to give solace to them. There are children, younger and aged, protesting and asking for justice. Among those innocent souls, there are victims of honor killing, land disputes, elopers, racism, and discrimination.
Islam provides equal opportunity to both men and women without any kind of discrimination. Women living in Pashtun’s societies, where supreme authority lies in the hand of men are unable to speak up for their basic rights. They are more vulnerable to injustice and brutality at the hand of their man. Those who dare to stand for their basic rights are crushed and set an example for everyone so that no one could dare in the future to do so.
In pure Pashtun societies, no one allows their daughters and sisters to marry a person they like. Love marriage or marriage of choice is considered a sin. Although, religion Islam prohibits us from such impositions of virility orders upon women but in such cases, the one prefers Pashtunism and ignores the sacred teachings of Islam regarding the marriage right of women.
Another malignant act of Pashtunism against women is that the male members exclude women from inheritance. The Holy Quran teaches us candidly to be honest with women while distributing the share of the inheritance. An exceptional case is there, but the majority of Pashtun’s don’t give a damn to such Holy teaching. Above all this, they call themselves true believers who are ready to cut off their heads for Islam but don’t abide themselves to follow what actually Islam teaches us.
Honor killing which is prohibited in Islam is the mark of bravery and audacity in Pashtunism. Instead, the state announced honor killing is illegal but the norms and traditions of Pashtunism are that much poisonous that challenge the orders of the state. About rising stats of honor killing, India Today quoted that “Over 1000 women and nearly 600 to 800 men are killed in Pakistan in the name of ‘honor killing’ every year”. The previous year, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) warns Pakistan for rising stats that in 2020 the reported cases of honor killing were 430 which happened to men and women in the name of honor. According to the annual report on VAWG (Violence against Women & Girls) published in 2020, the figure of honor killing was 20. Although the figure of honor killing is 41 according to the report, but keeping the population in view, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is leading in the list of honor killings.
In such a modern time where countries are making by leaps and bound, Pashtuns in tribal areas are engaged in malevolence acts of blasphemy which they labeled “Pashtunwali”. It is the sole responsibility of the state to take strict actions against those involved in the killing of innocent souls either men or women in the name of Pashtunwali.