Accessibility links

Will We See A Pashtun War And Peace?


A Pashtun cultural renaissance?

A Pashtun cultural renaissance?

As the world media focuses on the ongoing bloodshed in the Pashtun-populated regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghan journalist Dawood Azami, writing for the BBC, wants the world to also see how Pashtuns are yearning for peace.

Peace is now the central theme of Pashto-language literature and poetry among the 50 million Pashtuns in “AfPak.” While the world largely sees them through the lens of the media, which often reinforces their image as a warlike people who embrace extremism, many Pashtuns want that image to change and want the world to know that they are the worst victims of violence in their homeland.

In particular, young Pashtun poets and writers want the world to feel the pain of their people. They want the world to see how millions of Pashtuns have been killed, maimed, and displaced by the various rounds of conflicts in their homeland, which were often initiated and sustained by outsiders pursuing their own interests.

In recent years, the Pashto language has developed tremendously with the spread of TV and radio stations. The Internet in particular has helped disseminate the work of writers and poets to regions otherwise unfamiliar with them.

Musicians are also playing a central part in this broad but unorganized movement.

Peace is a central theme in the music of internationally acclaimed Afghan musician Farhad Daraya, who wants Pashtun youth to bid a grand farewell to arms.

-- Abubakar Siddique

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG