PESHAWAR - The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is likely to remove chapters of Pakhtun nationalists' leaders Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) and his son Ghani Khan, a renowned Pashto language poet, from the syllabus of grade VII and grade VIII.
The issue of making such changes in syllabus was not aroused for the first time in the province, as many of the former governments did it. The former Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government had included certain chapters on Islamic teachings and history in the syllabus.
Similarly, the Awami National Party (ANP)-led nationalists' rulers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa left behind its predecessors in bringing rampant changes in syllabus of secondary level classes, after getting absolute power after the passage of 18th constitutional amendments.
The nationalists' rulers besides other renowned Pakhtun leaders also included chapters on Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the founding chief of Khudai Khidmatgar Movement and grandfather of ANP incumbent chief and Ghani Khan a renowned philosophical Pashto language poet.
The ANP provincial leadership expressed concern over the decision of the incumbent PTI-led government and vowed to resist any such move. Commenting on the issue, a senior ANP worker said that it was quite prejudice against our national heroes and termed it a conspiracy against Pakhtuns. He said that it was right of Pakhtuns' children to learn about their heroes and leaders whom rendered numerous sacrifices against British colonial forces.
Talking to The Nation a senior official in the education department informed that a principle decision has been taken to bring certain changes in syllabus aimed to bring improvement in the existing curriculum.
"Honestly it was quite injustice with the students to over burden them by including a number of lessons in the courses of grade VII and VIII students," he said.
Besides, upon the inclusion of certain politically disputed, not from any other point of view, at the cost of excluding national heroes, a vast segment of society had their reservations. Though the province has got autonomy after 18th amendment but it shouldn't be used for political purposes, he maintained.
A commoner was of the view that "if a leader hailing from any other part of the country could become a history for us, then why shouldn't Bacha Khan and Ghani Khan whom were sons of this soil and had fought against Britisher and suffered hardship of detention for almost 35 long years, he argued.
The Qaumi Watan Party has also expressed concern over the likely removal of the chapters on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan also known as Bacha Khan and noted Pashto poet Ghani Khan from the textbooks of seven and eight grades.
The QWP provincial Information Secretary Tariq Ahmad Khan asked the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board authorities to desist from making any such move.
He said that Bacha Khan and Ghani Khan had played a pivotal role in the struggle for the freedom of the sub-continent and rendered meritorious services for the cause of the Pakhtuns and they must be remembered.
Tariq Ahmad said lessons about other Pakhtun poets, literati and political leaders should also be included in the textbooks so that the future generations could know about their services.