Not the North West Frontier Province – NWFP – but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now as a consensus has been reached over renaming the province. This is a historical moment for the Pakhtoon population and the leadership struggling for their rights and winning a rightful identity.
It took at least three decades of active pursuit of the issue to finally attain a consensus of political parties on renaming NWFP to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a name expressive of the racial and cultural majority of the region. In the final stages, it was the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Group (PML-N) that persisted in opposing the desired name of Pakhtunkhwa for the province. The party’s chief Nawaz Sharif could not come to terms with the name and insisted on some other name. But the Awami National Party (ANP) continued their quest with unfailing devotion, finally taming the opposition to win the Pakhtoon people a name they could proudly spell as their own.
Immediately after hearing the news of consensus on the new name, people all around the province celebrated the moment in boisterous joy, singing and dancing to drums in public and joined by more and more enthusiasts chanting slogans of “Long Live Pakhtunkhwa’. The festivity continues and the sense of victory is warming the souls of Pakhtoons in the province, and everywhere else.