With the passage of the 18th amendment in the Senate yesterday the name of “Khyber PakhtunKhwa” has now been recognized as the official name for the North West Frontier Province (aka N.W.F.P.). The President will now need to sign the bill into law and with that comes to end the work of the constitutional committee which had been working on it for the past year or so.
For those of you who do not know, Pakistan is a federation which comprises of 4 provinces. The names of the provinces are Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan and N.W.F.P. The issue regarding the name of N.W.F.P. had been going on for the past 50 years or so with the Awami National Party (ANP) being its most vocal supporter. They have always claimed that the names of other provinces indicated the majority population in those provinces for e.g. the majority population in Punjab were Punjabis, Sindhis in Sind and Balochis in Baluchistan. N.W.F.P. has been the home of Pathans (or Pakhtuns as per ANP definition) and the party has been demanding based on this fact that the name be changed to PakhtunKhwa.
The other political parties have never supported their bid for the change in name due to which this issue has lingered on for so long. Now that all the political parties have come together for the passage of the 18th amendment the ANP has conveniently included this law in the constitution package.
There were still some hurdles in the way as the name had to be changed from PakhtunKwa to Khyber PakhtunKhwa to accommodate every one in the final package but the party and its workers are delighted with the final verdict.
I personally feel that changing the name will not solve the every day problems of the common man in the street but this does show us the beauty of democracy working to resolve the thorniest of issues.