06 February 2012

Bacha Khan International Airport

Peshawar International airport was officially named Bacha Khan International Airport couple of days ago. Federal government approved the name change after it was demanded through a resolution passed in Khyber PakhtunKhwa assembly. This is really a good development in the field of provincial autonomy and recognizing the Heroes belonging from all ethnicities of Pakistan. Similarly name of Quetta international Airport should also be changed and named after Naseer Khan Noori or any other Baloch national hero.

Abdul Ghaffar Khan A.K.A Bacha Kahn was born in 1890. He formed Khudai Khidmatgar movement and was a staunch proponent of non-violence. He was a central leader of Indian National Congress and was inclined towards Bolsheviks of USSR. His decades of political services and imprisonment, has made him a national hero. His disagreements with Quaid-e-Azam can be debatable. So can be his opposition of partition of India. He had his own political philosophy based on which He made all these decision which must be respected.

It was a long term demand of ANP government to change the name of airport. This government has granted them their wish along with the wish of changing the name of North West Frontier Province. This generosity should also be extended to the people of Balochistan who are most neglected people of entire country. Balochistan’s only significant airport should also be named after a National Hero of the Baloch people. All political parties can sit together and decide a name unanimously. It can be Naseer Khan Noori who was the ruler of Kalat state in 18th Century. Or it can be Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was a veteran politician and was martyred in a military operation. Other names can be Ghaus Buksh Bizenjo, ex-governor and politician and Ahmad Yar khan who was the ruler of kalat state when it was made a part of Pakistan.

These days there is a much cry for provincial autonomy and federal government claims to solve the problem through 18th amendment. However still a lot has to be done and the changing of name of Quetta airport can be a milestone in this regard. This should not be restricted to Quetta only. Every Airport in Pakistan should be named after the local heroes whose services have not been acknowledged so far. However special attention should be given to Balochistan which is the most backward province of the country. If current government is really sincere in this regard then there can’t be any valid reason to oppose this proposal. One can’t argue with those who oppose Provincial autonomy because their overall approach to this matter is irrational.

This can be just a beginning and gradually all subjects should be given under provincial control. This will make the provinces strong and Federation stronger. We are in 21st century and still we can’t solve these problems which are the basics of a federation system of a state. Since government has declared 2012 as year of Balochistan, The name change of Quetta airport can be the first gift of the New Year for people of Balochistan. This move will not affect the daily lives of poor people of province. It will be a goodwill gesture for them and it will also show the resolve of Islamabad in solving the problems of Balochistan. People of entire country should support this proposal and play their part in strengthening the federation.

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