Being a tribal Pushtun myself, I can sense the disenfranchisement among Pushtuns in general and the youngsters in particular. The reason is obvious as they demand equal rights. They want peace in their region. And discontinuation of proxy wars in their areas. To put it in simple words, Pushtuns want to live a dignified and prosperous life. Factually, this is the least that citizens can demand from the state.Now there should be no hurdle in meeting this demand, until the state has other aims to achieve in Pushtun dominated areas. As per Pushtun Tahaffuz Movement, peace is a prerequisite for human existence. And it’s justified too. Because war-like situation in the US states of Massachusetts would nullify the existence of Harvard. Same is the case in Pushtun belt, where hundreds of schools, hospitals and markets would be of no use in the absence of peace. For a teacher, doctor or businessman would be reluctant to teach, serve and invest respectively in a hostile region. Under the unanimously agreed upon constitution, every citizen has equal rights. There is no concept of superior or inferior as per the law of the land. Every citizen has the right to live a dignified life. This constitution binds the various federating units having different cultures altogether. Ergo in such a diversified population the rights enshrined in state’s constitution should be given to all and sundry. There shouldn’t be any double standards.Currently, the Pushtun community reckons that their land is intentionally used by the state to advance its strategic goals. To achieve this end, the powers-that-be always remain busy in keeping the region rife with conflict. This approach on the part of state has caused immense damage to the unity among Pakistanis. For misunderstandings occur because of the inequality prevalent in the land of pure. Being a tribal Pushtun myself, I can sense the disenfranchisement among Pushtuns in general and the youngsters in particular. The reason is obvious as they demand equal rightsTo add to it, since the inception of the country till date, Pushtuns have given innumerable sacrifices for the well-being of the state. They have sacrificed their lives and left their abodes for ensuring peace in the entire country. Despite all these sacrifices, it surprises them that their belt is not at par with other regions of the state. It doesn’t enjoy the same facilities which are available in rest of the country.The state should learn from its past mistakes. As its wrong policies have fired back. Now a new policy should be formulated that should be based on ameliorating the state of affairs of the Pushtun belt. Moreover, restoring peace should be the central idea of this new approach. Given the present situation there is no alternative of peace. It would greatly help the government in triumphing the hearts and minds of disgruntled Pushtun youngsters. The policy makers should take cognizance of the fact that this country belongs to 220 million people. It can’t be run by preferring one region over the other. Instead, all the communities should be viewed as integral part of the state. The current unrest in Pushtun areas shouldn’t be there as for years operations were conducted in the name of eradicating terrorists. Now the fact that these forces are again rearing heads is surprising. The Pushtun community can’t afford another war in their region. Therefore, issues should be resolved by taking them into confidence.The writer can be contacted at email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, February 15th 2019.