Furqan Shayk’s new video on Youtube titled “Gul Khan in UK” is an utter disgrace to the Pashtuns in particular and Pakistanis in general. Although the video is doing quite some rounds on different social media platforms, garnering much views and comments, the content is actually quite repugnant. It brings to the fore all the erstwhile buried stereotypes against Pashtuns back to the limelight and is providing quite a fodder for all the underground forces that have always wanted to create an ethnic clash of sorts in our society.
Furqan’s portrayal of Pashtun as Gul Khan may be satirical as he claims but the way he attacks the different aspects of a Pashtun lifestyle is no less than a jab below the belt on the overall character of a Pashtun. The nation knows that Pashtuns will not take this negative representation lightly. There were a million more ways that a Gul Khan could have been represented even if it had to fit in the ‘satire’ genre. The most despicable part is that video made a laughing stock out of every facet of a Pashtun. From his attire to the way he walks, to his family, kids, use of snuff (naswar) and the police chase all cast him as an anomaly to the world. In a sense the Pashtun culture was attacked in the garb of a satire.
Pashtuns take great pride in their culture and they are not ready to be shy about it. The Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US is a glaring proof of this. Imran Khan, not for a single moment took to European attire but donned the Pashtun paraphernalia including the Peshawari chappal and Shalwar Qameez for the entire duration of his visit. It was his uniqueness that kept the officials and the public mesmerized. Khan, who was first elected to power from the very province Pashtuns belong to, couldn’t rise to the premiership without their support. His supporters include all the different varieties of Pashtuns including top diplomats, seasoned politicians, professionals, businessmen and the daily wager. It is this last labor class Pashtun that Furqan has magnified as the Gul Khan. It is not only unbefitting of a Paskitani national working in the United Kingdom to cast his fellow countrymen in such a manner but also reveals the burden of bias that he carries against the Pashtuns.
For a person who claims to be a video maker on his twitter profile, it is quite inappropriate that he chose to show the Pashtuns in such a light, just to gain viewership. Pakistanis are no fools, they can sense that the video is trying to monetize on some stereotypical representation, one that will only create an ethnic debate on the social media and lead to polarization on the ground. It negates all the efforts made by the respectable institutions of Pakistan to neutralize such divisive narratives.
Pakistanis know that Pashtuns are one of the most progressive members of the country, whether they be within or outside. While they are renowned for their hospitality, love for the country and a dynamic outlook on life, they are also known for their vengeance, particularly when they are provoked. Furqan has only stirred up a real hornet’s nest. He better be mindful