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Social Media and Pashtun Activism Worldwide

By Assad Sharifi

It is unfortunate to see that some hardworking and dedicated individuals go unnoticed and unrecognized by their own people. This is true even on the limitless world of social media. Social media has two types of users. There are those who diligently work for a noble cause, such as human rights, advancement of democracy, and freedom of speech. Other social media platforms are replete with individuals who use vulgarity, hate and bigotry to gain fame and fortune. They are indeed quite successful in their destructive behaviour and have thousands of followers. It is ironical to see those who truly work for an honourable cause are usually sidelined and defamed. One of those hardworking and dedicated individuals is Sadodin Mangal.

Mangal resides in the United Kingdome and is the founder of the Facebook group, Pakhtuna ra Wekh Sha (Awake Pashtun!). At the moment his group comprises of more than half a million (638,215) members of Pashtun social media users. This group has been under constant threat from people opposed to Pashtun unity and social activism, even on Facebook. As recently as last week, Pakhtuna ra Wekh Sha was blocked by Facebook. The reason for this closure was not some violent material or hate speech. It was solely based on reporting by rival social media gangsters, who are opposed to Pashtun social activism.

There are also those Facebook troopers, who openly curse and belittle Mangal on daily basis. Mangal’s only crime is, a struggle for Pashtun unity and social activism on Facebook. He wants to unite Pashtun intellectuals and youth to work for preservation and awareness of their language, culture, and traditions. This type of organized anti-Pashtun resentments can only be possible when powerful states or groups are behind them.

It is refreshing to see that regardless of the constant slaughter of Pashtuns in their homeland by different groups, under different pretexts, the Pashtun youth have had a sublime success in the past decade in the field of education and creativity. Pashtun youth are now some of the most responsible users of social media and avid followers of international affairs. Social media have had a powerful impact on Pashtun youth and their intellectual growth.

Facebook is now used in the furthest corners of the mountainous Pashtun lands. Pashtuns across the globe are now sharing their views with each other through social media platforms. This intellectual revolution and awakening cannot be stopped by targeting Mangal. As has been the norm, whenever one Pashtun falls, one hundred Pashtuns rise, when one Mangal falls, one hundred more Mangals will rise. As many present, past, and fallen empires know, Pashtuns are born leaders and vigorous defenders of their homeland and ways of life.

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