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Bill proposed in NA to rename Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Member National Assembly (MNA) Mohsin Dawar on Thursday submitted a bill in the National Assembly (NA) to change the name of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

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Mohsin Dawar of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) moved a constitutional amendment bill in the House, asking to rename the KP province to just ‘Pakhtunkhwa’. Dawar said that there is still a lot of confusion regarding the name of the province as some call it ‘KPK’ while others say only ‘KP’. The only solution to this is to rename it as ‘Pakhtunkhwa’, he added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa often abbreviated as KP or KPK was known as the North-West Frontier Province until April 15th 2010, when the senate confirmed the name change to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 18th amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan with a unanimous 90 votes.

The renaming campaign was led by the ANP, a party of Pakhtun nationalists that ruled the province from 2008-2013 in alliance with the PPP. Though the ANP is mostly credited for renaming the province, it would not have possible without PPP’s support. In fact, it was Zardari who used the word Pakhtunkhwa for the first time when he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2008.

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When the province was renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it’s abbreviation ‘KP’ was considered as short and not as rhythmic as NWFP. Therefore, the word KPK gained popularity and began to be widely used. Though the ANP-PPP coalition government had officially clarified that the correct name is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its abbreviation should be KP and not KPK, term KPK stuck and even the government departments started using it.

According to Dawar, the provincial assembly also passed two resolutions to rename the province which shows that the current name causes quite a lot of confusion.

The bill proposed by Mohsin Dawar was not opposed by the government and the deputy speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri who was chairing the session referred the bill to the concerned standing committee.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan said the bill was significant and required careful deliberation in the concerned standing committee.