Six Dead in Pakistan Name Change Riot

NWFP protestsA decision to change the name of our of Pakistan’s border provinces has yielded tragic results:

Six people were killed Monday and more than 200 were injured following protests over plans to rename Pakistan’s North-West Frontier province.

The Pakistani Parliament sent a decision to a committee on constitutional reforms April 1 to change the name of North-West Frontier province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The name Pakhtunkhwa reflects the Pashtun ethnic majority of the province of 21 million people. The Hazara and other ethnic minorities oppose the name change, though government officials said they would enjoy the same rights as Pashtuns.

You wouldn’t think a place named “North-West Frontier province” would inspire much loyalty. But it had the distinct advantage of being tribally neutral.

Photo: Reuters

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.