ISLAMABAD Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, proposed name for NWFP, passed by the National Assembly as part of 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill on April 8, has set off intense national debate over its political and strategic implications for Pakistan. Background discussions and interviews with political and national security analysts suggest that incumbent political leadership had approved the new name after consensus not only within the parliamentary forces but the defence establishment as well. Well-placed sources informed TheNation that President Asif Ali Zardari played a critical role in evolving the national consensus over renaming of NWFP. The sources were of the view that the political leadership of the country had approved the name demanded by ANP in an effort to compensate losses suffered by Pakistani Pakhtuns as a result of ongoing war on terror. We are glad that Pakhtuns in Pakistan have been given their identity, Aftab Khan Afridi, a political activist and resident of Jamrud, Khybery Agency, remarked when this scribe sought his reaction over the new name. He opined that Pakistan had gained strategic strength by compensating Pakhtuns living in Pakistan. Since Pakhtuns are part of countrys national security, therefore Pakistan has secured its vital national interest on western frontiers by taking this bold step, Aftab Afridi argued. Further to that some sources maintained that Pakistan has created more political space for majority ethnic Pakhtuns in Afghanistan, thus raising their hopes for a far better place in Pakistan in case of a serious threat to the integrity of their country. However, renowned defence analysts and former DG ISI General (Retd) Hameed Gul did not agree to this perception, saying the move of renaming NWFP as Khyber Paktunkhwa was largely aimed at giving political boost to the ANP, one of the coalition partners of the PPP. The euphoria being exhibited by the ANP is a timely phenomena that would wane down soon leaving the ANP in total political chaos, he added. General Gul, who happened to have closely working with Afghans in the wake of Russian invasion of Afghanistan, ruled out the possibility of break-up of Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. As regards the internal political implications, the people of Hazara region have just risen to the occasion to demand a separate province as immediate fallout of the move. People at large have negatively reacted against the name as well as against the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) for its dubious role in supporting the new name. People of Hazara would never forgive the PML-N for its dubious role. Nawaz Sharifs support to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has led to erode his public support in the region considered to be the PML-Ns political bastion, former district bar association president Sardar Rauf Advocate from Haripur district said, adding the development would have far-reaching consequences for the people of Hazara region. He demanded that Government should compensate the people of Haripur district (the gateway to Hazara region) by giving it a lion share from the royalty given to the province on account of hydel power generation Tarbela, in addition to other incentives for development.