During the 1970s, it transpired that Afghanistan was promoting separatism and fanning ethnic nationalism in Pakistan's Balochistan and North-West Frontier Provinces. In a speech delivered during a visit to the North-West Frontier Province, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the following stern warning to Afghanistan (translated from Urdu):
"The Pakistani nation is one. In Pakistan, there are four provinces. If there is talk of [ethnic] nationalism only in Pakistan, then why not talk of [ethnic] nationalism in Afghanistan? Why do they say of Afghanistan that it is one nation? Do only Pathans live in Afghanistan? No. In Afghanistan, as you know, reside Uzbeks, reside Hazaras, reside Turkmans and reside Parsis. So then, there are five to six nations over there. But over there they don't talk of those five or six nations. Four nations here? And how many nations are there in India? In India, are there 25 nations? How many nations in America? 50 nations? Because there are 50 states over there? And in India, there are 14 states. So are there 14 nations? No. In Pakistan, there are four provinces, but the nation is one. Nation is one. And if there are four nations in Pakistan, then in Afghanistan there are also four to five nations. Because over there are also Hazaras and Turkmans, so divide it. If they think they can divide Pakistan because Pathans live here, Baloch live there, so where Pathans live divide them on one side and where the Baloch live divide them on that side. Firstly this division cannot take place because, as I said, Pathans are spread all over the country. Baloch are spread all over the country. So where will the division take place? But if division has to take place, then why does division not take place in Afghanistan, India and other countries? Is all this division just for Pakistan? So the Hazaras and Turkmens over there, make them into Hazaraistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Parsistan, as over there also exist four, five and six nations. So divide them as well. But all this is enmity against Pakistan. They have created an enmity against Pakistan. And they cannot succeed in their ill-conceived designs under any circumstances. Not under any circumstances can they succeed insha'Allah..."
"As far as the question of Afghanistan is concerned, Afghanistan keeps on trying to mislead these people, to prod them into rebellion. I want to tell Afghanistan that this territory is the territory of Pakistan and, insha'Allah, will remain forever a part of Pakistan. Here our Pathans are happy. If our Pathans were unhappy, then maybe you could say that these Pathans are not happy and the Pathans in Afghanistan are happier than them. In Afghanistan, there are 5 million Pathans. In Pakistan, there are 10 million Pathans. The Pathans of Afghanistan still come to Pakistan. Why do they still come to Pakistan? If the Pathans of Afghanistan are happy over there then why do they come to Pakistan? In two months, 20-30,000 Afghan Pathans have come to Pakistan. I want to ask, if Pathans are happy over there in Afghanistan, then what need do they have to come to Pakistan? Afghanistan should take heed. These actions, these mischiefs will not succeed. We will give our lives for our country. We are ready to give any sacrifice for our country."