Where would this state be and on whose authority would it be created?
Pashtun dominated regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Capital Kandahar. Kabul would not be in this state.
We tell Afghan government in Kabul and the Pakistan government to allow the region to secede. Hold a big old fashioned summit to redraw maps, plan orderly and paid migration of populations, and solve regional differences.
Are any representatives of Pashtuns petitioning the UN for such a thing?
The vehicle of Pashtun unification is the Taleban. They're petitioning with IEDS. If we grant the Pashtuns a state
for Pashtuns nationalism, historic ethnic ties that could invoke past glories, such as the Durrani Empire, can provide the unifying force to elbow out the pathetic Taleban.
Would a fairly autonomous region similar to Northern Iraq suffice?
It's a Pakistan problem too.
In places Afghanistan is very rural
. The tribes of Afghanistan have long memories. They have stood on their own two feet for centuries and don't seem to have much interest in the Afghan Government so I can't imagine they would suddenly want to be a part of a Pashtun state either.
We don't have to fix their problems, we need to fix ours. This only requires they be on side against the terrorists.
They just want to be allowed to go about their lives in peace and they appear to be as much victims of the Taleban as anyone else.
They are the Taleban. The Taleban first gained ground when two Pashtuni warlords got into a dispute over a boy they both wanted to bugger. Taleban mediated the dispute and offered other solutions to Pashtun problems, like the drug trade. A Pashtun state should be doing all this, for Pashtuns.