Lieutenant General Imran Ullah Khan (born 3 December 1932) is a retired Pakistan Army general. He remained the Governor of Balochistan province in PPP-led government from May 1994 to May 1997.
Early life and education
Imran Ullah Khan was born on 3 December 1932 to a family of shamozai which is local landlords family in the village now town of Utmanzai in Charsadda District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. His father was Major Saadullah Khan who was a direct descendant of Malik Utman who founded the village/town of Utmanzai. The family belonged to the Sharif Khel Clan of the Pakhtuns
Imran Ullah Khan the eldest of the four sons received his education from Bishop Cotton School Simla (Now India), Lawrence College Murree and Government College Lahore.
After completing his education Imran Ullah Khan joined Pakistan Army and was sent to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England. On graduation from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK, he was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment on 18 September 1955 in the 12th PMA Long Course.
Serving Pakistan army he took part in 1965 war as a captain and in 1971 war as a Battalion Commander. He also participated in the Siachin operation as a Corps Commander.
A graduate of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Command and Staff College Quetta and Pakistan Air Force Staff College Karachi General Imran Ullah Khan also distinguished himself at the Royal College of Defence Studies, London UK. General Imran Ullah Khan has served on various important staff and instructional appointments during his career. These include Instructor at the School of Military Intelligence Kuldana, Murree, Instructor at Command and Staff College Quetta, Commandant Pakistan Military Academy and Director of Military Training.
General Imran Ullah khan has had the privilege of commanding an infantry brigade on the Line of Control. As a Brigadier, he also had the distinction of holding the appointment of Director of Military Training Pakistan Army. In January 1978 he was appointed the Commandant of Pakistan Military Academy Kakul. He held this coveted post for over four years both as a Brigadier and Major General. In May 1982 he was posted as General Officer Commanding of the 10th Infantry Division at Lahore.
In May 1984 he was posted as Adjutant General of Pakistan Army at GHQ and in May 1987 he was posted to command the X Corps, the largest Corps of Pakistan Army, which is one of the two corps on the Line of Control. In this position he was responsible for operations in Siachen. He is credited with Pakistani successes at Chumik and in Operation Qidaat.[
Retirement and governorship
General Imran Ullah Khan retired from the Army in May 1991 having put in 36 years of commissioned service and in May 1994, he was appointed as the Governor of Balochistan by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He resigned from Governorship for personal reasons in May 1997.
He was awarded Sitaraie-Herb 1965, Sitara-i-Herb 1971, Pakistan Defense Medal with Siachin clasp, Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Basalat and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military).
The peaceful warrior who redefined Islam, Pakhtoonwa and Non-violence and built a resistance movement these three pillars. This is the story of a warrior who lived true to his principles till the day he died. I hope to tell you about the gentleness and patience of Pathans, who chose to follow Islam in the peaceful way preached by Prophet Mohammed and yet managed to effectively protest against the corrupt and repressive rule of a colonial power. Yes - you read it right, in this age, it might seem a paradox, many people today cannot visualize a struggle of this nature, but it is here that we all can learn a lot from the Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi.
It is simplistic to view the Indian Independence movement as merely a story of non-violent protests. The protests did give Indians a gradual victory but we must also consider what happened to people spanning the entire undivided India. Not every region got freedom, liberty and justice. Under such circumstances how can we celebrate this so called Independence Day? How can we ignore the most horrific partition violence ? Let alone a day, not even a moment of silence to pay respects to the tremendous grief and loss suffered by millions. The genocide, the betrayal of freedom fighters, the screams of a nation torn apart, apparently not important enough an event for us?
Did we really get independence or did British just manage to mangle and undermine us? The country that had overcome tremendous odds with culture, language, religion, caste, and race barriers to unite, yet again, for the supreme dream of being free. So did we get it? or did major political players in a haste to get power, instead pawn our unity, the soul of our struggle; that then came with the high interest of blood and land. First installment paid in partition and through continual bloody violence that we are paying till this day - Will we ever redeem our unity?
I will not say Happy Independence Day to you, instead I will say - On this day, August 15, remember those who fought and died, remember what price we had to pay, and then I say “Heartfelt Remembrance and Resolution Day!” “Shradhanjali aur Pratigya Divas” Here is to the completion of the dream of our freedom fighters! Listen to this story of a freedom fighter, who never gave up the fight for his cause. Then, think of your part to redeem our unity, wipe away the tears and heal our nation with festering deep lacerations, over five decades.
What would your resolution be?
The life and times of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Sahab
Abdul Gaffar Khan was born to the Khan Behram Khan of Utmanzai village in 1890. This is in Ashtanagar, a tract in Charsadda tehsil of Peshawar district between rivers Swat and Kabul. As there was no custom to note down birthdays in those days, Gaffar Khan's birth date is unknown. Both of his parents were unlettered but were a very broad minded, loving couple who served every guest with equal respect irrespective of their station. Behram Khan had renounced "Badla" or revenge and chose to forgive who wronged him. This was significant for a person in Pathan society to do so, since at the time the society was all caught up in the web of revenge and counter-revenge that snaked its way through tribe after tribe and generation after generation. It was a bold step to take at time when this poison was strong in the Pathan land. At the age of five, Gaffar Khan was taught the Quran from the Mullah. Behram Khan then sent Gaffar Khan to Peshawar for primary education and then the missionary school. Here he got a glimpse of service to the needy from his missionary teachers and was influenced by their spirit of selflessness.
While in the last year of his high school, Gaffar Khan applied for a Direct Commission in the British Indian Army which was considered very prestigious in those days. He was selected, being a very well built young man at 6' 3”, almost matriculate, however very soon he witnessed how the British callously insulted his friend who was a cavalry officer in the Peshawar regiment. He realized he did not want to be a servant of the British government because it did not give one respect and he left the Army. With his elder son's encouragement who was studying medicine in London, Behram Khan arranged for Gaffar Khan to study engineering in London, but his mother would not allow the only son she had left to be sent to vilayat , foreign lands from which nobody returned. Gaffar who loved his mother very much, decided to not go, and instead serve his countrymen. Gaffar Khan married twice, once in 1912, he and is wife were proud parents of two sons Ghani and Wali, who later proved to be patriotic sons of Pakhtunistan. Unfortunately, his first wife died six years into the marriage. Gaffar Khan married again in 1920, sadly his second wife died in 1926, in an accident in Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to Holy Harams and the Masjid al Aqsa. His second wife had borne him a son and a daughter.
Before the coming of Islam, the Pathans had been Hindus, and the misconception that “education is only for brahmins” still prevailed in their society, the result of which was that they created divisions amongst themselves very much like caste system. The common people were not interested in education. Moreover, the British broke down the Pathan social structure with draconian laws. In 1901, Pathan province was separated from Punjab and Frontier Crimes Regulation Act was introduced. Under this law, the police could start a fictitious case against anyone the British happened to dislike. No proof or evidence was necessary. The British used it in such an atrocious manner that it created communalism, disharmony and mutual enmity amongst Pathans. All this to keep the Pathans backward so they could control Afghanistan and Pakhtunistan.
In this environment, Gaffar Khan had the vision to see that education and learning would be the first step to remove Pathan from this misery. Gaffar Khan had no idea how much trials and tribulations that lay ahead of him! He was sent to jail, in fetters too small that cut into his ankles leaving a life long scar. He was made to walk 4 miles in blazing heat with no water or food, chained to a vehicle, kept in jail with no food in extreme cold with torn flea ridden rags for cover. All because he had opened schools to give basic education to children! The British were so afraid of the Pathan strength that they were threatened even by this. As the British injustices piled up, it only strengthened Gaffar Khan's resolution. When the schools started flourishing, the British warned Behram Khan about his son, when that did not work, they arrested Gaffar Khan under Section 4 of Frontier Crime Regulation, sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment. In Peshawar, he was pushed into a criminal's cell with a chamberpot full of last occupants excrement. They kept him locked day and night, with the food shoved in through a barred opening in the door. Usually prisoners were kept in solitary cells for a week, but Gaffar Khan spent 2 months. After that he was transferred to Dera Ismail Khan, meant for habitual prisoners. The food was inedible, with even the prison cat refusing to eat the vegetables! With all this, he had to grind 20 seers of corn every day on a grindstone. A few months later he was transferred to Dera Gazi Khan prison. There was an interesting incident at Dera Gazi Khan prison that Gafar Khan relates in his autobiography. This was an example of the false impressions the British had given to the Hindus in India, about Pathans:
One day a Hindu friend told Abdul Gaffar Khan:
“I have been told that the Pathans drink Human blood. Do they really ?”
“Oh yes," Gaffar Khan replied, “frequently”
“Good Heavens,” his friend cried out.
Then he asked again; “But why do they drink it?”
“Because it is very tasty,” Khan said.
“Good Heavens!” his friends cried again.
Then Khan asked him: “My friend, from where did you get this idea? Have you ever been to the Pathan country ? Have you ever seen a Pathan, for that matter? Except me of course.”
“No, I haven't,” the friend admitted.
"Then who told you this?” Khan asked him.
His friend replied that he had read about it some time back in a book! Such my dear readers was the state of India in that time.
In 1924, after his release Gaffar Khan started thinking about a national newspaper. Finally in May 1928 it bore fruit and the first issue of Pakhtun was published. It became very popular. In fact it became so popular even in Afghanistan that the king Amanullah Khan published another journal Jagh Pakhtun, and also wanted to make Pashto the national language. Apart from this, Amanullah was always working for progress, which also impressed the Pathans very much. As always, British could not tolerate any progress and with a conspiracy with local Mullahs pronounced him a Kafir and drove king Amannullah out who then went to Italy. Then started the destruction of Afghanistan that deeply hurt the Pathans. Gaffar Khan went to India to collect money for their cause. Thus, in 1928, Gaffar Khan met Gandhiji and Nehruji for the first time in a Congress meeting. Gaffar Khan's elder brother and Nehruji had studied in the same University in London, who gave Gaffar Khan a letter of introduction.
It was in India that Gaffar Khan saw the people so full of nationalistic fervor. He went back and spoke to his country men, combining India's nationalism and king Amanullah's progressive actions. Thus the idea about an organization to bring about social reforms was conceived and realized in 1929. They called it Khudai Khidmatgars or Servants of God, and everyone joining had to take a vow to be non violent, renounce revenge and anger towards wrong doers and oppressors, treat every Pathan as his brother and friend, and serve humanity in the name of God. This revolutionized the society to a great extent. The British torture and oppression only drove more people to join. Gaffar Khan was arrested again in 1930 and sent to Gujarat prison in Punjab. British drove trucks into a human wall of protesters, killing several people. They then ordered soldiers to shoot on unarmed men, and women, Only the Garhwali regiment refused to shoot at their countrymen and embraced severe life imprisonment for this transgression at Qissa Khana Bazaar. Number of peaceful protesters died under British shoot orders. Not just this! the British used to round up Khudai Khidmatgars, remove their clothes, beat them mercilessly, and once they were unconscious throw them into ditches. Then the were made to stand naked on house tops with their faces and back sides blackened and their women-folk forced to watch this humiliation. They still could not make the Pathan break his word, his vow to non violence, his allegiance to Khudai Khidmatgars. They sodomized these brave men with tent poles, castrated them, they put sieges on villages, attacking homes, destroying food, blocking supplies, starving the women and children to death. They still could not make the Pathan break his vow. Such is the love and respect the Pathans had for their organization and their leader Gaffar Khan.
The cruelty, the barbarity of British knew no bounds, they had sealed off the whole province so no one could even get a whiff of what was going on. Two Khidmatgars Mian Jafar Shah and Mian Abdullah Shah escaped and managed to meet Gaffar Khan in the prison to inform of the horror. It was decided that the two should continue to Lahore, Delhi and Simla to get help from friends in Muslim League. A few months later, the two returned with no success. The Muslim League leaders said they could not take the Pathan's side since the Khudai Khidmatgars were opposing the British. The British, they said, was protecting them in order that they could fight the Hindus. Desperate for help, they decided to ask Congress. Until then there had been no connection. When Congress promised all possible help if the Pathans on their part would join the freedom struggle for India, the proposal was put forth in the Frontier province, and was accepted by the Khudai Kidmatgars. When British heard of this, they came back with promises to reforms, more than what was given to any part of India – Although people in the prison advised Khan to be diplomatic, Gaffar khan refused to be a hypocrite, he refused to break the promise made to Congress and sent back his reply to British “You have no confidence in us, and therefore we cannot have any confidence in you”
Now that Congress was with them, Vithalbhai Patel sent a delegation to the Frontier Province to inquire into the incidents. They were not allowed to enter, so the delegates wrote a long report from Rawalpindi on the atrocities, and sent it all over India. Although the British seized the report, Congress had already sent copies to America and England for distribution. Gaffar Khan continued to be repeatedly arrested, one time he was beaten so severely by an inspector called Kushdil Khan that two of his ribs were broken. Gaffar Khan wrote “he certainly did no credit to his name which means happy heart!” With long imprisonments, totaling 15 years, Khan got a good chance to study people from other religions. He felt the reason why the Sikhs could put so much more feeling and emotion into their religious practices than the Hindus or the Muslims was that their Holy Book the Guru Granth Sahib was written in their mother tongue. Therefore they understood the teachings and the prayers of their religion better. He observed that the Hindus said their prayers in Sanskrit and the Muslims in Arabic, and many Hindus and Muslims said their prayers without really understanding the meaning.
Gaffar Khan studied the Gita with equal reverence, as he did the Quran, he listened to the Guru Grant Sahib read out to him by his fellow Sikh prisoners. He considered his religion to be truth, love and service to God and humanity. He felt every religion that had come to the world had brought the message of love and brotherhood. And those who were indifferent to the welfare of their fellowmen, those whose hearts were empty of love, those who harbored hatred and resentment in their hearts, they did not know the true meaning of religion. He followed the way of life shown by Prophet - that man is a Muslim, who never hurts anyone by word or deed, but who works for the benefit and happiness of God's creatures.
After a lengthy imprisonment, when Gaffar Khan was released in 1945, he stayed with the Birlas, where Gandhiji was also staying. Here is an excerpt from one conversation between these great men,
Khan Sahab: “Gandhiji, you have been preaching non violence in India for a long time now, but I started teaching the Pathans non-violence only a short time ago. Yet, in comparison, the Pathans seem to have grasped the idea of non-violence much quicker and much better than the Indians. Just think how much violence there was in India during the war in 1942. Yet in the North West Province, in spite of all the cruelty and the oppression the British inflicted upon them, not one Pathan resorted to violence, though they too possess the instruments of violence. How do you explain that?”
Gandhiji replied: “Non-violence is not for cowards. It is for the brave and the courageous. And the Pathans are more brave and courageous than the Hindus. That is the reason why the Pathans were able to remain non-violent.”
Political Views: Elections and Referendum
Gaffar Khan explains in his autobiography about Elections and Referendum:
“I was not in favor of the elections of 1945-46. I thought that even if we won the elections, what good would it do if we could not work for the people? After all we did not want to win the elections or form a ministry for the sake of ruling over people, but for the sake of serving them.
I attended the meeting of the Congress Working Committee and the Parliamentary Board in Calcutta. After I had reported to Gandhiji on events and conditions in the frontier Province, I told him that I did not want to take part in the elections. Gandhiji agreed with me. The Parliamentary Board tried hard to make me change my mind but they did not succeed. After the Working Committee Meeting was over I returned to my village and continued my work. I was soon absorbed in our movement again and I started touring the province. That also gave me a chance to study the government machinery that had been put into operation against me. I found out that government had closed Islamia College at Peshawar as well as other schools and colleges all over the province and that the students were being made to canvas votes for the Muslim League.
I saw British ladies going around canvassing too. They would go to people's homes, and cleverly making use of the custom of exchanging scarves when greeting a visitor, they would say: “I have come to visit you, so you must give me a dupatta (scarf). But the dupatta I want is your vote.”
Large number of students from Aligarh Muslim University and from Islamia College, Calcutta and workers and leaders of Muslim League from many parts of India had been brought to the Frontier Province. The Government and the Muslim League had also recruited religious leaders from Punjab and the frontier Province to work in this election campaign. When I saw how hard and how enthusiastically these Britishers and their wives were working on behalf of the Muslim League, I changed my mind and decided that I would also take part in the campaign. There was only one month to go before the elections.
The issue at stake in this election of 1946, the last general election in United India, was: India or Pakistan, Hindu or Muslim, Islam or kufr, temple or mosque. The Muslim League canvassers asked people: “Are you giving your vote to the mosque or to the temple?”
Unlike the other Muslims in India, however, the Pathans were politically awake, they had perception and nobody could mislead them in the name of Islam. The knew the real meaning of Islam. They had learnt this in their nationalist movement, they had learnt to make sacrifices to serve their country. Nowhere else in India had the Muslims participated in this kind of Nationalist movement. The polling day came. The British went all out to help the Muslim league and hinder the Khudai Khidmatgars. But by the grace of God the Muslim League was defeated and we won the elections with a large majority.
Thus in July 1946, Maulana Azad and I were elected by the Khudai Khidmatgars and the Frontier Assembly to be the members of the Central Assembly, the purpose of which was to give India a Constitution. There were three members for the Frontier Province, Maulana Azad, myself and the third was a resident of Hazara district where the Muslim League had been active and its candidate had won the election.
The fact that we had secured such a clear majority in an election which was fought on very clear issues, and under conditions in which the government had allied itself with the Muslim League and had used all the Muslim Leaders in India and all its power against us could only mean one thing; that the majority of people in the country were behind us.”
After the horror of communal violence, Gaffar Khan had tirelessly toured Bihar and other ravaged areas in 1947. Speaking of partition he writes :
“I had gone to Delhi to attend the meeting of the Congress Working Committee. It was the meeting at which partition of the country was discussed. Gandhiji and I were against the partition. I cannot say what the other members felt about it, because I had not talked to them yet. But Sardar Patel and Rajagopalachari were in favor of partition and they were putting pressure on others. The question of a referendum in the North-West frontier Province was also discussed. Gandhiji and I were against the referendum too. I said there was no need at all for a referendum. Less than a year ago, the election in the province had been fought on the issue of India or Pakistan. We had won with a large majority and the Muslim League had lost , it was as simple as that. Sardar Patel did not see eye to eye with us and they put a lot pressure on the Working Committee and argued about the desirability of referendum at great length. Finally the Working Committee agreed with them and voted in favor of both partition of the country and the referendum.
On this occasion I told the Working Committee and Gandhiji that we Pathans were standing side by side with them in the struggle for the freedom of India and that we had made great sacrifices for the cause. “But you are deserting us now, I told them and throwing us to the wolves.” Is there any doubt about what the Pathans wanted? That was one reason we do not want the referendum. And another reason is that India has left us in the lurch. So why should we have to have referendum over India or Pakistan?” Whereas everywhere in India the representative Assemblies had been asked to decide whether they wanted to remain in India or go over to Pakistan, the North West Frontier Assembly had not been given this right to choose. This was an insult to the whole nation of Pashtuns, which we could not tolerate.
Under these circumstances and after such treatment by the Congress, the question whether I wanted to remain in India or Pakistan is not only unnecessary, but improper, because the Congress, which was the representative body in India, not only deserted us but delivered us into the hands of our enemies. To meet them now is like killing all my Pathan self respect, ethics and traditions. That is why we said that if there was to be a referendum at all, it should be on the question of Pakhtunistan or Pakistan.
But nobody listened to me and the referendum was forced upon us.
As we refused to take part in this referendum the way was clear for the Muslim league, and they used all the cunning, deceit and force they could command."
The Colonel Bashir told Gaffar khan that when he and his unit were stationed at Litambar near Bannu, on the day of the referendum, he had taken his company out to the polling booths three times, so that the soldiers could vote in favor of Pakistan. The government servants, their henchmen, the Muslim league registered thousands of false votes in the names of Khudai Khidmatgars. In spite of all that and the British looking the other way, or supporting this farce, they got only 50% of the votes, which was nowhere enough to decide the fate of a nation or fate of a country. But as the Pathans looked on, the noose tightened and choked their freedom. The decision to boycott was not “just an emotional reaction” from a Pathan whose pride had been hurt.
The gentle Gaffar Khan realized the value of his poor Pakhtuns in the eyes of Congress, that day, which hurt him very deeply. The ones he had considered his comrades, did not think of him the same, and considered him and his brave simple Pathans dispensable. He was also intelligent to see through the tactics played by the British and Muslim league , the British had never planned to let go of their control of NWFP since it was the gateway to India, a very strategic land which they could use to wage wars against Russia and control the region in future. The British knew that the Pathans would never agree to this, whereas the Muslim league who were nothing but British henchmen would agree to their nefarious schemes and serve them in the years ahead. Also, the British along with Muslim League especially hated the Pathans for steadfastly standing up against them, supporting Congress, being the only Muslim group in India to do so amongst the hundred million Muslims. It was an eye sore, a blatant slap in in the face of two nation theory. Despite all their repeated cajoling, and incentives, the Pathans had refused to dishonor their friendship with Congress and their principles.
Gaffar Khan also knew that this was a tactical cruel move by Muslim League that had already bathed the country in blood, waiting to see what the Pathan would do now. In choosing to boycott the referendum Gaffar Khan and his Khidmatgars decided with their heart, since they did not want innocent Pathans to be butchered through instigated fights and their precious unity that they had built, with so much care, to be snuffed out. They did not want to make their Pathans sacrificial pawns in an inhuman political mockery.
There was the possibility that Congress could have been very particular not to give any other option than India or Pakistan since other regions especially Kashmir could also then demand Option C. But why did Congress force a totally farce redundant referendum down their throat, in effect, completely turning a blind eye to their friendship, their principles and the official Pathan representation ?
It is difficult, almost impossible to know whether Congress was completely naive playing into the hands of Muslim League or there were calculative negotiations in the cold surgical vivisection of India or a combination of both. Sadly, in all this politics, the precious unity with the only group of Muslims who shed blood for united India unanimously, and underwent inhuman tortures more cruel than any where else in India, was killed in cold blood. The irony was that Pathans fought for India's freedom and their own freedom was made a sacrificial lamb. Back Stabbing never had a more bitter taste.
Yet, the Pathans, the Khudai Khidmatgars never resorted to violence. They chose to express their deep anguish in the only peaceful way they could, by boycotting. They remained steadfast in their path to follow Islam peacefully.
“Where is the democracy that British gave us? Ayub Khan robbed us of it. And what did he give us in return ? He gave us his own version of democracy which does not even deserve the name of democracy.
Look at our financial position, look at our language, culture, society. He has taken it all. Look at our schools, our colleges, the education and instruction of our children. And look at his manners. I am always surprised at these people who keep telling us:”We are making such progress. Pakistan has a target and we are fast approaching it.” Actually there are several jokes in circulation about that. I will tell you one. It goes like this:
A woman said to her husband, warmly embracing him: “Darling, I want a diamond nose-ornament!” The husband replied: “Actually I was considering how I could cut off your nose altogether.”
All we are asking is for a nose ornament, it does not even have to be diamond. But Pakistan is thinking how they can cut off our nose altogether.”
Jokes aside, he was very frank and candid about the seriousness of the dangers facing Pathans. Continuing the speech he said
“I want you and the Pakistani leaders to take a look at the misery which our Balochi brothers are living in. They have been asking and crying and shouting for their rights for the last twenty years. When nobody listened to them they had no choice but to take up arms. You all know what happened to them, the tyranny they had to suffer, the cruelties that were committed. Now Pakistan has found that the question cannot be solved by cruelty and oppression, and these poor people are told; Come on, let us sit down together and settle our dispute. It did not take me long to find out that in the heart of Pakistan there is no room for any Baluchi or Sindhi or Bengali or Pakhtun. Therefore I want my Baluchi brothers to know that the Sindhis and the Pakhtuns are just as oppressed and that our aim and objectives are the same. Pakistan's real design will be clear if you look at Punjab. The Punjab leaders met and had discussions and consultations with their Jirga. They said “look at the Pakhtuns, they are all very rich. They have electricity you know. Then they said; look at the Sindhis, they have so much land. About the Baluchis they said, they have in their country wealth of mineral resources and gas.
Brothers, all this is trickery and they are only saying all this because they want it for themselves: the electricity of Pathans, the land of Sindhis and the minerals of Baluchis. Then they have this idea of “one unit”. Work it out for yourselves, is this in harmony with Islamic belief? Does Islam tell you to rob one brother of electricity, another brother of his fertile land and take possessions of the mines and minerals of another?
And you, ignorant and misguided Pathans, you do not even stop to think whether this is Islam or not, you just swallow anything you are told.”
After India's independence, The Pakistani Government kept Gaffar Khan in jails for 15 years in inhuman conditions that completely broke his health, but it did not break his spirit. All through they had kept him in solitary confinement, turning a deaf ear to his requests for company, and even if at all they did, it was either a mad man or someone with a disease which was even worse. Nor did they give any proper timely medical care. The Pakistani government did not leave the Khudai Khidmatgars alone either; they destroyed their offices, murdered thousands of them, tortured them in a very inhuman ways in prisons, called them 'Hindu lovers' shaved half of their beard and mustache and made them ride donkeys, dishonored their women, shut down the Pakhtun newspaper, in short choked the Pathan ruthlessly, in manner worse than what is done to animals.
It is such an cruel irony that the ones who were British henchmen, did everything to thwart Congress and our freedom struggle, walked away with Pakistan, and the ones who fought for India's freedom got more years of imprisonment and torture. Despite all this, Gaffar Khan continued tirelessly with his quest to unite the brotherhood of Pakhtuns from Baluchistan to Chitral and an autonomous statehood, in a non violent way. He chose to not harbor hatred while being true to his mission. Gaffar Khan was the same fiery bold self while talking to Pakistani officials also. One time the Pakistani Minister of Foreign affairs Manzur Qadir had come to see him over a statement made by Russian Prime Minister Khrushchev about Pakhtuns.
Gaffar Khan relates,
“He talked for four hours. First about democracy. He said, “Because here in Pakistan democracy did not work, we do not give the people democracy anymore”
I asked him, “Where was this democracy in the first place ? You never had democracy, so how do you know whether it works or not? In India they have had three or four elections. When did you last have elections in Pakistan? Did you ever? Have you ever asked the people what kind of government they want ?”
Ultimately, when Gaffar Khan was very dangerously ill in prison, he was released. His doctors advised him to go to London. But since the weather was not agreeing, they decided to go to America. The cunning Pakistani government ensured American embassy denied him a visa. After this Gaffar Khan decided to go to Afghanistan, and despite every effort to thwart the plan, reached Kabul. Although Pakistan used to request him to come back, Gaffar Khan had had enough. He spent his days in Kabul and Jalalabad. He did come to India after 22 years, for Gandhiji's centenary celebration on Oct 2 1969 and then for the last time in 1987 for a treatment. However tragically on that occasion he had a heart attack and went into a coma.
Gaffar Khan never woke up after that. He was taken to Jalalabad, where he breathed his last on Jan 20 1988. When he died, Russia called a truce with Afghanistan, and people poured into Jalalabad to bid farewell. Rajiv Gandhi , then Prime Minister of India, also postponed his other plans to pay his respects. This great being, who held no post, had the power to make one of the world's most powerful nations, Russia, to call a ceasefire, the highest officials of nations and governments pay their respects. Even in his death, he remained the Badshah, the King of Kings.
1. My life and struggle, Autobiography Abdul Gaffar Khan
2. Seemanth Gandhi Badshah Khan by Madalsa Narayan
3. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Ek Jeevani by Ram Saran Nageena
4. The Pathan Unarmed by Mukulika Bannerjee
5. Badshah Khan by Omkar Sharad
6. Abdul Gaffar Khan, Faith is a battle by D.G Tendulkar
7. Sarhadi Gandhi by Pyarelal
8. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (A Study of Freedom Struggle and Abdul Gaffar Khan) by Attar Chand
9. Frontier Gandhi by G.L Zutshi
10. Khudai Khidmatgar and National Movement, Momentous speeches of Badshah Khan By P.S Ramu
Image Sources: The images are all scanned from the book by D. G. Tendulkar. The actual images are apparently copyrighted to Government of India.
Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao (Urdu: حيات محمد خان شيرپاؤ; February 1, 1937 – February 8, 1975), simply known as Hayat Sherpao, was a notable left-wing intellectual and socialist, serving as the fifteenth Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan, as well as vice-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party. Sherpao held important executive offices, including served as the Interior minister and hold numbers provincial ministries of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.
Co-founding the Pakistan People's Party with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1967, Sherpao took the responsibility to governed the Kyber Province in a difficult times when the country had lost the East-Pakistan as a result of 1971 Winter war with rival India, and when the Pashtun nationalism was at its peak point, calling for the independence from Pakistan. As governor, he oversaw the re-constitution of provisional assembly, stabilizing the law and order situation in tribal belt, and overseeing the success of covert operations in Afghanistan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1975. His governorship and Sherpao himself tackled and faced intense communist opposition led by Asfandyiar Vali, and was assassinated in a targeted bomb explosion on the campus of Peshawar University in 1975.
Hayat Sherpao was born in 1943 to Khan Bahadar Ghulam Haider Khan Sherpao who was a leader in the Pakistan Movement. A Muhammadzai by tribe, he was born in the influential Sherpao family of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. He was the fifth son of Khan Bahadar Ghulam Haider Khan Sherpao, a Pakhtun aristocrat who was a key player in the Pakistan movement. Hayat Khan was also the older brother of veteran Pakistani politician Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao.
Hayat Khan's impressive family tree and cross-marriages in other influential families gave him an edge over others in influence and politics. Hayat Khan's family (known as the Khans of Sherpao) has for long been a prominent and influential family in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. His father Khan Bahadur Ghulam Haider Khan Sherpao was a key figure in the Pakistan freedom movement and an influential political leader. From his mothers side, Hayat descends from the line of the Khans of Prang.
Hayat is renowned to having belonged to a family of Khan's and Feudal Lords but lived in the hearts of the poor masses that saw him as their saviour.
Hayat Sherpao graduated from Islamia College, Peshawar, where he also worked for student rights. He joined the front ranks in Fatima Jinnah’s electoral campaign, when she challenged the Genera Ayub Khan's dictatorship.
Lion of the Frontier
Sherpao was a close ally of the former President and Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and a Co-founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). On December 25, 1971 Sherpao became the 15th Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa shortly after Bhutto had become President of Pakistan. At the age of 34, Sherpao is youngest person to have held the office of a Governor of a Province in the history of Pakistan. He continued to hold this office till April 30, 1972. Sherpao also remained a Federal Minister in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's cabinet and a Senior Minister in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa cabinet.
Hayat Khan Sherpao's rise in politics was of almost meteoric proportions. The surge in his popularity in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as the rest of Pakistan is said to have cast many jealous eyes upon him and earned him a number of enemies, quite often in the form of seasoned and already established politicians from other mainstream political parties. This popularity and political success, however, also led to him being dubbed the "Lion of the Frontier" or "Sher-i-Sarhad" by the Pakistan Peoples Party, and more specifically by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
He was assassinated on February 8, 1975, in a bomb explosion on the campus of University of Peshawar Asfandyar Wali Khan, the leader of National Awami Party (Wali) was named as the primary accused by the Bhutto government. His death led the government to target the National Awami Party of Khan Abdul Wali Khan, which banned the party and arrested its leaders on the charge of his murder, a charge they were eventually acquitted off.
Hayat Sherpao's assassination was a considered a national disaster with many still mourning his loss today. To pay tribute to the slain PPP leader many places, roads, and institutions were named after him. The famous town of Hayatabad and Hayat Shaheed Hospital in Peshawar District, Sherpao Bridge in Lahore and the many Sherpao colonies in different parts of Pakistan including Rawalpindi and Karachi are some examples of this.
On the death anniversaries of Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao, politicians and other citizens renew their pledge for the establishment of an egalitarian society. His death in a bomb explosion at Peshawar University is unforgettable in Pakistan’s troubled political history and is an historical event for workers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as it exposes the violent tendencies in our political culture.
Hayat Sherpao mantel is now carried by his younger brother Aftab Sherpao, who learned politics and diplomacy form his elder brother. Carrying forward the mission, he now formed his party named Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), which is also a leading provincial force. The Sherpao faction has raised a voice for the rights of the Pukhtoon and the province, avoiding negative politics. It goes to Sherpao’s credit that he has arranged public gatherings every year to commemorate his brother’s death anniversary.
Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao son of Ghulam Haider Khan Born on August 20, 1944.
Hewas educated at Edwards College, Peshawar, and Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, Abbottabad.After passing out from Pakistan Military Academy with 34th Long Course in 1965, he joined Armoured Corps in the Probya’s Horse Battalion. Over a period of 12 years in the army, he rose to the rank of major.
Early retirement from Aramy
It was after the assassination of his elder brother, Hayat Muhammad Khan Sherpao, in a bomb blast in 1975 that he jumped into the political arena. The then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto asked him to take an early retirement from his military career.
Z.A Bhutto Afterwards nominated him as provincial vice-president of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He was thus a stalwart of the original unified PPP from the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Struggle for democarcy with MRD
After the death of his political mentor, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Sherpao wholeheartedly supported his daughter Benazir Bhutto and her struggle against the military dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq. He was a key political figure of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy from NWFP.
Election 1988 - Chief minister of NWFP
In 1988 elections, he orchestrated the downfall of the establishment-backed Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and became the NWFP chief minister. He took an extra-nationalist line to appease the nationalist forces, hostile to his party and thus broadened his political base in their areas.
Election 1994 - Chief minister of NWFP
Sherpao was once again elected as the NWFP chief minister in 1994.
Both his governments were dismissed prematurely due to the fall of the PPP governments in the Centre in 1990 and then 1996.
Leader of opposition NWFP
He serving as leader of the opposition in the NWFP Assembly as parliamentary leader of the PPP in 1993 and 1997
In the mid-1990s he developed serious differences with Benazir Bhutto when Major Genreal (Retd) Naseerullah Babar mistakenly suspected his role in undercutting him through allotment of party tickets in Nowshera. This finally led to the formation of his own faction of the party called PPP-Sherpao or PPP-S.
Fled from Pakistan and retuned
He fled Pakistan to Britain after the military came to power in 1999 amidst charges of corruption against him. Eventually he returned prior to the 2002 elections.
After striking an electoral alliance with the religio-political parties, he was elected to both the provincial and national assemblies and his party performed relatively well amidst the rout of his former party and the PML in his home province.
Federal minister for water and power
Siding with General Pervez Musharraf after the 2002 elections, he was appointed as the Minister for Water and Power in 2002. In addition to this charge, Sherpao was also made Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas & States and Frontier Regions (KANA & SAFRON) and Inter-Provincial Coordination.
Fedral interior minster
Subsequently after a cabinet re-shuffle in 2005, he was appointed as the Federal Interior Minister. He has been a prominent figure due to terrorist attacks and fighting in the tribal areas as well as Balochistan.
Suicide attacks on Sherpao
On April 28, 2007 he was injured in a suicide attack in his home area of Charsadda, 18 miles northeast of Peshawar,On December 21, 2007, Eid al-Adha, a suicide bomb blast targeting Aftab Ahmad killed at least 57 and injured over 100 at Jamia Masjid Sherpao, located in District Charsadda in the North-West Frontier Province. Aftab Ahmad survived the blast, but his younger son Mustafa Khan Sherpao, was injured.
He was re-elected to Pakistan's National Assembly and NWFP Provincial Assembly in the 2008 elections.
Family influence in politics
Sherpao’s family tree and cross-marriages in other influential families has given him a unique edge over his political opponents. His elder brother, Wali Mohammad Khan, was related to former President Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari. He himself is the son-in-law of Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, a prominent figure among leaders who struggled for independence of Pakistan from the British colonial rule. His elder son, Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao, has already jumped into the provincial politics and was elected as member of the NWFP Assembly.
Sherpao served as
Provincial Minster for Industries
and Rural Development NWFP
1977 – 1977
Chief Minister of the NWFP
1988 – 1990
Chief Minister of the NWFP 2nd term
1994 – 1996
Minister for Kashmir Affairs & Northern Areas and States & Frontier Regions
2002 – 2004
Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination
2002 – 2004
Federal Minister for Water & Power
2002 – 2004
Interior Minister of Pakistan
2004 – 2007
Asfandyar Wali Khan (Pashto: اسفند یار ولی خان) (born 19 February 1949) is a Pakistani politician. A democratic socialist, he is President of the Awami National Party in Pakistan. His father, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, was the party's first President. He is the grandson of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better known as Bacha Khan; Abdul Ghaffar was the founder of the non-violent Pashtun political movement, Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God") in undivided India and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Asfandyar's uncle Dr. Khan Sahib was the Congress Party's Chief Minister of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, during the waning days of the British Raj, and also the Chief Minister of the province during the early days of independent Pakistan.
Asfandyar is the present President of the Awami National Party and has served as Member of Provincial Assembly, Member of National Assembly, senator and presently MP in Pakistan's Parliament. Personal background Asfandyar Wali Khan was born in Charsadda, then a small village outside of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan. He is the eldest son of Khan Abdul Wali Khan and his first wife Taj Bibi. After the death of his mother in February 1949 his father married Nasim Wali Khan in 1954. Sangeen Wali Khan was his half brother and eldest son of Nasim Wali Khan.
Asfandyar Wali Khan completed his early education from Aitchison College, Lahore, High School from Islamia Collegiate School and his BA from Islamia College, Peshawar Pakhtoon Khwa University of Peshawar. Political career Asfandyar Wali Khan joined the opposition to Ayub Khan as a student activist. In 1975, he was imprisoned and tortured by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and convicted as part of the Hyderabad tribunal for 15 years. Released in 1978, he stayed away from electoral politics till 1990..
Asfandyar Wali Khan served as leader of the Pakhtun Student Federation prior to being elected to the provincial Assembly in the 1990 election, while in the 1993 election he was elected to Pakistan's National Assembly. A seat to which he was re-elected to the National Assembly in the 1997 election and served as Parliamentary leader of the ANP and Chairman of the standing committee on inter-provincial co-ordination. In 1999, he was elected party president for the first time.
He was defeated in the 2002 election, in what was a repeat of his father's defeat in 1990, when a tactical alliance was formed by all the anti-ANP groups against him. After his defeat he resigned as President of his party, only to be re-elected unopposed in the subsequent party election. In 2003 he was elected to the Senate as Senator for a 6-year term. He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the parliamentary elections that was held on February 2008, leading his party to power both provincially and nationally, the former for the first time since 1947 and the latter since 1997.
In September 2008, he was elected as Chairman of the standing committee on foreign Affairs. In 2008 it was reported by Dawn that he made a secret visit to the United States in which he made high level contacts with the U.S Central Command.
On 3 October 2008, he was targeted by a suicide bomber who attempted to kill him while he was greeting guests during Eid ul-Fitr. Shortly after the attack, Asfandyar Wali Khan left Charsadda in a helicopter sent by the Prime Minister. He has come under severe criticism by certain elements who alleged that he should have stayed after the attack and attended funerals of the deceased, instead of escaping to his home. However, this charge has been dismissed by his supporters as concocted by supporters of Taliban. It has been stated that: "Asfandyar Wali Khan has not fled the country. He is away from the country, no doubt, and is busy with personal and party commitments abroad."
Abdul Wali Khan (1917 – 2006) A Biographical Sketch Abdul Wali Khan (Wali Khan) was born on January 11, 1917 in Utmanzai. He was the second son of the great Pakhtun leader and legendary freedom fighter, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Baacha Khan. Wali Khan started his early education in Azad Islamia High School Utmanzai (AIHSU), founded by his father in 1921 to educate the Pakhtun children. Baacha Khan practiced what he preached. Wali Khan was the first student of Azad School Utmanzai.
The British Government arrested Baacha Khan on December, 17, 1921 under Section 40 of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and was given three years rigorous imprisonment. During his absence, the students of AIHSU played the role of vanguards in the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement (KKM). Since political meetings were banned by the British authorities, KKM activists used to arrange religious meetings in the mosques. Wali khan used to recite verses from the Holy Quran followed by a national anthem in the company of Abdul Karim and Sa’adat Khan in the AIHSU. But during this period the young Wali got an irreparable personal loss. One of his eyes was affected by measles. Baacha Khan was in jail and was very anxious about Wali’s health. He wrote many letters to his close relations for to pay attention to Wali’s treatment but no one paid heed.
At last Wali Khan met his illustrious father in Lahore Jail when he ha d totally lost sight in one eye. Baacha Khan felt grieved and could not get rid of this grief through out his life. After his release in 1924, Baacha Khan again started his activities and went on inspection tours of the Azad Schools.
During these tours, three student s of the AIHSU - Abdul Wali, Abul Karim and Saadat Khan of Turangzai would accompany him, and Wali Khan would open every meeting with recitation from the Holy Quran. All the three students used to sing national songs in chorus, creating nationalist feelings in the audience. The annual day of the Azad School Utmanzai used to be celebrated with great fervor. On this occasion a “Tarhi Mushaira ” (gathering of poets) was held and a Pashto drama was also staged. The first ‘Mushaira” in the history of Pakhto literature was held in April 1927 at Utmanzai on the eve of the annual day of the Azad School. On the same occasion the first Pakhto drama entitled “ Dray Yateema ” ’ (Three Orphans) was staged. The drama was written by Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar and was staged by the students of Azad School Utmanzai. Abdul Wali Khan played the role of the elder ‘Yateem ’ (Orphan). The story revolved around the family of a poor peasant who had been sent behind the bars for not paying “Aabyana” (a form of land tax). The police raid his house and carry every thing leaving nothing, not even food for the family. The performance of the actors in the drama was so impressive that in one of its scenes when the younger ‘Yateem ’ starts wailing because of hunger, complained to his elder brother (Wali Khan), “Lala Za Ogay Yam” (Brother! I am hungry). In the meantime, an old man rises from among the audience, climbs the stage with tears in his eyes, puts some money in the hand of the elder brother (Wali Khan) and says, “Son! Do not grieve. Buy some food with this money for your younger brother.” On April 23, 1930, Baacha Khan was on his way to Peshawar for attending a meeting of the local chapter of the All India Congress. He was arrested at Nahaqi, a village on the Peshawar Charsadda road. The All-India Congress had decided to start a “civil disobedience movement” on this very day. It was the same black day when the army opened fire on the peaceful protesters in the historic Qissa Khani Bazaar Peshawar, killing hundreds of innocent people. Baacha Khan was again sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment under the obnoxious Frontier Crimes Regulation.
The British Government let loose a reign of terror on the Pakhtuns. After Baacha Khan’s arrest the army besieged the Utmanzai village. The people were terrorized. The office of the Khudai Khidmatgars was set ablaze. The workers present in the office were thrown from its second floor down on the road. They were severely beaten like animals. At that time Wali Khan was also present in the office. A British army officer was going to stab him from the back side with his bayonet when a native solider, named Sher Khan, came forward andtook the bayonet thrust on his own hand. Thus Wali escaped narrowly a certain death and found a new lease of life. In the meantime, he developed trouble in his other eye also and his doctor stopped him from further studies. Thus, after doing his senior Cambridge in 1933 hecame to his village, Utmanzai, leaving his education incomplete. Baacha Khan was released in 1931 after the Gandhi Irvin Pact. But on December 24, 1931, he was again arrested in Peshawar and was sent to Hazari Bagh jail for 3 years. He was released from the jail in December 1934 but his entry in the Punjab and NWFP was banned. So he went to Wardah and stayed there with Gandhi. But, again, he was arrested for a speech in a function arranged by a Christian society in Bombay. The British Government always treated him discriminately.
His children were refused allowance to which he was entitled under the Bengal Regulation III of 1818. At his village the tillers on his land were arrested by the Government and his income from the land was embezzled by others. As a result Bacah Khan suffered heavy financial loss. His elder son, Ghani, left his education incomplete due to insufficient finances and returned from the U.S.A in 1933. It was during these times that Wali Khan returned from Dera Dhun. He took the management of his landed property and in a short span of time, consolidated his family’s financial position. Baacha Khan was very pleased with him and appreciated his management qualities. In a letter, written on May, 24, 1935 to his elder son, Abdul Ghani Khan, from Sabar MatiCentral Jail, Ahmad Abad, Baacha Khan recorded: “I am sure of the virtues of Wali. You have also written about him to me and other people too are of the same opinion. But I cannot believe in your goodness until other people write to me (that Ghani has mended his ways) ....... This time the improvement in income is due to Wali’s efficient management. No doubt the prices were also high this year. Last year the prices were low but you neither utilized that meager amount of money properly nor you paid back the loans” . Wali was an obedient son and enjoyed complete confidence of his father. In a letter written to Wali on 15.8.1935 from Braili District Jail, Baacha Khan writes to him. “I always remember you in my prayers. Take care of your health and particularly of your eyes. Always keep a good company and do good deeds.Keep yourself away from bad company and all evils. Keep Lali (Abdul Ali Khan) in your supervision so that he, like Ghani, may not develop the habit of extravagance. In another letter written from the same jail, on 25.10.1935, Baacha Khan tried to clear some misunderstanding which Ghani had erected about Wali: “Your apprehensions about Wali are entirely baseless. Very few peop le will have a brother like Wali. I am aware of the love he has for you. You both had the management of lands for one year each. How you spent the income and in what way he utilized it? He seeks my permission in every matters and acts according to my advice.
After the Provincial Assemblies Election in 1937 a new era ushered in the politics of India. The All-India Congress succeeded in forming governments in 8 provinces including NWFP due to its alliance with the Khudai Khidmatgars. Meanwhile, the World War II broke out in Europe in 1939. The Congress declared that it would help the British government in its war efforts only if it promised to liberate India at the end of the war. But the British government rejected the Congress’s demand. Congress started the “Quit India Movement”. All the Indians irrespective of any religion or race were asked to participate in the movement and the Indian government servants were called upon to leave their jobs. Due to this decision a well organized movement was started in NWFP. Khan Abdul Wali Khan started his political career during this movement. At that time due to the absence of his father, he was responsible for his family affairs. In 1938, when Mr. Gandhi came on a tour of NWFP, Wali Khan had the privilege of driving his car during the entire tour. He took Mr. Gandhi round the whole province. During this visit he got the opportunity to see Gandhi very closely, understand his political philosophy and had long discussions with him. In this movement Wali visited the entire barren area of Karak in the sizzling heat of summer in the month of Ramadhan (Muslims’ fasting month). During this tour he went to every village on foot and tried to persuade the people to take part in the movement. Abdul Wali Khan was arrested, for the first time, in this movement and was sent to Dera Ismail Khan jail in January 1943. In the jail he, once again, had problems with his eye. The jail superintendent called a military doctor for treatment but Wali Khan’s condition did not improve. evidence from the records of the India Office Library in London. He has also unveiled the real faces of certain religious leaders and feudal elites of the NWFP and their infamous role during the freedom movement. The book, for the first time , was published in Pashto in Afghanistan by the ministry of Nationalities and Tribal Affairs in 1987. In Pakistan, it was translated into Urdu and was published by Zahid Khan from Rawalpindi in 1988. Later the book was translated into English also by Aziz Siddiqui under the caption “Facts are Sacred” and was published by Jaun Publishers Peshawar. One of its English, translations by Dr. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, has been published by Vikas Publishing House New Delhi (India) in 1990. Asal Haqaiq Yeh Hain (These are the Real Facts). This book was published in Urdu by Shabal Publicatons, Karachi in 1988. It contains the statement prepared by Abdul Wali Khan during his detention in 1975 in response to the reference submitted to the Supreme Court by the Government of the Late Z.A. Bhutto against the National Awami Party. In this statement Wali Khan presents a detailed analysis of the role of his family during the freedom movement and, later on, in the politics of Pakistan; clarifies his position against the malicious propaganda of successive governments in this country; and gives a befitting reply to his political rivals and opponents. The book, at the end, also contains one of his informative and thought provoking interviews taken by a renowned intellectual and journalist, the Late Professor Waris Mir on May 6, 1983, at Wali Bagh Charsadda, for the Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore. This book is very useful and valuable for those who are interested in the study of Pakistani’s politics. 3. Baacha Khan Aaw Khudai Khidmatgari (Baacha Khan and the Service of God): This book, which is in Pashto, is in three volumes. Among them two have been published [while the last one is yet to see the light of the day] ∗ . The first volume contains a detailed history of the political developments taking place in NWFP, from 1833 to 1947 with particular reference to the All-India politics and global policies of the imperialist British empire. The writer has thrown a searching light on the valuable contributions of the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement in creating political awakening among the Pakhtuns and their marvelous sacrifices in breaking the shackles of slavery. At the end, the book includes the text of the tripartite treaty signed among the British Government, Maharajah Ranjeet Singh of Punjab and Shah Shuja of Afghanistan in 1938. The second volume of the book has been published in 1995. The book consists of the detail of the oppressive politics of the successive Muslim League Governments towards the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement after the partition, the travails of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, his family and comrades, Baacha Khan’s and Wali Khan’s struggle for the basic rights of the masses and the political conspiracies and ugly game of power which started in Pakistan soon after the partition. The book tells us about the unreasonable and wrong internal and external polices of Pakistani leadership with particular reference to the glob al political changes, which finally resulted in the ∗ All volumes have been published and translated into English and Urdu by now (editor’s note). 9 Joint Secretary in the provincial organization of the party. He enjoyed this position till the partition of India. After the creation of Pakistan, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, his family and followers were subjected to brutal political victimization due to their ideological differences with the Muslim League regarding the fate of the Muslims of undivided India. Abdul Wali Khan was also not an exception. He and political companions were imprisoned under an ordinance, which was issued one week after their arrest. In a country, which had come into existence in the name of Islam, the 'Khudai Khidmatgars' were kept behind the bars without any trial for six years and were denied the right of appeal against their unlawful detention, in any court of Pakistan.
In 1954, Abdul Wali Khan was the first among his comrades who was set free on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (the Federal Court of Pakistan) after the expiry of the term of his detention. His subsequent political career is a narrative of constant and consistent struggle for democracy, basic human rights, equal distribution of national resources and against oppression, suppression, obscurantism, exploitation of the masses, dictatorial regimes, ignorance and social, economic and political injustices in the name of Islam. After the creation of Pakistan, a handful of feudal and capitalists had succeeded in occupying the corridors of political power and in monopolizing the national resources with the collaboration of civil and military bureaucracy. To protect their inte rests, these classes had conspired to hamper the way of healthy political and democratic development and kept the masses deprived of their basic rights as the citizens of Pakistan. Abdul Wali Khan, under the leadership of his celebrated father, launched a hectic struggle for the basic rights of the entire oppressed masses of Pakistan including the Pakhtuns, for the establishment of a modern secular democratic system in the country and for an exploitation free economic set up. During this struggle he has been the victim of numerous corporal and financial atrocities. He, time and again, was sent behind bars for long terms or detained in his own house. His properties were confiscated and a heinous propaganda of character assassination was launched against him. He was painted as a traitor, enemy of Islam and Pakistan and a prejudiced and narrow-minded Pukhtoon nationalist. His unbrid led criticism of the Punjabi dominated ruling clique was termed as his hatred and prejudice against the Punjabi masses and he was propagated as a champion of separatism. That is why his political influence on the mass level could not transgress the boundaries of the North West Frontier Province. Additionally, attempts were also made to deviate him from his political path by offering him ministries and other lucrative posts by several regimes in Pakistan. But he stood like a rock and never budged from the path he had chosen for himself. The dictatorial regime of General Zia-ul- Haq offered him, twice, the post of Prime Minister of Pakistan but he spurned the offer. Thus, he is one of those politicians who can be numbered on fingers and who rejected the offers of political power in a country where politics is considered a way of gaining wealth and power only. Wali Khan [was] one of the leading lights of the opposition in Pakistan. He played his role excellently as the leader of the combined opposition in the National Assembly, lower house of parliament in Pakistan, during the Z.A. Bhutto regime in 1970s. He has been the president of the National Awami Party NAP, the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Awami National Party (ANP) and the first convener of movement of Restoration of Democracy (MRD). Abdul Wali Khan never transgressed the limits of gentility and moral and human values in politics. His political opponents, often, use objectionable means to defame him and use abusive language against him. But he has never tried to pay them in the same coin as he being a self-disciplined leader knows the way of facing his political rivals in political field. The art of public speaking is a part and parcel of political life. The popularity and success of a politician depends, to a great extent, on his power of oration. Abdul Wali Khan was a fine public orator. It was always a pleasure to listen to him. He had the knack of keeping large crowds spell-bound for hours with the force of his eloquence. But he neither used his talent in this field to exploit the emotions of his audience for gaining his political objectives, nor he ever tried to incitethe people on gherao jalao –siege and burn-politics. Abdul Wall Khan was a democrat in the true sense of the word. He has bravely faced successive dictatorial regimes in Pakistan. For the cause of democracy, he has worked shoulder to shoulder even with his staunchest political rivals and has never let his personal grievances stand in his way. In the presidential election of 1964, he supported Fatima Jinnah who not only was a Muslim Leaguer but her party also included his most notorious political opponent, Khan Abdul Qayum Khan. Similarly in the dictatorial rule of General Z.ia ul Haq he jointly struggled with the Pakistan Peoples Party from the platform of MRD, forgetting all the travails he had suffered during the days of Z.A.Bhutto. Wali Khan breathed his last on January 26, 2006. His funeral, according to some observers, was as bigger as his illustrious father’s. High-profile State officials, both from the ruling and opposition, foreign dignitaries and hundreds of thousands of Pakhtoons mourned his death across the world.
Wali Khan left a legacy of honest politics and sincere public se rvice, which remains the true asset of his people.
Life profile of Dr. Muhammad Azam Azam. The late Muhammad Azam Azam was great Pashto contemporary poet and scholar served as high profile and well know university teacher in Pashto department University of Peshawar since last four decade. He is also admitted as pioneer of modern pashto drama and play writer. The legendary critique met his Creator last Friday. May God bless him and rest in peace. He was born in Charsada Rajar 21st September,1940 will be remember in Pashtoon society and literature for ever for his great contribution as drama and play writer, critique, poet, university academician, scholar and administrator. He served as regional director of Academy of letters Peshawar branch as well as dean faculty of oriental languages of Peshawar university . Lot of Pashto songs written by Azam Azam sung by different pashto singers are very popular among Pashtoons and are liked by people from every walk of life of every age showing his acceptance, appreciable diction of writings, enriched with cultural traits and values. In 1974 he wrote ever first TV drama in pashto for PTV ''Rokhay Lary'' the drama on aired and had a great deal of popularity among pashtoon belt introducing Dr. Azaam Azaaam as talk of the town.