Ajmal Khattak

Ajmal Khattak (Pashto: اجمل خټک)(Urdu: اجمل خٹک) (born 15 September 1925, died 7 February 2010) was a Pakistani politician, writer, Pashtun poet, Khudai Khidmatgar, former President of Awami National Party and close friend of the late Khan Wali Khan.[1] His early student life was marked by active protesting against the British Raj, this was followed by his joining of the Khudai khidmatgar movement and anti-colonial Pashto poetry. Following the partition of India in 1947 he joined the National Awami Party and became a close friend of Abdul Wali Khan. He served as secretary general of the National Awami Party from 1969-1973. He was defeated by Maulana Abdul Haq in the 1970 general election, however following a crackdown against the Party by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Ajmal Khattak fled into exile to Kabul. He returned in 1986 and was elected in 1990 to the National Assembly of Pakistan, he was then elected President of the Awami National Party following the retirement of Wali Khan.[1] Following a power struggle in 2000, he briefly formed a breakaway party which was routed in the 2002 election. He rejoined the Awami National Party shortly afterwards and retired from active politics.

Early life

Born in Akora Khattak on September 15, 1925, Ajmal Khattak as a child was greatly influenced by Bacha Khan. By the time he turned 17, he was already an active member of the Quit India Movement (1942). He was a student then at the Government High School, Peshawar, but he left to contribute more to the movement. It was the beginning of a political career that stretched over five decades during which his literary pursuits and education took several painful turns. However, he did return to his studies completing a masters in Persian from Peshawar University. At Islamia College, Peshawar, he was among the pioneers who put Pushto literature on the 'modern' track. Linking it to European literature, particularly English, he was able to give it new direction and was acclaimed as a progressive poet. He has had a long career in both the Indian Independence Movement movement against the British in the [[Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] (then NWFP) of what was then British India as well as part of the National Awami Party (NAP) in its various incarnations in Pakistan. His early political career began during the Quit India movement after he came under the influence of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement. He was forced to leave the school due to his involvement in the Quit India Movement. As a writer he served as editor of various Newspapers and periodicals, including Anjam, Shahbaz, Adal and Rahber was well as script writer for Radio Pakistan.