PESHAWAR: Ajmal Khattak, the veteran Pashtun politician, poet, writer and former president of Awami National Party, died in penury on 7 February 2010, after six decades of unremitting political struggle in Pakistan for the political and economic autonomy of the Pashtun people, sliced off by the British-Indian Empire in 1893 from Afghanistan.
Ajmal Khattak was politically active during his student life. He subsequently joined Khudayi Khidmatgar Movement before the Partition of India, and after the creation of Pakistan he joined National Awami Party, serving it as General Secretary during 1969-1973.
Following the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s civil dictatorship banned National Awami Party, shots were fired at the rally of United Democratic Front at Liaqat Bagh on 23 March 1973, organized by Ajmal Khattak, he left Pakistan for Afghanistan, where he lived for sixteen years. He returned to Pakistan in 1989 and was elected in his home district for the National Assembly of Pakistan. In 1990, Wali Khan stepped down from politics and Ajmal Khattak was elected as president of Awami National Party.
In addition to the political struggle of Ajmal Khattak, he wrote 13 books. Ajmal Khattak’s Marxist-Leninist poetry revolutionized Pashto literature and at present his books are a major source of inspiration for the progressive Pashtun politics and socio-cultural reforms.
نن ټول خلق دي هغې محبوبه سندرې وایي
خټک چې به دا ځان سره ژړله کله کله
Eight years ago in 2010, he died in Peshawar at his age 85 and was buried in Akora Khattak in Noshehra. Two years later, in May 2012, his shrine was bombed by fundamentalists in Pakistan.
By Wakeel Khan, Peshawar
THE PASHTUN TIMES