KARACHI: One of the great political figures of Pakistan Khan Abdul Wali Khan is being remembered on his death anniversary today, SAMAA reports Thursday.
Wali Khan was born on 11 January 1917, to a family of local landlords in the town of Utmanzai in Charsadda district of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of undivided India.
He was a Pashtun activist against the British Raj, a senior politician in Pakistan and a writer. His early years were marked by his involvement in his father's non-violent resistance movement, the "red shirts" against the British Raj.
In his late teens, he became active in the Indian National Congress. After the formation of Pakistan, Wali Khan became a controversial figure in Pakistan’s politics, he was referred to as both a hero and traitor during his political career because of his association with the Congress which opposed the creation of Pakistan.
A respected politician in his later years, he contributed to Pakistan's third constitution, led protests for the restoration of democracy in the 1960s and 1980s.
In the 1970s, he also served as the parliamentary leader of opposition in Pakistan's first directly elected parliament.
His political career was marked by opposition from opponents who considered him to be stubborn and inflexible, due to his criticisms of the political dominance of Punjab and the Pakistani Army. His final years were marked by his criticism of the Taliban and his support for their ouster.
He was a powerful advocate of Pashtunistan and Pashtun nationalism, provincial (state) rights within Pakistan's federal structure but always remained an advocate of political change through dialog.
After a few years of martial law, Ayub Khan introduced a new constitution and announced he would run in the next Presidential election. The opposition parties united under the Combined Opposition Party alliance and fielded a joint candidate against Ayub Khan in the Presidential elections.
As an opposition leader, Wali Khan supported the consensus candidate Fatima Jinnah. Wali Khan assisted Fatima Jinnah in her election campaign and served as her election agent.
After a long illness, Wali Khan died of a heart attack on 26 January 2006 in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was buried in his ancestral village in Uthmanzai, Charsadda. SAMAA
Please click ‘Video’ button to watch this news.