NWFP HISTORY 5: Bacha Khan and his legacy

by Yasser Latif Hamdani

Other than Jinnah and to a certain extent Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Abdul Ghaffar Khan aka Bacha Khan is the only politician in Pakistani history to have sustained a following beyond his death. The tall Pushtun – who adopted Non-violence as a creed in a very violent society- is still remembered fondly by the Pushtuns as Fakhr-e-Afghan. In India he is remembered as the Frontier Gandhi for his close association with the Indian leader. In many ways he was more committed (even if at times inconsistently) to the so called Gandhian values of non-violence than Gandhi who was at the end of the day a shrewd politician before a non-violent saint. And yet this is precisely why this great leader of the Pushtuns was not able to achieve much.

When Bacha Khan made up his mind about something, there was no room for negotiation, no room for self doubt and certainly no need for reflection. His blind stubbornness often squandered any advantages that his followers might get but it was his inability to understand the nitty gritty of the constitutional political process that marked the last stage of the “independence movement”. Juma Khan Sufi, a Pushtun nationalist writer very close to Bacha Khan and who had helped him write his book “Zama Zhwand au Jaddujahad” writes:

“As an afterthought after reading Maulana Azad’s India wins freedom in Urdu he came to know about the ‘sins’ of the Congress during partition and blamed Patel, Nehru and indirectly Gandhi for the dismemberment of the dream of united India. Before that Bacha Khan remained ignorant and noncommittal about the happenings of the decisive moments of the Indian subcontinent. Ajmal Khattak is the living testimony to the fact that Bacha Khan agreed with all the inferences of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He made the writers to translate paragraph after paragraph of Azad’s interpretation of the events leading to partition with slight alterations by the writers. With one thing of Azad he understandably disagreed was his reference to the stinginess of Khan brothers… and their pocketing of funds regularly sent by the Congress to them for public welfare schemes. Congress connived with Mountbatten and agreed with the scheme of partition of India. The Pushtuns were left alone… the poor Khudai Khidmatgars took everything for granted as if they were just herd which needed an all time shepherd. They were neither consulted nor did they play a significant role in the shape of politics of the time. Everything was decided behind their back. The intricacies of constitutional wrangling and legal mechanism of transfer of power to Indians were beyond the comprehension of their leader. Congress was good for India especially Hindu India, like Akbar was for Mughal India… both served India well… both betrayed Pushtuns… both used Pushtuns. In both cases Pushtuns had no voice… nobody recorded their grievances… Bacha Khan never came to know of about the much publicized love affairs of Mrs. Mountbatten with Nehru nor was he competent enough to understand the constitutional and legal niceties of transfer of power, the role of Congress and Muslim League therein. He could not see beyond the Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of the districts and tehsils who played their due role in the preordained referendum of the province in accordance with the Congress-Muslim League agreement regarding the composition of two dominions, India and Pakistan. Mullah ke dor masjid tak. He could understand these local politics played under the big game which never made any sense to him… Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was never consulted. Nor did he have any independent point of view. Unfortunately he was a pygmy walking amongst the giants of the Congress, who damn cared for him seeing his intellectual depth. He was blindly following Gandhi and Congress. Congress took him for granted. The trouble with him was his anti-intellectualism and his abhorrence for lawyers and legal practitioners- the only educated class allowed to dabble in politics at that time. Intellectuals parted with him in the initial period… unfortunately Bacha Khan was without a clear vision, depth or strategy.” (Random Thoughts – Pages 80-89- Juma Khan Sufi, Published by Khost Independent Cultural Society).

It must be remembered that Bacha Khan’s politics spanned over five decades out of which a significant portion was spent in jail. This fact was like a badge of honor for him and his followers. In fact he epitomized the jail-bharro politics which was in quite unproductive. A self styled “researcher” wrote in Dawn recently of the “painstaking” struggle of the nationalists (meaning the Jamiat-e-Ulema and Khudai Khidmatgars) for the independence of the subcontinent from British rule. A perceptive historian would however point out that the real fathers of India’s independence were the Aryan “Mahatma”, Adolf Hitler, and Mr. F D Roosevelt, the President of the United States of America, the former for starting the world war which depleted Britain’s will to hang on to its Empire and the latter for twisting Winston Churchill’s arm all throughout the war on this major issue. Congress and its local heroes can probably take credit for going to jail but independence was not won through salt marches and civil disobedience, this is a fact of history that cannot be denied.

So did Bacha Khan achieve anything for the people he claimed to represent? According to Juma Khan Sufi, Bacha Khan let his followers down for personal prestige. He also wrote a compelling article in The News on 18 June, 2000 inquiring about Bacha Khan’s will. In this he contrasted Bacha Khan’s efforts on behalf of the Pushtuns with those of Mahomed Ali Jinnah – who left one third of his residuary estate to Islamia College Peshawar – which later became Peshawar University. It is was with money from Jinnah’s will that to date a commerce college, a college dedicated to women, residential block for the employees of Islamia College and a new teaching block were built- all part of the Peshawar University serving amongst others the committed followers of Bacha Khan. This was Jinnah’s contribution to the education of the people of Frontier. In contrast Bacha Khan’s will has never been made public and according to Juma Khan Sufi, Bank Al Milli Afghani has billions of Afghanis in his account which have not yet been claimed. Similarly the vast tracts of land owned by Bacha Khan have been divided up by his children and none of it has been given to some sort of a welfare trust for Pushtuns, as Bacha Khan had promised.

What Juma Khan Sufi forgot to mention that it was Jinnah who had campaigned for and gotten NWFP the provincial status. It was one of the fourteen irreducible minimums put forth by Jinnah to Congress. Jinnah also campaigned for the release of Bacha Khan from prison in 1929-1930 which has been duly noted by Stanley Wolpert in his biography of Jinnah. And ironically it was Jinnah who had put forth Bacha Khan’s name for inclusion in the round table conference. Gandhi, Nehru and other benefactors of Bacha Khan might not even have heard of him at this time. But Jinnah was an all-India figure. Bacha Khan’s contributions to Pushtuns pale in comparison to even those of that Kashmiri Frontier man, Abdul Qayyum Khan. Abdul Qayyum Khan is despised by the Pushtun Nationalists universally – even though till one year before partition he was Bacha Khan’s trusted comrade in the Congress. While Bacha Khan and his progeny continue to raise the bogeys of “Pathanistan”, “Pakhtunkhwa” and the Kala Bagh Dam, Qayyum Khan busied himself with building schools and colleges in the province. He served the people of Frontier well, certainly much better than Bacha Khan or his brother Dr. Khan Sahib (who ironically became part and the first Chief Minister of the One-Unit scheme) or Wali Khan, Bacha Khan’s son and his successor. Contrary to propaganda against him, Qayyum Khan was a democrat through and through- which is why the Ayub regime arrested him.

Is Non-violence Bacha Khan’s legacy? While he took to non-violence as a creed, Zalmai Pakhtoon – a militant organization and wing of Red Shirts- was a decidedly violent organization founded by Ghani Khan, Bacha Khan’s son and which continued to operate way into the 1970s – with some blaming it for the famous assassination of Hayat Khan Sherpao. That Bacha Khan encouraged Fakir of Ipi’s militancy against Pakistan is a well known fact. He colluded with the Afghans and created a situation which has plagued Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan for the last 60 years. Yet if Non-violence was Bacha Khan’s legacy, he was inconsistent about it and his followers definitely did not accept it or internalize it. There was hardly anything progressive or secular about Bacha Khan’s politics, spin it as you may. Secularism/left politics was an afterthought for him and his party. As shown above, the Khudai Khidmatgars were quite unclear and confused about the Congress and its politics. It was after partition that they took up a nominal commitment to these vague ideas which made little or no sense to them. Bacha Khan was a votary of the status quo being its biggest pillar. He stood for the continuation of the tribal traditions and way of life which accorded him and his family their sardari status. His philosophy was essentially a sort of tolerant Islamic Puritanism blended with Pushtun Nationalism, another not so tolerant variant of which was his friend Faqir of Ipi’s Islamically charged Pushtun Nationalism and that strain is still represented by Behtullah Mehsud and the like.

Bacha Khan may be credited for the role he played, along with such figures as Mian Iftikharuddin and other left wingers within the mainstream of Pakistani politics, in the formation of the National Awami Party, which later became Pakistan’s only real leftist organization but within this NAP Bacha Khan represented the ethno-nationalist conservative element. Later his son Wali Khan turned it into a family run affair and what was a grand national left movement became a front of Pushtun parochialism.



Filed under Pakistan

52 responses to “NWFP HISTORY 5: Bacha Khan and his legacy

  1. YLH

    As they say in Urdu:


    I have given the less popular- but a more factual- view of the events in NWFP around the time of partition as well its major leader: Bacha Khan.

    You may not agree with me. Comment is free but facts are sacred.

  2. Zak

    As usual I have plenty of comments, I’d add Maudoodi as an individual who also still has a following long after his death:

    1) Yup it’s true about BK’s will it has never been formally published. However the Bacha Khan trust has been launched in Peshawar and is now active in NWFP in providing free schooling, you can search online for it’s website.

    Jinnah was without doubt an all India leader, BK while not comparable was quite senior in the Congress and came close to becoming party leader.

    2)Jinnahs attempts at helping the NWFP preceded his activism in the Muslim League. As you know from the exchange of correspondence between the two , BK’s issues was with the Frontier Muslim league and it’s feudal-tribal dominated leadership. It would also stem from the fact that when NWFP was going through a crackdown without parallel in India (1930-33) requests for help from the Muslim League were rebuffed.

    3) The comparison between BK or WK and Qayyum is odd, in the first case they had no access to power post 1947. Qayyum Khans developmental record is quite commendable, calling him a democrat is bizzare however, considering the elections held under his term were “a farce, a mockery and a fraud upon the electorate” as per ‘Report of the Electoral Reforms Commission’, Government of Pakistan, 1956. His support for the crackdown against the KK and even his opponents in the PML (Nishtar, Yusuf Khattak, Pir of Manki Sharif)is well documented. (Pakistan: History and Politics 1947-1971 by M. Rafique Afzal). He was also encouraged allegedly by the Yahya Khan regime to be the PML-Q of it’s time. So if you believe in those kind of authoritarian abuses of power ..well what can I say…

    4) The politics of BK was like many civil rights activists.. ambiguous. He was not a multi faceted politician with complex economic and social policies, in a South african context it’s the comparison between Mandela and Mbeki or Gandhi and Nehru. The former seeked freedom “azadi” the latter seeked political power.

    BK & his KK’s primary battle was against the British Raj. A raj which deployed more soldiers per person in NWFP than anywhere else in it’s empire. And he confounded the British, who were used to military uprisings in the Frontier, with something new ..a civil disobediance movement. While there were episodes of violence by his supporters it’s central approach remained the same (Bannerjee, The Pathan unarmed, Spain; the Pathans of a latter day)..that is a spectacular achievement considering the unacknowledged brutality the people of NWFP faced and their preference for armed struggle. The KK is even more unique considering it’s probably the only movement of its kind in the last 1000 years of Muslim history.

    5) There was no issue of the Khans families sardari status. The family was and is a minor family in the charsadda hierarchy and in NWFP’s tribal system as a whole.

  3. YLH

    Other than your very last comment, I agree with you.

    One addition- Bacha Khan being rebuffed by the Shafi-faction of the League is not the same as all Muslim League.

    As I pointed out above- Jinnah campaigned for bacha khan’s release and his nomination to the roundtable conference.

  4. Emal

    1-Bacha Khan was Inspired by Prophet Hazrat Mohammad’s (saw) non voilence ideology and not by Mahatama Gandhi, as he wrotes this in his book “zma Jwand aw Jaddo jehad”
    2- Qayoum khan and islamia college
    He was Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan of Topi, Swabi. He founded Islamia College Peshawar in 1913. Hence apart from names there is nothing common in the two. Sahibzada Sahib was a great man, whereas Kashmiri qayum was a catamite, who had left Congress when Pakistan was imminent, and joined Muslim League for his nefarious designs, which he was successful in a great extent to achieve. He went into obscurity during Bhutto’ss reign (huh!), whose partner in Govt he was.by daurangir

    3-Bacha khan was the founder of the educational movement he started in pakhtoonkhwa .Now after so many years we have reached to this conclusion that for the progress of any nation the compulsion is only education.
    during his educational movement he formed 100 azad schools acording to one of the estimate, In history it is the greatest ever contribution to any society in the world.In january19.. he came to our village in zarobi(Swabi) in series of his tours to different vilages and towns and he formed one school here as well named azad islami school ,nowadays 1200 students are studying in this school which is having co education till 5th class.This was the purity of the personality of Bacha khan that a conservative society such as pakhtoons were compelled to send their daughers to this school.

  5. YLH

    Dear Emal,

    I am not concerned with who “inspired” Bacha Khan.

    It is not an Islamic angle I am writing from as I am certainly not a fan of organized religion.

    Thanks for the information though…

  6. Khan102

    It would have been graceful to accept your (YLH)mistake regarding Qayoom Khan.
    Mixing the two up (Kashmiri Qayoom & Pakhtoon Qayoom) was a serious mistake.
    Although I would tend to disagree with your denigration of Bacha Khan, nevertheless it is a legitimate viewpoint and worth hearing.

  7. Majumdar


    The non-violence of BK and his followers may have something to do with the fact that they are largely from the plains region of NWFP- Verkottey Vilayetis- as an interactor on another website describes them. As per this theory the Pushtoons of the plains area like Charsadda and Mardann have become enfeebled becuase of the soft terrain and “social interactions” with the goras unlike the true blue Pushtoons of the hill areas like Mehsuds etc. Maybe that is why non-violence took root among the VVs.

    Btw, this has been a wonderful series on NWFP’s political history, hopefully you will come out with the socio-political evolution of other Pak provinces as well.


  8. Aliarqam

    Research on history…as claimed by mr hamdani sb(I know U intentionaly misspell my name as Aligram..readers know why?)…is not the process of copying and pasting…without verifying and reviewing…as the blunders…made in the names…
    alas….we have all and all EXTREMISTS…
    Reilgous extremists
    SECULAR EXTREMISTS…like my Intellectual friend….
    Ba Za’am khud….
    And if there is smeone tryin…to point out
    he is brought to accusations…

  9. zak

    As per Naseerullah Babar excerpted from “Remembering Our Warriors
    Babar “the great” ” Defence Journal April

    32. What do you have to say about the Balochistan problem of 1974-76?

    This problem was created through the intrigues of Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, the then Interior Minister. Qayyum was an arch intriguer and wanted to strengthen his party in Balochistan. Thus the problem in Lasbela was started due to his machinations. Mengal was a patriot who was manoeuvred into a controversial role through Qayyum’s intrigues. I may add that the motivation of taking the army to Balochistan was positive. Given the task even the fc could have done the job as we earlier did in Kakar Khurasan. Mr Bhutto was a bit impatient since all members of his family had not crossed the 50 year age mark. He wanted to do away with the Sardari System and bring development in Balochistan. Regrettably, the Chief Secretary and the Corps Commander were brothers and this led to a much quicker employment of the Army.

  10. YLH

    If I was cutting and pasting, I wouldn’t be spelling your name wrong now would I Mr. Aligram?

  11. YLH

    My reference was to Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, the Congress-turned-Muslim League leader… I am not sure what “mistake” is being referred to here.

  12. Aliarqam

    Chotey log choti baatein….if spelling my name wrong can reveal what kind of person….you are
    have no objection my lord….

  13. YLH



  14. aliarqam


  15. adamkhan


    I wonder why you conveniently forgot to mention the Barbara Massacre. One orchestrated by Qayyum Khan a democrat “through and through”, a slaughter of more than 1000 Khudai Khidmatgars.

    Even in our discussion on Chowk.com you would never address it. So I am going to keep this post to one objection i.e. the barbara massacre, the role of Qayyum Khan in it and the silence of Jinnah over it. Not to forget the complete lack of any armed reprisals against that dwindling pak army of 1948. But I know you wont accredit Ghaffar Khan with that.

    Qayyum Khan is hated for a reason, it is very dishonest of you to not to mention that here.

    Plus you are being missed on chowk, your claim that Jinnah would choose to be Indian if he was alive today was appreciated by the Indians there. 🙂


  16. Majumdar

    Adamkhan sahib,

    the barbara massacre, the role of Qayyum Khan in it and the silence of Jinnah over it.

    We did discuss it in YLH’s ANP post on chowk. If my memory serves me correct, the massacre happened on July or August 1948 when MAJ (pbuh) was on his deathbed and practical governance had passed to LAK. There was no way he could have been complicit in the incident.


  17. YLH

    The alleged Bhabra incident happened in August (August 12 I believe). Jinnah in the terminal phase of his cancer .. dying a month later.

    BTW KK sympathizers (like Adam Khan) add a zero every now and then to the number killed. It is 1000 today. 10 years from now… the number will become 10 000 under the guidance of the new government of NWFP.

    Qayyum Khan was an honest man… harsh no doubt (but he was harsh to his own party men as well… many of whom he arrested as well) … but nobody questions his fiscal honesty and the extraordinary adminstrative ability he showed as the chief minister of NWFP… his era was marked by development and progress.

  18. YLH


    You are right. We discussed it and I answered Adam Khan then as well.

    But then again these fellows have a funny habit of making tall claims… which are not rooted in reality.

    What can I say… I have come to expect such dishonesty from ANP wallahs especially with the insidious influence used by them to silence every point of view contrary to their own.

  19. adamkhan


    This is a new venue and Yassir as usual is spreading his same twisted logic as on chowk. The readers here need to know the truth, this Qayyum Khan character that Yassir is championing, was key in driving a wedge between Ghaffar Khan and Jinnah. A famous incident in this regard was when Jinnah did not show up for a lunch arranged in his honour by Ghaffar Khan, Qayyum Khan was the known perpetrator in this case.

    Furthermore, during Bhutto’s regime this guy being the federal interior minister took panga with nationalists in Baluchistan and it was his “harsh” ways that riled up anti Pakistan sentiment in those areas.


    Calling Qayum Khan an “honest” man speaks loads about your impartiality regarding this issue. This nation owes an official apology to the martyrs of Barbara, yet you have never had the decency to bring that incident up in your tirades against Ghaffar Khan.

    According to the aggrieved party, in this case the KKs the estimate of the dead is around 1500, while according to the perpetrators i.e. the Govt of Pakistan, the estimate is 200. We all know how these numbers work, the killers would never confess to a massacre of 1500. Even the Nazis with all their hate for Jews never officially owed up to the killings.

    So it is up to you, who to believe in this case, even if you believe the killers, the killing of 200 peaceful demonstrators is nothing less than a massacre. A repeat of what the British did in the Qissa Khwani Bazar, but with no Garwal Rifles to refuse orders.

    Here is what your “honest” and “through and through” democrat had to say after the massacre

    “I had imposed section 144 at Babra. When the people did not disperse, then firing was opened on them. They were lucky that the police had finished ammunition; otherwise not a single soul would have been left alive”.

    This despicable character should be disowned by any Pakistani who actually believes in the survival of this federation.

    P.S: This villain died a natural death in the city of Peshawar, where going to the Shahi Bagh in the afternoon was his well known routine.

    No one, and I repeat NO ONE took the traditional badal (revenge) from him. Such were the teachings of Ghaffar Khan that the relatives of all those that he killed, forgave him for this injustice.

    Today when Pushtoons carry out suicide bombings in response to cartoons published in Denmark, one has to curse this villain who broke the back of the Khudai Khitmatgar movement and along with it buried the concept of non-violence in Pushtoon society.

  20. YLH

    Look Adam… the only twisted logic here is yours… you epitomize chowk-style of reasoning – shoot the messenger when you can’t argue on facts. That is precisely the reason I don’t care to argue on Chowk for it is a mob without reason or sense.

    Let me start by saying that I agree that there is no question that Qayyum Khan drove a wedge between Jinnah and Bacha Khan after the two had come to an agreement in December.

    The real question is was Qayyum Khan right in doing so. I believe he was. As for his honesty… even many ANP wallahs admit that his government was honest and development oriented… infact one of the finest governments that NWFP has seen in so far as development etc is concerned.

    Qayyum Khan had a long political career before he joined the League. Let us not forget that like many Leaguers, he too was a comrade of Bacha Khan in the Congress and had seen the Khan bros operate up close. You ought to read Maulana Azad’s description of Khan bros style of operation. Azad blames Bacha Khan and is brother for alienating many Congressmen through their miserly conduct, refusal to release Congress’ funds for campaigning and playing favorites. Azad says – very clearly- that Khan sb and Bacha Khan had brought about a situation whereby Congress was losing popularity fast.

    As for “Barbara” Massacre…. we do know how these “figures” work. We know quite well. The Armenians add 100 000 to their number every 10 years… you only add a 0 at the end. Its alright – we understand. If you are looking for an apology … you are not going to get one from me. I had nothing to do with it. Nor is it relevant to poor leadership that Bacha Khan and his brother provided.

    And I found your brokeback mountain comment about Khudai Khidmatgars the MOST IRONIC. Read Part 4. Faqir of Ipi (the forerunner of Behtullah Masood) was a staunch ally of Bacha Khan… Bacha Khan was releasing funds to Faqir of Ipi and his terrorist movement. So I am afraid your comment about Khudai Khidmatgars spreading the message of tolerance and love is a lie which does not stand the test of facts.

    That KK paid lip service to “non-violence” (while Khan sb was passing out arms permits to his followers ironically) was not enough of a reason for anything. Later Dr. Khan Sb – thanks to his military establishment benefactor- became the CM of all of West Pakistan… and Bacha Khan became the leader of the largest political party in Pakistan the NAP… why couldn’t they revive the KK which Qayyum had allegedly destroyed?

    I find your logic untenable, biased and outright dishonest (but that is to be expected because you belong to a dishonest party i.e. ANP).

  21. YLH

    PS: I strongly recommend that readers here read the works of Juma Khan Sufi…. who had seen Bacha Khan up close and had helped Bacha Khan write his biography.

    Juma Khan Sufi blows to bits the lies that ANP has been spinning … now globally thanks to the unlimited funds it has at its disposal from the NWFP treasury.

  22. adamkhan

    So the massacre of hundreds in your case was right, given that the guy was “development oriented”. Why not apply the same logic to the justice of the Taliban, shouldnt the massacre of the Hazaras be acceptable? the Taliban did bring about peace in Afghanistan, didnt they?

    As for your new savior, Juma Khan Sufi, well what to say of a guy who demands “compensation” for the services he rendered for the sake of Pukhtoon Nationalism. His barrage against Bacha Khan awaited till he was refused a position in the Senate. If he had any sort of qualms with Bacha Khan, then why did he “waste” his whole life in being part of Ghaffar Khan’s party?

    He is also sour about his stay in Kabul, but he wasnt complaining that much during his exile, when he became the son-in-law of Sulaiman Laiq, then a minister in the government and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan. he is a biased man, and his opinion is in NO WAY neutral.

    As for Ghaffar Khan and his position in congress, he was offered the Presidency of All India National Congress in 1931, which he refused. As we say in pushto, “nwar pa guta na patay gey” – You can not hide the sun with the tip of your finger. Saying that the Congress leadership had qualms about Ghaffar Khan’s ability is stupid.

    And you keep lumping Ghaffar khan and his brother, again and again. In your clan based and lineage oriented mindset, “progenies” and “blood lines”, might play a big role. But when it comes to ideological politics these relations dont mean anything.

    For the sake of the readers here I would like to repeat, what you (Yassir) already know. Ghaffar Khan and Dr. Khan Sahib parted ways after Dr. Khan Sahib joined the establishment of Sikander Mirza, Dr. Khan Sahib was disowned by Ghaffar Khan on ideological grounds.

    Ghaffar Khan then joined the National Awami Party while Dr. Khan Sahib was part of the Republican party. So much so that when Dr. Khan Sahib was murdered, Ghaffar Khan is on record in saying that he (Dr. Khan sahib) brought this upon him self.

    The non-violence of Ghaffar Khan has been acknowledged by the Amnesty International that awarded him the “Prisoner of the Year” award, he also was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 1985. Compared to these accolades, the rant of one Juma Khan Sufi and the siyapa of one Yassir Latif Hamdani doesnt mean much in the bigger picture.

  23. zak

    I’ve got a copy of Qayyum Khans book somewhere the golden … can’t remember the 2nd part in which he lavished praise on Ghaffar and the KK movement, which he wrote before he defected from the Congress. I believe he banned his own book after he became CM..

    The exact quote with reference to Ghaffars comment about his brother as Victoria Schofields book which you can read a bit of on google is that he hads been killed “by those people for whom he had forsaken his own people” p 245 Afghan Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia
    By Victoria Schofield. (Schofield is quite critical of the KK movement in her book) Whats interesting is that according to Syed Afzaal Zaidis letters to the Dawn and FP, the reason for Dr. Khan Sahibs ouster from CM West Pakistan was partly because of his refusal to patronise the Punjab feudals.

  24. Zarak

    Zak, the title of the book Qayum Khan wrote is “Gold and Guns on the Pathan Frontier”, which he wrote somwhere in 1946 but later he banned himself. We have a copy of it.

  25. zak

    thanks for the correction zarak!

  26. YLH

    Adam Khan,

    Sorry for the late response … I was away.

    Thanks for calling Congress President Azad stupid. You ought to read what Azad writes about Bacha Khan and his brother in his book “Freedom at Midnight”.

    As for Bacha Khan as the prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International…. here is another such genius … Ch. Zahoor Elahi… he too was given the title of prisoner of conscience by amnesty international. Bacha Khan is in good company.

    Your arguments are absurd. But that is to be expected… you are a Bacha Khan follower.

  27. YLH


    That just proves my point then doesn’t it?

  28. adamkhan


    Calling Bacha Khan absurd makes you come across as a real moron.

    The fact that you hold Qayyum Khan in such high esteem also speaks a lot about your love for secularism. This is the same Qayyum Khan who riled up Afridi tribes and sent them for “Jihad” to Kashmir, thus being the first to use the Pathan as cannon fodder in Pakistan’s jihadi wars,This same Qayyum Khan who is somehow the best muslim leaguer that ever walked the NWFP, wrote a book that was all praise for the Khan brothers just months before he became a lota for the league, and also became one of Ghaffar Khan’s worst enemies. Much like Juma Khan Sufi who turned against Ghaffar Khan as soon as he saw monetary potential in slinging mud at him. So much for your “blowing to bits” champions.

    And Zak’s reply DOES NOT prove your point. Stop being such a child, you were lumping Ghaffar Khan with his brother in your typical “progeny stick together” argument. The two brothers had an ideological split because Dr. Khan Sahib became a part of Sikander Mirza’s establishment, while Ghaffar Khan, joined other leaders in his struggle against the one-unit. So much so that in 1956 Ghaffar Khan was arrested from Shahi Bagh Peshawar and imprisoned, during the time when Dr. Khan Sahib was the chief minister of west Pakistan.

    As for Azad, first of all, he did not write “Freedom at Midnight” it was written by someone else so I dont know what book you are talking about. But it is well known that in the years before partition most of congress leadership (including Azad) was not interested in supporting the Khudai Khidmatgars, as they (nehru and friends) too had started subscribing to the two nation theory put forward by Muslims League. Ghaffar Khan has spoken many times of the betrayal by Nehru, patel and others who were blinded by power and sidelined Gandhi jee. Since you seem in awe of Azad’s “president of congress” title, let me tell you that Ghaffar Khan rejected the offer for the same position quite a few times. If he can reject that then surely he would not be the one to “pocket funds” doled out by congress. Infact as Tendulkar writes in his book, Nehru once offered to raise the money given to KKs from 500 to 1000, Ghaffar Khan’s reply was that “We dont need your money…. you carry your load we shall bear ours…” he suggested to him to build a hospital or a girls school instead.

    But in any case, your hate for Ghaffar Khan is amusing at best, it is as if you have been done a personal harm by him. My suggestion to you would be to divert your energies into vindicating the injustice done to Ahmadis, rather than defending the acts of the “democracy is the best revenge” crowd and its predecessors. Although I do not guarantee a non violent response in that case.

  29. YLH

    Stick to the topic won’t ya. It seems like followers of that Ghaffar Khan never seem to argue on the topic.

    My articles are not about Bacha Khan alone but the KK movement … and the Frontier Congress. I don’t care much for Ghaffar Khan per se. Jabbar Khan was the premier wasn’t he? Why I shouldn’t I speak about him?

    Kashmiris are indebted to the pathans for little freedom they have today. I salute those Pathans who were so selfless that they answered the call of duty. I do think it could have been better handled but those were chaotic times.
    Also little knowledge is dangerous.
    Azad dictated the book to Humayun Kabir – a Congressite- India wins freedom is an autobiography much in the same style as Malcom X. As for ghaffar being offered presidency of the Congress, that is news for me …please do quote something that says so.

    Also… Juma Khan Sufi could have easily made money by writing a hagiographical biography of Bacha Khan. You are accusing him of all sorts of things …do you have proof?

    Why is it that only Bacha Khan’s former colleagues come out with “vengeance” against him? Are they all “bought”?
    In any event both Vanguard and I believe an Indian publisher printed JK Sufi’s brilliant book on Bacha Khan. They are not stupid people.

    So go back to the Charsadda cave you crawled out of.

  30. YLH

    Ofcourse I meant India wins freedom … I wouldn’t dare compare freedom at midnight (which is crap) to Azad’s India wins freedom. It was a mere slip.

  31. YLH

    PS: You mentioned style of reasoning on another website. Chowk style of reasoning is to shoot the messenger. The fact that you have resorted to abuse against J K Sufi without much basis makes you exactly what you preach you are not.

    Good show.

  32. adamkhan

    cave from charsadda eh? alright, the venom is becoming apparent… keep it going… pathan hating punjabis are a dime a dozen…

    But in any case, there are many things that should be “news” to you, that is why yapping like a puppy only makes you look cute.


    and also, it doesnt befit someone like you to complain about tangents, zak drilled you new holes on this website yet you keep jumping from one point to another.

    Coming back to your “point”, when Dr. Khan Sahib took over the chief minister-ship of West Pakistan, he was not part of the Khudai Khidmatgars. Infact while nominating Iskander Mirza, Dr. Khan Sahib made a speech in which he mentioned his struggles for freedom from the british, with no mention of Ghaffar Khan or the Khudai Khidmatgars. So you blaming the KKs for Dr. Khan Sahib’s stint with Iskander Mirza is nothing more than a lie which offcourse you are very good at producing and are already pretty famous for over the internet. If I remember correctly you also said something to the effect that Ghaffar Khan was introduced to Gandhi jee through Jinnah…. which is complete bullshit.

    As stated by Rajmohan Gandhi in his book, Nehru and Dr. Khan Sahib had become friends while studying abroad, and it was Nehru who introduced Ghaffar Khan to Gandhi Jee. (The book was published by “Penguin”, just in case the surname of the author appears too “desi” for you)

    As for Friday Khan, here is what “the news” has to say about your “excellent” source.

    According to Sufi, he once returned to Pakistan from the UK on receiving a message from Azam Hoti that he would be made a member of the Senate. He claimed the promise remained unfulfilled. In frustration, Sufi said he decided to oppose the party and wrote a controversial article on the will of Bacha Khan.


    So if Sufi had been given a position in the senate, yassir would not have been quoting his “excellent”
    source, which of course also has the ordain of the marketing geniuses at Vanguard publishing!

    Incidently Ghaffar Khan is not the only one who seemed to have lost some of his colleagues with changing tides. Some of Jinnah’s muslim leaguers completely abandoned her sister when she ran against Ayub. and Jinnah’s final days are also a tale of betrayal, the poor man was surrounded by brutuses at every corner. But as they say, shit happens.

    The best part of your post was your Jihadi “Alhumdulillah”, you show the typical punjabi establishment mindset that is taking this country to the dogs. You guys are completely okay with the concept of Jihad and Islam as long it is practiced across the attock. but when the same Jihadis come to UET lahore as Jamatiyas and break peoples legs, or throw bricks a girls running marathons in Lahore, then suddenly the liberal comes out of you and you cry fowl. Do you see any difference between the “jihad” carried out in 1948 and the modern day version carried out through the Jaish etc? pick a side you fool.

  33. YLH

    Adam Khan seriously … do you think abusing me or lying about me will not change the facts ? You keep claiming that I have lied but you fail to produce a single instance of it. Look at this latest post of yours for example…

    Could you point out where I said that Ghaffar Khan was introduced by Jinnah to Gandhi? What I did say – and I backed it up with historical evidence- was that it was Jinnah – not Gandhi- who nominated Ghaffar Khan to the Round table conference. So basically first half of your post was addressing a point that I never made. This is what I call classic Khudai Khidmatgar style deception.

    You basically don’t have a point – like most of your ill-informed Bacha Khanite colleagues… if Dr. Khan Sb joined the establishment-led Republican Party – this is a significant fact. After all Dr. Khan Sb was a famous Congress leader at one point. Why shouldn’t we mention this? After all, it was Dr Khan sb who lost his office in 1947 not Bacha Khan right?

    And you know the Khan brothers … they had a funny habit of keeping all their options open. One would speak of non-violence, the other of armed uprising … one of their sons would head up the Zalmai Pakhtoon and when exposed the Non-violent Bacha Khan would say he had nothing to do with it. As for Islam and Jihad etc… ofcourse not. Kashmiri freedom struggle is a just cause… a bellum justum. Even your Bacha Khan supported the Kashmir freedom struggle didn’t he? So whats your problem? Armed insurgency? I suggest you read the events surrounding the Kashmiri freedom struggle.

    We await proof with baited breath for your claims and allegation against Juma Khan Sufi…

    Also… I don’t consider myself a Punjabi- though I have nothing against those who cherish their identity as such … nor do I have time for such ethnic parochialism. I am a simple insaan (though you’ve questioned that and point has been duly noted- especially your admission of your latent Pushtun jingoism bordering on racism) and Pakistani citizen – before anything else … infact there isn’t anything else. And my Pushtun brothers who have come in the federation with an open mind are fellow Pakistanis of Pushtun origin … who are equal in my eye to Sindhi, Baloch and other ethnicities who have chosen to be law-abiding citizens of this republic.

    And before you start calling me “Establishment” and this and that… lets not forget that a few years ago, you were similarly abusing me for writing against Musharraf.

  34. YLH

    And I haven’t cried out for any “fowl”… I do however call any attempts to restrain women foul. Unlike the ANP wallahs and other such “nationalist” (read tribal forces), my liberalism is not there to score “brownie” points with Indians… it is there for real things: women’s right to an education for example…

    I know that is a concept very hard for Bacha Khan’s followers to understand. Most of the “nationalists” (read tribal barbarians) suddenly let go of their liberalism when it comes to “Pakhtoon” or “Baloch” traditions. Anything… even the burial of women alive… is consistent with the “secular” “nationalism” of your kind. Zehri after all is from the “National Party” isnt he ?

  35. YLH

    PS: I’d like this ANP fascist to also show me where I jumped from point to point in my discussion with ZAK. If anything I tried long and hard to keep him on the point… which he ultimately did discuss.

  36. Amriki-agent

    Adam: where has the author lumped Bacha Khan and his brother together? Having read the article above, I don’t see it. Maybe you can help me look for it?

  37. YLH

    Ladies and gentlemen… we have a litmus test . Adam Khan has attributed to me a statement (ghaffar khan meeting gandhi through Jinnah) I never made. I challenge him to prove that I said what he claims I said… if he fails, his dishonesty will be on display for all to see

    This has been the general style of all of my lovely friends from the Charsadda Central cave (figuritively ofcourse)… make strawmen and bring them down. Then call me a liar and abuse me. It is a classic case of strawman fallacy in arguments.

  38. YLH

    This is not to mention the earlier lie by the same person which Majumdar exposed in his post.

    Anyway… time to get some work done.

  39. adamkhan

    This is typical yassir style siyapa where he pulls his hair and uses phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” . It is good that you change internet forums every year or so, because the regulars usually see through the smoke screen that you create with these antics. As for my “lie”, I began the statement with “If I remember correctly..” but it turns out your actual statement was

    “And ironically it was Jinnah who had put forth Bacha Khan’s name for inclusion in the round table conference. Gandhi, Nehru and other benefactors of Bacha Khan might not even have heard of him at this time. “

    Gandhi Jee and Ghaffar Khan’s first official meeting was in 1929. To say that Gandhi and Nehru had not “heard of” Ghaffar Khan in 1930 is something that can only happen in that little head of yours. Furthermore, the sacrifice of the Khudai Khidmatgars in the Qissa Khwani Bazaar in April 1930 is something that has been recognized by all of those who think the freedom of the sub-continent was won through political struggles and not as a “goray key bakhshish” a view espoused by the brown sahibs even today. So it was highly unlikely that leaders like Nehru and Gandhi Jee, would have no idea of the happenings in Peshawar and would not know who Ghaffar Khan was. Yet again YLH you have been caught lying, magar koi nahi, “izaat ani jani cheese hai” is your mantra, laga reh.

    and then you start your “i am a pakistani” bullshit, your exact words to me were

    So go back to the Charsadda cave you crawled out of.

    Now dont go back on beating the pushtoon brother drum, the pushtoons are your brothers as long as they die for you in Kashmir and Afghanistan, the moment they talk of their own freedom, roaches like yourself cry treason. Even in your article you blame the nationalists for

    While Bacha Khan and his progeny continue to raise the bogeys of “Pathanistan”, “Pakhtunkhwa” and the Kala Bagh Dam,

    if these are not small issues then can you tell me why it irks your establishment so much that it would not give a province its name as chosen by its democratically elected assemblies? How about calling it a genuine demand and NOT a bogey, since it is put forward by the representatives of the people? But for that you have to consider a Pushtun an equal to a Punjabi, which certainly is something that can short circuit your kin based, and progeny centered brain.

    Juma Khan:
    I already posted you a news report from “The News” which says that Juma Khan’s “excellent” outburst awaited his rejection for senator-ship, by his own confession. To me it seems weird that one would completely renounce his political allegiance just because he wasnt given a title. That is why I dont consider him a credible source. If you do, then there is a major difference in our criteria for credibility.

    Another typical yassir tactic is to expand these discussion uselessly. Here he is doing that by lumping Baloch nationalists with Pashtun Nationalists. Apart from creating diversions this already shows your typical racist mentality of lumping all non-punjabis together.

    But coming back to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his pukhtoonwali, he has the honour of launching the first ever Pushto monthly magazine called “Pashtun”, here is an excerpt from a piece written by a lady writer back in 1928-29

    Except for the Pakhtun, the women have no enemy. He is clever but ardent in suppressing women. Our hands, feet and brains are kept in a state of coma… O Pakhtun, when you demand your freedom, why do you deny it to women?

    Ghaffar Khan was the editor of this magazine, he offcourse would have censored this sacrilege if he was the Ghaffar Khan that YLH portrays him to be.

    He did not let go of morality when it came at odds with pukhtoonwali (badal (revenge), Milmastiya (Hopitality), and Nanawatay (forgiveness)). His views about badal are well known as he demanded a complete rejection of it, and proved it by forgiving the people behind the murder of his brother. He built on the principle of hospitality by reinforcing it with teachings and incidents from Muhammad’s life while he (muhammad) was being tormented in Mecca. He extended the category of “Ahl-i-Kitab” by including the Hindus into that as well, a complete contrast to the injustice perpetrated by much later “Liberals” such as Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who took the Kitab away from the Ahmadis.

    Amriki Agent:

    offcourse I will help you find it, if you read the author’s post he is defending this view point. Ask him for the exact part in his article where he makes this view point and why?

  40. YLH

    Dear Adam Khan,

    I know you are devoid of all sense of decency given your personal attacks, but I’ll try and re-state the points once again:

    1. You spent a lot of time debunking an alleged claim that Ghaffar Khan met Gandhi through Jinnah- a claim that I never made. The statement that you yourself have quoted does not say that he did. What I did say was that Jinnah nominated Ghaffar Khan to the roundtable conference. No construction of the sentence that followed suggests a deliberate lie on my part. Now … you did add a disclaimer “if I remember correctly… but then you proceeded to abuse me and call me a liar on the basis of something that you clearly did not remember correctly. This makes you look rather stupid to all reasonable people I am sure. Either you are really a crook or you are just not very bright. Either way I don’t care.

    2. Your “Grand Punjabi Conspiracy”…. you can call me “racist” or whatever you wish. It just shows how pathetic your state of mind is. Attacking the opportunist Khan brothers does not make me prejudiced against Pathans. Not all Pathans live in Charsadda either. Charsadda was a reference to Khan family’s tribal strong (strangle)hold…. I would have said the same thing about Punjabi Bacha Khan Zahoor Elahi and his progeny… had you been defending them. I would have told you to crawl back into whatever hole in Gujrat you came out of… I suppose then it would make me racist against all Punjabis.

    3. Nor do Khans have a monopoly on all things Pushtun. As for “Azadi”… if it is proved that a majority of Pathans want their own country, I will support them… but Pathans have rejected the Pathanistan idea again and again… even in this current election, which ANP won… both the votes and seats for mainstream Pakistani Parties… the PPP, PML-Q, PML-N etc … are greater in number than the ANP.. and even those who voted for ANP did not vote for separation per se but because they were sick of MMA. So before you make such claims, I suggest you organize your Pathans for separatism first.

    4. I for one stand for NWFP’s right to rename itself as per the wishes of its people. For one thing, it would take away the only plank of the opportunist politics of ANP and Bacha Khan’s progeny. In time, ANP would wither away or find something similarly useless to plead about. But eventually the people- particularly the Pathans – will see through the ethno-tribalist myopia that ANP suffers from and its pitfalls.

    5. Your claims in Juma Khan amount to shooting the messenger instead of the message. You’ve not addressed a single one of Juma Khan’s points about Bacha Khan … probably because you can’t.

    6. The difference between you and me is that I have been arguing on issues and history… you on the other hand have been abusing me for having parents who sometimes spoke Punjabi with each other. Grow up man – not every one is as race-conscious as you are. Some of us don’t give a damn about color, race, language, religious beliefs etc.

    If you have more of the nonsense that you’ve written above, spare me… we all have better things to do. If you wish to argue with me… argue on facts, not race or my personal life. This is a polite request. Next time if you resort to such personal attacks, I’ll have to request the moderators here to block you.

    Yours sincerely


  41. Amriki Agent

    Khan sb, I don’t see it. Can you help me out again?

    yassir bhaijaan, why do you even bother with abusive farts? Let them make their fart noises.

  42. YLH

    Amriki agunt pai ….

    Thanks for the advice… The reason why Adam Khan can’t help you is because he knows he is talking out of his rear orifice.

    Dr. Khan Sahib was a major leader of the Congress Party. He therefore features prominent in Part 2, 3 and 4 of this present series. I am somehow not supposed to question his career because he gets “lumped” together with Bacha Khan. Well too bad if he does. He was not only Bacha Khan’s brother but the leader of the Congress Party in the Frontier.

    In the article 5, I have made no mention of Khan sb’s association with the establishment backed Republican Party … nor do I think it has been discussed in previous articles in this series. Therefore this attempt by Adam Khan is simply obfuscation.

  43. YLH

    On the reality of Bacha Khan’s non-violence and “tolerant” version of Islam please revisit Part 4.

    Somehow Faqir of Ipi’s jehad against British, Hindus, Muslim League (which he called the bastion of Qadianism) doesn’t strike me as “non-violent” or “tolerant”. Bacha Khan was his biggest backer in NWFP…

  44. adamkhan

    Once again yassir does his “amman nay mara” rona dhona…. shut up or I will tell the moderators to ban you… lol… so typical.

    but in any case, could you plz tell your fart obsessed chota bhai amreeki agent that you indeed are lumping Ghaffar Khan and Dr. Khan Sahib together. Cause he appears to have some problems with comprehending a very simple statement.

    you say You spent a lot of time debunking an alleged claim that Ghaffar Khan met Gandhi through Jinnah- a claim that I never made.

    of all my posts you pick up three lines and call those “a lot of time”. clutching onto straws is what the expression is. Your frustration is also showing in your pathetic attempt to bundle the Balochs and Pukhtoons together and then blame nationalists for burying women alive. Where as, in the parliament the leaders of all Pushtoon Nationalist parties openly denounced this crime. Another example of your obsession with distorting facts and circumventing the real issues.

    In my last post I asked you a question, if the issue of changing the name of NWFP to Pukhtunkhwa was approved by the provincial cabinet then why is your establishment terming the issue as a bogey?

    and your reply was I for one stand for NWFP’s right to rename itself as per the wishes of its people.

    errr okay

    What did you say about that issue in the article itself?

    continue to raise the bogeys of “Pathanistan”, “Pakhtunkhwa” and the Kala Bagh Dam

    so which one is it, is it a bogey or a genuine demand? Just answer that, no gymnastics.

    The majority of Pathans want autonomy where they would be able to have control over their resources. Pakistan is our country and we are proud of our identity. We want to be considered equal to all other ethnicities. So far in this country, one dictator after another has used us as guinea pigs in their obsession with Afghanistan and the “strategic Depth”. But the sad part is that when we raise a simple issue of naming our province, which should not even be anyone else’s problem or concern, we get YLH and other pro-establishment “intellectuals” calling it a “bogey”, because somehow cave dwellers are not supposed to be treated as equals.

    No wonder Jinnah was so disappointed in the potential future leadership of Pakistan.

  45. YLH

    Adam Khan,

    Amriki agent is right. I did not lump the two together… I treated them separately as two leaders of the Frontier Congress and the Khudai Khidmatgar… if they get lumped together as opportunist…

    I think it is a useless issue. I stand for NWFP renaming itself only because it would take the wind out of mobilization by opportunists. By the way I have come to the conclusion that anyone who immediately resorts to “you are a Punjabi” and “you are pro-establishment” arguments is quite clearly not worth my time… those who know me know that I have nothing to do with the establishment … and that is what matters… not people like you who can’t argue on facts and resort to personal attacks which are laughable to say the least.

    Now as far as I am concerned you don’t any real arguments … you have nothing to add and you are merely abusing me for writing an article that you disagree with. This is however general ANP-way – abuse, insult, accuse …. So you may continue to nonsense.

  46. YLH

    to complete that sentence… “if they get lumped together an opportunists… so be it”

  47. Amriki Agent

    Adam Khan sb: Do you abuse everyone who disagrees with you? I still haven’t seen where the author has lumped Ghaffar Khan and his brother together in this article. Do you have something concrete to offer or are you going to keep abusing YlH?

  48. adamkhan


    I stand for NWFP renaming itself only because it would take the wind out of mobilization by opportunists.

    There you go, you dont support the naming of the NWFP because the people of NWFP want it BUT “only” because it would silence the ANP. Well this is the power of democracy, people like you who would not normally agree to a genuine demand of the people will succumb to it when they see it as an opportunity to silence its critics.

    and btw you started the ad hominems, i just replied in kind on which you cried mommy and called in ur agents.

  49. Amriki Agent

    Adam Khan sb, wo bechara sharif admi hai. He isn’t responding in kind. I think he has explained his point of view and has gotten nothing in return except abuse. What have you done here?

  50. YLH

    Amriki pai,

    Adam Khan has learn the art of abuse from the best academy of abuse out there…. http://www.chowk.com. He was an alright guy before he joined chowk I am assuming. His “socialist yuppies” series remains my favorite to date.

    I therefore find it rather ironic that he is unable to accept a dissenting point of view but my own recent experience with NWFP government’s histrionics (ironically I had suggested at one point that ANP should be given premiership of Pakistan- a stupid suggestion in retrospect) leads me to believe that this is an ANP-related ailment.

    Adam Khan,

    Respecting the democratic process means accepting the people’s verdict, even if you don’t agree with it. If people of NWFP want to rename their province, they should be a given a chance to do so…

  51. Hasan Gilani


    i am not a blogger and never tend to waste my time at blogs and comments from people, but i must say, the debate on this page has been enlightening and has stirred some controversies i would like to clarify on my own time.

    Can anyone recommend any authentic academics or historians to portray the true reflection of Pakhtoon history be it negative or positive. I would like to learn the real bitter reality and not some artificially made cosmetic praises towards celeb figures.

    All the best guyz, u have done a gr8 job and i am impressed by your knowledge of pakhtoon history. I hope it is authenticated.

    khuday paman,