Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti visits Akora Khattak

Veteran politician, eminent writer, renowned Pastho poet and former President of ANP, Ajaml Khattak was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Akora Khattak in Nowshera district on Monday afternoon. The funeral prayer of the ANP leader was attended by thousands of his well-wishers from across the country and Afghanistan to pay homage to political and intellectual services of the legendary poet. Khattak breathed his lost due to high long protected illness at his residence late last night.

Conspicuous among them who attended the last rituals of Ajmal Khattak are Federal Minister for Railways, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour,State Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Masood Abbass Khattak, PML-N leaders, Zafar Iqbal Jehagra, Saranjam Khan, Raja Zafarul Haq, ANP Provincial President and Health Minister Syed Zahir Ali Shah, Senators, MNAs, MPAs, senior politicians, poets, academicians and people from cross section of the society. A high level delegation of Afghanistan has also attended the funeral prayer of Ajmal Khattak.

PESHAWAR: Prominent intellectual, writer, poet, veteran politician and former ANP central president Ajmal Khattak died at his native Akora Khattak town, Nowshera district, at the age of 85.
He breathed his last late Sunday evening after protracted illness.

Central President, Asfandyar Wali Khan, while eulogising his services announced three-day mourning. ANP has lost its senior-most leader after the death of Khan Abdul Wali Khan.

“Ajmal Khattak’s death is a great loss for our party. The loss is incalculable,” remarked Senator Zahid Khan, party Central Sec. Informaiton.

Born in Akora Khatak on September 15,1925, Ajmal Khattak was a committed political worker who suffered imprisonment and self-exile for years due to his strong political convictions. But he was also a literary man, having published a number of books of prose and poetry, mostly in Pashto and some in Urdu.

"A history of Pashto Literature", "Pakistan Main Qaumi Jamhoori Tehreekain", "Da Ghairat Chegha", "Batoor", "Gul ao Parhar", guloona ao Takaloona", Jalawatan kee Shairee", Pukhtana shora", "Da Afghan Nang" and " Da Wakht Chagha" are some of his famous books.

The late Khattak started his career as a school teacher in a government school but left the job to become a journalist. He worked in dailies Anjam and Shahbaz, Adal and Rahber and did well in both Urdu and Pashto journalism. He also served as script writer for Radio Pakistan. He later on he started column writing on political and social issues.

Ajmal Khattak won the assembly seat in the 1990 elections and became an MNA on the ANP ticket. He also remained a senator on ANP ticket.

At the age of 13, the young Ajmal Khattak recited his first poem in a Mushaira and received applause. He was very young when he joined the freedom struggle. 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 that movement.

He was the stage secretary at the United Democratic Front rally held at Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi, on March 23, 1973, when shots were fired at the UDF leaders, including Khan Abdul Wali Khan.
Ajmal Khattak had served the ANP as central president for two terms when Khan Abdul Wali Khan stepped down from the post.

Meanwhile President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani have expressed their profound grief over the sad demise of former chief of Awami National Party Ajmal Khattak.
In their separate condolence messages, they prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss with fortitude.

The president eulogized the services of Ajmal Khattak for promotion of democracy and said his death had deprived the country of an upright and courageous politician.

The Premier praised Ajmal Khattak for his services in the fields of politics and literature and declared his demise as an irreparable loss for the country.

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti also condoled the sad demise of veteran politician and termed his death a great loss for the country.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Quaid Altaf Hussain has called the chief of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali by telephone for expressing grave sorrow and sadness over demise of ANP leader Ajmal Khatak.
During his telephonic condolence, Altaf Hussain said that he was shocked and saddened over death of ANP leader Ajmal Khatak, terming Khatak as the true follower of Bacha Khan.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Ameer Haidar Khan Hoti went to the grave of ANP Leader and Senior Politician Ajmal Khattak at Akora Khattak where he laid a floral wreath on his grave and offered dua. ANP Provincial President Senator Afraseyab Khattak, MNA Istiqbal Khan and large number of ANP office bearers were also present on the occasion. Later on the chief minister met Aimal Khan Khattak and expressed profound grief and sorrow with him over the death of his father. Other mourners present on the occasion included; Former Federal Minister Azam Khan Hoti and party office bearers. The chief minister offered Fateha for place in heaven for the deceased and grant of courage and patience to members of the bereaved family.

Talking to media men the chief minister said: “We have lost a great patron and the Pakhtun nation has lost a sincere leader whose absence will be felt for a long time.” Adding that, “Efforts of Ajmal Khattak as an active member of Bacha Khan’s Khudai Khedmatgar Movement for development of democracy and institutes are part of history.” Hoti said that student of politics have learned a lot from efforts, thoughts and sacrifices of the deceased adding that following the path chosen by our elders for our survival and development is our responsibility.
The chief minister said that the death of Ajmal Baba is a collective grief of all Pakhtuns. He said that ANP has announced three days mourning over the death of Ajmal Khattak and construction of his shrine.