Fazal Rehman Zahid
Representing Media Cell, I was attending a briefing by Nimroz Khan, the Minister of Hajj and Auqaf. Aqil Yousafzi of the Frontier Post and, Rokhan Yousafzi of the Express Daily were also present. The Minister touched on the struggles of his life and proved to be an interesting man who has led an interesting life.
Nimroz Khan is the ANP's MPA-elect from Mansehra and Minister for Hajj & Auqaf, was born on Feb.13, 1949 in KalaDakha, Hassanzai. (Tegram village). His father sent him to Karachi for his education due to a lack of educational facilities in his village. Even though he was very young his parents trusted him because he was mature for his age and very organized. He attended the Bagh-e-Hilal Public School in Karachi all the way through the secondary level. He fondly recalled a few of his classmates including Bangladishi President General Ziaur Rehman and Asif Ali Zardari.
He actively participated in political activities during the movement against Gen. Ayoub Khan. After joining the Pakhtun Student Federation in the early seventies, he was elected as its President at the city level. He is still the president of Awami National Party District Mansehra.
Nimroz Khan received his Master degree in Economics from University of Karachi in 1973 and his LLB degree from Sind Muslim Law College in 1975.
In 1974, he joined HBL as an officer but resigned from there when he was appointed as Tehsildar, but when Gen. Ziaul Haq took over Nimroz Khan resigned from there and rejoined the bank again.
In his profession as a banker he attended many seminars and workshops in various countries that gave him a different perspective after witnessing various customs and cultures. In 2000 he bid his banking profession goodbye and started an active role in politics on the Awami National Party's platform.
In 2002, he submitted nominations for the Provincial Assembly election against Zarin Gul, but due to certain legal technicalities concerning the required period after retirement, his application was not accepted. This year having completed all the requirements, he contested and defeated Zarin Gul from the same constituency.
Nimroz Khan says that having come to the practical field of Politics, not only has he done his homework, but being a resident of one of the most backward areas of the country, he knows exactly what should be done not only for his area, but the countless other areas where nothing is available that could even remotely be called an infrastructure. He points out how there is no access to education, healthcare, electricity or roads.
Being the father of eight children (four sons and four daughters) he feels the pain of the parents around him who would like to provide their children with an education. He acknowledges the hand that poverty plays in the life of his constituents and that it plays a major role when children are sent to seminaries just because they will be given a free meal at the end of the day. He is quick to point out that religious education is a great thing, but children do require a modern syllabus as part of their education so that it can prepare them for a practical life.
He pointed out the shameful conditions of the villagers who were displaced to make way for the Tarbela Dam, they not only lost their villages, properties, graveyards and almost their civilization, but to boot are still living in darkness. One cannot find a single bulb lighting their darkness. The same goes for other basic necessities that seem to have been denied to them.
Nimroz Khan further pointed out how Hazara Division despite being a potential area for tourism due to its scenic beauty and pleasant weather has been ignored, and just by improving the infrastructure mega projects can and will be designed to fully utilize all the resources available there.
The October 8th earth quake hit areas like Mansehra, , Batagram, Kohestan and Shangla despite the heavily pouring in of aid still remain in need of help, as nothing was done for practical relief in this regard. Nimroz Khan is utilizing unused funds in order to provide homes for the homeless especially in Balakot.
Regarding his duties at the ministry of Hajj and Auqaf, he intends to establish and systemize the rules and regulations by directly involving the clerics and other government personnel in order to harmonize the various points of views, and provide a disruption free work flow that will benefit the people.
Nimorz Khan appealed to the people asking them to understand the need of the hour and to concentrate on peace in the region because, nothing can be achieved without peace in our society. He said "Our nation is the most deprived one in the country and almost in the globe. We have to realize that we can't keep ourselves in such circumstances anymore.”