Begum Naseem Wali Khan: A principled woman

Begum Naseem Wali Khan: A principled woman who turned the tide of Pakhtun politics
Begum Naseem Wali Khan: A principled woman who turned the tide of Pakhtun politics

Begum Naseem Wali Khan: A principled woman

‘Pride! Doing a job, looking for a servant for work, never looking for work for a servant.

It was Fakhr Kakakhel who heard the news of Begum Naseem Wali Khan’s death and uttered a word in a voice drowned in grief. That is the day and today is the day Fakhr remembers this advice and is happy.

Begum Naseem Wali Khan is said to have been a Pakhtun nationalist, but Fakhr’s experience says that this advice lifted her above nationalism and led her to work on the highest principle of merit. He has always adhered to the same principle in matters of political organization and discipline.

What is a person’s family background and his involvement in politics, such questions are not difficult to answer, but how will his place in history be determined, due to the influence of prejudices and affiliations, such cases are often deprived of justice. In order to determine the position of Begum Naseem Wali Khan, it is necessary to analyze her time and her role in that time with utmost impartiality.


Begum Naseem Wali Khan, a very influential figure in Pakistani politics, was introduced in the time of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at a time when the sun of her (Bhutto’s) politics and power was on the meridian and her opponents were in a state of despair. They did not see any special future for themselves.

This was exactly the time when an event took place in the history department of the University of Peshawar which changed the course of history.

This was on February 8, 1975, when a bomb blast killed Muhammad Khan Sherpao, then (then) the senior minister of the NWFP. This incident changed the trends not only in Pakistan but also in the politics of the region.

Juma Khan Sufi, a former member of the Communist Party of NWFP and a colleague of Ajmal Khattak during his exile, has claimed in his book ‘Farib Natamam’ that Pakhtun Zalmai’s associates were responsible for this extraordinary act of terrorism. Was a youth organization of the National Awami Party (NAP).

The NEP was banned on the charge of terrorism, and party chief Khan Abdul Wali Khan was chained to several key leaders from the smaller provinces and the left, and a tribunal was set up in Hyderabad. The trial began with a conspiracy case.
The trial was extremely slow. It seemed that the accused would die in jail before the verdict of this case. The fear arose because the government had 500 witnesses in the case, but only five were able to testify during the one-year trial.

According to Juma Khan, Anwar Bacha and Amjad Bacha, the two perpetrators of the incident, had fled to Afghanistan, but the Pakistani police managed to find some clues about them, which revealed that the NAP was responsible for the terror. Such operations were ordered directly by Wali Khan.

On this basis, among others, Asfandyar Wali, Begum Naseem Wali and Nisar Muhammad Khan belonging to PPP were implicated in this case.

According to Juma Khan Sufi, the arrest of Asfandyar and Nisar Mohammad Khan was like wheat, but Naseem Wali Khan’s name was not included in the case without any justification as she was fully aware of all these matters. ۔

Awami National Party ideological leader Senator Afrasiab Khattak does not accept this story.

He told me in an interview that Sherpao’s assassination should be seen as a prelude to later events in Afghanistan because major events like the ‘Thor Revolution’ in Afghanistan or events that shook the world order take place everywhere. Accidents like this happen before them.

The events in Afghanistan and the assassination of Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao before him are endless, but the latter has been extraordinary in the context of Pakistan’s national politics, especially in the NWFP.

That is why the captive and eminent poet Habib Jalib said during the trial:

Who says prisoners will be released?

This air must have been flown by an enemy

We poor people still rely on the rich

We poor people will be beaten even more

This was the situation of despair in which Begum Naseem Wali Khan became active and her movement in a way turned the tide of national politics.

According to Pakhtun tradition, Begum Sahiba was a housewife and according to some traditions she also wore a burqa, but after the ban on NEP and the arrest of her husband in the Hyderabad conspiracy case, she emerged as a powerful figure in Pakhtun society. Can’t even be imagined.

How this incident took place was also due to the mood of his father-in-law and Wali Khan’s father Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

He once said that after the arrest of Wali Khan, he went to his father-in-law in a state of distress and asked for some way to secure his release. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan gave him a very discouraging answer. He said:
“Wali Khan is my son. He was born for prisons. If you want to save your husband, save him.”

It is said that this incident proved to be an important milestone in the politics of Ghaffar Khan’s family and a clear line of distinction was drawn between the ideology of Naseem Wali Khan and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan who kept his politics alive in Wali Khan’s captivity Gaya and Naseem Wali’s stream of thought began to flow from different angles which was assessed many times even after these incidents, in this regard a sentence of Begum Sahiba is quoted which explains her politics.

This is after the death of Wali Khan when on the occasion of allotment of tickets in the elections, someone said that if Bacha Khan had been Baba, he would have given tickets to such and such on this occasion.

On this occasion Begum Sahiba said that that time has passed, in the present time it is seen how much your parliamentary power is.

Disappointed with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Begum Sahiba secretly reached Kabul where Ajmal Khattak was staying in those days. Ajmal Khattak once said that he was informed in Kabul that a woman had come to see him.

He immediately came out and saw a woman with her veil and shoes torn. That is, their condition was such that it was difficult to recognize them.

Ajmal Khattak encouraged them. Begum Sahiba’s visit to Kabul was memorable and important in many ways in Pakistani history.

Naseem Wali Khan gained confidence that she could play a political role. In addition, through Ajmal Khattak, her contacts with important political figures were established and Begum Sahiba in the 1977 election campaign from the meetings of the Pakistan National Alliance He created political turmoil by addressing.

It is said that when Begum Sahiba first came on the platform of Ittehad, Bhutto joked that the Maulvis had followed a woman but later when he came to know about Begum Sahiba’s political connections, he became extraordinarily serious. Done.

An explanation of why Bhutto’s seriousness was important is given by the Secretary General of Pakistan Qaumi Ittehad, Prof. Ghafoor Ahmed in his book ‘Then Martial Law Came’ and PPP leader Maulana Kausar Niazi in his book ‘And the Line was Cut’.

When there was a disagreement in the national unity on the issue of martial law, Begum Naseem Wali Khan sided with Asghar Khan and turned the tide. Similarly, Sardar Sher Baz Khan Mazari, head of the National Democratic Party, also joined the group.

In the political era that started after the plane crash of General Zia-ul-Haq, Begum Naseem Wali’s importance increased further and she also came to a decisive position in the ANP. In party politics, she used to side with her brother Azam Khan Hoti. Ajmal Khattak did not like to talk, due to which there was severe tension in the party.
At this stage, Begum Sahiba’s political acumen came in handy and on her suggestion, the crisis was averted by electing Ajmal Khattak as the ANP chief. Later, when General Musharraf seized power and Azam Khan Hoti was arrested, Begum Sahiba thought that Ajmal Khattak was behind it.

Despite her multi-faceted (controversial or non-controversial) political role, there are many aspects of Begum Naseem Wali Khan’s personality that will soon be remembered in national politics.

One is that she is the first woman in the former NWFP and present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to be elected to the Provincial Assembly in the general election (1977) and the first woman to enter national politics after Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the founder of Pakistan. Played a tumultuous role.

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