Nadeem Mashwani

NOWSHERA: The ninth death anniversary of revolutionary poet and former president of the Awami National Party (ANP) Ajmal Khattak will be observed today (Thursday).

The eminent Pashto poet belonged to Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The ANP leadership and local literary society have jointly organised a function to pay tribute to the great revolutionary poet for his services in the field of literature. The party senior leaders and eminent poets and literary figures will attend the function and pay tributes to Ajmal Khattak for his great work.

Progressive and nationalist poets have also been invited to attend the function and pay tribute to his life long struggle and his efforts for the rights of poor people. The party workers will also hold Quran Khwani at his mausoleum in Nowshera and will lay floral wreath at his grave.

Born on 15 September, 1925, Ajmal Khattak served in the field of literature, politics and journalism for 50 years and left a deep impression on Pakhtun society. Ajmal Khattak was elected general secretary of the National Awami Party (NAP) in 1972. He also served as president of the ANP twice.

Ajmal Khattak had to live in exile in Kabul from 1970 till 1989 when the then government initiated crackdown against his party. He was elected as a member of the National Assembly on the ticket of ANP in 1990. He was considered very close to the party founder Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) and Abdul Wali Khan. Both the leaders gave importance to the opinion of Ajmal Khattak and they often sought his advice on important matters.

The eminent poet published 13 books on poetry and prose and 18 magazines. His books Da Ghairat Chegha, Da Jwand Chegha, Kachkol, Batoor, Da Ze Pagal Wom, Jwand of Fan and Sri Ghunche got much fame and are still popular among the readers of Pashto literature. A lot of research has also been done on his work in the field of literature.

Ajmal Khattak had retired from active politics in the last days of his life. He died after protracted illness on 7 February, 2010 at the age of 85. He was laid to rest in Akora Khattak village in Nowshera.

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