Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was born on 6 February 1890 in Utmanzai, Hashtnagar, Frontier Tribal Areas of Punjab Province, of British India, nicknamed as Bacha Khan ("King of chiefs"). Ghaffar attend the British run Edward's mission school, since this was the only fully functioning school because it was run by missionaries. At school the young Ghaffar did well in his studies, and was inspired by his mentor Reverend Wigram to see the importance of education in service to the community. In his 10th and final year of high school, he was offered a highly prestigious commission in The Guides, an elite corp of Pashtun soldiers of the British Raj. Young Ghaffar refused the commission after realising that even The Guides officers were still second-class citizens in their own country. He resumed his intention of university study, and Reverend Wigram offered him the opportunity to follow his brother, Dr. Khan Sahib, to study in London. An alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, Ghaffar eventually received the permission of his father. Ghaffar's mother wasn't willing to lose another son to London. So Ghaffar began working on his father's lands, while attempting to discern what more he might do with his life.
In 1910, at the age of 20, Bacha Khan opened a mosque school at his hometown Utmanzai. In 1911, he joined independence movement of the Pashtun freedom fighter Haji Sahib of Turangzai. However in 1915, the British authorities banned his mosque school. Having witnessed the repeated failure of revolts against the British Raj, Bacha Khan decided that social activism and reform would be more beneficial for the Pashtuns. This led to the formation of Anjuman-e Islah-e Afaghina , ("Afghan Reform Society") in 1921, and the youth movement Paxtun Jirga, ("Pashtun Assembly") in 1927. After Bacha Khan's return from the Hajj pilgrimage at Mecca in May 1928, he founded the Pashto language monthly political journal Paxtun ("Pashtun").
He was a political and spiritual leader known for his nonviolent opposition, and a lifelong pacifist and devout Muslim. A close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Bacha Khan was nicknamed the "Frontier Gandhi" in British India. Bacha Khan founded the Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God") movement in 1929, whose success triggered a harsh crackdown by the British Empire against him and his supporters, and they suffered some of the most severe repression of the Indian independence movement.
Bacha Khan strongly opposed the All-India Muslim League's demand for the partition of India. When the Indian National Congress declared its acceptance of the partition plan without consulting the Khudai Khidmatgar leaders, he felt very sad and told the Congress "you have thrown us to the wolves." After partition, Bacha Khan pledged allegiance to Pakistan and demanded an autonomous "Pashtunistan" administrative unit within the country, but he was frequently arrested by the Pakistani government between 1948 and 1954. In 1956, he was again arrested for his opposition to the One Unit program, under which the government announced to merge the former provinces of West Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier Province, Chief Commissioner's Province of Balochistan, and Baluchistan States Union into one single polity of West Pakistan. Bacha Khan also spent much of the 1960s and 1970s either in jail or in exile.Upon his death in 1988 in Peshawar under house arrest.
He died on 20 January 1988 (aged 97), in Peshawar, following his will, he was buried at his house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of mourners attended his funeral, marching through the Khyber Pass from Peshawar to Jalalabad, although it was marred by two bomb explosions killing 15 people. Despite the heavy fighting at the time, both sides of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the communist army and the mujahedeen, declared a ceasefire to allow his burial.