Khushal Khan Khattak
Khushal Khan Khattak was born at Akora Khattak, Kabul Province, Mughal Empire in 1613. He was a Pashtun poet, warrior and scholar, and chief of the Khattak tribe of the Pashtuns. Khushal preached the union of all Pashtuns, and encouraged revolt against the Mughal Empire promoting Pashtun nationalism through poetry. Khushal was the first Afghan mentor who presents his theories for the unity of the Pashtun tribes against foreign forces and the creation of a nation-state. Khushal wrote many works in Pashto but also a few in Persian. Khushal is considered the "father of Pashto literature" and the national poet of Afghanistan.
Khushal's life was spent in struggling against the Mughal Empire who had fluctuating relations with the Pashtuns. In order to restore their freedom, Khushal challenged powers of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and defeated the Mughal troops in many engagements. He was a renowned military fighter who became known as an "Afghan warrior-poet". The stand and fight attitude of Khushal was an important stance in Afghan history, and his opinions and ideas form a new stage in the ideological and intellectual development of the Afghans.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal called Khushal the Hakeem and Tabeeb (physician) of Afghan Millat and Afghan Shanas. Maj: Roverty and certain other orientalists say that Khushal was not only Afghan Shanas but like Goethe and Shakespeare he was also a great Insan- Shanas (one who knows man) Iqbal expressed his desire that if he knew Pashto he would have translated Khushal’s poetry into Urdu or Persian.
Khushal died at the age of 78 on Friday, 20 February 1689 at Dambara. He desired before his death that he should be buried in a place where "the dust of Mughal horses’ hoofs may not fall on his grave." His wishes were carried out by his friend and his remains were laid at‘Esoori’ village in the Akora Khattak in Khattaks hills, where many Pashtuns continue to pay tribute and visit his tomb. His grave carries the inscription: "Da Afghan Pa nang mai watarala toora, nangyalai da zamanai Khushal Khattak Yam" (translation: "I have taken up the sword to defend the pride of the Afghan, I am Khushal Khattak, the honorable man of the age.")