The Dazzling Personality: Haji Zain Muhammad Khan (Late)

By: Dr.Muhammad Arif Yousafzai

Leaders, politicians and servants of God (Khudayi Khidmatgar) have a profound impact on nation and on people’s thinking. When they die, they continue to live on in the hearts of the masses. Their death marks a new phase in their life — their physical presence ends but their work keeps their name alive. The legendary Khudayi Khidmatgar, Haji Zain Muhammad Khan (Late), was one such personality, born in 1931 in a noble pushtoon family of village Marghuz situated in District Swabi, KP. His father Malik Sher Muhammad Khan was a renowned personality of his village. After the completion of education from Islamia college Peshawar, Haji Zain Muhammad Khan started his social and political activities at local level because he was a true follower of the philosophy of Khudayi Khidmatgar and Non-Violence, presented by the great pushtoon leader Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (Bacha Khan). He was elected as BD member in the elections of 1966. Slowly he got popularity and was called the shining star in that area. He was sent to Haripur jail in the era of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He conquered the hearts of the general public through his simplicity, honesty, and philanthropic activities. His weapons were patience, righteousness and bravery. Even, he got his name and fame in the rank of his political rivals. He was a member of ANP selection and ticket issuing committee for senate, national and provincial assembly seats. He was elected provincial vice president of ANP Khyber Pukhtunkhwa consecutively for three times. In 1988, Haji Zain Muhammad Khan got in his foot in the provincial assembly after a tremendous success in general election while he truly served the people of his area. Based on the previous excellent performance, he was again elected member of provincial assembly in 1990. The higher authority of ANP decided to give him the ministry of Prisons KP. During his ministerial days, his revolutionary steps brought a new feather in his cap. He paid special attention to ensure the return of the offender to the society as a normal and useful citizen rather than a discarded entity. Thus, a strong emphasis was laid on the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates besides maintaining good discipline in prisons. The minister was firmly believed in “hate for crime but not for criminal” and also the fact that protection of society cannot be achieved merely by detention. Similarly, he strictly instructed the prisons officials to provide self and skills improvement opportunities to assist the offenders in becoming law-abiding as well as self-dependant citizens. Further, developmental activities started in every field of life. He established schools, colleges, hospitals, agriculture offices, bridges, roads and much more but never put his name on any foundation stone to get cheaper popularity. Similarly, employment in prisons department was provided to the hundreds of deserving and poor people without any favoritism, nepotism or bribery. In 1993, a general meeting was arranged for the allotment of election tickets, the name of Haji Zain Muhammad Khan was on the top of the list, but he refused to accept the offer due his financial weakness. Because he never wished to have a luxurious life style and never wished to fly high in the air. He was so honest that he sold out his own property to fulfill his own basic necessities as well as to help out the poor community of his village. He was a role model and a visionary personality for the upcoming generations. Nothing could dormant his personality in this day and age. His dream was fulfilled when in 2010 the old name of our province replaced by Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. In recognition of his excellent services, Chief Minister KP Mr.Amir Haider Khan Hoti conferred on him the award of Khudayi Khidmatgar in 2009. On February 17, 2012, this great personality died in the age of 81 while he was the member of Bacha Khan Trust. The politicians and general public has described his death a loss that will be felt for ever and the vacuum created with his demise may be very difficult to fill. Special thanks to Mr.Mansoor Khan and Mr.Sadam Alam Khan of Marghuz, the grandsons of Haji zain Muhammad Khan (Late). -The writer is Assistant Professor University of Sawbi, KP