Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai


Abdul Samad was born in July 1907. His father Noor Muhammad was an eminent scholar, who made him proficient in Persian and Arabic while he was only seven years old. He studied Fiqh, Hadith and Tafseer and had full command over Pashtu, Persian, Urdu, Baluchi, Sindhi, Arabic, Brahvi and English. Abdul Samad has written several books and pamphlets such as Pushtu zhaba au Likdoon, Zama Zhond, Samad-ul-Lughat and Pashtu Zaban aur Rasm-ul-khat. In addition to these he also translated the work of Imam Ghazali, Sheikh Saadi, Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Shibli Nomani, which are as follows Azadi ka Ufaq, Gulistan-i-Saadi, Tarjuman-ul-Quran, Sirat-un-Nabi and Chema-i-Sadaat.

Achakzai came into politics at the age of 15, when he led the procession of school boys of Gulistan in support of the Khilafat Movement. When Amanullah became the Aneer of Afghanistan in 1919 he declared war against the British for the freedom of Afghanistan. Samad participated in the war but the British government caught him and he remained in their custody for 29 years. Soon after he launches his political struggle from a mosque and in 1932, while presiding the All-India Baloch Conference held in Jacobabad he suggested an urgent need of the party in other provinces of the subcontinent. In the same year he attended the conference of All-India Baloch and Balochistan in Hyderabad and a meeting in Karachi also. When he returned to Quetta he was arresyed for making anti-government speeches in Hyderabad and Karachi and remained in jail for three years. In 1938 he started a weekly newspaper ‘Istaqlal’ to inform the Pakhtoons and the masses of Balochistan about his ideas and struggle. Despite of all the difficulties and problems Achakzai continued his political struggle and founded the political party ‘Anjuman-i-Watan’ in 1939. The main objectives were to get rid of the British imperialism, to demand constitutional reforms in Balochistan, political autonomy for Balochistan, abolition of Jirga and Sardari system, reduction of government taxes and complete rejection of the British government Act of 1935.

In 1929, Quaid-i-Azam demanded the separate province of Balochistan in his famous 14 Points and the foundation of Muslim League in Balochistan was laid down by Qazi Isa in 1939. When the Indian National Congress started the Quit India Movement in 1942 against the British, Anjuman-i-Watan party also started a movement of the same pattern under the guidance of Achakzai. In 1946 Anjuman-i-Watan collaborated with the Congress as the later promised to struggle for the achievement of autonomous provinces on linguistic basis after the end of British rule in India. According to the 3rd June Plan of 1947, referendum was held in NWFP and Balochistan in order to decide that whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan. In Balochistan ‘Shahi Jirga’ decided the fate of the people later it was amended to include the non-official members of the Quetta Municipality. After the long debate between the Congress camp led by Achakzai and Ghus Bux Bizenjo and the Muslim League camp led by Nawab Muhammad Khan Jogezai, Mir Jaffer Khan Jamal and Qazi Muhammad Isa, Balochistan joined Pakistan.

Soon after the independence the ‘Anjuman-i-Watan’ of Abdul Samad which was affiliated with the Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, changed its manifesto and announced its loyalty to the state of Pakistan. As he had contacts with the Afghan leaders, he met their premier in Delhi in 1948 and also met Sardar Najibullah Khan (the Afghan education minister) in Quetta, at that the Pakistan government declared him to be an agent of Afghanistan and was arrested in 1948. After his release he participated in a meeting convened by Ghaffar Khan in Karachi. G.M Syed was also present in it and they laid the foundation of Pakistan People Party. He along with Ghaffar Khan and Wali khan got arrested and after passing six years in the jail, he was released in 1954 and formed a political party, Wrore Pakhtoon (Pashtoon Brotherhood). The party’s aim was to educate the backward and illiterate population of the province. It also demanded holding of referendum on the question of accepting or refusing American military aid and Pakistan’s alignment with the American block. When one unit scheme was introduced in 1955 Wrore Pakhtoon led the anti-one unit campaign in Baluchistan. For this Achakzai was arrested for 14 years.

In 1970 he was elected as a member of Baluchistan Provincial Assembly and in the same year he formed a new political party NAP “Pakhtoon Khwa”. He demanded that either Chief Minister or Governor of Baluchistan should be a Pakhtoon. He appreciated the Constitution of 1973 and called it a step towards the consolidation and progress of the country.

He was assassinated by some unknown person in December 1973.

This article was last updated on Friday, Jan 04, 2008