Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada
Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada Born in 1936, Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada, joined the erstwhile Civil Service of Pakistan in 1959. After serving in a number of assignments in the provincial bureaucracy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including that of the Chief Secretary, he was transferred to Islamabad in 1987. There he served as Secretary to the Federal Government in diﬀerent ministries and superannuated in 1996 as the Cabinet Secretary. Thereafter, he went on to become a member of the Federal Public Service Commission, a member of the National Security Council, Chairman of the Federal Lands Commission, Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) of Pakistan and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Tribal Aﬀairs. He finally retired from public service in 2008. He is the author of two books, The Pilgrim of Beauty and A Breath of Fresh Air. While the former is a collection of selected poems of Ghani Khan (Bacha Khan’s son) translated into English from Pakhto, the latter is a compilation of the speeches and interventions of Ghani Khan in the Central Legislative Assembly of India, 1946. Sahibzada had a close friendship with Abdul Ghani Khan, an artist, a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly (1946–47) and one of the greatest Pakhto poets. He first met him in 1947 and remained closely associated with him until his death in 1996.
by Bacha Khan
Translated from the original Pukhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada
Affectionately known as ‘Bacha’ Khan or ‘King’ Khan amongst his people, Ghaﬀar Khan’s life was dedicated to the social reform of the Pukhtuns, who traditionally adhere to a strict code of life, ‘Pukhtunwali’, governed by rather rigid tribal norms. His life-long struggle to modernise Pukhtun society and his decades-long non-violent defiance, adopted by his Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) party during the struggle for independence against the British, have earned him a stature that few other anti-colonial leaders in the Sub-continent can match. Few are aware that the Khudai Khidmatgar lost the greatest number of workers compared to any other party that was part of the anti-colonial movement.
An increasing consciousness amongst the Pukhtuns against oppression and war, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has led to a resurgence of the teachings of Bacha Khan. His powerful political weapon of non-violence, his emphasis on including women in all walks of life, his belief in religious tolerance and his legacy of speaking truth to power, are, today, values that bear increasing relevance to the people of a much-troubled region.
“Bacha Khan’s message of the power of peaceful protest for liberty, equality and justice changed our culture and customs forever and inspires me every day in my activism for girls’ education and women’s empowerment.”
-Malala Yousafzai, Youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
“As a student activist, what struck me the most about working with Bacha Khan was the strength of his compassion and his disarming humility. He would insist on walking long distances even in old age to reach the marginalised to help them or to at least express solidarity with them. The publication of English translation of his Pakhto autobiography is coming out at a time when younger generations are rediscovering Bacha Khan’s life and struggle.”
-Afrasiab Khattak, Former Provincial President of Awami National Party, former senator, writer and analyst of regional affairs.
“This compelling story is more relevant now than ever. Bacha Khan’s tireless struggle against oppression and division was non-violent and uncompromising, principled and creative. Readers will be enthralled and inspired.”
-Mukulika Banerjee, Author of The Pathan Unarmed, 2001.
“The life story of a man of peace and non-violence, born amidst mayhem and conflict across the Sub-continent, still carries a powerful message in the turbulent times we live in. The autobiography of Bacha Khan in English, for the first time in a lucid translation from the original Pakhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahizada, is a landmark publication. The history of modern South Asia has been incomplete without a better understanding of how and why the fierce Pashtun tribes embraced the Gandhian ideology of non-violent defiance. My Life and Struggle introduces a new and younger generation to the tribulations of the Pashtuns.”
-Ahmed Rashid, Author of Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2012.
Publisher: Folio Books
Weight in kg: 0.900
Publishing date: February 06, 2021
Rights: Pakistan and Afghanistan
Vijay Prashad is a professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is author of fifteen books, two of them picked by the Village Voice as books of the year, as well as nine edited volumes. He writes regularly for Frontline (India), The Hindu (India), BirGün (Turkey) and Alternet (USA) and appears regularly on The Real News Network and Democracy Now. He is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi). Strongmen is his first ever edited book published by a Pakistani publisher, Folio Books.
Afia S. Zia is a feminist researcher with a doctoral degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Sex Crime in the Islamic Context (1994, ASR) and has contributed essays to several edited volumes including, Contesting Feminism: Gender and Islam in Asia and Voicing Demands.
Anjum Altaf a South Asian living in Lahore, is the author of Transgressions: Poems Inspired by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Aakar Books Delhi 2019, Liberty Books Karachi 2020, Kindle 2021. He obtained a MA and PhD from Stanford University and was Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Tahira Naqvi is a translator, writer and Senior Urdu Language Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. She has translated into English the of Saadat Hasan Manto, Khadija Mastur, Hajira Masrur and has rendered into English the major works of Ismat Chughtai. Most recently she has published a collection of translations of poems by Fahmida Riaz.