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Bacha Khan - His Will & His Way

Bacha Khan - His Will & His Way

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Published by Pashtoon

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Published by: Pashtoon on May 22, 2008
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08/04/2013

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Bacha Khan - His Will & His Way
J.K. Sufi
 The Will of the late Abdul Ghafar Khan has direct bearing upon thematerial, moral and intellectual legacy of our people, comments J.K.Sufi, requesting all the involved parties to unearth what happened tothe money and property willed by Bacha Khan to the Pakhtoon Trust.
Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan, one of the leading figures of theIndian Independence Movement, died more than twelveyears ago. Those who claim to be his real heirs andsuccessors observe his death anniversary every year. Butmisgivings exist in the minds of Afghans and Pashtoons onboth sides of the Durand Line about his Will. There is anurgent need to dispel these misgivings if one has todetermine Bacha Khan's place in history.Like most other leaders and mortals he had some wisheswhich he reportedly enshrined in his written Will. He alsoexpressed his wishes to his near and dear ones when he wasalive. The most befitting manner of celebrating his deedswould be to abide by his Will and his expressed wishesinstead of playing politics with his legacy, which is alreadypart of Pashtoon history - enriching some, devastating othersand confusing the ordinary lot. This is the most appropriatetime to ponder over his Will because the present leadershipof the country has initiated a long overdue process of accountability. The current process of across the board accountability;vertical as well as horizontal, initiated by the Chief ExecutiveGeneral Pervez Musharraf has been widely welcomed. It isheartening that those who have welcomed it include mostpolitical leaders who have also offered themselves foraccountability. The Awami National Party has not laggedbehind and its leaders belonging to Bacha Khan's familyhave disclosed some of their assets through the press. It isanother matter, that when one of their scions was nabbed oncorruption charges, they did a somersault and started
 
questioning the fairness of the process.Accountability is multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and an all-embracing process in true democracies. If we are to buildthe nation and serve the country, let it be the day of reckoning for everyone in this land. We must not play politicswith this process; otherwise it would consume and consignthe nation to the dustbin of history. Though legally not directly related to the Chief Executive'scurrent accountability agenda, the late Khan Abdul GhafarKhan's Will has direct bearing upon the material, moral andintellectual legacy of our people - it is related to thecollective conscience. This matter will have far reachingrepercussions upon the culture and psyche of our people inthe future. It relates to the moral, intellectual and materialaccountability of the so-called Pashtoon leaders and rights of our people concerning their history and past.It was Bacha Khan's allegedly unwritten (unconfirmed) wishthat he preferred to be buried in Jalalabad, and his familyrespected this. His wish, where apparently no money, cashand property were involved, was honoured promptly but thefulfilment of his written Will involving cash and property hasnot yet seen the light of day.Great men always record their wishes in writing. It hasalmost become a vogue in developed countries that longbefore they die, even ordinary people record their Willsthrough professional legal experts. They thus free their heirsfrom worry about the disposal of their property, intellectualas well material, after their death.It particularly is essential for important people to recordeverything for posterity - as did Mahatma Gandhi, JawaharlalNehru, Abdul Kalam Azad and Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Quaid e Azam recorded his Will in 1939 whenPakistan was still a dream. There was no Pakistan Resolutionand the proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan which heaccepted and the congress, including Bacha Khan, rejectedin 1946 had not been spelt out. In order to set the record
 
straight and confirm his love for the cause he professed, Imust quote the last two articles of Quaid's Will signifying hischaritable character and devotion to public service.
I direct executors to pay the following by way of gifts tothe Institutions mentioned:
 
I bequeath Rs 25,000 (twenty five thousands) to the Anjuman e Islam, Bombay situated at Hornby Road opposite Boribunder Station and next to theTimes of India Buildings.
 
I bequeath Rs 50,000 (fifty thousands) to theUniversity of Bombay.
 
I bequeath Rs 25,000 (twenty five thousands) to the Arabic College Delhi.Subject to the above, all the residuary estate includingthe corpus that may fall after the lapse of life interestsor otherwise to be divided into three parts - and Ibequeath one part to Aligarh University, one part toIslamia College Peshawar and one part to the SindhMadrassa of Karachi.
 The proceeds from his property still continue to be depositedin the bank account of Islamia College Peshawar, Quaid eAzam College of Commerce, Jinnah College for Women - allpart of Peshawar University, Jinnah Koruna (residentialquarters for Islamia College Employees) and the newlyconstructed teaching block named Takbeer in IslamiaCollege have been built with this money.More than twelve million rupees have so far been grantedfrom his assets - earned through hard work and not as apolitical leader or founder of Pakistan; nor did it involve anyspecial Award Money. His Will confirms that he really caredfor the welfare of Indian Muslims. Our people will remainindebted to him for generations for his generosity.On this score we should also salute Imran Khan who becamea celebrity by sheer accident of history in the world of sports

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