Asfandyar Wali Khan

Asfandiyar Wali Khan
اسفند یار ولی خان
President Awami National Party
In office
Preceded by Ajmal Khattak
Succeeded by Ehsan Wyne
In office
Assumed office
Preceded by Ehsan Wyne
Personal details
Born (1949-02-19) 19 February 1949
Charsadda, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Political party Awami National Party
Residence Walibagh, Charsadda, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Profession politician
Religion Islam
Parliament Pakistan

Asfandyar Wali Khan (Pashto: اسفند یار ولی خان) (born 19 February 1949) is a Pakistani politician. A democratic socialist, he is President of the Awami National Party in Pakistan.

His father, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, was the party's first President. He is the grandson of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better known as Bacha Khan; Abdul Ghaffar was the founder of the non-violent Pashtun political movement, Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of the God") in undivided India and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Asfandyar's uncle Dr. Khan Sahib was the Congress Party's Chief Minister of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, during the waning days of the British Raj, and also the Chief Minister of the province during the early days of independent Pakistan. Asfandyar is the present President of the Awami National Party and has served as Member of Provincial Assembly, Member of National Assembly, senator and presently MP in Pakistan's Parliament.

Personal background

Asfandyar Wali Khan was born in Charsadda, then a small village outside of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan. He is the eldest son of Khan Abdul Wali Khan and his first wife Taj Bibi. After the death of his mother in February 1949 his father married Nasim Wali Khan in 1954. Sangeen Wali Khan was his half brother and eldest son of Nasim Wali Khan.


Asfandyar Wali Khan completed his early education from Aitchison College, Lahore, High School from Islamia Collegiate School and his BA from Islamia College, Peshawar Pakhtoon Khwa University of Peshawar.[1]

Political career

Asfandyar Wali Khan joined the opposition to Ayub Khan as a student activist. He allegedly took up arms with the support of Daoud Khan the Kabul dictator. In 1975, Asfandyar was accused of the murder of Hayat Sherpao, against whose leadership at NWFP Asfandyar had allegedly waged an armed campaign. He was imprisoned and tortured[2] by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and convicted as part of the Hyderabad tribunal for 15 years.[3] Released in 1978, he stayed away from electoral politics till 1990..

Asfandyar Wali Khan served as leader of the Pakhtun Student Federation prior to being elected to the provincial Assembly in the 1990 election, while in the 1993 election he was elected to Pakistan's National Assembly. A seat to which he was re-elected to the National Assembly in the 1997 election and served as Parliamentary leader of the ANP and Chairman of the standing committee on inter-provincial co-ordination.

In 1999, he was elected party president for the first time. He was defeated in the 2002 election, in what was a repeat of his father's defeat in 1990, when a tactical alliance was formed by all the anti-ANP groups against him. After his defeat he resigned as President of his party, only to be re-elected unopposed in the subsequent party election. In 2003 he was elected to the Senate as Senator for a 6-year term. He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the parliamentary elections that was held on February 2008, leading his party to power both provincially and nationally, the former for the first time since 1947 and the latter since 1997.[4]

In September 2008, he was elected as Chairman of the standing committee on foreign Affairs.[5]

In 2008 it was reported by Dawn that he made a secret visit to the United States in which he made high level contacts with the U.S Central Command.[6]

Assassination attempt

On 3 October 2008, he was targeted by a suicide bomber who attempted to kill him while he was greeting guests during Eid ul-Fitr.[7][8] Shortly after the attack, Asfandyar Wali Khan left Charsadda in a helicopter sent by the Prime Minister. He has come under severe criticism by certain elements who alleged that he should have stayed after the attack and attended funerals of the deceased, instead of escaping to his home. However, this charge has been dismissed by his supporters as concocted by supporters of Taliban. It has been stated that: "Asfandyar Wali Khan has not fled the country. He is away from the country, no doubt, and is busy with personal and party commitments abroad."[9]


  1. Awami National Party website
  2. Hayat Sherpao Khan the murder Retrieved 28 March 2008
  3. Cowasjee, Ardeshir (21 June 1997) Murtaza's murder. The Dawn. The DAWN Group. Available online at . Also see Cowasjee (25 April 1996) Old Hat. The Dawn. The DAWN group
  4. Asfandyar facing opposition from family Archived 18 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Asfandyar Wali elected Chairman Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. APP, Retrieved 9-17-08
  6. US silent on visit of Asfandyar
  7. Asfandyar unfazed after suicide attack DAWN 4 October 2008
  8. Retrieved October 4, 2008
  9. Let us build Pakistan (LUBP): In Asfandyar Wali’s defence. (27 October 2008). Retrieved on 3 August 2013.

External links

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