LANDIKOTAL: An Afridi tribesman who spends Rs15,000 per month on his 30-inch long moustache has said he is keen to participate in a competition at the international level.
“I was inspired by the long moustache of former governor of West Pakistan, Nawab of Kalabagh Malik Amir Muhammad Khan, who died in 1967, when I saw his video clips and pictures on television about 19 years ago,” his namesake Malik Amir Muhammad Khan Afridi told The News in an interview.
Amir Muhammad, 42, is running shops of wristwatches at the Deans Trade Centre and of wall clocks in Karkhano Market. He won the Khyber Pakhtun-khwa Award for this handlebar moustache in 2005.
However, Amir Muhammad said he cannot afford expenses of the oil and jell that he has purchases every month. “Every night I use almond oil to keep my moustache smooth and strong. In the morning I paste a special gel to keep it in shape,” he added.
He said the tribesmen like waist-coat, turban and moustache. He said the people consider the men having big moustache in the tribal belt as brave. The tribesman said he is interested in competing for the Guinness World Records. “I appeal to the government and other organisations for assistance as it is my desire to win the award for Pakistan,” he added.
Amir Muhammad, who had been living in volatile Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency up to 2005, has now migrated to Peshawar. He said he was picked in 2010 and tortured badly in militants’ captivity as he did not want to shave off his moustache. “I had to spend 18 months to grow the moustache after my release,” he said. “I was very sad when the militants forcibly shaved off my moustache,” he recalled.
Though he claims to be spending up to Rs15,000 a month on his moustache, he said he was getting a grant of Rs5000 only from the government. He said after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, his business and that of others in Pakistan was adversely affected.
Amir Muhammad praised the Tableeghi Jamaat for their peaceful method of preaching. “They always gave me respect whenever I went to Ijtima (congregation) at Raiwind in Lahore,” he said.
He threatened to hang himself if his moustache got spoiled due to disinterest of the government and other organisations. “My wife helps me when I tend to my moustache in the morning for about 30 minutes,” Ameer Muhammad said. “I am proud of it as nobody in Pakistan has such a long moustache,” he added. A jolly and humble man, Amir Muhammad said he supported a large family of seven daughters, three sons and wife.