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November 3, 2009

Former NWFP CM Nasrullah Khattak passes away


November 3, 2009

NOWSHERA: Former NWFP chief minister Nasrullah Khattak died here Monday due to cardiac arrest. He was 86.

He was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Manki Sharif in Nowshera district. His Qul would also be held at his residence in Manki Sharif. A large number of politicians, notables and people of the area attended the funeral.

He was the cousin of NWFP Minister for Irrigation Pervez Khattak and uncle of Nowshera Tehsil Nazim Dr Imran Khattak. He is survived by his sons Khalid Khan Khattak, Mahmood Khan Khattak, Tariq Khan Khattak and Humayun Khattak.

Born in 1923, Nasrullah Khattak started his political career when he was elected as chairman of the Manki Sharif Union Council in 1962. He was elected as member of the West Pakistan Assembly during the rule President Field Marshal Ayub Khan.

In 1967, he joined the Pakistan People’s Party when the party was launched and was among the close friends of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He was considered to be among the pioneering PPP leaders, who played an important role in establishing the party in the NWFP.

He was Pakistan’s ambassador in Tunisia when PPP leader Hayat Muhammad Khan Sherpao was assassinated and Mr Bhutto asked him to return to active politics and shoulder an important responsibility in the NWFP.

He did so, contested by-election for the NWFP Assembly and was elected MPA. This paved the way for him to become the chief minister of NWFP with active support from the then Prime Minister ZA Bhutto.

His term as chief minister wasn’t remarkable as he was heading an uneasy coalition government. He once contested and lost election for the National Assembly from Nowshera to prominent religious scholar and JUI leader Maulana Abdul Haq. When Benazir Bhutto returned to the country in 1986, he had quit active politics. However, he continued to support the PPP candidates in the elections.

Later, he developed differences with the party leadership and joined

the short-lived National People’s Party led by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi. For the last several years, he had secluded himself from public life and was living in a remote place away from his village. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti has expressed grief over the death of Nasrullah Khattak. He lauded his political services.

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