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ANP leader Azam Hoti passes away

National

April 16, 2015

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MARDAN: Senior Pakhtun nationalist and former federal minister Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Hoti passed away after protracted illness here on Wednesday. He was 69.
A large number of politicians from all over the country attended his funeral payers at his residence. Well-known poet and Khudai Khidmatgar Movement activist Israr Da Toru offered his Namaz-e-Janaza. While Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday expressed grief and sorrow over the death of ANP leader and former federal minister Senator Azam Khan Hoti.
His family members said Azam Hoti, who had been fighting throat cancer since long, died in Islamabad last night. His body was brought to his native Mardan for funeral. His Qul will be held at the Hoti House on Friday.
Azam Khan Hoti was born on April 27, 1946 in a respectable and renowned political family of Mardan. His father Amir Muhammad Khan was also a member of the Khudai Khidmatgar Movement founded by freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) and had spent several years behind bars due to his political activities.
Azam Hoti received his early education in Risalpur and later studied at the Aitchison College Lahore. He graduated from the Government Degree College Nowshera. After his graduation, Azam Hoti joined the Pakistan Army and was commissioned in 1967. He became a captain in the Armoured Corps of the Pakistan Army.
He also took part in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. However, he later resigned from the army and joined politics.
In 1972, he joined the National Awami Party (NAP). When NAP was banned by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he joined the National Democratic Party (NDP) and later the Awami National Party (ANP). He subsequently went into exile and spent several years in Afghanistan.
He was a member of the ANP’s central and provincial executive committees and also led the Nangialai Pakhtun, the ANP’s youth wing, for years. However, in 2005 he quit this

office.
Azam Hoti was twice elected as an MNA from Mardan in 1990 and 1997 on the ANP ticket from different constituencies. He was twice made the federal minister for communication in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in 1991 and 1997.
In March 1994, he was elected as a member of the Senate of Pakistan. He remained member of various Standing Committees of the Senate.
He had close family ties with Bacha Khan. His sister Begum Naseem Wali was married to late Abdul Wali Khan. ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan is his nephew.
It may be recalled that serious differences cropped up between Azam Hoti and Asfandyar Wali when the ANP suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2013 general election.
In a series of statements, he had demanded Asfandyar Wali to quit the party. Azam Hoti held Asfandyar Wali responsible for ANP’s defeat at the polls. However, he was expelled from the ANP for making allegations against party leadership.
The tussle also soured his relations with his son, Ameer Haider Hoti, former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He had to leave his house and hometown Mardan and was living at his Shami Road residence in Peshawar.
The local elders and ANP leaders in Mardan made efforts for reconciliation between the father and son. The efforts bore fruit and the two finally reconciled. Azam Hoti went to his palatial residence in Mardan after reconciliation, but came back to Peshawar due to his illness.
In 2012, he went to London for treatment and was later treated in Peshawar and Islamabad.
He also faced problems due to corruption charges dating back to his days as a federal minister and was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The late nationalist leader had a loving nature and was widely known as a good listener and an outspoken and articulate speaker. Due to his these attributes, he pulled huge crowds at public meeting.
He was held in high esteem by ANP workers from Mardan, Swabi, Buner and Swat.
Azam Hoti knew majority of his party workers by name. The news of his death spread like wildfire in the surrounding areas and a large number of party workers showed up at his residence. “His struggle for the rights of Pakhtuns will be remembered forever,” said an emotionally charged ANP worker.
Our correspondent adds from Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday expressed grief and sorrow over the death of ANP leader and former federal minister Senator Azam Khan Hoti who passed away on Wednesday.
In his message of condolence, the PM regarded him as a personal friend and has fond memories of his long association with him. He appreciated the contribution made by Hoti towards the development of his area.
APP adds: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Wednesday expressed his heartfelt condolence over the sad demise of senior politician and former federal minister and Senator Azam Khan Hoti.
In a condolence message, the minister prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss with fortitude.

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