Confessions of a Pukhtoon revolutionary

April 17, 2016

Faraib-e-Natamam by Jumma Khan exposes many revolutionaries and their game of money and power

Confessions of a Pukhtoon revolutionary

Jumma Khan Sufi was not only a member of Imam Ali Nazish’s Karachi-based Communist Group (CPP) but also a close associate of Pukhtoon Zalmy; an organisation, as per the narrative of Jumma, that was involved in bomb explosions and other subversive actions in Pakistan from 1972-77. His memoirs "Faraib-e-Natamam" is an autobiographical account that helps the readers understand the infamous nexus of politics, informal trade, intelligence networks, regional and international actors and terrorists in former NWFP, Balochistan and FATA, especially during the Bhutto times.

Although it is a personal account originally written in the form of a diary in Pashto, many characters involved in that game are still alive and through this book Jumma has thrown the ball in their court. We hope that Syed Mukhtar Bacha, Afrasiab Khattak, Latif Afridi, Imtiaz Alam, Professor Azizuddin Ahmad, Rashed Rahman, Najam Sethi, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Professor Jamal Naqvi, Professor Sarfraz, Nasim Wali Khan, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Fareed Toofan, members of Hoti and Ghulam Ahmad Bilour families etc will sooner or later share their common past with us. Although the book is pretty lengthy and badly edited, it is full of stories involving money and abuse of power by the revolutionaries and radicals.

Since late 19th century ideological and radical groups have been used by national and international intelligence agencies. Those who have read the literature penned in Rowlett Sedition Report 1917 till 9/11 can understand the phenomenon as a whole. Religion or sect-based politics, ideologies and nationalism are often used as a front banner under the guise of foreign policy initiatives (FPIs) while huge amounts of unaccounted money play a dominant role. So, one has to analyse the account of Jumma Khan as part of problem rather than part of solution.

It reminds me of an interview of a former Islami Jamiat Tulaba leader who belonged to a rural area. He told me that when he entered in a five star hotel of Lahore for the first time in his life to welcome Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, a leader of the West-sponsored Afghan jihad, all he witnessed was glossiness. He claimed to have lost his faith in the various salads he witnessed for the first time in his life. How intoxication of money and power corrupts ideologies is history and Jumma’s book is an addition to it.

Born in 1947, Jumma is a Yousafzai Pukhtun and has remained active in Pukhtoon politics since late 1960s. At page 89, he reproduces a conversation of Wali Khan with Ayub Khan of March 1969. Ayub told Wali "If you want to rule Pakistan, get rid of East Pakistan". As the book is written in the form of a diary, it has numerous entries by date. If you have read books Story Untold by Barrister Aizullah Sheikh (NAP President Sindh), Foreign Policy in Perspective by Benazir Bhutto and biography of Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo by BM Kutty, you can easily relate to the many entries of Jumma’s diary.


Some of the interesting entries in the book include:

  • Western countries spent huge amounts to get secret information from numerous countries, but USSR got such information at very cheap rates due to international Communist movement.
  • Feb 14, 1975: I lied to a (Russian) friend that we had no role in the killing of Sherpao. (On Feb 8, 1975, Hayat Sherpao was killed in a bomb blast in Peshawar).
  • We are in connection with Indian and Iraqi embassies in Kabul.
  • When Babrak Karmal met Bacha Khan along with his PM Kasht Mand, Bacha Khan could not hide his prejudice and openly criticised appointment of Kasht Mand who was a Shia from Hazara tribes of Afghanistan.
  • Muhammad Bhabha of Karachi was representing Marri tribes in Kabul under a codename Murad Baloch.
  • A French leftist Jean Pierre Viennot remained there in the Marri area with radicals and died due to stomach disease there.
  • In May 1970, Wali Khan was made the Salar-e-Aala of Pukhtoon Zalmay ….we made Anti-Bhutto policy much before the interim constitution of October 1972.
  • Bizenjo told us not to confront Bhutto and if you confront, it would be counterproductive for all Left liberal forces and he was proved right.
  • NDP had links with COAS General Zia in 1976.
  • NAP was against Bhutto because Bhutto was popular in the Punjab i.e. ‘Punjab is chauvinist and Bhutto is its representative’.
  • 4 September 1975: In order to divide the Punjab we should support the Seraiki issue.
  • SC banned NAP due to its subversive activities in December 1975 and banned its MNAs, MPAs and officer-holders for 5 years… was the reason why Wali Khan raised the slogan "first accountability then elections" in the early Zia period.
  • We had suspicions about Mazdoor Kisan Party and its head Major Ishaq.
  • The codename of Imam Ali Nazish was Ustad and Afrasiab had a codename Akbar in Kabul.
  • When Bhutto and Dawood met in 1976, it was a disturbing scenario for us.
  • In order to combat Pukhtoon Zalmy’s subversive activities in Pakistan, General Babar formed a group of Afghans against us in 1975.
  • Bacha Khan wanted to get land in Jalalabad but the Afghan PM Muhammad Hashim Mewandwal refused and told Bacha Khan that you are a Pakistani and as per law we could not allow any Pakistani to have land in our country. So head of Pukhtoonistan requested King Zahir Shah to intervene and got the land.
  • When Pukhtoon Zalmy engaged in successful subversive activities in Pakistan, GM Syed and Ghulam Mustafa Khar showed their interest to join us. (At that time GMK was against Bhutto)
  • Hijacking of PIA plane in 1981 was part of an international game to isolate Afghanistan and, after that incident, the Afghan airline Ariana was banned in Europe. (Zia smartly used that plan in order to fix his local opponents)

Revolutionaries and radicals easily get support in a non-democratic setup and flourish in unsettled areas. In the absence of grass-root democracy and presence of unsettled areas, no nation state can handle the challenge posed by radicals. You may disagree with his analysis, but Jumma has shared his heart. Now other living characters must follow him and share their experiences.

Faraib-e-Natamam (Yadain Aur Yadashtain)
Author: Jumma Khan Sufi
Publisher: Pak Book Empire, Lahore
Pages: 584
Price: Rs1500

Confessions of a Pukhtoon revolutionary