Standing up against militants of K-P: How my father died for Pakistan

Published: June 23, 2013
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His bravery and dedication never allowed him to be hindered by terrorists and their acts of cowardice. PHOTO: TAIMUR ALI KHAN

Babar Ali Khan Mohmand. PHOTO: TAIMUR ALI KHAN Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand. PHOTO: TAIMUR ALI KHAN  His bravery and dedication never allowed him to be hindered by terrorists and their acts of cowardice. PHOTO: TAIMUR ALI KHAN

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are in state of war. Everyone here, including the politicians, are bearing the brunt of state policies, in the makings of which they share no role. Amongst this lot of politicians was my father Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand shaheed. A member of the provincial assembly (MPA) from Shabqadar, Charsadda, he was well known to K-P and Fata. However, few in Pakistan know of his heroic story.

Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand became an MPA from Shabqadar in 2008 on a Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (now Qaumi Watan Party) ticket. The victory delighted all of us, but we could never have imagined how this epoch would be the start of a tormenting journey.

In 2009, my father was attending a public gathering in Shabqadar when he received an urgent call from the then Deputy Inspector General of Peshawar. He and his friend, Safwat Ghayur (shaheed), were advised to leave Shabqadar immediately and head to Peshawar. No reasons were given.

My father waited till the end of the gathering and then left for Peshawar to meet with his friend Safwat. He cautioned him to stop visiting the village for a few weeks. On further inquiry, he revealed an assassination plot targeting my father had been uncovered by the security agencies. Yet, even this didn’t deter my father and he continued his visits to the village.

After some days with the persistent efforts of Safwat Ghayur, the assassination plot was foiled and militants responsible were arrested. This whole tale was kept a secret by my father – a burden he carried with himself. He confessed to these details after many months. This was the mark of the man he was; he would tackle all obstacles on his own, protecting his loved one’s all the while.

June 16, 2010

This seemingly ordinary date is a day in my life which makes my heart ache. My elder brother, Babar, was travelling to Peshawar from Shabaqadar when he was abducted by a band of armed militants. We were traumatised upon receiving the news; it felt as if the sky had started falling and we alone suffered its wrath. The days without him were agonising and grim. But Allah (SWT) blessed us once more and returned my brother safely after ten days. After this incident, my father had resolved to pursue action against these terrorists and decided to permanently reside in the village.

February 2012

In the last week of February, my father received another threat, but by this time, he was so deep into his work for the people that he refused to be disturbed by this.

March 3, 2012

After attending a public gathering in Shabqadar, my father, Aftab Sherpao and Sikandar Sherpao were going to Peshawar in one jeep when they was targeted by a suicide bomber in the Kangra area of Shabqadar. In this blast my father suffered grave injuries to his head and chest.

Tragically, he never fully recovery and was afflicted with illness for eight months. He embraced shahadat (martyrdom) on November 2, 2012. Even through his trauma from the blast, he would frequent gatherings to better Pakistan. His bravery and dedication never allowed him to be hindered by terrorists and their acts of cowardice. My father’s work towards public service could be judged from the fact that despite him and his party being on the militant hit-list, he could not be separated from the people. He attended every gathering, whether to mourn or to celebrate with the people of the Charshada District.

Despite the threats, he had decided to permanently take residence in the village. He was a passionate political worker and due to his efforts, the Qaumi Watan Party gained a stronghold in Charsadda, to the extent that it won four provincial seats out of six in the current elections.

Within our fold we had lost a father, a husband, a brother and our armour all in one man. The backbone of our household was ripped from us. He is missed with every beat of my heart.

My elder brother, Babar Ali Khan Mohmand, won the by-elections for the Shabqadar seat. We thought that by this time we would be safer. But our notions were misplaced, as the militant agenda had not yet been satisfied.

March 2013

In the third week of  March, a bomb was planted outside the back gate of our Hujra (small room in a mosque). After two days the militants had attacked our home, but we managed to fend this strike with the help of our guards. After three days our home was under fire once again, but this time with heavy artillery like rocket launchers, but once more we successfully deflected the attack. Due to the blessings of Allah (SWT), no one was injured in all three attacks. There have been no more attacks till now.

Though we have been put through many tribulations, I am proud of the sacrifices my father made in his struggle for peace. Not only him, but thousands of citizens of Fata and K-P, led previously by assembly members like Bashir Bilour shaheed, have lost their lives in this strife.

The purpose of narrating this tale of unending woe on my family is to pay homage to all those victims of terrorist activities– the unsung heroes who have shed blood in the battle to restore peace in Pakistan.

I hope that one day, the death count of these people will stop growing and we will finally achieve that which they gave their lives up for; peace.

Read more by Taimur here or follow him on Twitter @iamTribalKhan

taimur.ali.khan

Taimur Ali Khan

A tribal and a Law student. He is also a member of Youth Assembly of Pakistan. He tweets @iamTribalKhan

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • saad

    My Allah rest him peace he was really a great person as i have seen and never afraid, he several time have discussed the issue like many with me and want peace in Pakistan but if those whose responsibility to keep peace became lazy then to who we blame, Da Angor kat ta sakhar wa khato aao varta vai ta kho sa hum wa na vi vail da vena wala rawakhato chata gilla vokam Allah di taso ta sabar darki son of great man to whom i love for his good behavior Recommend

  • Anon

    @Author

    Sorry for your loss. May your father rest in peace.Recommend

  • Anon

    @ Author

    Sorry for your loss. May your father rest in peace.Recommend

  • Fakhr

    I’m so gladden to read about your DAD bravery,He seemed a tribute personality,Peoples like him can leads Nation to a strong peak & InshaAllah his sacrifice fr peace will one day shine infront of world to deflect pakhtuns as a nation of peace,May God keeps his soul in Jannatt ul PirdusRecommend

  • Sohrab Karboy

    @Taimur Ali Khan: My deepest condolences to you for the loss of your great father. The nation and the people are indebted to your family for their sacrifice. The events you have described speaks volumes about the tremendous bravery and courage of your father and his unflinching determination to fight the cowards and evil forces of darkness. I do sincerely hope and pray for your family’s safety and security in the times to come.
    The scourge of extremism and terrorism in our country cannot be wiped out without an all out war declared on the terrorist forces by our government and the military. Though our people’s bravery and resilience is commendable and awe-inspiring, we cannot succeed without our military and armed forces declaring a war on the terrorists and persevere until the nation and the country prevails. Though the nation and its’ people continue to sacrifice their most precious possession: their lives, it seems that our government and the military is operating as if we are in normal peaceful times. Until the government dedicates herself to wiping out the terrorists, the blood of the innocent victims will continue to be shed unnecessarily.
    By the way, you write eloquently, and one of the most effective ways to fight is through the pen by raising people’s consciousness. I hope you will continue to write and continue to raise your voice on this sensitive subject.
    Recommend

  • ABC

    May your father be blessed with the highest rank in jannah. Ameen
    You must be very proud to be the son of such a brave man. Its sad that in Pakistan we are unable to protect those who genuinely serve us and care about the people.

    I wish someone from KPK area would actually explain to us who these terrorists are. Are they Pakistani, Indian agents, Arabs, chechens, Americans etc. Pakistanis are so confused on this issue that every time a militant attack happens we start to fight amongst ourselves. Someone blames the Taliban and a large strata of society RAW and CIA. If only we had a clear national conscience on this issue we could stop incidents like your father and brother from happening.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Your father obviously was a dedicated and brave man, may he rest in peace.

    As long as one Muslin considers the blood of another Muslim as halal, justifying it by what he considers to be the correct interpretation of religious scriptures but in fact, doing so to fulfil a personal or a misconceived agenda …………..this madness, this killing will not stop. Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Salute this warrior . Proud of Muhammad Ali khan MohmandRecommend

  • azhar zahoor

    , a protector , a saviour , a gentle soul , and more importantly a man who loved his people , his family and his freedom…can there be somebody more heroic than this ?! sir the people like your father and your family are the true defenders of the land.. be safe and be valiant , the vultures are still after your family !!Recommend

  • azhar zahoor

    , a protector , a saviour , a gentle soul , and more importantly a man who loved his people , his family and his freedom…can there be somebody more heroic than this ?! sir the people like your father and your family are the true defenders of the land..Recommend

  • Hassan

    Allah(SWT) grant your father the heavenly abode in the hereafter. Those responsible have no scruples, and care not if there victim is a devoted Father, Brother, Son, Uncle etc They are a cancer on the ummah, and it is the responsibility of the ummah now to remove this cancer as no one else is going too. Call in the army, We have had enough of this. In the UK since the death of there soldier, Some English men have started attacking mosques, Verbally and physically abusing Muslim people, Why ? Beacuse they don’t like it anymore, yet they have never done this before, they have been tolerant and non caring, but even for them enough is enough. Stay brave young man, as you and your family no doubt are, Allah is with you Insallah.Recommend

  • ABC

    @Parvez
    In your opinion is it okay for a muslim to kill a non-muslim. I’m a Muslim myself and I have reservations against your statement.Recommend

  • Taimur Ali Khan Mohmand

    Thankyou all for your kind prayers & wishes.
    Stay Blessed. Recommend

  • Taimur Ali Khan Mohmand

    There is memorial page of Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand , you can join
    ; https://www.facebook.com/MuhammadAliKhanMohmandRecommend

  • Parvez

    @ABC: Please read my comment again, carefully. Where have I even suggested something as absurd as you claim………….no mention or reference has even been made of a non-Muslim.
    Recommend

  • John

    Asad, I suggest, you and other innocent people that have been affected by the nondiscriminatory suicide and terrorist attacks should form an organization or association named like “Association of the Victims of Terrorism” to inform the world of the ordeal you have gone or going through and generating pressure on the govt of Pakistan to take effective measures to end the terrorism. Recommend

  • kanwal

    A hero .RIPRecommend

  • Insaan

    Author says “In 2009, my father was attending a public gathering in Shabqadar when he received an urgent call from the then Deputy Inspector General of Peshawar. He and his friend, Safwat Ghayur (shaheed), were advised to leave Shabqadar immediately and head to Peshawar. No reasons were given”

    This is very significant information. DIG knew that your father’s life was in danger but he did not take any action to protect him. Your father died for humanity.

    .Recommend

  • Adnan Qamar

    Allah bless your father, my dear brother! May he be rewarded in paradise. Ameen!Recommend

  • leftis

    I salute the pride you have displayed and deeply respect the sacrifice your father (shaheed) has given for his people and country.

    May Allah (SWT) rest his soul in peace and heaven and give your family strength to overcome this grief, Aameen

    I’m with you bro…Recommend

  • ME

    that’s what our Tribal Area people are, Brave and courageous. we love you, and one day we will succeed against these evil minded peoples. stay blessed and safeRecommend

  • dancing troy

    a brave man indeed…. one of the last few.
    only cowards left now…Recommend

  • adnan

    sorry bro and may allah give him the seven heavens and bro we are not realizing the fact because pusthon community have lost their unity now people are become greedy for money. when there is no leader for us the who will lead us. and u will know better then me that pukhtoon with out a leader is nothing. allah will inshallah give u the strength and lead ur party. Recommend

  • shariq

    Ask the same question from our beloved ARMY – PAK Fauj ZindabadRecommend

  • Ash Muhajir

    MQM gave sacrifices tooRecommend

  • Sane Whispers

    May Allah bless him with jannah aameen! It is people like your father and our army that this country is still surviving the turmoils.Recommend

  • Greek Tragedy

    The enemy has succeeded in pitting brother against brother. Whereas mourning for the unjustly killed is appropriate, to willy nilly call someone shaheed is inaccurate.Recommend

  • Rashid Khan

    Once again Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa is bleeding, and sons of this soil are sacrificing their lives for the sake of their land, which was once the sign of peace and harmony. We salute to all the Shaheeds from every walk of life and pray that their sacrifices brings peace and happiness to this land. The courageous people of this soil are fighting this menace and Insha Allah that day is not far when once again the people of KPK will enjoy their lives with no threats and risks, where religion will be followed for the will of Allah, where people will love and protect each other and where peace prevails. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

    We miss this proud son, the proud father, the proud brother, the proud leader and THE PROUD FRIEND of all….
    This is the land of Braves. < THE FEW, THE PROUDS, THE PUKHTOONS.>
    Proud to be a Pukhtoon.Recommend

  • Muhammad Shafeeq Khan

    Assalam O Alakum.

    Tough belated, but kindly accept my deepest condolence on this tragic loss of your brave father. No Doubt Mohammad Ali Khan Mohmand (Shaheed) was a great person who possessed very strong intellectual personality and political wisdom. The history will remember him as an enthusiastic and keen person. It is evident that the people of Shabqadar will never find an alternate of him.

    We all wish, That Almight Allah may rest his soul in Jannat Ul Firdos. Ameen.

    Wasallam

    Muhammad Shafeeq Khan
    Shabqadar Recommend

  • gp65

    @ Author
    Sorry for your loss. May God give courage and patience to your family to deal with this great loss.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Greek Tragedy: Pakistan tragedy: The enemy brother has succeeded in pitting brother against brother. All Muslims are brothers and sisters. If your enemy tell you to kill your brother, will you….. Stop blaming others for your problems. Recommend

  • Taimur Ali Khan Mohmand

    Thankyou all for your kind prayers & wishes.
    Let we all get unite to curb this menace as this is not only responsibility of KPk/FATA. Nation should unify. Recommend

  • expaki

    @saad: Saad sahib, which language you wrote? is it Punjabi, Sindhi? It sounds CHINESE and make no sense when people are talking about deeath and destruction by fanatics.Recommend

  • expaki

    @Greek Tragedy: in all Muslim world, they have one word for death, even by motor accident, that is Shaheed, unfortunately illiterate Mullahs always find ILLUSIONIST justification for such titles.Recommend

  • sajeda

    I had never your father and his struggle for the people of Shabqadar! However, remember, great persons are never unsung heroes! They are the ones who are actually silently revered and those silently revered are the ones that are the true heroes! It is all just hypocrisy those who say “Sunehre lafzon me tahrikh yaad karegi”. In fact, Insaan ke amaal uski bakshish hoti hai, naam nahi.
    May Allah grant him the best place in Jannat ul Firdous.

    amen.Recommend

  • wak

    dear y u write this article i think ur want to get favour of people but this is the reality that there is not acheivement of ur father in progress of shabaqadar . he didn’t serve for the peopleRecommend

  • Samia

    Awwweeeee :( very pittyyy RIP! He was a brve man :( so sorrry Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    Sad and a touching story. Does Pti and imran khan still wants to do muzakrat with these fellows. God bless you. Rab rakhaRecommend

  • JZD

    May the Almighty grant Mohmand Sahib the choicest place in Heavens and give solace and forebearance to his honorable family to bear this loss.

    His murderers are the Islamo-Fascists who must be destroyed like the vermin that they are.Recommend