Muhammad Amir Khan Hoti

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Muhammad Amir Khan Hoti, Zafar Ali Yusufzai
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, September 16 2005 (http://www.khyber.org)


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Muhammad Amir Khan Hoti

Zafar Ali Yusufzai

Late Scion of the Hoti Family

Publishing Date: Friday, September 16 2005

Mardan, the second largest city of NWFP and the abode of warrior "Yousafzai" tribe, is not only famous for its historical background and the presence of more than 300 archeological sites, but is also famous for being a nursery of politicians as it has given birth to a number of political figures who rose to prominence. Leaders like Sahibzada Abdul Qayum, Mohammad Ali Khan Hoti, Amir Mohammad Khan, Maulana Midrarullah Midrar, General Fazle Haq and Mir Afzal Khan are to name few but it would be great injustice if the HOTI family of Mardan remains unmentioned while there is talk of national politics.

The HOTI family not only played an active role in the independence movement and at the time of partition, but also rendered relentless services to the people of NWFP after the creation of Pakistan. A glimpse of which can be presented. As it was Nawab Akbar Khan Hoti, on whose invitation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah paid a visit to Mardan on November 24, 1945 and addressed a huge gathering at Hoti House. It was also he who not only attended the historical session of Muslim League at Lahore on March 23, 1940, but also attended the "Simla Conference" in 1945. The move did not stop there as the successive generations of the Hoti's are presently also following their forefathers in one-way or the other. One of the Nawbzadas, Abdul Ghafoor khan Hoti remained a Federal Minister and later on became the Governor of NWFP, while Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti remained a Provincial Minister of Education and MPA quite few times. Still the new generation of the great family is struggling in different fields of life like government service, politics and business.

Out of these personalities of the HOTI family, one name, which got prominence, was that of Colonel (Retd) Mohammad Amir Khan. Born on September 19,1919, Amir Khan got his early education at DeraDoon, India. He got commission in Indian Army in 1940 and was sent to Sandherst, United Kingdom for the Professional Training of Army. He participated actively in World War II at the battlefields of Libya and Iraq. After WWII, at the time of partition, he played a gallant role for the protection of the Muslim Refugees, who were migrating to the newly born state of Pakistan. Among the stirring events of that time, one was occurred in which Amir Khan succeeded in safely harbouring thousands of the migrating Muslims towards Pakistan.

It was at the time of partition when the establishment of Pakistan was announced, vast scale massacre of Muslims at the hands of Hindus occurred. The migrating Muslims were brutally killed by the daggers of the Sikhs and the spears of the Hindus, it was Col Amir Khan who along with a small contingent of soldiers escorted the Train and paved a safe way in its journey towards Pakistan. It is worth mentioning that the said train was not only carrying thousands of the refugees, but also the "share" of military equipments including some tanks and other ammunitions, which Pakistan had got as a result of the distribution of the two Dominions.

After the partition, looking in to the professional competencies of Colonel Mohammad Amir khan, he was appointed as a Military Attach in Indonesia. He accomplished his responsibilities there till the death of his father, Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan, the Nawab of HOTI, in 1952. After retiring from Army at this moment, he started giving attention towards his Family affairs and established a Sugar Mills at Charsadda in 1950's. On his invitation, the Prime Minister of the Republic of China, Mr. Chouin Lai paid a visit to Mardan during his historic visit to Pakistan in 1950's. He was given a warm welcome at HOTI House in the traditional manners of the Pukthoon culture.

During these years, he also stepped in politics. His political career started by his joining the Republican Party and became Minister for Industries, Village Aid and Supplies in late 1957 when Sikandar Mirza was ruling the country. In Field Marshall Muhammad Ayub Khan's era, he remained an MNA. In 1976, during the visit of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to HOTI House Mardan, Col. Amir joined Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and remained loyal to the Party ever since (up to the end of his life). He was appointed an Ambassador to Spain and served there for three years from 1981 to 1984. After that, since the late 1980's till his last breath on April 6th this year, he enjoyed a retired life.

Aside from politics, he also rendered services for the uplift of NWFP as an industrialist. He can be rightly termed as the "founder of the Industrial base" in the province. It was he who established a sugar mill in the province in the early years of the creation of Pakistan. He also had the honour of becoming the host of the President of the World Bank Mr. McNamara at his farmhouse in Chail Village on the Mardan-Takhtbahi road. It was in this meeting, that McNamara extended loan for the establishment of a paper mill at Charsadda, which got prominence as the Pakistan Paper Corporation(PPC). In this way, Col (Retd) Mohammad Amir Khan laid the foundations for industries in his province.

Amir Khan lived a joyous life and hated the secluded one. He enjoyed his retired life with his friends and comrades, cracking jokes and sharing his eventful life with them, at the sprawling farmhouse at Chail village in Mardan. He was a down-to-earth personality and it was this attitude that he preferred to build a beautiful residence at his farmhouse in order to live in his native Mardan much nearer to his agricultural lands and friends. He kept his doors open so that anyone could access him anytime. He had got a caring heart full of love for the people of Mardan. This is manifested by his endeavors for the social uplift of the area. He had donated land for the construction of two primary schools, one each for boys and girls. His HOTI family still runs a seminary with the name of "Akbar Darul Uloom", situated on the Mardan-Nowsehra road.

Although Col. Amir khan passed his life, but it does not mean an end to the great era of the Hoti family of Mardan. The Family will continue its support and efforts for the uplift of the area. He had left three sons namely Qadir khan, Nadir Khan and Lakhar khan. The later two are rendering services in different government departments presently. While Qadir Khan is expected to effectively handle the exorbitant saga of the late Nawab Amir Khan in future.


This article appeared in the Daily Statesman, Peshawar on 16 May 2005. The author; Zafar Ali Yusufzai is a regular contributor to the newspaper.

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Muhammad Amir Khan Hoti, Zafar Ali Yusufzai
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, September 16 2005 (http://www.khyber.org)