PESHAWAR: Senator Azam Hoti passed away in Mardan on Wednesday at the age of 69. Hoti was a prominent figure of Awami National Party (ANP) until 2013, after he had a fallout with party leadership.
Born in 1946, Hoti belonged to a prominent family from Mardan. His father Amir Mohammad Khan – popularly known as Khan Lala – was a close aide of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, founder of the Khudai Khidmatgar (Red Shirt) movement.
His family was considered second to that of Baacha Khan’s, in ANP circles, on account of their close ties. Hoti was married to Baccha Khan’s daughter, while his sister Begum Nasim married ANP chief Wali Khan, strengthening Hoti family’s standing in ANP ranks.
When Begum Nasim was at the helm of party affairs, the Hoti family gained much clout in the party. Taking the opportunity to make light of the situation, people started terming ANP, Azam-Nasim Party.
It was during this time, that Hoti was twice appointed federal minister for communications under Nawaz Sharif’s rule in 1991 and 1997, when ANP was part of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition.
In 2005, when Begum Nasim was removed as party’s provincial president in a inner-party coup of sorts, Hoti fully supported Asfandyar Wali Khan. Hotis once again rose to power in the party in 2008, when Azam Hoti’s eldest son, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, was made Khyber-Pakhtunkawa chief minister.
However, during the 2013 general elections, the senior Hoti launched a series of verbal attacks against ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and other leaders. Azam Hoti’s attacks against ANP were so scathing that his son, Haider, was forced to refute them before media. Howeverm the father and son reconciled later that year.
Tahir Ali, a Mardan based political analyst told The Express Tribune that Azam Hoti received his early education in Risalpur and later attended Lahore’s prestigious Aitchison College. Hoti graduated from Degree College Nowshera and joined Pakistan Army and commissioned in 1967.
“He become a captain in Armored Corps and took part in 1971 war,” Tahir said. Hoti resigned from army and joined National Awami Party (NAP) in 1972. He also spent a decade in exile in Afghanistan.