Transitions: Veteran politician Azam Hoti dies at 69

ANP leader was the father of former CM, brother of Begum Naseem


Manzoor Ali April 16, 2015
ANP leader was the father of former CM, brother of Begum Naseem.

PESHAWAR: Senior Awami National Party leader Azam Khan Hoti passed away in Mardan on Wednesday after a prolonged illness and was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in the town. He was 69.

Azam Hoti was the father of former K-P CM Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and brother of Begum Naseem Wali Khan.

He was born to an influential political family in Mardan in 1946. His father, Amir Mohammad Khan, also known as Khan Lala, was a close associate of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Bacha Khan, the founder of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement.

Tahir Ali, a political analyst based in Mardan, told The Express Tribune Azam received his early education in Risalpur and subsequently attended Atchison College in Lahore. “Azam graduated from Government Degree College Nowshera and joined the Pakistan Army,” Tahir said. “He became a captain in the Armoured Corps and participated in the 1971 war.”

However, Azam decided to resign from the army and enter politics. He joined the National Awami Party (NAP), which later became ANP, in 1972.

Azam was married to former ANP chief Wali Khan’s daughter from an earlier marriage, while his sister Begum Naseem married Wali Khan.

When Begum Naseem seized the reins of the party’s affairs, Azam gained considerable political clout in the ANP. He remained federal minister twice during the PML-N governments in 1991 and 1997. Under Azam’s supervision, the Islamabad-Peshawar and Islamabad-Lahore motorways were planned and executed.

However, in 2005 Azam ditched his sister in the struggle for control over the party and supported her stepson, Asfandyar Wali Khan.

The veteran politician is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2015.

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