Afzal Khan Lala, Pakistani politician, Died at 89


Muhammed Afzal Khan Lala also known as Afzal Khan Lala was born in 1926, and died on November 1, 2015.
He was a Pashtun nationalist, former Pakistani provincial and Federal minister from the Swat valley in the North-West Frontier Province.
Hailing from the Bara Drushkhela village of Matta and a senior member of the Awami National Party, he has survived several assassination attempts allegedly by the supporters of Maulana Fazlullah.
Muhammed began his political career affiliated with the National Awami Party (NAP) in opposing the rule of the Wali of Swat.
Formally joining the party in 1969 after Swat’s merger into NWFP, he was elected member of the provincial assembly in Pakistan’s 1970, first ever national election.
A close confidante of Abdul Wali Khan, he was one of three National Awami Party provincial ministers appointed in the short-lived coalition government of Mufti Mehmud.
In 1975, he was arrested by the government as part of general crackdown against the opposition and was charged as part of the Hyderabad tribunal.
Released in 1978, he was elected provincial president of the Awami National Party, however, in 1990 he along with senior party leaders formed a breakaway party called the Pakhtunkhwa Qaumi Party (PQP), in protest against the Awami National Party’s decision to form an alliance with the conservative Islami Jamhoori Ittehad.
Allying his group to the Pakistan Peoples Party, Muhammed was elected to the National Assembly in the 1993 elections.
Serving as Federal Minister for the Northern areas and Kashmir from 1993 to 1996, he withdrew from electoral politics after 1997.
He then allied himself with the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM), advocating full provincial autonomy for the various ethnicities of Pakistan.
In 2005 he rejoined the Awami National Party.
Muhammed passed away at age 89 on November 1, 2015 in Swat after a protracted illness.