Abdul Qayyum Khan
Abdul Qayyum Khan (16 July 1901 – 22 October 1981) was a major figure in Pakistan politics, in particular in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where he served as deputy speaker, Chief Minister and Minister in the Central Government and as Federal Interior Minister.
His father Khan Abdul Hakim was a Tehsildar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Qayyum Khan, a barrister by profession, was of Kashmiri origin. His one brother Abdul Hamid khan was the prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
A former Congressite, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan had not only started his political career as a member of the Indian National Congress but was from 1937 till 1946 a Congress member of the Legislative Assembly and between 1942 and 1946 he was also the Deputy Leader of the Congress parliamentary party in the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi. He was an ardent admirer of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, so much so that he authored a book: Gold and Guns, in which he profusely praised the leadership of Bacha Khan and his political vision and mission. (The book was last re-printed by Gosha-e-Adab, Quetta in 1972).
He defected to the Muslim League in the mid 1940s and was a key figure in the Pakistan movement in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. An honest man, but a harsh ruler, he was known in his later life for his development work in the province, especially for the construction of Peshawar University, primary education, hydro-electric projects like the Warsak dam and his deep dislike as well as brutal suppression of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement. His role in ordering the Babra Sharif massacre is one which he faces much criticism for, that in combination with the brutal crackdown against his former colleagues in the Congress party earned him their lasting hatred.
He served as Central Minister for Industries, Food and Agriculture Minister in 1953.
Arrested by the Ayub Khan regime, he was disqualified from politics and imprisoned for two years before finally being released. Contesting the 1970 elections from three seats as leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Qayyum faction he won all National Assembly seats and entered into alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) after East Pakistan broke away in the Bangladesh Liberation War. Appointed Federal interior Minister by Zulfiqar Bhutto he served in that post till the 1977 elections when his party suffered a near total rout. After Zia-ul-Haqs assumption of power, Qayyum Khan tried to unify all the disparate Muslim League factions. His efforts were inconclusive and he died on 22 October 1981.