Ajmal Khattak – Dawn file photo
Ajmal Khattak – Dawn file photo

NOWSHERA: The shrine of famous Pashto poet and leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Ajmal Khattak came under attack by suspected militants in Nowshera on Wednesday.

Khattak, who passed away on February 7, 2010, was a renowned poet of the Pashto language and among the most prominent politicians of the region.

A bomb was planted at his shrine in the Akora Khattak village in Nowshera district, which blew up the dome and walls of the structure, police officials told DawnNews. Following the attack, the area was cordoned off by the police. Rescue officials arrived at the site; however no injuries have been reported.

Police officials have not been able to identify the type of bomb planted and its intensity, but according to some figures, 80 per cent of the shrine has been destroyed.

Khattak authored several books in Pashto and Urdu and served as senator and an MNA but lived in his tiny village home in his native Akora Khattak village until he died due to protracted illness in 2010.

His first poem was published in 1944 in the magazine Pakhtun and the first collection of his poems, Da Ghairat Chagha, was published in 1958, but banned in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His popular books include Batoor, Gul Parhar, Guloona Takaloona, Da Ze Pagal Wom?, Zhwand Au Fan, Kachkol, Da Afghan Nang, Da Wakht Chagha, Da Zhwand Chagha and Qisa Zama Da Adabi Zhwand.

Khattak also authored Jalawatan ki Shairi, a collection of his Urdu works.

He served as the president of the Awami National Party on two occasions and became the party’s general secretary in 1973. He received the Kamal-i-Fun Award in 2008.

In 2010, the shrine of Sufi poet Abdur Rehman Baba was attacked in a similar manner by militants in Peshawar.