Hayat Sherpao

Hayat Sherpao

Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao (1943 - 1975) was a former Governor of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan and one of the co-founders of the Pakistan Peoples Party. His political life was full of turmoil but he proved to be a popular leader. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan Peoples Party made him the party head in the North-West Frontier Province when he formed the PPP in 1967. Hayat Sherpao was later assassinated in 1975 in a bomb explosion.

Early life

Hayat Sherpao was born in 1943 to Khan Bahadar Ghulam Haider Khan Sherpao who was a leader in the Pakistan Movement. A Muhammadzai by tribe, he was born in the influential Sherpao family of the Frontier province. He was the fifth son of Khan Bahadar Ghulam Haider Khan Sherpao, a Pakhtun aristocrat who was a key player in the Pakistan movement. Hayat Khan was also the older brother of veteran Pakistani politician Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao.

Hayat's impressive family tree and cross-marriages in other influential families gave him an edge over others in influence and politics. He belonged to a family of Khan's and Feudal Lords but lived in the hearts of the poor masses that saw him as their saviour.Fact|date=September 2008


Hayat Sherpao graduated from Islamia College, Peshawar, where he also worked for student rights. He joined the front ranks in Fatima Jinnah’s electoral campaign, when she challenged the Genera Ayub Khan's dictatorship. [ [http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C02%5C08%5Cstory_8-2-2007_pg7_32 Salutations to Hayat Sherpao — a martyr and an inspiration] "Daily Times", February 8, 2007]

Lion of the Frontier

Sherpao was a close ally of the former President and Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and a Co-founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Sherpao became Governor of the North-West Frontier Province shortly after Bhutto had become president of Pakistan. He was the governor from the 25 December 1971 to 30 April 1972. He also remained a Federal Minister in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's cabinet and a Senior Minister in the NWFP cabinet.

Hayat Khan Sherpao's rise in politics was of almost meteoric proportions. The surge in his popularity in the Frontier as well as the rest of Pakistan is said to have cast many jealous eyes upon him and earned him a number of enemies, quite often in the form of seasoned and already established politicians from other mainstream political parties. This popularity and political success, however, also led to him being dubbed the "Lion of the Frontier" or "Sher-i-Sarhad" by the Pakistan Peoples Party, and more specifically by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.


He was assassinated on 16 February, 1975, in a bomb explosion on the campus of University of Peshawar [ [http://fiverupees.blogspot.com/2008/03/hayat-khan-sherpao-murder.html Hayat Sherpao Khan the murder] Retrieved March 28 2008] Asfandyar Wali Khan, the leader of National Awami Party (Wali was named as the primary accused by the Bhutto government. His death led the government to target the National Awami Party of Khan Abdul Wali Khan, which banned the party and arrested its leaders on the charge of his murder, a charge they were eventually acquitted off.

Hayat Sherpao's assassination was a considered a national disaster with many still mourning his loss today. To pay tribute to the slain PPP leader many places, roads, and institutions were named after him. The famous town of Hayatabad and Hayat Shaheed Hospital in Peshawar District, Sherpao Bridge in Lahore and the many Sherpao colonies in different parts of Pakistan including Rawalpindi and Karachi are some examples of this.

alutations to a great leader

On the death anniversaries of Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao, politicians and other citizens renew their pledge for the establishment of an egalitarian society. His death in a bomb explosion at Peshawar University is unforgettable in Pakistan’s troubled political history and is an historical event for workers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as it exposes the violent tendencies in our political culture.

Hayat Sherpao mantel is now carried by his younger brother Aftab Sherpao, who learned politics and diplomacy form his elder brother. Carrying forward the mission, he now formed his own PPP faction, which is also a leading provincial force. The Sherpao faction has raised a voice for the rights of the Pukhtoon and the province, avoiding negative politics. It goes to Sherpao’s credit that he has arranged public gatherings every year to commemorate his brother’s death anniversary.


See also

* Rafi Raza
* Aslam Khattak

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box |title=Governor of the North-West Frontier Province
years=25 December, 1971- 30 April, 1972
before= K.M. Azhar Khan| after=Arbab Sikandar Khan

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