Yusuf Khattak

Yusuf Khattak
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources
In office
14 August 1974  5 July 1977
President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Preceded by VAdm SM Ahsan
Succeeded by LGen Yaqub Khan
Personal details
Born Muhamad Yusuf Khan Khattak
(1917-11-18)18 November 1917
Kohat, NWFP, British Indian Empire
(Present-day Pakistan)
Died 29 July 1991(1991-07-29) (aged 73)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Citizenship British Subject (1917–47)
Pakistan (1947–91)
Nationality Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party
Other political
Muslim League
Relations Aslam Khattak (brother)
Habibullah Khattak (brother)
Alma mater Government College University
Oxford University
Occupation Politician
Cabinet Z.A. Bhutto Government

Muhamad Yusuf Khan Khattak (Urdu:محمد یوسف خان خٹک; b. 18 November 1917 – 29 July 1991) best known as Yusuf Khattak, was a Pakistani politician, left-wing intellectual, lawyer, and noted Pakistan Movement activist from Khyber Pakhtunkwa.

Although an early member of the Muslim League, he actively participated in politics through the left-oriented Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which he served as the minister of petroleum under the government of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was a highly respectable elder statesman and represented Pakistan at various international conferences throughout his long statesmanship.


Early life and education

Khattak was born into a prominent Pashtun Khattak family, in Kohat, North-West Frontier Province now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.[1] His father, Khan Bahadur Kuli Khan Khattak, was an influential figure in the nationalist politics of the then-North-West Frontier Province.[1] His younger brother, Aslam Khattak also served as the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Habibullah Khattak later enjoyed a distinguish career with the Pakistan Army.

After initially studying at the private Aitchison College in Lahore, he made a transfer to the renowned Government College University (GCU) in Lahore.[1] At GCU, he graduated with BA in comparative literature and poetry, and moved to the United Kingdom for higher studies.[1] He attended the Oxford University where he earned a BA in history, followed by MA in modern history. At Oxford University, he passed the bar exam to practice law and was Lincoln's Inn.[1] However, he returned to India to join the Muslim League and played a prominent role in the Pakistan Movement.[1]

Political activism and the petroleum ministry

In November 1946, he led a group of 100 volunteers of Frontier Muslim League to Bihar for relief work after the massacre of Muslims there.[1] During this time, Khattak was arrested and sent to jail along with other leaders of the Muslim League.[1] ln spite of his release orders, he refused to come out of the jail and persistently defied the orders by remaining behind the bars till Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave clarion call to the Muslim League leaders to fight the battle for referendum in North West Frontier Province.[1]

Yusuf Khattak led the Pakistan Movement section against the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Congress government under Dr Khan Sahib. A close confidante of Liaqat Ali Khan, he became secretary general of the Muslim League after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. However, he fell out with Muslim League Chief Minister Abdul Qayyum Khan, who actively organised a campaign to oust him and his colleagues like Barrister Khan Saifullah Khan, from any role in provincial politics.

He was then elected secretary general of the Provincial Muslim League, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in 1949. He was soon elevated to the prominent position of secretary general of All Pakistan Muslim League the same year thereby succeeding Liaquat Ali Khan, prime minister of Pakistan as secretary general of the league.

Frequently in the opposition, he was elected the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and was a prominent leader in the campaign of Fatima Jinnah against Field Marshal Ayub Khan's military government.

A prominent critic of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khans Pakhtunistan policy, he also rejected the National Awami Party's claim to be the sole representative of Pashtuns.

Reconciling with Qayyum Khan before the bye elections 1971 election, he joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Qayyum faction and contested and won the election from Qayyum Khan's vacated Peshawar seat.

As part of Qayyum Khan's alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party, Yusuf Khattak was appointed Federal Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources in Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Cabinet. He was re-elected to his seat in the 1977 election despite the Qayyum League's rout.

In 1990 the Government of Pakistan gave him a gold medal for his services to Pakistan.[2]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Govt. Pakistan. "Mohammad Yousaf Khan Khattak". Government of Pakistan, August 14, 2003. Pakistan Post Office. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  2. Pakistan Post Office Commerotive stamps
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