Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 98, a Follower of Gandhi
Published: January 21, 1988
Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Moslem disciple of Mohandas K. Gandhi who opposed British rule in India and partition of the subcontinent, died yesterday in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was 98 years old and had suffered a stroke six months ago.
A tough Pathan tribesman from India’s old northwest frontier, Mr. Ghaffar Khan’s martial beak of a nose and towering and powerful physique – at six and a half feet, he once weighed 220 pounds – made him look capable in earlier years of wrestling a bullock to the ground.
Yet, often dressed like his mentor in homespun clothes and with his hair and beard clipped short, Mr. Ghaffar Khan spent a lifetime advocating nonviolence to achieve his political aims – and at least 25 years in British and Pakistani jails for doing so.
The causes he fought for from the early 1920’s until his last arrest by the Pakistan Government in 1976 were the independence of India, a unified India as homeland for both Hindu and Moslem, and Pathan autonomy in the Pakistan created when India gained independence in 1947. The only goal he attained was the first.
Read the full obituary here, in The New York Times.