Khushal Khan Khattak

Khushal Khan Khattak

May 01, 1613 – February 19, 1689

Khūshāl Khān Khaṭṭak (1613 – 25 February 1689; خوشال خان خټک), also called Khushal Baba (خوشال بابا), was an Afghan and Pashtun warrior-poet, chief, and freedom-fighter of the Khattak tribe of the Pashtuns. Khushal preached the union of all Pashtuns, and encouraged revolt against the Mughal Empire, promoting Pashtun nationalism through poetry. Khushal was the first Afghan mentor who presents his theories for the unity of the Pashtun tribes against foreign forces and the creation of a nation-state. Khushal wrote many works in Pashto but also a few in Persian. Khushal is considered the "father of Pashto literature" and the national poet of Afghanistan.
Khushal's life was spent in struggling against the Mughal Empire who had fluctuating relations with the Pashtuns in what is now Afghanistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. In order to restore their freedom, Khushal challenged powers of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and defeated the Mughal troops in many engagements. He was a renowned military fighter who became known as an "Afghan warrior-poet". The stand and fight attitude of Khushal was an important stance in Afghan history, and his opinions and ideas form a new stage in the ideological and intellectual development of the Afghans. Besides poetry and prose works, Khushal also wrote various translations from Persian and Arabic into Pashto.