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Sunday, April 21, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Who is Mahmood Khan Achakzai, the candidate for presidential election

PkMAP chief will be facing PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on March 9
A file photo of Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai.
A file photo of Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai.

Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s name is once again being discussed in the country’s political spectrum after the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) filed his nomination papers for the presidential elections. He will be up against PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The SIC is now home to the PTI leaders who won general elections on February 8 as independents. In his no-hold-barred speech, Achakzai demanded that former prime minister Imran Khan should be released forthwith.

The president is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies. Voting is held through a secret ballot.

Achakzai was elected as an MNA from the NA-266 seat in Qilla Abdullah, Chaman on February 8.

He was born on December 12, 1948, in Inayatullah Karez Gulistan, Killa Abdullah district.


The veteran politician completed his primary education at the Government Primary School in Inayatullah Karez Gulistan, Killa Abdullah district. He finished his matriculation from the Government High School in his hometown while he got intermediate (FSc) done from the Government Degree College in Quetta.

The PkMAP chief got his bachelor’s of engineering degree from the Mechanical Engineering College University of Peshawar.

Entry to politics

Achakzai began his political career with the Pashtoon Students Organisation which was later renamed to the Pashtoonkhwa Students Organisation.

He became the head of the Pashtoonkhwa National Awami Party at the age of 25 after the death of his father Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai Shaheed on December 2, 1973. Later in 1989, he was elected the party chairman.

Attempt on life

He was safe in an attack on the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) procession which he was leading in Quetta on October 7, 1983. The incident occurred when military dictator General Ziaul Haq was ruling the country.

Unfortunately, the attack in the Qandhari Bazaar killed four of his companions: Ulas Yar, Dawood, Ramzan, and Kaka Mehmood.

The attempt on his life prompted him to go into hiding for more than six years until the martial law ended. Upon his return in 1989, Achakzai suggested the need for convening a loya jirga and because of this, the War of Gulistan started.

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Start of parliamentary period

He was elected as a member of the provincial assembly in 1974 from Gulistan, Dobandi, Qilla Abdullah, and Chaman.

Moreover, the PkMAP chief was elected as a member of the National Assembly in 1990 from Qilla Abdullah. He again made his road to the lower house of Parliament in 1993 and 2002 after winning seats in Qillah Abdullah, Pishin, and Quetta.

He refused to become the caretaker prime minister before the 2013 elections. He was again elected as a MNA from Quetta, Qillah Abdullah, and Chaman in the same year.

Democratic alliance

He has been playing his role in the political democratic alliance which can be gauged from his active participation in MRD, APDM, Poonam, PDM, and other movements.

It is said that the veteran politician “never compromised” on the supremacy of the Constitution.

Achakzai was elected as the Poonam president after BNP-M’s Sardar Akhtar Mengal in 2006. People from Pashtoon, Baloch, Sindh, and Siraki were part of this movement.

The politician also served as the central deputy president of the PDM. He has a wife, and three sons: Atal, Asal, and Azal. He also has three daughters.

While demanding that the Constitution should be respected in his speech, Achakzai said: “The people have high hopes from Parliament.”

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Asif Ali Zardari

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Mahmood Achakzai

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