Bahadur Shah Zafar Kaka Khel
Bahadur Shah Zafar was born in 1910 at Kaka Sahib, district Nowshera, in the knowledgeable family of Mian Khaliq Shah. After having some elementary education in a Maktab, he was admitted in fourth class in a school at Akora Khattak, his mother's native village. He pass the middle standard of a vernacular school there, having received religious education from Haji Abdul Qayum who taught him fiqh and some other basic religious subjects. He had no intention to do a job, but received an offer for the post of Naib in education department in 1928, and he accepted that. Having developed aptitude for learning, he continued his studies and did his honours in Pashto, Persian and Urdu from the
Punjab university in 1940s. He also passed intermediate and Sindh vernacular examinations.
There were two types of services, as disclosed by Mian Sahib; district board and government services. He started his career from district board and joined the government service in 1936, when he was posted at Karak. He served in that capacity at Swabi and Mardan also. In 1945, education department selected 24 incumbents for university training. He was on the top. Next year, he got a post in the basic education at Rustam and transferred after an year to Malakand.
In 1957, Bahadur Shah Zafar was serving as a teacher in Nowshera when he was transferred to Kaka Sahib where he had been teaching until his retirement in 1970.
Zafar Sahib entered the literary field by compiling textbooks. During Ayub Khan's regime, he had compiled a Pashto textbook which was taught in most of the schools in NWFP. He had earnest desire that the people of
should learn every language of the state. With this idea, he prepared a Pashto grammar ‑ Rahnuma‑i‑Pashto, and translated it in Urdu also so that Urdu speaking people could also take advantage of it. Pakistan
The outstanding contributions of Bahadur Shah Zafar are Zafrul Lughaat (dictionary) and Pukhtane Da Tareekh Pa Ranra Kshe (Pakhtuns in the light of history). The full‑size dictionary of more than 1,400 pages caries more than 45,000 words and idioms with meaning and definition in Pashto and Urdu. It was first published in 1959 and again in 1980. About this dictionary, Mian Sahib said that worked on it with such care and concentration that he lost his eye sight. The history of the Pakhtuns that he has compiled is, probably, the most voluminous and comprehensive, covering the period between 550 BC and 1969. It also contains 1,400 pages.
He claims that he was the first writer of a drama in Pashto. His play captioned Da Kelee Khaest (The beauty of village) was broadcast from radio
in 1935. He cherished the memory of rehearsal for this drama at the residence of Arbab Jehangir, and the company of some Hindus in this play. The does not accept the claim of Aslam Khattak that he is the first playwright of Pashto. Peshawar
He further disclosed that he has compiled a book on the life and teachings of Shaikh Rahamkar Kaka Sahib in 1986. Besides his own efforts, he has taken help from the scripts of Mian Mohammad Badshah Kaka Khel who had spent most of life in field work of research on the reverend saint. Badshah Mian had travelled to several parts of
Afghanistan and to trace materials on the subject. For this accomplishment, Bahadur Shah Zafar had received an award of Rs 10,000 from Mian Ajmal Shah, brother of Mian Jamal Shah. India
As a staunch religious person, Mian Sahib is a great admirer of Maulana Maudoodi and has got much of inspiration from his works. As token of his attachment with the Maulana and his works, he has translated some of his books in Pashto, including: Parda, Deen‑i‑Haq, Seerat‑un‑Noor, and some sermons. He has also translated Deen Kee Tafseer, Ahsas, Rah‑i‑Amal etc.
This versatile scholar of repute has got frustrated in his old age due to indifferent attitude of the government agencies related to literature. It was professor Preshan Khattak whom he mentioned with deference. He recalled that when Preshan Khattak was chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters, he sanctioned a monthly stipend for him. Since his departure, the stipend has been frequented into quarterly. He also mentioned in a tone of complaint that the cheques issued by PAL are cleared from
which cost Rs 25‑30 (out of 500) on account of bank transaction charges. He had been awarded Sitara‑i‑Imtiaz, and a certificate, during the regime of General Ziaul Haq during 1988. However, he is not pleased with general attitude of the government department and literary circles. In fact, the men of letters have no regard in Islamabad , he said. The literary figures and intellectuals are forced to sell their pens and conscience and live in disgrace as parasite on the mercy of their benefactors. Material gains, thus, go to those who hum around the arrogant bureaucrats with eulogies. He mentioned that even the Pashto academy does not give him proper attention. Had he done so much works in some European country, he would have been celebrated frequently. Pakistan
Bahadur Shah Zafar is now too weak, with bad eye sight and hearing power. He has rendered invaluable services to Pashto literature. In this age he needs care and consolation. Casual visits from some officers of Pakistan Academy Letters,
, and culture and information department, with some gifts would not be a cost to redress his frustration, complaints and grievances. Pashto Academy
When Zafar exposes the wounds of his hurt heart,
Says, leave it, what's this noise in love.
When you looked with a smile,
I got courage, and returned the look.
The snake of hair could not be tamed,
Though I tested many snake‑charmers.
No cure for love was found,
The physician consulted the books again.
I don't believe that Zafar will recover,
When I looked at the wounds of his heart.