A life of surprises – and inspiration

“Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure, do it well, enjoy it, and then think about what comes next.”–Condoleezza Rice.salim copy In the above photograph, obtained from Flickr, this innocent little boy clad in hand-stitched black militia clothes with a traditional Chitrali cap in early 1980s is eagerly looking in the lens of the camera as the whole world revolves around the black magic box. His face is glowing with joy for being photographed along with a friend carrying a toddler – a grown-up man now with big mustache. The day must have been memorable for the young boy who had no idea what fate carried for him in store. His flapped pockets on both sides of the shirt are stuffed with everything he has in his possession like every typical Chitrali boy. The ordinary lad in the picture is no one else than Saleem Khan, former provincial minister for population welfare Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A university graduate finds it hard to get a job in the remote area despite fulfilling the eligibility criteria. He was left with no option but to open a departmental store in the town. His slingshot unintentionally hit Huma – the bird of fortune – and with the little push of Shahzada Mohiuddin he became the deputy district mayor of Chitral in 2002 local government elections even after failing to become the nazim of a union council in his hometown of Garam Chashma. In the 2008 general elections, he stood for the lower Chitral provincial assembly (PK-89) and won the race and was inducted into the provincial cabinet and given the portfolio of population welfare. He again contested the 2013 general elections and managed to retain the seat. Now Mr Saleem Khan enjoys the slot of deputy parliamentary leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the provincial assembly. “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.”–Reba McEntire]]>

15 Replies to “A life of surprises – and inspiration”

  1. There is a need for political maturity. I agree with Miss Naila that we have always been befooled in the past either in the name of religion or ruthless support of military dictators. Unfortunately, there has been no single politician selected in the past which has served the people, worked in the better interest of the nation. Rather they focused on their self-interest and we elected them again and again. Despite huge opposition against the former military ruler Musharraf, the APML managed to secure two seats in Chitral. This shows our lack of political maturity. Currently, they have merely procured opposition benches while in such scenario how they deliver and raised their voice rather they seem absolutely lonely in the political arena. What we have to do is to support the one who has the capabilities and guts to serve our Chitrali nation and represent them in every forum.

  2. The reaction of PPP jiyalas despite knowing that Saleem Khan amassed unlimited ill-wealth which Prince Mohiuddin had not even dreamt of throughout his political career spanning over a period of three decades is surprising. The selfless foot soldiers of selfish Saleem should at least ask him about the properties he has made after coming into politics and his lifestyle when he was an ordinary shopkeeper.

  3. We majority of Chitralis along with my dear brother Saleem Khan are the selfless foot soldiers of our great leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and you leaderless people are still relying on timber smugglers and contractor mafia when it is time to use your right to franchise. Saleem will win again in the next elections and he will Insha Allah become member National Assembly defeating everyone else. You should know you people have no option except wasting your vote sometimes in the name of a military dictator, sometimes to a nimcha mullah, and most of the time selling it to contractor mafia and timber mafia for the sake of only one mobile phone set or Rs500. This is how you vote and this is what your contractor leaders befool you in the name of Lowari tunnel or for just a single plate of Afghani Pulao from Ataleghi bazar.

  4. ‘Wa Tu Izzu Man Tasha”
    The small verse from Qur’an-e-pak is enough to justify Saleem Khan. For everything to happen someone is chosen as a medium, so if you wish, Muhiuddin Sahib was. But as we all know there didnt seem to be any chance for Saleem Khan to win again, and he won the elections finally. So why people trusted him again if he wasn’t worthy of?
    The fact is our people are jealous of him, or as a matter of fact it is the racial or regional biasness, nothing more. And i am not wrong saying that, most of you will agree if not all.
    Yes this is the one and only reason people dislike him. Allah has given him what he really deserves.

  5. The beautiful photograph of dear brother Saleem, wearing black clothes with white ‘moghekan pakor’, completely unaware of what fate is waiting for him in the store, is a story for the young generation to follow. Saleem Khan achieved the milestone after great hardships. But the commitment shown by him to reach on the top made him prominent from rest of his colleagues. I was his regular customer when he was running a departmental store during his old bad days when he had nothing else to do except running his shop with great zeal and fervor exactly the way he is doing politics. There is a need to clarify one thing to which some of our brothers have taken exception to. This is a fact that it was Shahzada Muhiuddin who helped Saleem to step in to politics otherwise he would have become a big businessman like Haji Musafir Khan. There is no harm to be grateful if somebody has done good to you, and Muhiuddin has played a fatherly role as far as making Saleem a successful politician. He should be grateful to Shazada Muhiuddin for he had done to him instead of acting like Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafer. This is fact that Saleem used to call Shahzada Muhiuddin ‘baba’ like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto used to call Ayub Khan as baba. But after becoming minister for population welfare with the help of Sadruddin Hashwani with the help of one of his cousins, who is working with Hashwani, he has forgotten everything, which, at least we were not expecting from Saleem.

  6. @Zakir Muhammad Khan: As I quoted Abraham Lincoln in my above comment “Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.
    I am not a supporter of Saleem Khan as he got a chance to deliver, prove himself but failed to do so! He proved himself among those other so-called “politicians” who are more interested in increasing their wealth than doing anything for the welfare of the nation. It’s same with other politicians of Chitral. No matter if it’s Mohiuddin, Iftikhar or Abdul Akbar Chitrali; they all are same group of people with same kind of evil mentality, where they believe that money is everything and they religiously commit corruption.
    But I strongly disagree with you when you said “We never thought you people of Lotkoh could act like Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafer of Chitral”. This sentence of yours reflects your personality, it shows your hatred towards the people of Lotkho! You blame the whole Lotkho just because of one corrupt leader; and his beneficiary supporters.
    My friend, in today’s Pakistan you find these Mir Sadiq, Mir Jafar in every neighborhood. So stop blaming only people of Lotkho. You can find them in your area as well.

  7. No one in Chitral’s history has reached such a political position in such a short span of time. After heavyweight Qadir Nawaz Lal of Drosh and Shahzada Mohiuddin, Saleem Khan was the only man to be inducted as a minister and to work in that position for full five years. More surprisingly, nobody imagined Saleem Khan would win the seat again which he did in the May 11 elections.
    To Zakir Muhammad khan, I will only say was this Mohiuddin who got Saleem Khan into the KP assembly and was it again Mohiuddin who enabled Saleem Khan to win the May 11 elections and defeat the very son of the Shahzada?

  8. Saleem Khan is a self-made man and I disagree with the contention that he was pushed up by Shahzada Mohiuddin. Mr Mohiuddin indeed pushed up so many people in the past but none of them got rolling up. Good luck, yes, sure and I wish him more success because he is an educated and sincere man with a clear thought.

    1. If Saleem is a self-made man as claimed by Javed Karim, why he wasted so many precious years of his life in selling grocery items till Shahzada Mohiuddin picked him for the slot of district naib nazi. All political differences aside, we never thought you people of Lotkoh could act like Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafer of Chitral.

    2. Shahzada Mohiuddin only worked for his own interests. A man who did nothing for Chitral during the last 35 years and you are saying that he uplifted Saleem Khan. It is is going over my head and does not make any sense.

  9. This is very inspiring to read and see such a beautiful picture of our dear brother Saleem Khan and in my opinion with my dear friend Mumtaz Hussain, and the kid I think is Riaz, most probably, please correct me if I am wrong? By nature, Mr. Saleem Khan is a great man as I know him personally and it is his good luck, as the writer has rightly mentioned his slingshot hit the bird of fortune, which got him to the heights of popularity within a short time. My eyes were full of tears when I saw him clad in black clothes as he would have never imagined to reach the top, but Allah Rabul Izzat has His own choice…Beshak wohi izat dana wala hai. His picture depicts exactly the story of Ayaz. When Ayaz arrived at the court of Mahmud, he possessed only a tattered shawl and an old piece of fur. After donning the clothing of the court, he kept his old clothing locked in a room. Everyday he used to enter the room to see his old clothes and reminded himself “Ayaz, not long ago you arrived here with these tattered clothes but today you are closely attached to the king. Do not forget your origin. You enjoy the favours of the king in abundance but don’t become proud and boastful.” I, therefore, request my brother Saleem to adopt the way of Ayaz if you want Allah subhanahu watalla to bless you with more honor.

    1. Yes brother, I still remember that day when I gave my 110 camera to one of our friends to take a shot of us in Ziyarat, Garam Chashma. But I really didn’t imagine that time that this picture will be a memorable one, and our brother will be a famous political person of Chitral. The child is my niece Abdul Qadir Jan (now IT teacher) at the GHS Garam Chashma.

  10. Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.–Abraham Lincoln
    And the rest! People of Chitral know very well.

  11. Very nice idea. A similar write-ups on all the politicians including Shahzada Mohiuddin, Ghulam Muhammad, Maulana Abdul Akbar, Sardar Hussain, Saeed Ahmad, etc, would be a wonderful idea. Besides, there is a need to shed light on the way these politicians amassed wealth and are now roaming around in land cruisers. After all we should know how these people managed to become millionaires within no time.

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