Bacha Khan Raised the Moral Standards of Pakhtuns: A short essay by Dr. Syed Rashid Ali

Bacha Khan Raised the Moral standards of Pakhtuns: A short essay by Dr. Syed Rashid Ali

Bacha Khan Raised the Moral Standards of Pakhtuns: A short essay by Dr. Syed Rashid Ali

In order to face the sufferings and pave way for a progressive society, Bacha Khan reiterated for raising the moral standard of Pashtuns at individual and collective level inclusive of gender, age, occupational class, and religion. His perspective on moral education was rooted in his ideology of non-violence extracted from the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH). For achieving the purpose, he initiated a multipronged strategy where in 1921, he started with the establishment of “Islahul Afaghena” (the Society for the Reformation of Afghans). This society is established with the aim of reformation in the society through socio-cultural reconstruction by awakening people towards educational uplift, economic activities, pragmatism, collective wisdom, national sense of unity, and understanding the true religion.

He started Azad Schools with an inclusive curriculum and attracting poor people to come forward to enroll their kids. He was an aristocrat who could have afforded sending his kids to abroad for education however, enrolled them in the school in order to wiped out the class differences and/or elitists’ hegemony on educational institutions (Khan, 2018).

On the social status of woman, according to Bacha Khan, Pashtun women are wiser than men. He emphasized on equal and respectful treatment of woman and asserted that a civilized nation treats their women with respect. He considered men and women as wheel of a car. He himself sends his daughter for higher education. Today, 15 schools are providing education to female in the province under the Baha Khan Trust Foundation (Dawn, Nov 13, 2017).

He also felt the need that youth especially educated youth shall be provided a platform to use their faculties for the unity and uplift of the Muslim and Hindus of the province. Hence established the “Zalmo Jirga” (Youth League) in September 1929. In order to provide space to the elderly, he established “Khodaie Khidmatgar Tehreek” (KKT) (Servants of God) in October 1929 where through a week long camps in each village, the members were trained in reading, writing, speeches, drama performance, cleanliness drive, dialogues etc. the members were to undergo an oath where they had to pledge to renounce violence, enmity, eradication of social evils like lavish spending on customary ceremonies etc. they were trained, disciplined, ranked and uniformed like an army but unarmed with a weapon of non-violence to serve humanity irrespective of their sect, creed, and religion.

Through this organization, in addition to other purposes, Bacha Khan redefined the social status of the occupational class by providing them positions like sadar, karnail, jarnail (President, Colonel, General). Previously in Pakhtun social structure, this occupational class, Dum, Naie, Koolal, Jola (Musician, Barber, pot maker, cloth weaver) was considered disrespectful as pointed out by Ghani Khan a Pashtu poet and Philosopher, that Pashtuns love music but had contempt for musician (Khan, n.d.). Bacha Khan himself started business in order to dismantle the negative construct/derogatory term of “banya” in Pashtun society regarding business and businessmen.


  1. Bacha Khan launched movement for women uplift. (2017, November 13). The Dawn, Newspaper. Retrieved from
  2. Khan, A. G. (n.d.). The Pathan. Retrieved from
  3. Khan, M. S. (2018). Bacha Khan’s vision of alternative education. Bacha Khan Chair Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan. Aamir print & Publisher’s Peshawar.

“The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of and its staff members”

The Author is a professional writer. He is a registered member of Writers Club Pakistan and his detailed profile is available in Writers Directory.

7 thoughts on “Bacha Khan Raised the Moral Standards of Pakhtuns: A short essay by Dr. Syed Rashid Ali

  1. Ashrafali

    Indeed Bacha Khan was a great leader of the pashton . He de voted his life for the welfare and development of the pashton society. We as a member of the society needs to follow the instructions of Bacha Khan based on true islamic idealogy to achieve success in both the lives.

  2. Shah Saud

    Bacha Khan was considered one of the great leader of the 20th century not only in the subcontinent but in the western world due to his life long struggle to the philosophy of humanism, reformation, love, patience and un armed struggle.
    Bacha Khan also start the first Pashto Journal ” Pakhtun”.
    Around six PHD out of which two from Oxford university and almost two hundred book of international standards were written on Bacha Khan struggle and his movement .
    He was the true leader of Pakhtoon.
    At last thank you Dr Syed Rashid Ali for sharing such a beautiful article with writers club readers.

    The Readers want to see more articles from your side
    Thank you

  3. Ahsan Syedzada

    What a gem! Sadly, we couldn’t give him the honor and respect he deserved. I wish the government introduce greats like Bacha Khan in our history so that our people know his worth.

  4. Usama Rasheed

    Bacha Khan was a man of dignity and respect he show us how to treat a woman because he knew that women play a vital role in the development of a society. Here comes a point in my head, why we Pashtoon are unable to achieve this kind of quality for the development of an established society?


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