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Monday, June 02, 2008

Haji Adeel in Senate: by Rahimullah Yousafzai

Haji Adeel in Senate: by Rahimullah Yousafzai


Senate to be a lively place with arrival of ANP’s Adeel

Long-time campaigner for provincial rights becomes senator

The News, June 2,2008
by Rahim Ullah Yousafzai

True to his reputation, ANP leader Haji Mohammad Adeel on his first day in the Senate after his recent election generated controversy by forcefully raising the issue of renaming of NWFP and insisting on calling his native province Pakhtunkhwa.

Adeel is no stranger to controversy. He thrives in controversial situations and never gives ground to his opponents. The Senate would be witnessing fireworks now that he has become a Senator.

The ANP made a good choice by nominating the 66-year-old Adeel as its candidate for the Senate seat vacated by party President Asfandyar Wali Khan following his election as MNA. He is knowledgeable about issues concerning the country and his province. Being familiar with business and economic matters, he would be able to highlight the rights of NWFP and link them with the larger issue of provincial autonomy.

In fact, Adeel came armed with figures and in his maiden speech as Senator he deftly put across the case of his province by pointing out that it produced 70 per cent of the timber, 75 per cent hydel power, 70 per cent maize and 80 per cent tobacco in the country and yet it wasn’t getting its due in terms of its share in federal resources. That is what a Senator should be doing and few can do this better than Adeel.

However, Adeel would be serving as Senator for a short period of seven months only. He was elected to complete the remaining term of Asfandyar Wali. It is possible that his party would nominate him as its candidate for a longer term when Senate elections are held in March next year. He certainly deserves a full six-year term as Senator.

Adeel, who belongs to a prominent family of Peshawar, has proved his utility to the ANP by defending and highlighting its policies in the media. He makes frequent appearances on television channels and is readily available to reporters seeking comments on a variety of issues. He knows how to cultivate the media and put across his and his party’s views. Rather he is known as someone who likes publicity. Forever in the news, he wants more of the same.

Fluent in a number of languages, Adeel has also improved his Pushto. Sometimes, party workers insist that he should speak at public meetings in Pushto. Some do this to tease him but he takes all this in his stride. Witty and vocal, Adeel is ready to tackle any unpleasant situation.

Adeel’s father Hakim Abdul Jaleel Nadvi was a freedom fighter. He was a leader of the Congress party and the Khudai Khidmatgar movement of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, or Bacha Khan as he is commonly known. The late Jaleel Nadvi led the procession in Peshawar’s Bazaar-i-Kalan that was fired at by the British colonial forces. He was also in the procession in Qissa Khwani Bazaar that was attacked by the British Raj soldiers. For three years from 1918 onwards, he was imprisoned in the Andaman island prison, known as Kala Pani. An overhead bridge near Bazaar-i-Kalan is now named after him.

Adeel’s forefathers had migrated from Afghanistan during Mahmud Ghaznavi’s rule and settled in Chamkani village outside Peshawar. In 1825 it shifted to Peshawar and gradually rose to prominence in political and business circles.

Thrice in 1990, 1993 and 1997, Adeel was elected MPA from Peshawar. However, he lost election in 1988 and 2002. He served as provincial finance minister and as deputy speaker of the NWFP Assembly.

Adeel studied at the historic Edwardes College, Peshawar. He has had a full life, spending time in jail including a stint in the Multan prison, taking part in literary and cultural activities and devoting all his time and energy to nationalist politics from the platform of ANP and its predecessor parties such as NAP and NDP. It isn’t commonly known that Adeel is a painter. He remained associated with Abasin Arts Council for years.

However, it is politics that consumes most of his time. For 21 years he was president of ANP Peshawar. Another 11 years he served as central information secretary of the party. For four years he was vice-president of the party. He has also served as its additional general secretary. Presently, Adeel is ANP’s senior vice-president. When Asfandyar Wali was on an overseas visit recently, he officiated as the acting central president of ANP. Adeel deserved the honour as he had risen from the party ranks and remained loyal to its cause.

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