In the quiet precincts of Siddiqabad in Bajaur, the untimely demise of Rehan Zeb Khan, a candidate for National Assembly Constituency NA-8 and Provincial Assembly Constituency PK-22, marked the end of a promising journey.
Hailing from a modest family in Salarzai Tehsil, Rehan Zeb was tragically killed, leaving behind a legacy of educational triumphs, social activism, and unyielding dedication.
Rehan Zeb Khan embarked on his academic journey after completing Intermediate, enrolling at Arid Agriculture University in Islamabad in 2014. There, he not only pursued his Engineering Degree in Land and Water Conservation but also actively engaged in political and social endeavors.
His influence extended to founding the Insaf Students Federation, the Tribal Youth Forum for tribal district rights, and the Youth of Bajaur. Recognizing his potential, Prime Minister Imran Khan nominated him as a member of the National Youth Council in 2021.
A man of simplicity, talent, and unwavering principles, Rehan Zeb proudly acknowledged his family’s economic struggles. His speeches echoed a determination to prove that even a son of humble origins could ascend to political heights. He urged the youth towards self-dependence and faith. Rehan Zeb notably staged a sit-in against corruption within his party in Bajaur, emphasizing his commitment to principles over familial ties.
In the words of Ayub, a close friend, Rehan Zeb was a principled and honest leader who refused to bow down to corruption or compromise on regional interests. He adamantly declared, “I will continue to raise my voice for my people as long as I am alive.” Faced with tempting offers to withdraw from elections, he resolutely replied, “No! I have decided.”
Despite applying for security from the District Police Officer, Rehan Zeb’s request was denied. Ayub remains determined to fulfill the promise made to his martyred leader: “I will die, but his mission is not incomplete.”
Rehan Zeb Khan, part of a family with two sisters and five brothers, remained unmarried and unengaged. His father recalled Rehan’s words, expressing a desire to marry when the time was right.
Daulat Khan, Rehan Zeb’s elder brother, shared his sibling’s unconventional vision, stating, “He wanted to do something big for Bajaur.” Video clips circulating on social media reveal Rehan Zeb’s resolve not to marry until he reached 30, highlighting his aspirations to perform Hajj with his parents and address public issues.
Jahangir, Rehan Zeb’s brother, recounted the challenging circumstances under which Rehan pursued his studies. Working in Karachi for most of the year to finance his education, Rehan’s family ensured he never felt the burden of poverty.
Jahangir lamented the premature end to Rehan Zeb’s aspirations, expressing regret that one of his wishes couldn’t be fulfilled in his lifetime. Rehan Zeb Khan’s concern for the children and youth of his region echoed in his words, “My job is a matter of hours, but what would I do with such a life and wealth if I couldn’t use it to change the conditions of my region and my people?” Despite his untimely death, Rehan Zeb’s unfulfilled dreams continue to inspire those who strive for positive change.