"I have one great desire. I want to rescue these gentle, brave, patriotic people from the tyranny of the foreigners who have disgraced and dishonoured them. I want to create for them a world of freedom, where they can live in peace, where they can laugh and be happy. I want to kiss the ground where their ruined homes once stood, before they were destroyed by savage strangers. I want to take a broom and sweep the alleys and the lanes, I want to clean their houses with my own hands. I want to wash away the stains of blood from their garments. I want to show the world how beautiful they are, these people from the hills and then I want to proclaim: ‘"Show me, if you can, any gentler, more courteous, more cultured people than these.’"

–Bacha Khan

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan strongly opposed the All-India Muslim League's demand for the partition of India and thus was never really celebrated as a national hero that he was. He founded founded the non-violent Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God") movement in 1929, whose success triggered a harsh crackdown by the British Empire against him and his supporters, and they suffered some of the most severe repression of the Indian independence movement. After partition, Badshah Khan pledged allegiance to Pakistan and demanded an autonomous "Pashtunistan" administrative unit within the country, but he was frequently arrested by the Pakistani government between 1948 and 1954.