National poet of Afghanistan. Born 1613, died 1689.
In favour with Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, but out of favor with Aurangzeb, who had him brought in chains to Delhi in 1664. After his stay in prison, Khushhal Khan Khatak devoted the remaining years of his life to getting even with Aurangzeb. According to tradition, his final words were "Let not the hooves of the Mughal horses defile my grave".
In Khushhal's poems, one encounters both political history and sensitive landscape descriptions. His poems deal largely with his own experiences. The forms used are mostly the Persian metric forms, ghasele and qaside, but adapted to Afghan folk traditions, and following the rhythm of the Pashtu language.
Although Khushhal is said to have written more than 350 works on all subjects (including medicine, falconry, divination, construction, erotica, theology and ethics), it is doubtful that all the works claimed for him are of his own creation. The is no doubt, however, that his magnum opus, Divan, is his work.
His tribe, the Khataks, now live in Kohat, Peshawar and Mardan.