His father, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, was the party's first President. He is the grandson of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better known as Bacha Khan; Abdul Ghaffar was the founder of the non-violent Pashtun political movement, Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God") in undivided India and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Asfandyar's uncle Dr. Khan Sahib was the Congress Party's Chief Minister of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, during the waning days of the British Raj, and also the Chief Minister of the province during the early days of independent Pakistan. Asfandyar is the present President of the Awami National Party and has served as Member of Provincial Assembly, Member of National Assembly, senator and presently MP in Pakistan's Parliament.
Personal backgroundAsfandyar Wali Khan was born in Charsadda, then a small village outside of Peshawar, khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan. He is the eldest son of Khan Abdul Wali Khan and his first wife Taj Bibi. After the death of his mother in February 1949 his father remarried Mrs.Nasim Wali Khan in 1954. Sangeen Wali Khan was his stepbrother and eldest son of Nasim Wali Khan.
EducationAsfandyar Wali Khan completed his early education from Aitchison College, Lahore, High School from Islamia Collegiate School and his BA from Islamia College, Peshawar Pakhtoon Khwa University of Peshawar
Political careerAsfandyar Wali Khan joined the opposition to Ayub Khan as a student activist. In 1975, he was imprisoned and tortured by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and convicted as part of the Hyderabad tribunal for 15 years. Released in 1978, he stayed away from electoral politics till 1990..
Asfandyar Wali Khan served as leader of the Pakhtun Student Federation prior to being elected to the provincial Assembly in the 1990 election, while in the 1993 election he was elected to Pakistan's National Assembly. A seat to which he was re-elected to the National Assembly in the 1997 election and served as Parliamentary leader of the ANP and Chairman of the standing committee on inter-provincial co-ordination.
In 1999, he was elected party president for the first time. He was defeated in the 2002 election, in what was a repeat of his father's defeat in 1990, when a tactical alliance was formed by all the anti-ANP groups against him. After his defeat he resigned as President of his party, only to be re-elected unopposed in the subsequent party election. In 2003 he was elected to the Senate as Senator for a 6 year term. He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the parliamentary elections that was held on February 2008, leading his party to power both provincially and nationally, the former for the first time since 1947 and the latter since 1997
In September 2008, he was elected as Chairman of the standing committee on foreign Affairs.
In 2008 it was reported by DAWNDawn (newspaper) that he made a secret visit to the United States in which he made high level contacts with the U.S Central Command