In 1985 he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize.
In 1987 he became the first non-citizen to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Ghaffar Khan forged a close, spiritual, and uninhibited friendship with Mahatma Gandhi, the pioneer of non-violent mass civil disobedience in India. The two had a deep admiration towards each other and worked together closely till 1947.
In 1931 the Congress offered him the presidency of the party, but he refused saying, "I am a simple soldier and Khudai Khidmatgar, and I only want to serve."
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