Sunday, 26 May 2019

Its a local myth that Ahmad Shah Abdali conducted census of Wazir and Mahsud tribes

Its a local myth that Ahmad Shah Abdali conducted census of Wazir and Mahsud tribes. They were not part of his empire so number of their fighting men did not need to be estimated. Moreover Mahsuds had not yet branched off from the parent tribe of Wazirs in 18th century and were referred to as Wazirs as late as 1897. So its odd that in 1760 Mahsuds would be recognized as a distinct tribe and were censused separately from Wazirs.

Akbar S. Ahmed writes, "Two population indexes, rather than actual figures, are part of Waziristan demographic mythology and are said to date back to Ahmed Shah Abdali, the founder of the Durrani dynasty in Kabul in the eighteenth century. It is not clear whether the numbers refer to the entire population, the males, or the warriors, but probably they include only the male fighting population. It is also not clear to what exact dates in history the numbers refer. The Wazirs suggest that they encompass a broad period in the late eighteenth century, whereas the Mahsuds say that their figures refer to the late nineteenth century. Both tribes have a tendency to quote these figures as current and contemporary." ["Religion and Politics in Muslim Society: Order and Conflict in Pakistan", Akbar S. Ahmed, pp.17-18]

Pashtun fighters of Waziristan (most probably khassadars) pose with their weapons, 1919 (c).

British commanders speak with tribesmen of Waziristan following the end of the conflict of 1919-1920.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Khassadars of Waziristan

British Soldiers with Khassadars of North Waziristan, at Chitral , circa 1940 

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Allama Muhammad Iqbal Lahori and Afghanistan

Some local Pashtuns of Khost (Afghanistan) removing name of Allama Iqbal from a sign board (2017)

(Allama Iqbal was of Kashmiri descent but in Iran and Afghanistan he is popular as "Iqbal Lahori")

1- Iqbal's grave is covered by the most precious lapiz lazuli, found mostly in Afghanistan. These stones were gifted by the Government of Afghanistan. The value of these stones was equal to three hundred thousands Afghanis (currency of Afghanistan) at that time. The stone for the grave and also for the tomb-stone was sent from Afghanistan. Two stone-torches made of lapiz lazuli were also sent but were broken during the transportation. The contents inscribed on the tomb are as under :-

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Its Luhani or Nuhani (لوحاڼي ) , not Lawani (لواڼي)

Nuhani or Luhani Pashtuns are popularly but erroneously referred to as "Lawani" in modern Pashto literature of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Abdul Hai Habibi and Abdul Shakoor Rashad (and many others who have followed them) have confused Nuhanis/Luhanis (a branch of Lodis) with Lawanis (a branch of Miyanas).

Khushal Khan Khattak calls them Luhani (لوحاني) in Swat-nama :-

In its footnotes, Abdul Hai Habibi says that Nuhani or Luhani is indianized form of Lawani (لواڼي)  or Lawan (لوڼ) :-

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Zaman Shah Durrani

Zaman Shah Durrani enthroned, his two princes attend left and right, circa 1795. A third young attendant waves a white silk fabric as symbol of royal authority.

Zaman Shah Durrani in Durbar, Lahore, surrounded by attendants, 1799. British Museum. Inscribed: 'Portrait of his highness king of king Zaman Shah Padishah Durrani, may God prolong his realm and reign. 1214'

Friday, 5 April 2019

Pata Khazana, a forgery

Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen enlightening himself by reading Pata Khazana, a forgery.

Georg Morgenstierne, a specialist of Indo-Iranian languages, and author of "An Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto", was doubtful of the authenticity of Pata Khazana. He noticed grave linguistic and historical problems in it. He shared his views about Pata Khazana in "Encyclopedia of Islam" as follow :

Muhammad Hotak, the compiler of Pata Khazana, writes, "I started to write the book on 16-Jamadi-al-Sani, 1141 H, and it was "Friday".

Qalandar Mohmand , a well known Pashtun research scholar, literary critic and Pashto poet, pointed out that on 16-Jamadi-al-Sani, 1141 H, it was "Monday" not "Friday, so the book has been created by a forgerer.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Bacha Bazi (pederasty) among Pashtuns – a few historical references

Major Lumsden who was sent to Kandahar in 1858, writes that sodomy (i.e pederasty اِغلام بازی ) which was "universally and openly practiced crime", may be styled as an Afghan vice. He noted that it occurred despite the Afghans' eternal boast that they lead religious and orthodox life and that prostitution is absent from their areas.