Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tarklanri tribe

The Tarklanris of Bajaur, 1897

The Tarklanri are the descendants of Tarak son of Khashi by his wife Bassu. In the 15th century, they had accompanied the Yousufzi to Kabul area from Helmand area. When the Yousufzi left Kabul (1480-81), the Tarklanris with their chief Malik Sarkhabi, son of Shamu were settled in Laghman area. They overrun Bajaur about the end of 16th century and now hold its valleys as below : the Chaharmung and Babukara valleys (by the Salarzai sept), the Watalai (by the Mamund sept, which also holds a large tract in Shortan, Hinduraj and Marawara on the northern slopes of the watershed between Bajaur and the Kunar valleys), the Baraul and Jandol valleys (by the Isazai) and the Maidan (by the Ismailzai).


1- "A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province", Vol.3, p-457
2- Haroon Rashid, "History of Pathans", Vol.2, p-255

Monday, February 12, 2018

Khattak horsemen

Khattak horsemen. Illustration from the 'The Graphic', Vol. XVII, February 23, 1878.

From poetry of Khushal Khattak ;

"A Khattak, when he mounts on horse-back,
Binds his shield upon his back ;
Lets loose the end of his turban
Over his forehead long and broad " [1]

خټک چه به اس سور شي
درسته وتړی په کونه
شمله ډ دستار پريږدي
په ټڼدي کښي اوږده پلنه

The Marwat, the hereditary enemy of the Khattaks, says : "Though the Khattak it a good horseman, yet he is a man of but one charge," [2]

Khushal Khan Khattak in his Dastar nama says ;
"....Jousting of spears and hitting a mark are also useful on the horse-back. If a king is not involved in these practices he is not a king. Rather he is an unfortunate person. A person who can throw arrows on a horse-back that horseman is better than many Jousting fighters. A Verse: "A horse-man skilled in archery on a horse back is better than a big group of Jousting fighters." The best things in the world are best young men, best horses and best arrows." [3]

Khattak horsemen in chain armour, 19th century [4]


1- "Afghan poetry of the seventeenth century: being selections from the poems of Khushhal Khan Khatak", with translations and grammatical introductions; edited and compiled by C. E.. Biddulph, p-104
2- A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Vol-III, p-248
3-  Dastar nama of Khushhal Khan Khattak - p-62
4-  "Across the Border: Or Pathan and Biloch" by Edward Emmerson Oliver, p-152

Friday, February 9, 2018

Dir state

The Nawab Alamzeb Khan's Durbar (British Chief Commissioner sitting in the center), Princely State of Dir, 1919. From a collection compiled by Lieutenant Colonel G J Davis.

The Nawabs of Dir belonged to Akhund Khel section of the PaindaKhel sept of the Malizai Yusufzai Pashtuns. Akhund Khel owes its name to the fact that it was founded by Mulla Ilyas or Akhund Baba who acquired a saintly reputation. He lived in the 17th century and from him the 'Khanate' has descended down in succession from father to son and down to the last ruler of Dir. [Reference: Encyclopedia Britannica - Volume 7 - Page 483]

Friday, February 2, 2018

British at Kandahar - First Anglo-Afghan War

(Excerpt from "Afghanistan in the age of Empires: the Great Game for South and Central Asia by Farrukh Husain")

"Rather strangely the British Indian army operated an apartheid system for provision of food. British Soldiers received more food rations than Indian troops and the camp followers received less still, Captain Havelock says: “From the 28th of March the load of the European Soldier was diminished in weight, the Native troops received only half instead of a full seer of ottah (that is a pound of flour) …and the camp-followers, who had hitherto found it difficult to subsist on half a seer, were of necessity reduced to the famine allowance of a quarter of a seer."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sir George Roos-Keppel

Sir George Roos-Keppel , the founder of Islamia College and boss of Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan

Roos Keppel, then chief commissioner of the North West Frontier province, wanted to tame the Pashtun people through higher education. As such, he went forward with a movement that led to the foundation of Darul Uioom and the affiliated lslamia School and lslamia College. The lslamia College Committee was formed to raise funds and make arrangements for establishing the mentioned educational institutions. Roos Keppel remarked, " I shall try to get all the sons of the tribal maliks, the chief of the next generation, to attend the school and learn that the ‘Firangi’ and his administration are not as black as they are painted.” The pro-government camp under the leadership of Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan joined hands with Roos-Keppel in establishing Islamia College at Peshawar.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan.

Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan.

He was born in 1863 and hailed from Topi, Swabi District. He is perhaps best known for establishing Islamia College, Peshawar. He was a pro-British person. He actively participated in the Miranzai, Samana battles in 1892 alongwith the British Forces. During the demarcation of the Afghanistan and British India border when Durand Commission was established, he represented the British. During the war between Mahmands and British government ,Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum was sent to the battle front and participated in the actions. He was awarded with the title of Khan Bahadar by British government.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Origin of Bannu name

Bannu is mentioned in the events of year 1398 AD, when Amir Timur invaded India , at which time he came through Kurma'h into Bannu [1]. In Timur's biography "Zafar-namah", name of the place is written as Bano with long a (بانو) . Timur left a body of his troops in Bannu to deal with turbulence caused by Awghans (i.e Afghans) and crossed the Indus to enter India. Traditional oral history of Bannuchis also verify the fact that they originally named the place Bano (بانو) . According to Pashtun tradition, Bano (بانو) was the wife of Shitak, whence his descendants are called Bannuzais or Bannuchis. She had two sons, Kiwi and Surani. Bannuchis dug drains and sowed corn after occupying these lands, and said, "Let us call this place Bano, after our mother , for its fruitful , even as she was". With time Bano changed to Bannu (بنو).