Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Shah Hussain Saddozai and his expeditions against Baloch tribes

According to the genealogical table published by Ahmad Nabi Khan (Zubda-tul- Akhbar) [1], Shah Hussain Saddozai was the grandson of Asadullah also known as Saddo (1558 – 1626 AD), the progenitor of Saddozais and a son of Maudad Khan. Nawab Muzaffar Khan Shaheed of Multan was a descendant of this family. Shah Hussain was also, the cousin of Sher Khan the head of the Khudakka branch of Saddozais. Asadullah Saddozai and his descendants held the chieftainship the territory Herat and Qandahar and were responsible for looking after the highway between the two cities during the rule of Safavid of Persia. Shah Hussain Saddozai developed some differences with his masters to such an extent that he finally migrated to Multan in 1652. He was the first Saddozai to arrive in this city and in India at a time when Prince Aurangzeb was the governor of Multan.  He served under Prince Dara Shikoh in his expedition to Kandahar in 1653, and with Aurangzeb in the Deccan 1654-1655. He was granted an Imperial mansab of 700 together with the district of Sialkot in jagir (later exchanged for Rangpur), and raised to the title of Wafadar Khan, by Emperor Shah Jahan. When Aurangzeb ascended the throne, he further favored Shah Hussain by granting the jagir of Multan. Multan, thus became the second home of Saddozais and Shah Hussain their progenitor in this city. He built here a beautiful mosque, now known after his name, and a palace called Shish Mahal surrounded with an ornamental garden. He finally lost the confidence of the Emperor, who debarred him from the court attendance and thus he was forced to return to Multan to spend his remaining days of his life. His grandson, Zahid Khan, was appointed governor of Multan by Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah [2]

Campaigns against Baloch tribes

In Kirther and Lakhi hills separating Sindh from Balochistan, dwelt many lawless men of Nahmardi and Jukia tribes. In Akbar times the former clan could place in field more than 7,000 men. Their strongholds were Bela and Kahra, from which they sallied forth to rob and to slay. No ruler of Sindh , from the days of Tharkan dynasty , had extorted even a nominal submission from these border Brigands. Aurangzeb sent his able lieutenant, Malik Hussain, of the Afghan tribe of Abdali, against them. The force marched for ten days beyond the frontier of lower Sindh , exacted promises of submission and tribute from Harun and Khatartal (the Nahmardi chiefs) , and Murid (the head of Jukias) and caused the Emperor's name to be read from the pulpit as a public mark of suzerainty. This show of strength evidently had a good effect on the neighbors , for Jafar Nahmardi, a Kinsman of the zamindar of Panjghur and Kech Makaran, and four other chiefs offered their allegiance to the imperial government.

Another Nahmardi chief named Madh , had descended from the hills of Southern Afghanistan to raid Bela and Kahra. But Malik Hussain Abdali with imperial troops made a forced march of 140 miles , and surprised the robber's camp , slaying him and bringing away his daughter and forty of his retainers as captives. Thus the Emperor's suzerainty was publicly declared throughout the coast tract of Makran , and the army returned to Tatta with flying colours.

Sasta Hala , the son of zamindar of Kakrala , paid a visit to Aurangzeb at Multan , but in the meantime his rival crossed over from Cutch and seized his lands. A detachment from Shah Hussain Abdali's forces, assisted by a gunboat , drove away the usurper, who fled without standing the battle. Every lawless men and frontier clans felt that they had got a new master , who could not be safely defied. [4]

Tomb of Shah Hussain Saddozai

Notes and References 

1- Mr. Khan has discovered the ‘Zubdat al-Akhbar’ a treatise on the Saddozai rulers of Multan written in Persian by Munishi Sher Muhammad Nadir, an official in the retinue of Nawab Sarfraz Khan. The dispossessed Nawab had lived for some years in Lahore as an unwilling hostage at Ranjit Singh’s court after the defeat of his father Nawab Muzaffar Khan in 1818. The significance of this treasure lies in its authorship by an insider within the Saddozai entourage. The manuscript now in the collection of the Research Society of Pakistan is a copy prepared after 1870 from the original text written in 1832. Its authenticity and relevance though are unquestioned.

2-  A History of the Saddozai Afghans of Multan by Sher Mohammad Nadir

3-  http://www.royalark.net/Afghanistan/durrani3.htm

4-  Jadunath Sarkar,  "History of the Aurangzib" Volume-1, page-119-123)

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