Monday, March 30, 2015

Pictures of tomb of Ahmad Shah Baba's mother Zarghuna Ania and weapons used by Ahmad Shah Baba.



Scanned Photograph of tomb of Zarghuna Alokozai (Zarghona Ania, mother of Ahmad Shah Baba) in Kohak, Qandahar (From book Ahmad Shah Afghan by Mir Ghulam Muhammad Ghobar)



 Scanned photograph of weapons used by Ahmad Shah Baba from book Ahmad Shah Afghan by Mir Ghulam Muhammad Ghobar

Source:  Khyber.ORG

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hasnis

Though Hasnis are now an unimportant group, amalgamated with Khetrans, they were in former days the most powerful tribes of Sewistan. The Hasnis claim a Tor Tarin Origin and their ancient home was in Pishin. About three and half centuries have elapsed since Hasan and Musa Khan, Tor Tarin, with their families wandered to the Marri hills in search of livelihood. They took service with the Marris as Shepherds, and at length a Marri carried off Musa's wife. Hasan came to Pishin for help. The Tareens dispatched a party of 12 men with Hasan who was able to recover Musa's wife and kill her abductor, but a feud was thus established between the Marris and Hasnis as the Marris called their opponents from the name of their leader. The Tareens made repeated attacks on the Marris, turned them out and occupied Kahan, Phelawar and Nesao. Hasan was subsequently killed in a raiding expedition against the Brahuis in Bolan. He was succeeded by his son Muhammad, who manged the tribe for 20 years and lived in peace with his neighbors. On his death his son Nur Muhammad succeeded him. He was the chief of tribe for 30 years, and during this period Hasnis the summit of their prosperity. Nur Muhammad was succeded by his son Sadiq Khan who permitted the Marris to build a fort and live as "hamsayas" at Kahan. The Marris, however, gradually collected together and fought with the Hasnis at Phelawar, where 200 Marris and 100 Hasnis were killed. Peace was then concluded, but at the end of year quarreling again commenced with refrence to land. The Marris, now applied to Nasir Khan Brahui of Kalat for assistance and he sent a force to help them ; the Hasnis were defeated by the combined Marris and Brahuis and retired to Kohlu, which in those days belonged to Zarkun Afghans. This was about 1780 AD. Subsequently another fight ensued at Daola Wanga, when Sadiq , the Hasni chief , was killed and the power of Hasni tribe was completely broken. The place had since been called Sadiq Wanga. Sadiq's son however continued to fight against the Marris and he was assisted by a Luni force, but was again beaten; 58 Hasnis and 38 Lunis fell, whilst the Marris only lost 17 men. A further attempt resulted in total destruction of an advanced party of Lunis under their chief Gul Khan. This defeat resulted in the dispersion of the remainder of the Hasnis; a portion of the tribe took refuge with Khetrans and the Noadhanis migrated and occupied Gulu Sahar in the Sibi district.

Loralai Gazeteer , p-104

Tarin or Tareen tribe




The Tareens are Saraban Afghans, the descendants of Tareen, son of Sharaf-ud-din, son of Ibrahim, son of Qais Abdul Rashid. According to tradition, Tareens had four sons - Spin Tarin, Tor Tarin, Zhar Tarin and Bor Tarin. The term Abdal , however, gradually superseded that of Bor Tarin and came into special prominence when Ahmad Shah Abdali, commonly known as Durrani, began his career of conquest. It is still used, though sparingly, for the Achakzais, who have become localized, in the Quetta-Pishin district and are regarded as separate political unit from the rest of Tareens. This is also the case with Tor or Spin Tareens, who , so far as common good and ill is concerned, have no connection with the Achakzais or with one another.

The Spin Tareens were originally settled in Pishin, but leaving their home they migrated southwards to the Shahrig Tehsil of Sibi district, and Sanjawi and Duki Tehsils of Loralai district. The principle section in Sanjawai Tehsil are the Wanechis, who occupy parts of Wani, Chauter and Shirin valley. The principle sections of Spin Tareen in Duki Tehsil are Lasiani, Marpani, Semani, Adwani and Saam.

Tor Tareen is credited by local tradition with having had a son , Babo, who in turn had two sons, Ali and Haroon. The descendants of Ali are known as Alizai , whilst those of Haroon are divide into five principle sections found in the Pishin Tehsil. The hereditary governorship of Pishin under the Afghans long rested with Batezai branch of the Abu Bakar sub-section of the Harunzais, and as a consequence the Batezais of Pishin claim social superiority among their fellows. According to local accounts, the Umarzai Tareens came from Pishin to Smallan where the Wanechis gave them the Shinlez lands. They couldnt hold their own against Spin Tareens and proceeded to Duki,which place they took by force from Nisai-spin Tareens who had to fly to Calcutta and Barwan.

According to local tradition, the Malikyar section first established the power  of Tareens in Pishin in 14th century by conquering the Zamands. At this time the Tareens were living in the country Kanr Mehtarzai and Nigand and in Barshor. They were assisted in the conquest of Pishin by the Kakars and Saids and a pitched battle occurred at a place still known as Jangzae in which Zamands were defeated. Jangzae is near Manzakai in Alizai circle of Pishin. The Malikyar now set themselves up as governors and one Bate is said to have been sent to Delhi to obtain confirmation of the office, but obtained a Sanad in his own name , and on his return to Pishin , defeated the Malikyar and obtained the post for himself. He was succeeded by his son Khwaja Khizar , the latter being followed by his son, Kala Khan and Kala Khan by his brother, Sheram Khan, as governor. The latter is said to have been contemporary of  Emperor Shah Jahan and appears to have had to abandon his post to Tamaz Khan, a Mughal and brutal tyrant. On the latter's death, however the Tareens, appear to have regained their power, the succession being disputed by Muhammad Khan and Ahmad Khan, sons of Kala Khan. Ahmad Khan whose mother was a Baloch, called in Firuz Khan Baloch and Dinar Khan Baloch , to his aid, but the latter took advantage of the quarrel to conquer the country for themselves. They were eventually ousted by Tareens under Bahadur Khan son of Muhammad Khan, whose son Zaman Khan, now made peace with Karam Khan, grandson of Ahmad Khan and presented him with half of country. Zaman Khan was succeeded by Sad Ullah Khan, and Karam Khan by Pakar Khan. Pakar Khan was contemporary of Ahmad Shah Abdali, and appears to have done much to extend Tarin influence, as a result of which Ahamd Shah confirmed on him the title of Amir-ul-umara . On Pakar Khan's death , his son Buland Khan was nominated by Sadozai rulers as their deputy in Pishin, and he was succeeded by his son Paind Khan.[3]

On the Safavid Monarch , Shah Abbas, gaining possession of Kandahar in 1622, he conferred the government of Pishin and its tribal dependencies Sher Khan Tareen. The latter appeared to have become semi-independent and, on the death of Shah Abbas seven years later, refused to submit to the governor , Ali Mardan. In Sher Khan's absence on a plundering expedition , Ali Mardan Khan attacked Kila Sheran, his fort near Pishin Bazar, with 4,000 horse and captured it. Sher Khan Tareen had acquired large amount of treasure and other valuables in the course of a long period of plundering, the whole of which was confiscated.  Hearing of this loss, Sher Khan returned in hot speed, and encountered Ali Mardan near Pishin but was worsted and had to retire to Duki and Chotiali.[2]

Rais Khan Tareen, with a band of his clan, occupied Kalat, while Mastung with adjoining area was then occupied by the other Afghan tribes and there was no trace of the Brahuis or Balochs in the area [4]. Siwa, a Hindu raja and the first ruler of Kalat, is mentioned in the pages of history. After him, Kalat changed hands to the Mughals, Mirwanis and Baloch Rinds successively. In the battle between the Mirwanis and Rind Balochs, Umar Khan Mirwani, the chief got killed. His widow, with her minor son, named Bajaru Khan took refuge in Mastung with the Pashtuns. Subsequently Bajaru Khan married the daughter of a local Pashtun notable. With the help of the Raisanis, Bajaru Khan defeated and killed Mandu Baloch and occupied Kalat. Bajaru Khan granted some land to the Siahi clan of Raisanis, which is still held by them. With the passage of time the Siahis merged with the Mengal Balochs and gradually lost their identity as Tareen Pashtuns and moved over to Jhalawan. Later, Mir Bajaru abandoned Kalat and became a recluse. The Mughals, who were waiting in the wings, occupied Kalat; however, the Raisanis along with the neighboring Baloch clans, drove away the Mughals, and Mir Hasan Khan Ahmadzai Qambrani Brahui was proclaimed as the ruler of Kalat. The Brahuis from all over Balochistan concentrated in and around Kalat and established a powerful Khanate in the area.

Though Hasnis are now an unimportant group, amalgamated with Khetrans, they were in former days the most powerful tribes of Sewistan. The Hasnis are of Tor Tarin Origin and their ancient home was in Pishin. About three and half centuries have elapsed since Hasan and Musa Khan, Tor Tarin, with their families wandered to the Marri hills in search of livelihood. They took service with the Marris as Shepherds, and at length a Marri carried off Musa's wife. Hasan came to Pishin for help. The Tareens dispatched a party of 12 men with Hasan who was able to recover Musa's wife and kill her abductor, but a feud was thus established between the Marris and Hasnis as the Marris called their opponents from the name of their leader. The Tareens made repeated attacks on the Marris, turned them out and occupied Kahan, Phelawar and Nesao. Hasan was subsequently killed in a raiding expedition against the Brahuis in Bolan. He was succeeded by his son Muhammad, who manged the tribe for 20 years and lived in peace with his neighbors. On his death his son Nur Muhammad succeeded him. He was the chief of tribe for 30 years, and during this period Hasnis the summit of their prosperity. Nur Muhammad was succeded by his son Sadiq Khan who permitted the Marris to build a fort and live as "hamsayas" at Kahan. The Marris, however, gradually collected together and fought with the Hasnis at Phelawar, where 200 Marris and 100 Hasnis were killed. Peace was then concluded, but at the end of year quarreling again commenced with refrence to land. The Marris, now applied to Nasir Khan Brahui of Kalat for assistance and he sent a force to help them ; the Hasnis were defeated by the combined Marris and Brahuis and retired to Kohlu, which in those days belonged to Zarkun Afghans. This was about 1780 AD. Subsequently another fight ensued at Daola Wanga, when Sadiq , the Hasni chief , was killed and the power of Hasni tribe was completely broken. The place had since been called Sadiq Wanga. Sadiq's son however continued to fight against the Marris and he was assisted by a Luni force, but was again beaten; 58 Hasnis and 38 Lunis fell, whilst the Marris only lost 17 men. A further attempt resulted in total destruction of an advanced party of Lunis under their chief Gul Khan. This defeat resulted in the dispersion of the remainder of the Hasnis; a portion of the tribe took refuge with Khetrans and the Noadhanis migrated and occupied Gulu Sahar in the Sibi district. [5]


1.Loralai Gazetteer, p.82-84
2. Quetta-Pishin Gazetteer, p-34
3.  Quetta-Pishin Gazetteer, p-68-69
4. Rai Hatu Ram, Tarikh-i-Balochistan, p-172
5. Loralai Gazetteer , p-104

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pindaris

 The origin of Pindaris is involved in some obscurity. In the opinion of Bladensburg the Pindaris originally were Hindu outlaws. Jenkins however holds that they were of Rohilla or Pathan extraction. Pindaris also had Marathas, Rajputs and Jats in their ranks beside Afghans.[1]

 The Pindaris are said to have descended from two Afghans named Mohammad Khan and Samad Khan of the Yusufzai tribe [2]. Their ancestors , inhabitants of Rohilkhand, had joined Peshwa Baji Rao I near Kalpi with 50 Afghan soldiers[3]. Mohammad Khan and Samad Khan are reported to have distinguished themselves in the service of Peshwa who placed great confidence in them particularly in the former after the death of Samad Khan who was killed in  Rajewara [2].

The Pindaris accompanied Holkar and Schindia when they came to the North. They received marks of favour and encouragement from both of these chiefs, But they cared little for the chiefs under whose orders they served. They soon acquired the habits and character of professional plunderer. The term 'Pindaria' at length became almost proverbial as the Pindaris were mostly Afghans by nationality and military adventures by profession.[4]

These Pindaris were named "Sindhia Shahi" and "Holkar Shahi" Pindaris. The most famous leaders among Sindhia Shahi Pindaris were Namdar Khan, Dost Mohammad , Wasil Mohammad, Chetu Khan, Karim Khan, Kedar Bakhsh, Khajeh Bakhsh, Fazil Khan and Bheekum Khan. Their forces mounted to about thirty thousand and they also had a few guns. The Pindaris were in regular pay of Schindia and Holkar government.

A common misunderstanding regarding Amir Khan (d.1834) of Tonk, Rajasthan, was the assumption that he was a Pindari. This is not correct because he was the leader of a trained army while the Pindaris, on the other hand, accompanied the Marhatta army as scouts.

 References:
1.Madhya Pradesh Through the Ages - Page 174
2. Letter No.134 containing an account of the Pindaris under Sindhia and Holkar, cited in Poona Residency correspondence . Vol.14, p-156-7
3. Ibid.p-157
4. History of the Marathas By R.S. Chaurasia, p-158

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Conquest of Balochistan by Shah Hussein Hotak

According to G.B. Malleson, (History of Afghans p-233) Mir Wais Hotaki after having captured Kandahar sought and enlisted the support of the Balochs and Tarins of Kalat and Quetta region. But during the lifetime of Shah Hussain Hotaki (son of Mirwais Hotak and last ruler of Hotaki dynasty) , Khan of Kalat began encroachments on the Afghan area of Shal (Quetta) and took possession of its town and Kot or fort, situated on a high mound in the middle of a plain; and such a mound the Afghans of the Kasi or Kansi tribe, to whom the tract belonged, call "kwata'h" in their language. Shah Hussain Hotak, the King of Kandahar, determined to recover the lost territories and reduce rebellious Balochs to submission. In the beginning of July 1733,  Shah Hussain Ghilzai set out from Kandahar with a force composed of Afghans and Hazara levies. He first crossed the Khojak Pass and reached Pushang or Pishin. The Ghilzai King put the fort in Pishin into an efficient state of defense, left a garrison to hold it , after which he crossed Kotal-i-Gaz into Shal (Quetta). The Balochs had taken position within a fort (on a mound or Kawatah) and sallied out under their leader Salar Khan, however, he was defeated. After another sally having again been unsuccessful some days after,  the Balochs under cover of night , evacuated the place and made for Mastung and Kalat. Shah Hussain occupied the fort with 500 Jazailchis and a body of 200 cavalry under Sher Dil Khan Babuzai and then pushed on to Mastung.

On his arrival, Shah Hussain found the Baloch had abandoned Mastung and had fled with the others from Shal towards Ganjaba Kachhi area and Kalat. Orders were given to pursue them and a body of the fugitives was overtaken on the boundary of the Kalat district. The Baloch took to the hills,  leaving their families , cattle, flocks and other property in the hands of the Afghan force under Asadullah Khan Ishakzai Hotak, who left the women and children unmolested, but secured the rest.






According to the chronicler;
 "When the flying Balochs reached Kalat, Mehrab Khan, the sardar of all Balochs, expecting that the next movement would be against Kalat, tendered his submission and sought terms of accommodation , accompanied with offerings of horses and other presents. Sher Khan Baloch, hakim of Naushki and Mohabat Khan of Ganjaba, also submitted and tendered their allegiance.The former agreed to the terms offered whereby he acknowledged his allegiance to Shah Hussien Ghilzai and stipulated to restore the cattle carried off from Pishin and Shorabak (Naushki). He also agreed to make the losses sustained by people of Shal; to furnish a contingent of 5,000 men whenever the sovereign of Kandahar required troops; and to give up some chiefs as hostages for the performance of these terms. This ratified, Shah Hussain returned to Kandahar, taking five chiefs along with him as hostages , according to the terms agreed upon." (Raverty , Notes on Afghanistan and part of Baluchistan, p-612)



Ruins of Kalat fort


It is also stated that during this expedition, the Marlani Balochis of Dera Ghazi Khan also suffered. Some of the Shah Hussain's troops having entered the boundary of the territory held by Ghazi Khan, the Marlani, these Baluchis foolishly molested and harassed them, upon which the Ghilzai Shah gave orders to sack the Dera of Ghazi Khan, which was done. Many of these Baluchis were killed in this affair ; and from that time the downfall of Ghazi Khan's family commenced (Raverty, Notes, p-612). Hayat-i-Afghan says that entire family of Ghazi Khan perished in this affair.







Sources:

1- Raverty, "Notes on Afghanistan and Balochistan:, p-612
2- Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans, Vol-III,  p-272
2- Muhammad Hayat Khan : "Afghanistan and its inhabitants", p-7

Friday, March 13, 2015

Men and officers of the Khyber Rifles



Men and officers of the Khyber Rifles with Lt. Col. Aslam Khan, C.I.E - First Muslim Commandant of Khyber Rifles.
(Standing centre in white turban)
Photo by John Burke c. 1880s

Dragons' Teeth," Tank-traps in the Khyber Pass

Dragons' Teeth," Tank-traps in the Khyber Pass c.1947. They were made during WW2 when it seemed more than possible that Hitler's legions might overwhelm Southeastern Europe, Asia Minor and drive by land toward the British India. Tank traps were made along roads and river beds around Thal in 1942 "In the Kurram the contract was awarded to a Sikh, who thickly carpeted with 'dragons' teeth' and other concrete obstructions all the valleys down which the Panzers [German tanks] could roar. General Wavell, then C-in-C India, came to inspect these." - The Frontier Scouts by Charles Pocklington Chenevix Trench (1985)

Ludhiana Sikhs in Waziristan (1936)

Soldiers of the A Company of the 2nd Royal Battalion, or Ludhiana Sikhs, pose for a photograph in Waziristan, where the 11th Sikh Regiment was sent in 1936 to fight against the Wazir leader Fakir of Ipi. They wear summer uniforms and carry Short Magazine Lee Enfield rifles. The photograph is part of a collection at the National Army Museum in London.

This was not the first time the Sikhs had been to Waziristan. The Sikh empire under Ranjit Singh began their forays into the northwest entering Bannu in 1819, but it was only after the fall of the Mughal and Durrani empires that they were able to make significant gains, conquering Peshawar in 1834. Ranjit Singh named a son born thereafter Peshaura Singh to commemorate the victory. The Sikhs attacked Waziristan in 1843 but were defeated. Despite their short rule, they left behind a large number of Sikhs in what is now the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and parts of the tribal areas of Pakistan.

 http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/ludhiana-sikhs-in-waziristan-1936/

A circular from 1962 which grants indigenous status to many popular tribes in Quetta



A circular from 1962 which grants indigenous status to many popular tribes in Quetta region. (Credit: Jamal khan).
Source: Khyber,org

Monday, March 9, 2015

Battle of Damghan ,1729 ( Hotakis vs Nadir Shah Quli)

Ashraf Hotaki having come to power in the aftermath of a coup against his predecessor, Mahmud Hotaki, had achieved great success in the war with the Ottomans where with a much inferior force he overcame a superior Turkish army and agreed to a settlement in which he secured Turkish support and acceptance as the legitimate ruler of Persia. Hardly had he begun to enjoy his good fortune when he received reports of the great successes of Shah Tahmasp in Khorasan.  He assembled about 30,000 men of whom more than one half were Afghans. Nadir Quli expected that Ashraf would advance into Khorasan. The Afghan chief realizing that the Persian army was  daily increasing , decided to march into Khorasan before it became too strong[1]. In October 2, 1729 AD, the armies met near the town of Damaghan . Asharf found Persians entrenched in a well chosen position on some small hills selected by Nadir. The Afghans, never having seen the Persians hold their ground , immediately attacked and pushed back Nadir Quli's force. Ashraf immediately made a pincer movement [2]and attacked the Persians on their flank and rear, while with the main body he attacked frontally . However , the experienced general like Nadir Quli foiled these attacks and divided the Afghans into three groups separated from each other. He ordered a general charge which was completely successful . The Persians defeated the Afghans with trifling losses while the Afghans suffered severely [3]. The retreating Afghans, at the defile of Khar or Tingui Serdarae , rallied and renewed the fight  ; but they were again defeated and all their  baggage fell into Persian hands. Nadir himself was wounded in this second engagement. [4]


                                Notes and references
1. Sir Percy Sykes, A History Of Persia, Volume 2 , p-241

2.The pincer movement is a military maneuver in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. The name comes from visualizing the action as the split attacking forces "pinching" the enemy.

 
 A pincer movement whereby the red force envelops the advancing blue force.

3.  Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", Vol.III, p-270

4.  J. P. Ferrier, History of the Afghans, p-61






Bacha Khan with Abdul Samad Achakzai and Maulana Bhashani


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Niazi tribe

Niazaey , the progenitor of Niazi tribe, was one of the three sons of Ibrahim alias Loedae (Lodi), son of Bibi Mato and Shah Hussian Ghori. Niazaey had three sons,  Dzam, Bahi and Khaki/Khako. Dzam or Jamal had seven sons from three wives, namely Daulat, Isa and Ali from first wife , Sumbal and Pindar (or Pandar) from the second wife and Marhal or Jalaey from third wife. Isa is the progenitor of Isa Khels.[1]

Niazis initially occupied an area in the district Shilghar , situated to the south of Ghazni. When the Ghalzai became numerous, they drove the Niazis to the eastward and the Andar branch of the Ghilzais still hold Shilghar [2][3]. Niazis journeyed South untill they came until they came to the Tank. There they found rest and their young men became merchants and carriers.[4]. They subsequently spread farther to North-East , towards the Indus and dwelt in the sandy tracts of Thal. Mahyar, a branch of Niazis, sought help from the Marwat against its fellow Niazi Clan, Sarhang. The Marwat attacked the Niazis and in a severe battle near Tatti Michan Khel, the latter were completely defeated and pushed towards Isa Khel. Among them, only the Michan Khels were spared due to their neutrality and religious position"[5]. In cis-Indus area, the Niazis ousted the Khattars and apportioned the area. The Sumbals were the most powerful clan of the Niazis that assumed the leadership.[6]

In the late 14th century , Niazis along with other Matti tribes were militarily strong enough to catch the attention of Amir Timur. Niazis under their leader Malik Habib Niazi joined Timur's invasion of India.[7] After the campaign Malik Habib Niazi returned to his country.In Hind , the Niazis formed their colonies and served the cause of their ruling Lodi kinsmen. According to Tarikh-i-Daudi, Sultan Bahlul Lodi left behind a will addressed to Nizam Khan (Sikander Lodi). The contents of the will are,
"First do not appoint a member of Sur tribe as a Khan or an Amir because they are aspirants for royalty
 Second never appoint a Niazi to any office in the state because they are reckless in behavior and have no sense of loyalty" 
Perhaps excluded all Niazis because his father had been killed in a war against them.

 It was during the period of Suri dynasty , that they came into limelight. Niazis rendered vital support to the Surs and were given positions of power. Haibat Khan Nizai was the most trusted officer of Sher Shah Suri. He and Isa Khan Niazi appear in the various episodes of Sher Shah's struggle for power against Emperor Humayun.

In 1542 AD, Sher Shah left the charge of Punjab to Haibat Khan, Khawas Khan and some other chiefs of Kakars and Jalwanis. Haibat Khan Niazi commanded Sher Shah's forces in the campaigns against the Gakhars in the North and the rising Baloch influence in the south. He captured Kashmir and installed the Chak dynasty there on behalf of Sher Shah Suri. The fortress of New Rohtas , near Jhelum, was founded during this period  and Haibat Khan Nizai held it with a force of 30,000 Afghan cavalry all in his own pay, no other Pashtun chief could boast of such huge cavalry force or afforded such expenses.[8]

In 1543-44 ,differences arose between Haibat Khan Niazi and Khawas Khan, the latter informed Sher Shah of the rift through the letter. Sher Shah recalled Khawas Khan, Isa Khan Niazi and Habib Khan Kakar and transferred the government of Punjab to Haibat Khan to whom he gave the orders to wrest Multan from the sway of Balochs and detain Fateh Khan Jat of Kot Kaboola [9]. Haibat Khan , in obedience to the command, reached Songkehra. He sent Dhondana, the local chief, to Fateh Khan Baloch to induce him to mend his conduct. Meanwhile , he advanced up to the shrine of Shiekh farid Gunj Shakar. Fateh Khan Baloch shut himself in Fatehpur fort. Through the mediation of a nephew of Shiekh Farid, he came out to the besiegers. Haibat Khan put him in confinement till the arrival of fresh instructions from Sher Shah. Medu Baloch inspired by his strong attachment to the Baloch chief, tried to get Fateh Khan relaesed by force. He failed and surrended on the second day [10]. B.Dorn writes that Medu was seized by Bukhshoo Langah and delivered alive to Haibat Khan , who took possession of town of Multan and all its dependencies and made the strongest efforts to re-populate the country, which lay in a state of desolation by the oppressions of Balochs.

For his services , Haibat Khan Niazi was raised to the highest rank, with the title of 'Masnad-i-Aali Azam Humayun' - a title which had been conferred by the Afghan sovereigns on two previous occasions. He was likewise assigned a scarlet tent, which only the family of the sovereign was hitherto allowed to use.[11]

At this time Sher Shah nominated his nephew Mubarak khan, his brother’s son by a slave-girl, to the charge of the part of Roh which was in the Niazi's possession. It so happened that a Sumbal freeholder named Allahdad had a daughter of unequaled beauty, whose good looks were the theme of general talk. ‘Her lashes’ arrow she had pulled on the bow of her eye-brows, her cheeks were a living flame, and her long tresses as the smoke that rises from the fire.’ Mubarik Khan saw her once only and became enamored of her. Forgetting the pride of race among the people of Roh, he dispatched a confidential messenger to Allahdad to ask his daughter’s hand in marriage. Allahdad presented his duty to the governor, but answered with all respect that the Khan, holding as he did the authority, must have in his harem many noble ladies and beautiful slave-girls. Moreover the Khan, who had been brought up in Hind, possessed a refined taste, while his poor child was of a rustic temperament and had only the qualities of Roh. In short, the inequality between them was so great that a marriage could not be thought of. Mubarik, frustrated, turned to molest the Sumbal clan, thinking to force Allahdad’s hand. A jirga of three notables then waited upon him. While agreeing that there had been previous instances of alliances between Niazis and Sun, they observed that these had been between equal and equal, the free-born with the free-born, the slave with the slave, falcon with falcon, pigeon with pigeon. One of them had a daughter by a slave-girl, and the Khan could have her. Let him in any case refrain from oppressing the clan, Allahdad was free-born, and would never consent to the alliance proposed, even at cost of his life. But Mubarik, full of the pride of authority, refused to listen, and thinking to teach the clan a lesson, plundered one of the Sumbal villages and carried off a slave-girl.

The Jirga of the whole tribe then proceeded in a body to his presence, protesting that the honour of their ‘women and dependents was to them the same as the honour of his to himself they requested him, still with respect, to give up the girl. But, getting only a sharp answer, they opened their minds and said, ‘You were born in Hind and know not the ways of the Afghans. Hitherto the heron has not dared to play the tyrant over the falcon. Out of respect for your uncle, the Shah, we have shown respect to you, the son of a bondwoman. Leave us alone, oppress us not, and let this woman go.’ ‘You prate of honour,’ replied Mubarik in a fury, ‘but I measure honour by the fulness of my house. I will keep this girl, and what is more, will take Allahdad’s daughter from him by force.’ The Maliks answered fiercely that if he valued his life, he would keep his eyes and hands off their women, where upon Mubarik ordered his men to drive them out with rods. Their anger roused, the tribesmen, though they had by custom left their weapons outside the audience chamber, fell on the governor with their bare bands, and killed him and every one of his attendants. When this got to Sher Shah’s ears, he wrote to Haibat Khan saying that the tribe of Sur, his own, was few in number. If every other Afghan should slay a Sur, not one of them would be left. The Sumbals were of Haibat Khan’s own tribe; let him deal with them and punish them in such a way that others might not get into the bad habit of killing governors.

Hearing of Haibat khan's advance, Sumbals sought retreat in hills, determining to withdraw towards Kabul, for Sher Shah’s writ did not run so far. So, a Niazi himself he resorted to finesse. Pretending that, if they came in on safe-conduct he would arrange a composition and emphasizing that they could trust him as a fellow-tribesman, he induced nine hundred of them to come in with their families. The men he slaughtered and sent in the women to the presence of Sher Shah. The Niazis offered those of Sumbals who were related to them , an opportunity of escape , but they refused it and perished with their fellow tribesmen.

The emperor disapproved most strongly, saying that, as between tribesmen, so base an act had never before been committed. ‘At least,’ be added, ‘Haibat Khan evidently nourishes no thoughts of sovereignty himself since he has slain so many of his own tribe; if he did, he could never have forgotten his Pashtu so far as to shed the blood of his people unjustly.’ On this Sher Shah meditated the removal of Haibat Khan from the Panjab, but shortly alter this event, in 1545, he died. He was killed by an accidental explosion of gunpowder at the siege of a fortress at Kalinjar in the Bundelkand hills south-west of Prayag.[12][13]


                                                            Isa Khan Niazi's tomb

Islam Shah succeeded to the throne after the death of Sher Shah Suri. Though Sher Shah`s eldest son, Adil Khan was nominated by him as his successor but the nobles preferred Jalal Khan, Sher Shah`s younger son who was regarded more capable by them. Jalal Khan was called by them to come to Kalinjar and after his arrival, he was declared Sultan on 27 may 1545 A.D. He assumed the title of Islam Shah.

Islam Shah could not feel secure as long as his elder brother was alive. He asked him to come to Agra. He was assured of his life and the grant of Jagir of Sayan. Eminent nobles like Isa Khan Niazi and Khawas Khan stood surety for his life. Adil Khan went to Agra, paid homage to the Sultan and returned to Bayana. Islam Shah tried to murder him but failed. Feeling insecure Adil Khan sought support of Khawas Khan. They combined their forces and proceeded towards Agra but the rebels were defeated. Adil Khan fled towards Panna and was heard of no more. Khawas Khan also fled towards Sarhind.

Islam Shah tried to kill ail those nobles who were supposed to be in sympathy with Adil Khan. Thirteen old nobles were sent to Gwalior where they were blown by gun-powder. Said Niazi fled away from the court and found shelter with his brother Haibat Khan Niazi, governor of Lahore. .On account of his flight, Islam Shah went back to Agra, where he collected his troops and marched thence towards Dehli. When Shujé.’ Khan received intelligence of these occurrences, he hastened to Delhi with all possible speed, without being summoned by Islam Shah. The King gratified him by treating him with distinction, and after arranging his army, and halting some days at Dehli, he proceeded in the direction of Lahore. Haibat Khan and the whole of the King's enemies had an interview with Khawas Khan and his friends, and dispatched a powerful force from the Panjab to encounter Islam Shah. They came up with each other near Ambala; and as Islam Shah was encamped very near the Niazi troops, a fight was imminent.

On the night preceding the day of battle, Haibat Khan and his brothers met in Khawas Khan's tent, and consulted together concerning the appointment of another Sovereign. Khawas Khan said, that the best course would be to raise Adil Khan, the eldest son of Sher Shah, to the throne, as he was the rightful heir. Upon this all the Niazis said unanimously, ''What advice is this ? No one obtains a kingdom by inheritance ; it belongs to whoever can gain it by the sword.'' Khawas Khan was vexed at their intentions, and on the same night he secretly sent a verbal message to one of the confidential servants of Islam Shah, requesting him to inform the King, that although His Majesty looked on him (Khawas Khan) as an unfaithful servant, yet that his heart had always inclined towards Sher Shah’s family and offspring; and that although he had sided with Adil Khan, who were the Niazis that he should be guilty of disloyalty to his benefactor on their account, and for the sake of their alliance ? That his wish to be of service should, with the consent of the Almighty, be made manifest on the day of battle.

When Islam Shah became aware of the disagreement which had taken place amongst the chiefs of the enemy, and of the friendly feeling of Khawas Khan, he rejoiced exceedingly, and became confident of success. Meanwhile, news was brought that the Niazi troops had advanced to within a very short distance of the royal camp. Islam Shah said: '' The Afghans have no sense.'' He made an enclosure with all his wheeled carriages, like a fortress, into which he caused the whole of his army to enter, and then went in person to reconnoiter the Niazis from an elevated position. When he beheld the foe, he said, ''I shall be disgraced if I do not fight the rebel troops,'' and ordered the chains, with which the carriages were fastened together to be removed. At that moment, he ranged his troops in battle array, and made ready for the fight. The war drums were beaten on both sides._ Khawas Khan sent to tell Haibat Khan and his brothers to advance when they saw him do so on his elephant with his standard displayed, and not to forsake him. With this intention they turned their faces towards the field. Khawas Khan started from his post, but attacked no one, and succeeded in making his way into the open country. The Niazis fought to the best of their ability, but as no benefit is ever derived from disloyalty, and as it always occasions distress and regret, they were routed, and the victory remained with Islam Shah.

Whilst these events were occurring, Saeed Khan Niazi, the brother of Haibat Khan, came armed to the teeth, under the pretext of congratulating the King; hoping, as no one knew him, to find an opportunity of slaying Islam Shah. He mixed with the royal guards. Islam Shah was at the time standing surrounded by a circle of war elephants, and Said Khan was, consequently, unable to reach him immediately. He was shortly afterwards recognized by one of the elephant drivers, who gave the alarm, and was slain by a thrust of Saeed's spear. Saeed's valour and strength enabled him to make good his escape from the place where the royal guards were. The Niazis fled to Dhan kot, which is near Roh [14]. After their defeat, they were hindered in their flight by the marshy ground in the neighborhood of Ambala, which prevented their horses from proceeding, and consequently Islam Shah’s troops who were in pursuit coming up with them, made a great slaughter of the Niazis. Islam Shah followed them in person as far as New Rohtas, and there appointed Khwaja Wais Sarwani, with an immense army, to prosecute the war with the Niazis, after which he turned back towards Agra and Gwalior.

Haibat khan Niazi and Khwaja Wais Sarwani fought together on several occasions. In the last action Haibat khan defeated the Khwaja, and Niazis pursued them as far as  Sirhind. When Islam Shah heard this news, he raised a large force, and sent it against the Niazis, on which Haibat khan retraced his steps and went to Mankot. Islam Shah’s troops came up with him near Sambhal, and a battle took place, in which the Niazis, numbering 20,000 were again routed. Numbers of Niazi women, falling into the hands of conquerors, were sent to Islam shah. The captured Niazis including women and children were brutally treated by Islam Shah. Some Niazi women were kept exposed for months in the state of nudity. Others were made over to harlots!. This dishonor of Niazi ladies was resented by Afghans in general, most of whom were in some way connected togather.

The defeated Niazis couldn't win the support of the Pashtun tribes settled along both banks of Indus. They took refuge with the Gakhars, in the hill-country bordering on Kashmir. Islam Shah advanced in person with a large army for the purpose of quelling the Niazi rebellion, and during the pace of two years was engaged in constant conflicts with the Ghakkars, whom he desired to subdue[15]. He strove by every means in his power to gain possession of the person of Sultan Adam Ghakkar, who had been a faithful friend of the Emperor Humayun, without success; but he caught Serang Sultan Ghakkar, who was one of the most noted men of his tribe, and caused him to be flayed alive, and confined his son, Kamal Khan, in the fort of Gwalior. When Islam Shah had thus taken a proper revenge of Sultan Adam Ghakkar, and destroyed many of his tribe, many of the zamindars whose possessions were at the foot of the hills submitted themselves to him. Skirting the hills.

He then set seriously to work to exterminate the Niazis. When the Ghakhars had been rendered powerless, Haibat Khan went into the hill-country of Kashmir. Islam Shah encamped beneath Kaituli-shahr, and designed to pursue the Niazis into Kashmir; while Mirza Haidar, the Governor of Kashmir, in order to gain Islam Shah’s good-will, blocked up the road against the Niazis. Haibat khan perceived that the King was coming in his rear, and that the Governor of Kashmir had closed the path on ahead ; being, therefore, unable to effect anything, he went to Rajauri. Islam Shah 'pursued the Niazis with the choicest of his troops as far as the village of Madad, in the territory of Naushahra on the Chenab river, where he was terrified by the dangers and difficulties of the mountain passes, and thought that his best plan would be to make peace. With this view he sent Said Khan and Abdul Malik, who were two of his most trusted and confidential courtiers, with a letter to Haibat khan and the other Niazis, counseling them to take a course by which their interests would be best benefited. Haibat khan son and mother were then surrendered as hostages to Islam Shah. The latter, taking them with him, quitted the defiles of the hills, and encamped at Ban, a village near Sialkot.
Muhammad Nazr and Sabr Ali, the Ruler of Kashmir's governors in Rajaori, plotted to carry Haibat khan into Kashmir, and expel Mirza Haidar thence. Haibat khan consulted the Afghans who had accompanied him with reference to the propriety of this proceeding, and the greater portion of them counseled him to consent to what was evidently a decree of the Almighty. Haibat khan, however, refused to agree to this arrangement, and sent a Brahman to Mirza Haidar, with proposals for accommodation, at the same time begging for assistance, and giving an account of his distressed condition. Mirza Haidar, who was a youth of a magnanimous disposition, sent a large sum of money to Haibat Khan, with a civil message.

Haibat khan marched from his encampment to the village of Buzurg. When the faithless Kashmiris saw that Haibat khan was unsuccessful, they turned against him and deserted him. Some of them went over to Islam Shah. Ghazi Khan Chak went to Mirza Haidar and told him that Haibat khan was coming with a body of Afghans for the purpose of seizing Kashmir, and had reached the pargana of Banihel, and the hills of Lohkot and Malwakot. I'di Ratna, Husain Mekari, Bahram Chak, and Yusuf Ghak, were ordered to attack the small band of Niazis with a force of Kashmiris. Both sides prepared for action, and a fierce contest took place. Bibi Rabia, the wife of Haibat khan, fought like a man, and smote Lali Chak with her sword. The Kashmiris were very numerous, and were victorious over the discomfited Afghans. Haibat khan, Said Khan, and Bibi Rabi'a were killed in the battle, and the men of Kashmir returned successful to Srinagar. Mirza Haidar sent the heads of the Afghans, by the hand of Yakub Mir, to Islam Shah, who was in the village of Ban, near the river Chinab, and who, well pleased at the termination of the Niazi rebellion, marched back homewards[16]. Thus finished the story of the valiant, courageous and chivalrous Niazi Pashtuns in Hind, but not so in their motherland.

After the collapse of the Sur dynasty, the afghans moved to Bengal and resisted the Mughal writ in the region. the leadership shifted from Lodhi or Surs to Lohanis and later to Karranis. Akbar was aware of the Afghans' resilience and the problems they could pose to his rule. He resorted to a stick and carrot policy; he fought fierce battles against them , but, also propitiated  and rewarded lavishly , anyone who changed sides. In due course of time , he succeeded in winning over the loyalties of the Afghans in Bengal. Though we do not find amongst the Afghan nobility any direct descendent s of Haibat khan Niazi or Isa Khan Niazi, however , Muhammad Khan Niazi [17] and his son Ahmad Khan Niazi are conspicuously mentioned in history as force commanders during Akbar's period. Thereafter Mubarak Khan Niazi made his name during reign of Emperor Aurangzeb.[18]

The following Niazi chiefs are metioned in  the "Afghan nobility of Mughal dynasty"
 1-Sajawal Khan Niazi    p-95
2- Ahmad Khan Niazi     p-115,137-8, 140
3-Ali Khan Niazi             p-99,100
4-Ibrahim Khan Niazi      p-73
5 -Isa Khan Niazi            p-64
6-Ismael Khan Niazi       p-145-6
7-Muhammad Khan Niazi     p-80,86
8- Mubarak Khan Niazi        p-122,125,138
9-Shehbaz Khan Niazi          p-73
           

Niazi uprising against the Sikhs (1829-30)

In 1829 a dispute between a Mullah and a Sikh soldier in Isa Khel gave the Niazis long sought opportunity of ridding themselves of their detested conquerors. The dispute escalated from words to blows and soon it became a general brawl. The Sikh soldiery , despising their foes, sallied out of the fort to aid their comrades , who were getting seriously mauled in the streets of town. They , regardless of the consequences , fired on the angry crowd of Niazis, who collecting weapons of all sort, attacked the small band, inflicting heavy losses and finally driving them back into the fort. The Niazis pushed on with their successes, and before nightfall, only four men of the Sikh garrison survived and burj of Fateh Singh was a heap of ruins. Elated by these successes, marched onto Trag, but the garrison there, already forewarned , put the river between them and their adversaries by retreating to Attock. The fort , however , shared the same fate as that of Isa Khel and for a while the Niazis rejoiced in their independence. (MacGREGOR, "Central Asia Part II", Vol-I, p-654)

The following year Raja Suchet Singh and Fateh Singh Mann marched against the Niazis to avenge the rout of the garrison. The Niazis moved to Kotki , a fort on the eastern mouth of Chichali pass and awaited the Khalsa army. Allah Yar Khan of Kalabagh , with the portion of Sikh forces , was sent via the Bulbuli pass to take them on from the rear. The defection of their ally frustrated the Isa khels and they fled to Choantrah  valley and thence to Bannu. After strengthening the Kotki fort , the Sikhs marched on Isa Khel town , ravaging the whole country (which was entirely deserted) and burning all the Niazi villages. The army encamped there, long enough to rebuild the fort and to throw up a formidable tower in the center. They also mounted the guns and left a strong garrison. Ahmad Khan , chief of Isa Khel, took refuge in Bannu with Malik Sohan Khan, chief of Ahmadzai Wazirs.

(Reference: "History of the Pathans, Vol-III, by Haroon Rashid)



                          Notes and References:
1. Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", p-293 
2. Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, Volume 1, p-286
3. Raverty, "Notes on Afghánistan and Part of Baluchistan", p-343.
4. S.S  Thorburn, "Bannu under native rule", p-18
5. Dr Chiragh Hussain, "Dood-e-Chiragh",  p-31-35
6. Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", p-322
7. B.Dorn, "History of the Afghans, p-40-41"
8. Raverty, "Notes on Afghánistan and Part of Baluchistan", p-347
9. B.Dorn, "History of the Afghans", p-134
10.  Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", p-324 
11.Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", p-325 
12. The Pathans, 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957 - Sir Olaf Kirkpatrick Caroe
13. "Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi", -237
14. The ruins of Dhan Kot are located near Kalabagh on the western bank of Indus.
15. See  Historical relationship between Ghakkars and Afghans
16.  Elliot, "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians :The Muhammadan Period
". p-488
17.  The  Jagir of Muhammad Khan Niazi in Ashti 'pargana' was located on the bank of verda river in Deccan. He declared Ashti 'pargana' as his native place and worked for its development and prosperity. He is buried in the Ashti settlement. According to Wardha District Gazetteer (p-634),
 "When Jahangir succeeded his father he gave Ashti, Amner, Pavnar, and Talegaon (Berar) paraganas in jagir to Muhammad Khan Niazi, an Afghan nobleman of high rank. The credit of restoring Ashti and bringing large tracts of the surrounding land under cultivation goes to this nobleman. He died at Ashti in A.D. 1627, a handsome mausoleum in the Moghal style being erected over the spot where he was laid to rest."
18. Mubbark Khan Niazi died in the later part of 17th century. He was the last of the Niazis mentioned in the history of Hind.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tomb of Darya Khan Lohani

Darya Khan was a Chief Justice Officer during the Bahlul Khan Lodhi reign and was appointed as an Advocate during the reign of Sikander Lodi Dynasty. Today, the Tomb of Darya Khan is seen only as a circular platform that sits over another round raised platform set in ruins but must have had a spectacular view centuries ago.