Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Aimal Khan : a Mohmand or an Afridi?


Major Raverty mentioned him Aimal Khan Afridi in 1884 AD, and was followed by Sir Olaf Careo in 1958.  Dost Muhammad Khan Kamil mentioned Aimal Khan a Mohmand in 1968, he was followed by Roshan Khan in 1971 and Bahadur Shah Zafar Kaka Khel in 1981.

Dost Muhammad Kamil Mohmand ,  writes ;
" Raverty, while translating a portion of Khushhal Khan's "Diary," has even at one place called Darya Khan brother of Aimal Khan. This is a glaring instance of interpolation and misrepresentation, probably inadvertent, of the original, which has no mention of the relationship. Darya Khan was, no doubt, an Afridi, probably an Adamkhel, but Aimal Khan, the greatest hero of the rising so far as military genius and achievements are concerned, after whom Khushhal Khan has named it, was a Mohmand" ["On a Foreign Approach to Khushhal", p-63]

Dost Muhammad Kamil further says ;
"One Aimal Afridi, whose name occurs in the Tarikh-i-Murassa , can on no account be identified with the hero of the rising as Afzal Khan has mentioned him in connection with some events of 1129 H. (1716 A.D.). Khushal Khattak had died twenty-nine years earlier and both his comrades-in-arms, Aimal Khan and Darya Khan, had died even earlier in Khushal Khan's lifetime. Similarly Aiman, who, according to the Akbarat-ul-Maula as quoted by Sir Jaddu Nath Sarkar, was included in the Muhammad Amin's army during the Yousafzai's rising of 1077-8 H., discussed at some length in the preeding chapter, but who detained on suspicion and sent to the Deccan can not be identified with Aimal Khan, the hero of the rising under discussion. In the account of battle of Deorai near Ajmer during the War of succession , as given in the Alamgir-Namah we also find one Aiman Afridi in Aurangzeb's army. Both Alamgir-Namah and the Akhbarat-ul-Maula are official and highly authentic records but Sarkar's brief note does not say if the Akhbarat does or does not identify the former suspect with the subsequent rebel, and only points out that this name is given in the Akhbarat as Aiman Afridi , nor we have any other evidence to enable us to identify the Aiman Afridi of Alamgir-Namah and the Akhbara-ul-Maula with the leader of the rising. Be as it may, Khushal Khattak knew his comrades-in-arms better than any one including the official reporters, and if the former suspect and the subsequent rebel was one and the same person, even the official reporters had erred about his name and tribe."
According to tradition Aimal Khan belonged to the Khoezai branch of the Mohmand tribe and among the Khoezai his clan was Musaizai-Kukozai (not to be confused with Kakaizais, who are Tarkalanis). His descendants are called Badshahkhel, i.e. the family of the king, because, not only according to the tradition but also in recorded history, he was acknowledged as a king, and coins were struck in his name."


Aimal Chabutra


According to Sir Olaf Kirkpatrick Caroe ;
"Aimal's name is still alive in Afridi hearts and more than one place, notably Aimal Chabutra at the entrance to the Kohat Darra, carries his memory". [The Poems of Khushhal Khan Khatak, p-7]

Dost Muhammad Kamil counters Caroe on that as follow ;
 "So far as Aimal Chabutra on the border of the Bara Mohmand Area in Peshawar and the Kohat Pass (Darra Adam Khel) is concerned, it is on the Mohmand side of the border. There is, however, no historical explanation as to why it should be associated with the name of the hero. The Aimal Gutt (the Rock of Aimal) in Krappa near Ekkaghund in the Mohmand hill country has a much betterclaim to be associated with the hero's name as in that area near Gandab he had destroyed the Mughal army under Shujat Khan and Maharaja Jaswanth Singh Rathore of Jodhpur." ["On a Foreign Approach to Khushhal", p-65]

Haroon Rashid counters Dost Muhammad Kamil on Aimal Chabutra as follow ;
Colonel Mackeson , the first commissioner of Peshawar, to contain Adam Khel Afridis , constructed a fort at the mouth of the entrance of territory. Later , this fort, was named after Mackeson when the Afridis murdered him in 1852. Subsequently, its name was changed to “Aimal chabutra’ by Colonel Edwardes, the commissioner of Peshawar. According to Dost Muhammad Khan Kamil Mohmand, there is “no historical explanation as to why it should be associated with the name of the hero”. Location of the Aimal Chabutra on the approach to the territory of Aimal Khan is sufficient explanation of his belonging to this territory. While the “Aimal Gutt” (the rock of Aimal) in Karappa is the place where one of the battles was fought and the place is known after him as Aimal Gutt. [“History of the Pathans” , Vol-II, pp-433-435]