Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Sibi fort - who built it?

Towards the end of 15th and in the beginning of 16th century A.D, Siwi fort was ruled by Bahadur Khan of Sindh and then by one sultan Purdil Barlas whose forces were thrown out by the forces of Shah Baig son of Zannun Beg Arghun. In 1543 A.D Siwi fort was visited by the fugitive Mughal King Humayun along with his infant son Akbar, the future great Mughal and the emperor of India. The father and the son found the Arghuns in the possession of the fort . Mullah Mehmud Jiskani, the author of Tazkir-ul-bar, assigns 15th century for the occupation of Siwi by the Pannis. According to the Akbar-nama of Abul fazal and Akbar-nama of Faizi Sirhindi , by 1575 A.D Panni Afghans were already in control of Siwi fort. They, therefore must have been present in the general area of Siwi much before that date since it is likely that their conquest of Sibi or Siwi would have taken some considerable time.

It is therefore historically incorrect to claim that the Siwi fort was either built or was ever ruled by the legendary Baloch Hero Mir Chakar Rind . He is said by the Baloch historians to have lived and fought between 1450-1550 A.D whereas Siwi town as well as Siwi fort existed centuries before this period and were ruled in turn by epic Hindu kings Brahmuns, Buddhists, Persians, Turks, Mughals and Afghans. In the latter case Afghan presence in Siwi, which may have commenced in Al-Beruni times, continued right up to May 1879 when it gave way to the British supremacy over Sibi, Duki, Loralai and Pishin in accordance with stipulations of the treaty of Gandmak. As a matter of fact the Baloch people had not even entered the upper Sindh plains till about 1580 A.D. The Ain-i-Akbari clearly describes the amount of land revenue as well as the Afghan land owners of Duki, Harnai and Siwi tract. At that time in the whole length of this plain either there were no Baloch land owners at all or, as Major Raverty states, only one Mahal near Sukkar/Bhakkar by the name of “Jatoi: contained people belonging to the Baloch race. This is the reason that word Balochistan , first used by Abu Fazal , applied to the northern locality of Sukkar in Sindh rather than to any area covered by the present day Sibi , Quetta, Zhob divisions.

(Excerpts from "Afghans of The Frontier Passes" by Abdul Aziz Luni)

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