Friday, April 7, 2017

Pashtuns were once principal inhabitants of Mastung (Balochistan)

By Khan Barmazid



Drawing by Charles Masson




According to "Tarikh Nama-Herat" of Saifi Haravi (written in 1318 AD), Mastung was the capital of of the history's first known semi-sovereign state of Afghanistan in 13th century. The source says that an Afghan chieftain of Mastung namely Hurmuz Tarin , supported by 2,000 Afghans from his tribe fought with a commander of Malik Shamsuddin Kurt of Herat (vassal of Mongols) who had invaded Afghanistan in 1252 AD. The source also says that Malik Taj-ud-din, the ruler of Afghanistan, collected 10,000 Afghans from Mastung to confront Kurt-Mongol forces. This shows that Mastung was an abode of Afghans at that time. (Tarikh-nama-Herat, Urdu trans by Sultan Altaf Ali., p-254)

According to Tarikh-i-Balochistan of Hatu Ram, when Rais Khan Tarin, with a band of his clan, came from Kandahar and occupied Kalat , Mastung and adjoining area was then occupied by the other Afghan tribes and there was no trace of the Brahuis or Balochs in the area. On one occasion a Brahui chief , Umar Khan Mirwani, was killed in battle with Rinds. His widow and minor son Bajaru Khan took refuge with Afghans of Mastung. Subsequently Bajaru Khan married the daughter of an Afghan notable of Mastung. With the help of Afghans, Bajaru Khan occupied Kalat. (Rai Hatu Ram, Tarikh-i-Balochistan, p-172).

In 959 H (1543 AD), Mirza Shah Hussain Arghun bestowed the government of Siwi (Sibi) upon Sultan Mahmud Khan Kokaltash. H.G.Raverty says, "His (Kokaltash's)  mother was an Afghan of the Kasi tribe then dwelling in Shal and Mastung , a woman of great energy , whom he was in the habit of consulting. Thus, at the period in question, as those who are acquainted with the Pushtuns or Afghans and their history very well know, the districts here mentioned were then, and had been for a considerable time, in the possession of the Kasis, but since that time they have been nearly all ousted from their possessions , like some other Afghans of the neighboring parts , by Baluch and Brahui interlopers". ("Notes on Afghanistan and part of Baluchistan" by H.G.Raverty, pp-588-589)

Humayun-nama of Gulbadan-Begum (sister of Emperor Humayun) mentions Shal-Mastung to be an abode of Afghans ;
".....The Emperor (Humayun) was stupefied and bewildered , and said : 'What is to be done? where i am to go?' They all consulted together. Tardi Muhammad Khan and Bairam Khan gave it as their opinion that it was impossible to decide to go anywhere but to the north and Shal-Mastun(g), the frontier of Qandahar. 'There are many Afghans in those parts', they said , 'whom we shall draw over to our side." (Humayun-nama, English translation by Anetta.S.Beveridge, p-165) 

According to Ain-i-Akbari, the principal inhabitants of Mastung in late 16th century were Kasi Afghans and Baluchs and the district was liable to furnish 100 horse and 500 foot for the militia purpose. (Ain-i-Akbari, Eng.trans by H.S.Jarret, Vol-II, p-397)



Map of Mastung district