Sunday, March 4, 2018

Nur Gul of Panjpao, a Halimzai Mohmand

Nur Gul, chief of the Halimzai Mohmands, wood engraving, 1852, The Illustrated London News.

From The Illustrated London News 1852 ;

"Noor Gool bore an active part in the recent disturbances on this frontier. He is quiet at present; but how long to continue is more than the wisest of us can say. It appears that Noor Gool, with some other chiefs, had come in to treat with the civil authorities, and advantage was taken of this circumstance to obtain his evidence at the trial of an European officer for alleged misconduct during a night attack by a party of Momunds on the village of Shubkudder, in the month of March, as mentioned in the Illustrated London News of the 5th June. The accompanying Sketch was taken during the sitting of the Court in the cause alluded to."

In the early days of 1850 an attack on government positions was launched by Noor Gul, causing heavy casualties to the British. [Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Vol.55-56, p.104]

The Mohmands for the first five years of British rule in the Peshawar gave more trouble than almost any other tribes. ["A Record of the Expeditions Undertaken Against the North-west Frontier" , by William Henry Paget, 1874, p-195]

In December 1850, Fateh Khan son of Saadat Khan, the 'Khan' of Lalpura, raided Shabkadr and incited the Mahmands against the government. In March 1 851 , with the connivance of Saadat Khan, Nawab Khan, the Chief of Pindiali, attacked Matta and Saadat Khan himself raided Doaba. Lieutenant H.R. James, the Deputy Commissioner had come to know of the intended raids and had placed detachments of the Guides Corps under Lieutenant H.N. Miller and Risaldar Fateh Khan at both the places. The raiders could not do much damage. However, in July 1851, Nur Gul Khan of Panjpao carried out successful depredations in the area. ["History of the Pathans: The Sarabani Pathans", p-485]

The Koz Mohmands were in possession of a jagir in the plains , first assigned to them by the Delhi emperors. The grant was originally in the name of 'Khan' of Lalpura. Subsequently it was divided between the Halimzai and Tarakzai clans , the former receiving Panjpao, while the latter were assigned a number of villages below Michni, on the Naguman and Shah Alam branches of the Kabul River and close to the city of Peshawar. The Halimzi, Isa Khel and Burhan Khel sections of Tarakzi live in the vicinity of the Michni Fort. To reduce their depredations and forays into the British territory, the government tried to urbanize them. In 1852. the then Commissioner wrote. "In planning a fort at Michni we have undertaken to reduce the Tarakzi to the condition of subjects. " The government resorted to the stick and carrot policy: it used construction of the fort as intimidation while the grant of 'jagirs' in the plains, as bait for their submission to the status of subjects": insisted upon by the government as a condition of the tenure of their jagirs. The bait worked and the 'jagirs' in the plains were restored to them in 1852.  ["History of the Pathans: The Sarabani Pathans", p-485]

The agreement with the Halimzi of the 12th of July 1852 (No. CXV of Atchison 's) reads as under: - "Ahmad Sher, Noor Gul, Mukarram Huboo, Rahimdad and seven other 'Maliks ' of the Halimzi engage to pay a yearly tribute of two hundred rupees and promise obedience and service of Governament and if any fault be proved against them, they hold themselves liable to punishment.They consider the friends of the Government to be their friends, and the Government enemies their foes. To which purpose they have executed this Agreement on 12th July 1852" . ["A Collection of Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds, Relating to India and Neighbouring Countries", 1863, p-397]