History of tribes inPakistan

CATEGORY: TRIBES OF ATTOCK DISTRICT
Rajputs of Punjab
In this post, I will give a brief overview of the Rajput community in Punjab. The term Raja putra means the son of a Raja or king in Sanskrit. In Punjab, the Rajputs can be loosely divided into five territorial groupings. According to the 1911 census in British India, the total Rajput population in the Punjab was 1,635,578, of which 1,222,024 (74.5%) were Muslim, 388,744 (24%) were Hindu and (24,810) (1.5%) were Sikh. Each Rajput tribe claims to belong one of three lineages, and I shall start off by giving a brief description of each of these.

Lineages

The Suryavanshi lineage, claiming descent from Surya. The Sun Dynasty is oldest among Kshatriyas. The first person of this dynasty was “Vivaswan,” who by the meaning of his name is considered to be “Surya.” Ikshvaku was the first important king of this dynasty. Other important kings were Kakutsth Harishchandra, Sagar, Dileepa, Bhagiratha, Raghu Dashratha and Rama. The poet Kalidasa wrote the great epic Raghuvamsa about the dynasty of Raghu including the great king born in the Sun Dynasty.

The Chandravanshi lineage, claiming descent from Som which literally means “Moon.” This Lunar Dynasty is also old but younger than the Sun Dynasty. Som was the first king of this dynasty. Other important kings were Pururawa, Nahush, Yayati, Dushyant, Bharata, Kuru, Shantanu and Yudhishthir. Yadu was the eldest son of Yayati and Yadavs claim descent from Yadu. Krishna was also born in this dynasty of Yadu. Harivamsa gives details of this dynasty.

The Agnivanshi lineage claims descent from four persons who were born from fire or by the influence of Ved Mantras.” According to Puranic legend, as found in Bhavishya Purana, a yagna was held at Mount Abu, at the time of emperor Ashoka’s sons. From the influence of Mantras of the four Vedas, four Kshatriyas were born. They were: 1. Pramar (Paramara), 2.Chaphani (Chauhan); 3.Chu (Chalukya); 4.Pariharak (Pratihara). But since fire cannot produce warriors, it should be understood that these four persons were either reconverted into Hinduism or revitalized to fight against invaders. They could not be of foreign origin because India was fighting against Indo-Greek kings at that time. Pusyamitra Sunga and his son Agnimitra were Brahmins. They are known for reviving Hinduism. This theory of origin has produced much controversy; however, only four clans out of many Rajput clans are considered to be Agnivanshi. Some scholars also count Nagavanshi and Rishivanshi. The Yaduvanshi lineage, claiming descent from the Hindu god Krishna, are in fact a major sect of the Chandravanshi.

The aforementioned three patrilineages (vanshas) sub-divide into 36 main clans (kulas), which in turn divide into numerous branches (shakhas), to create the intricate clan system of the Rajputs. The principle of patrilineage is staunchly adhered to in determining one’s place in the system and a strong consciousness of clan and lineage is an essential part of the Rajput character. As the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica states, this tradition of common ancestry permits an indigent Rajput yeoman to consider himself as well-born as any powerful landholder of his clan, and superior to any high official of the professional classes. Authoritative listings of the 36 Rajput clans are to be found in the Kumārpāla Charita of Jayasimha and the Prithvirāj Rāso of Chandbardai.

Divisions Among the Rajputs of Punjab

The first grouping inhabited the territory that extended from the Yamuna valley to the Ghaghar, roughly what is the modern state of Haryana. Almost three quarters of them had converted to Islam, and these were referred to as Ranghar. They belonged mainly to the Chauhan and Tomar sub-divisions, which gave Delhi its most famous Rajput dynasties.

Next came the Rajputs of the south-west of Punjab, roughly the Seraiki speaking region comprising the modern Bahwalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan divisions. These tribes were hardly distinguished from the Jat clans in their neighbourhood, and for the most part belonged to the Bhatti of Jaisalmer and Bikaner, and their Panwar predecessors. The Rajput clans of the south-west had converted to Islam in their entirety. The third group comprised the Rajput clans of the Salt Range, and the Pothohar Plateau, who were split into numerous clans, either descended from the Yaduvanshi dynasty of Kashmir, the famous Raja Salvahan of Sialkot, or the numerous Panwar tribes occupying the hills along the Jhelum River. Like the Rajputs of the south-west, these tribes had almost entirely converted to Islam. The only exception were some members of the Chib and Bhao tribes, found in Kharian, many of whom had remained Hindu, and maintained close relations with the Dogras of Jammu.

The fourth group comprised the Rajputs of the the Punjab Hills, the modern territory of Himachal Pradesh, Gurdaspur District and Hoshiarpur District. These tribes are perhaps the most ancient of the Rajput tribes of Punjab, the Katoch being the most famous, and were almost entirely Hindu, with only some clans of the lower Shivalik hills, such as the Sulehria and Katil, converting to Islam. The principalities of the Punjab Himalayas, were some of the oldest states in India.

The final grouping were the Rajputs of central Punjab, roughly the area of the Sandal Bar, Manjha, Malwa and Doaba. The Bhattis, Kharals and Sials predominated in the Sandal Bar, the Bhatti predominated in the Bhattiana region, the modern districts of Firozpur and Sirsa, and the Ghorewaha, Manj and Naru were found in the Sikh tract, who had held their own against the dominant Jatt Sikh of the region.. In Amritsar and Lahore , the Rajputs were mainly Bhatti And Khokhar, with a sprinkling of Panwar and Chauhan. The Rajput clans were predominantly Muslim in this region, except along the borders with Rajasthan, where there were communities of Hindu Rajputs, such as the Shaikhawat and Rathore. I shall now look into detail at of the five groupings.

Rajputs of South Western Punjab
The term Rajput is very rarely used on its own by the tribes that are indigenous to south west Punjab. In the Bahawalpur Division, the distinction between tribes of Jat status and Rajput status is blurred. Tribes such as the Soomra, Samma, Daher, Kharal, Marral and Ghallu are sometimes refereed to as Jat, and sometimes as Rajput. The exceptions being the Johiya and Wattu, who in popular estimation are always considered Rajput. Along the left bank of the Indus, from Rahim Yar Khan District to Mianwali District, the term is rarely used by the tribes, with the notable exception of the Tiwana and Noon of the Thal Desert, and the Bhachar of Wan Bachran, in Mianwali. It is only when one reaches the Salt Range, that term Rajput comes into common usage. In the lands across the Indus, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Rajput disappears completely, and their place is taken by the Baluch and Pashtun. In the Dera Ghazi Khan District, the only indigenous tribe that calls itself Rajput, are the Jamra, who use the title Jam, indicating Sindhi ancestry. Across the Indus, in Muzafargarh, the Khera Sial, Dhanotar and Panwar are the only tribes that claim Rajput tribes. In Bahawalpur District, the Samma and Soomra are the principal Rajput tribes.

The Rajput make a reappearance in the valleys of the Jhelum and Chenab, where the Chadhar and Sial are both tribes of impeccable Agnivanshi pedigree. In the Sandal Bar, the Waseer, Kharal, Wahiniwal and Wattu are all major Rajput tribes, the first two claiming to be Agnivanshi, while the latter two claim to be Chandravanshi, claiming a common origin with the Bhatti. The upper part of the Sandal Bar, and the Bhattiore area of Chiniot District was a stronghold of the Bhatti tribe. Further along the Jhelum River valley, the Khokhar and Bhatti founds in great numbers.

Along the valley of the Sutlej River, the Wattu, Johiya, Baghela, Lodhra and Kathia are the predominant tribes. In and around the city of Multan, the Khokhar and Bhatti clans such as the Mitru, Kanju, Bosan and Noon predominate.

Rajputs of the Pothohar Plateau

The Pothohar Plateau and Salt Range is home to a large number of Rajput clans. The Rajputs are the largest ethnic group in the region, and are often referred to as the Rajah. The principal tribes are the Bhatti, Panwar, Minhas and Janjua. Many of these larger clans have splintered into numerous septs.

In terms of distribution, the Bhatti, and their sub-divisions are the most widespread. Important clans of the Bhatti descent, include Jodhras of Attock District, the Hattar of Chakwal and Jhelum districts, the Gungal of Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts, the Nagrial and Nagrwal of Rawalpindi District and the Mamyal of Rawalpindi District. In terms of historical prominence, the Janjua were the historical overlords of the region, until overwhelmed by the Ghakkars. Important Janjua subdivisions include the Dulal, Gaharwal, Jatal, Dhamial and Ranial. The Minhas are an important clan in the eastern half of the Pothohar Plateau, with their sub-divisions, the Mair of Chakwal, the Kanyal and Nagyal of the Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts.
The Panwar are after Bhatti, are the most numerous clan in this region. The Panwar themselves are found in the Pabbi Hills. Important Panwar clans include the Bangial, Dhudhi, Narma, Sohlan, Hon, Baghial and Bhakral. The Bhakral are, after the Janjua are perhaps the most important Rajput clan in Rawalpindi District. The Katoch, a clan found generally in Jammu and Himachal Pradesh, has two sub-divisions, the Chib of the Jhelum Pabbi and the Ratial of Rawalpindi District.
In additions to these clans, there are also a number of other clans, such as the Alpial, a clan of Manj Rajputs, found in Rawalpindi and Attock districts, the Jalap and Khokhar of Pind Dadan Khan, and Chauhan found through out the Pothohar Plateau.
Other Rajput clans in the region include the Mathyal,Sulehria, Langrial, Khingar, Sehngral, Ghik, Malal, Bhutial, Jamsral, Sainswal, Bijnial, Ramial, Hayal, Janjil, Tharjial, Khumbal, Bharial, Hafyal, Salhal,Mangeal, Johad, Adhial, Kurar, Jhottial, Mair-Minhas, Tuh, Chanial, Bhatti-Mehra, Bhatti-Kanjial, Bhatti-Jangal, Bhatti-Badhuer, and Bhatti-Shaikh.
Rajput of Central Punjab
The Rajput of central Punjab historically occupied a region extending from Faisalabad in the west to Patiala in the east. According to the traditions of the various tribes, they are connected with the Rajputs of Rajasthan. Their no historical records giving the account of the migration of the various Rajput tribes into the region. But tradition points the Ghorewaha to be the earliest inhabitants of the region. The Ghorewaha are said to be Kachwaha Rajputs, who emigrated from Rajasthan, during the period of Mohammed Ghori. Their original territory was the Beas Sutlej Doab. Other important tribes of this region are the Manj, Naru, Taoni, and Varya. In the districts of Amritsar and Lahore, the predominant tribes were the Bhatti and Khokhar, while in Sialkot District, the Rajputs of central Punjab met those of the hills. The Bhattis and Khokhars predominated in the plains, while the Sulehria, Minhas and Bhao were found in the hilly part of the district. In the south, the Bhattiana region, covering the modern Firuzpur and Sirsa districts, was home to the Bhatti, and related tribes such as the Dogar, Johiya, Mahaar, Naipal, and Wattu.

Posted on September 17, 2015Posted in Indian Muslims, Muslim Rajputs, Pakistani Castes and Tribes, Rajputs of Pakistan, Tribes of Attock District, Tribes of Azad Kashmir, Tribes of Jhelum District, Tribes of Pothohar, Tribes of Potohar, Tribes of Sindh Sagar Doab
Tagged Muslim Rajputs, Muslim Rajputs of Lahore, Muslim Rajputs of Punjab, Muslim Rajputs of Rawalpindi, Punjabi Rajputs, Rajputs of Punjab
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1911 Census of the of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan
This was the breakdown by caste, religion and community of the population of the North West Frontier Province, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by the 1911 Census of India. At that time Pashtuns accounted for 70% (845,189) population, with the Hindko speaking Awan forming the second largest community (276,511 or about 23%).

Among the Pashtun dominated areas lived a number of minorities referred to as hamsiya such as the Dhobi, Mirasi, Qassab, Kumhar, Julaha, Teli, Nai, Shah Khel e.t.c, speaking both Pashtu and Hindko languages. The hamsiya lived and still live in villages inhabited by Pashtuns, but were not allowed to own property. Each hamsiya group was affiliated to a particular tribe, in which territory they lived. The hamsaya were paid in kind for the services they rendered.

Other groups that lived and still live among the Pashtuns include the Awan, who are also found in the Peshawer valley, Kohat and Bannu, the Maliar or Baghban, concentrated mainly in the Peshawer valley, the Paracha also found in Peshawer and Kohat, and the Gujjar. The Paracha had much in common with the Hindu Khatri, a group I will discuss latter in this post, in that they were largely traders, with extensive presence in Afghanistan. The Gujjar of the Frontier were essentially nomadic, although there were several settled Gujar communities in Mardan and near Peshawar city.

 

In Hazara, tribes of Pashtoon origin such as the Dilizak, Tareen and Mashwani formed about a quarter of the population. The rest of the population belonged to Hindko speaking tribes such as the Awan, Gakhar, Sarara, Karral, Turk and Dhund, as well as Gojri speaking Gujjars. The Gujjar were and still are also found in Malakand and the Peshawer valley, where they were largly nomadic. Some Hindko speaking communities such as the Mishwani of Hazara and Swati were bilingual, also speaking Pashto and both have also been separately noted in this census. In the south of the province in the districts of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu there are Seraiki speaking tribes such as the Jat, Khokhar, Arain and Mallaah, as well as the Baloch of the province who also speak Seraiki. The Muslim Rajputs were local and found mainly in the Abbotabad and Haripur areas of Hazara, while the Hindu and Sikh Rajputs were mainly soldiers stationed in the province. Similarly, the Hindu and Sikh Jats were also entirely soldiers stationed for a short time in the province. While Muslim Jats were found mainly in Bannu and Dera Ismail District, with thos of Bannu being slowly assimilated into Pashtoon society.

 

 

The census is also of interests as is show the divisions within the Hindu and Sikh groups in the North West Frontier, who in 1911 amounted to about 11% of the population. The indigenous Hindu and Sikh population consisted of the Aroras, Bhatias, Brahmins, Khatris and Sunar as well as the Chuhras, who were considered untouchable. The city of Peshawer was home to a Khatri community involved in long distance trade with Central Asia, which had first settled in the city during the period of the Mughals. These trading networks extended as far north as Siberia, and as far west as Baghdad. Other Hindu castes included the Dhobis, Jhinwars, Mochis and Nais, who were found mainly in Peshawer and the southern Hazara towns like Haripur and Abbotabad, and spoke Hindko at least as a second language. They were descended from settlers that have arrived from North India at the time of the conquest of the province by the British in 1848, with a substantial presence in the cantonment area of Peshawar. Among those groups long settled were the Brahmins, who were divided between the Muhials of Hazara, who were mainly landowners and other Brahmins were either priests or traders. They were also linguistically divided between those of Hazara and Peshawar, who spoke Hindko, and those of Dera Ismail Khan who were Seraiki speaking, although both terms are modern, and in 1911 most Hindus would have referred to their language as Punjabi. The Aroras were concentrated in the southern district of Bannu, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan, and spoke Seriki, while the Khatris were Hindko speaking found mainly in Peshawer and Hazara. While the Sunar and Bhatia were also largely Seraiki speaking, and the Chuhra of the south spoke Seraiki and those in Peshawer and Hazara spoke Hindko.

Religion

Caste or Tribe

Sub-Caste

Population

Muslims    
1,054,171

  Arain  
3,343

  Awan  
276,511

  Baghban  
20,471

  Baluch  
26,513

  Bhatiara  
4,130

  Chamar  
4,333

  Chuhra  
879

  Darzi  
2,265

  Dhobi  
13,902

 
Dhund

 
30,464

  Faqir  
1,466

  Gakhar  
6,806

  Gujjar  
113,498

  Jat  
78,070

  Jhinwar  
1,350

  Julaha  
37,384

  Karral  
22,106

  Kashmiri  
28,631

  Khoja  
2,974

  Khokhar  
1,179

  Kumhar  
22,576

  Lohar  
28,560

 
Macchi

 
4,031

  Maliar  
19,950

  Mallah  
4,802

  Mirasi  
11,790

  Mishwani  
4,888

  Mochi  
22,983

  Mughal  
14,865

  Mussalli (including Kutana)  
13,254

  Nai  
24,566

  Paracha  
12,330

  Pathan  
845,189

    Afridi
25,161

    Bangash
25,877

   
Bannuchi

34,605

    Bhittani
10,480

   
Daudzai

10,736

    Dilazak
3,665

    Durrani
10,736

    Gadun
27,546

    Ghilzai
30,611

    Gigiani
12,757

    Khalil
17,046

    Khattak
148,552

    Khugiani
1,351

    Mangal
159

    Marwat
68,018

    Mohammadzai
30,230

    Mohmand
69,506

    Mullagori
608

    Niazi
6,406

    Orakzai
12,629

    Shinwari
1,489

    Shirani
812

    Tareen
2,849

    Tarklanri
1,311

    Turi
705

    Ustarana
2,218

    Utmankhel
7,264

    Wazir
31,326

    Yousafzai
130,026

    Zadran
965

   
Zaimusht

1,024

   
Other Pathans

103,509

  Qassab  
8,721

  Qureshi  
20,939

  Rajput  
10,042

  Rangrez  
3,929

  Sarara  
8,507

  Sayyid  
75,115

 
Shaikh

 
17,892

 
Sunar

 
8,447

  Swati  
38.329

  Tanoli  
63,985

  Tarkhan  
42,367

  Teli  
6,932

  Turk  
4,499

 
Minor and Unspecified

 
32,942

Hindus    
121,284

  Arora  
55,713

  Bhatia  
3,786

 
Bhatiara

 
61

  Brahman  
9,740

  Chamar  
348

  Chuhra  
4,884

 
Darzi

 
6

  Dhobi  
970

 
Faqir

 
58

  Gujjar  
345

  Gurkha  
6,343

  Jhinwar  
797

 
Julaha

 
6

  Khatri  
30,033

  Kumhar  
83

  Lohar  
29

  Mallah  
3

  Mochi  
226

  Nai  
178

  Rajput  
4,051

  Sunar  
991

  Tarkhan  
37

 
Minor and Unspecified

 
2,596

Sikh    
28,251

  Arora  
13,502

  Bhatia  
300

  Chamar  
140

  Chuhra  
300

 
Darzi

 
7

 
Faqir

 
84

  Gujjar  
28

  Jat  
6,683

  Jhinwar  
180

  Khatri  
5,687

  Kumhar  
5

  Nai  
33

  Rajput  
270

  Rangrez  
4

  Sunar  
276

  Tarkhan  
214

 
Minor and Unspecified

 
538

Parsi    
49

Christian    
857

Jewish    
14

Jain    
4

Total Population

   
1,204,630

Posted on April 27, 2015Posted in History, Pakistani Castes and Tribes, Tribes of Attock District, Tribes of Sindh Sagar Doab
Tagged Awans of Peshawer, Census of India, Census of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Census of Pakistan, Gujars of Malakand Division, Gujjars of Hazara, hamsaya among Pakhtuns, Hindkowan society, Hindus of Kohat, Hindus of Peshawar, Social groups Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Tribes of Hazara
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Alpial, Gheba, Jodhra, and Khattar tribes
In this post, I shall concentrate on a number of tribes that are found largely in Attock District, a region where Pothohari culture and language gives way to Pashtun cultural norms. The Indus River flows along the western boundary of the district for about 130 Kilometres, dividing the district from the three bordering districts of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa. As such, identification with a tribe, a common feature of Pashtun cultural traditions, is an important source of identity in this border region. The four tribes that I will look at, namely the Alpial, Gheba, Jodhra, and Khattar, all claim a non-Pashtun origin, either tracing Rajput ancestry or claiming a Mughal identity. Sources used here include D. Turner “The Attock District: A Detailed and Comprehensive Survey Updating Col Gracroft’s Report”, (1891) and Col. C. Gracroft. “Report on the Races and Tribes of the Attock and Rawalpindi Districts”, (1868). Below are a list of tribes classified as Rajput by 1911 Census of India:

Tribe Population
Alpial 9,180
Chatha 5,335
Bhatti 3,553
Jodhra 1,690
Janjua Chauhan
Alpial

The Alpial are a Rajput tribe, found mainly in Attock and Rawalpindi districts. According to tribal traditions, the Alpials claim descent from the Manj Rajputs, and their claim to Rajput origin is generally admitted by neighbouring tribes. There ancestor was said to be a Rajah Alp Khan Manj, and the Alpial are the aals or descendents of this Alp Khan of the Manj tribe. I shall now say a little word on the Manj Rajputs. According to the traditions of the Manj, they are in fact Bhatti Rajputs, descended from Raja Salvahan (Salivahana), father of Raja Rasalu, a mythical figure that was said to ruled over much of Punjab, and founded Sialkot. There origin myths also make reference to a Tulsi Das (sometimes called Tulsi Ram), who was converted (to Islam) by the famous Sufi saint, Hazrat Makhdum Shah Jahaniya of Uchh, who died in 1383 A.D. After his conversion to Islam, Tulsi Ram assumed the name Shaikh Chachu, and the Manj had some influence in the valley of the Sutlej, in what is now Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts. Some six hundred years ago (13th Century) Shaikh Chachu and Shaikh Kilchi, are said to haved settled at Hatur in the southwest of Ludhiana, whence their descendents spread into the neighbouring country; and the Jallandhar traditions refer their conquest of the tract to the time of Ala-ud-din Khilji. After the dissolution of the Mughal Empire, the Manj Rais of Talwandi and Raikot ruled over an extensive territory south of the Sutlej, till dispossessed of it by the Ahluwalia Sikhs and later by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Coming back to the Alpials, they appear to have settled in their present locality about the same time as the Jodhras and Ghebas that is about the 15th Century, having first wandered through the country now contained in the Khushab and Chakwal districts before settling down in the southern corner of Fateh Jang. Thereafter, it seems little contact existed between the parent tribe in the Sutlej and the Alpials. According to 1931 census of India, their approximate population was 4,500. The author of the 1929 Attock District Gazetteer had this to say about them:

“ Hard-working and excellent cultivators, generally tilling their own land and working laboriously on their wells, they have taken only a small part in the more lurid history of the district. Socially they rank high, intermarrying freely with the Mughals. They are a bold, lawless set of men, of fine physique, much given to violent crime, sturdy, independent and wonderfully quarrelsome. ”

The Alpials occupy a compact block of villages on both banks of the Swaan River, in the Thana Chountra circle of Rawalpindi Tehsil, Rawalpindi District and the in the Sil Sohan circle of the Fateh Jang Tehsil,Attock District. They own 32 villages in all, the main Alpial villages being Sihal, Chakri, Ghila Kalan, Pind Malhu, Jhandhu Syedan, Dhalwali Mohra, Adhwal, Chak Beli Khan, Chountra, Chak-Dinal, Dhullial, Sangral, Khilri, Malkaal, Parial, Raika Maira, Hakeemal, Koliam Goru, Dhoke Gujri, Lamyran, Ramdev, Tatraal, Jaswal, Dheri Mohra, Kharri Murat, Gangainwala, Kolian Hameed, Chak Majhid, Gangal, Jada, Dhok Chach, Habtal, Bhutral, Dhok Cher, and Jodh.

Gheba
The Gheba are also ound in the District of Attock, and claim to be Mughal. In fact, the tribe is often referred to the Rawal Mughals of Kot Fateh Khan, which is their most important village. The Ghebas have either given their name, or received it, from the Gheb ( a region forming the south east of Attock District) , they explain it as the latter reason and prefer to be known as Mughals. A not improbable conjecture is that they were a small band of broken Rajput families, fleeing from the central Punjab, who joined the Jodhras and settled down on their borders. As regards to the ancestry of the tribe, some traditions refer to the story of three brothers who were born to a Panwar Rajput by the name of Rai Shanker who were named Ghaiyyo, Taiyyo and Saiyyo and from whom descend the Sial tribe of Jhang, Tiwanas of Khushab and Ghebas. Rai Shanker is said to have lived in Daranagar, located in the midway between AlIahabad and Fatehpur, in what is now Uttar Pradesh. According to another tradition Sial was the only son of Rai Shanker and those forefathers of Tiwanas and Ghebas were merely related to Shanker by paternal descent. After their arrival in Punjab, the Ghebas converted to Islam at the hands of the Sufi saint Baba Farid of Pakpattan, and eventually settled in Fatehjanj, expelling the Jodhras, and become effective rulers of the region.. Another tradition makes the Gheba a clan Barlas Mughal (see my post of the Phaphras for more information on the Barlas), who get there name from Mirza Gheba Khan a distant cousin of the Mughal Emperor Babar, who came here with his army during the Mughal invasion of India in 15th century with Zaheeruddin Babar. Therefore it was the Ghebas who gave the area of Gheb its name, and not vice versa. A claim of Mughal origin has now been accepted, the family of the Sardars of Kot Fateh Khan play an important role in the politics of Attock District. Prior to the arrival of the Sikhs in early 19th Century, the Ghebas were effectively independent. They are now considered equal in rank with the Jodhras and Alpials, and intermarriage with the Alpials, Jodhras and Khattars is common.

Like other tribes of this region, the Gheba are further sub-divided into three main muhis (clans), the Rawal, Bhandial and Sihal. The Sardars of Kot Fateh Khan belong to the Rawal branch of the family, and current Sardar is Sher Ali Khan. The Ghebas are found mainly in the western portion of the Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District, where they occupy solid block of villages reaching to the Kala Chita on the north, to Fateh Jang and Sagar to the east, and almost to the Sil river in the south. There main villages are Kot Fateh Khan, Manjia, Dhurnal, Gullial, Malal, Mari, Shahr Rai Saidullah, Sikhwal and Dhari-Rai-Ditta all in Fatehjang Tehsil of Attock District.

Jodhra

We now look at the Jodhra, who account for themselves as being of Rajput origin, and derive their name from Jodhra who was converted to Islam by Mahmud of Ghazni, and who settled initially in Kashmir. They appear, however, to have come to the Attock District about the end of the 15th century as a small band of military adventurers. They possessed themselves of the Sohan (Swaan river) and Sill ” illaquas ” (areas) and much of Talagang. The Awans, the original owners, were not evicted but remained as tenants under the conquering Jodhras, who never themselves cultivated.

The Jodhras became independent chiefs keeping up a large body of armed retainers. Their power was recognised by the Mughals, and Malik Aulia Khan, their first chief known to history, held a revenue assignment of Pindigheb, Talagang and parts of Chakwal. Owing to family feuds and other causes the tribe has lost much of its original prosperity and is now much less well-to-do than its neighbours, the Ghebas, who have been their ancient rivals and enemies. The two tribes now inter-marry and are on friendly terms.

The Jodhras inhabit the south-eastern portion of the Pindi Gheb Tehsil and the valley of the Swaan River extending, on the south, to the border of Talagang of Chakwal District. Almost all the Jodhra villages are found in Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District and Pindi Gheb Tehsil of Attock District, with a few settlements in the Haripur District of Hazara. Their main villages in Pindi Gheb are Khunda, Domial Ahmadal, Ikhlas, Noushehra, Parri, Dandi, Gharibwal, Ganda Kas, Kamrial, Sidrihaal, Kharauba, Kamalpur Sher Jang, Kanat, Mirwal and Saura. In Fatehjang, they are found in Ahmadal, Chauntra, and Langrial, while there also found in the villages of Baldher, Bandi Sherkhan and Akhoon Bandi in Haripur district. The current chief of the tribe is Malik Atta Mohammad Khan

Khattar
The Khattar are perhaps the most interesting in terms of their exact origin. According to the traditions of the tribe, the Khattar were an Arab tribe that enetered in Spain with Tariq ibn Ziyad. The head of the tribe, Abu Al-Khattar was said to be a popular governor of al-Andalusia, Spain. After the downfall of Muslim rule in Spain, the tribe left and moved to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India and north west of Pakistan. The bulk of the tribe is now found in the in Attock and Rawalpindi districts. In due course, the Khattars split up into two major sections, the ‘Kala’ (Black) and ‘Chitta’ (White); of which the Kala Khattars were mostly of mixed Muslim and Hindu population whereas the Chitta section were almost entirely Muslims, and married extensively with various Afghan, Turkish and Kashmiri tribes. The Hayat family of Wah village, from which some of the most notable Khattars have descended in recent times, are from the ‘Chitta’ Khattars, though Wah village itself was founded much later c 17th century, originally as ‘Jalal Sar’ village, renamed ‘Wah’ by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir, and a pleasure garden was later built here by the Emperor Shah Jehangir. A small of Khattar also claim descent from Qutub Shah, the supposed ancestor of the Awan tribe, which would give the Khattar an Alawi Arab ancestry.
Other theories of their descent include:

“ The Khattars are generally credited with a Hindu origin,from Khatris but they are divided in belief as to their descent .Some admit Hindu origin , while those who deny it claim an Arab descent , alleging they are closely connected with Awans . ”

“ In order to meet the generally accepted belief that they were originally Hindus , even those who claim a Mussalman origin admit that while at Bagh Nilab they became Hindu and were reconverted ”

“ Khattar wedding rites used to closely resemble those of Hindus , Brahmans even being present , but they are now solemnised according to strict Muhammadan rules . ”

A further claim is that the Khattars are of Turkic ancestry; which is based on two factors: (a) supposed physical features and temperament (b) their later inter-marriages with Pakhtun/Afghan tribes living mainly in North-West Pakistan, in the Attock and Hazara regions. However, this theory neglects the Khattars’ actual and close genealogical links to various neighbouring tribes and blood kin, of Attock (Pakistan) and nearby areas, such as the Ghebas, Jodhras etc. This confusion, as to the origin, is not unique to the Khattars, in a region where many tribes, have multiple theories as to their origin.

The Khattars now occupy a stretch of land, known as Khattar, on both sides of the Kala Chita Range, and runs in a narrow strip east and west from the Indus, and across the district, in Rawalpindi, where they own, fourteen villages. They own twenty nine villages in Attock Tehsil, forty-three in Fateh Jang Tehsil, and a fair number in Pindigheb Tehsil. Their main villages in Attock District include Dhrek, Bahtar, Bhagowi, Kot Shadi, Thatha , Kutbal and Pind Sultan. The town Wah, as already mentioned, was historically an Khattar settlement. In Rawalpindi District, there villages are mostly in the Kharora Circle, in the present Taxila Tehsil, and include Dhok Phor, Pind Nosheri, Garhi Sikander and Usman Khattar. The Khattar are largely a class of feudal landlords, never really forming a majority of the population in their villages, leaving cultivation to groups they consider inferior.

Posted on July 23, 2014Posted in Mughal clans in Pakistan, Pakistani Castes and Tribes, Rajputs of Pakistan, Tribes of Attock District
Tagged Alpial, Alpial Manj, Alpial Rajputs, Alpial tribe, Barlas Mughals, Chaudary of Chakri, Gheba, Gheba Maliks, Gheba tribe, Ghebal Mughals, Jodhra, Jodhra Maliks, Jodhra Rajputs, Jodhra tribe, Khattar, Khattar tribe, Khattars of Wah, Manj Rajputs, Muslim Rajputs, Qutub Shah, Sardars of Kot Fateh Khan, Tribes of Attock district
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