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Old Friday, April 18, 2008
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Post Pakistan And Afghanistan


The nature of relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan is a very delicate one. Leaving aside the recent realities (past 20 years) of the close brotherly relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan during the Jehad against the Soviets/Communists, the emergence of the former-Taliban, and now the post 9-11 Afghan govt., prior to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan many Afghans were uneasy towards the region of Pakistan. What had embittered the feelings of the Afghans was the taking away of Pashtun inhabited territories by the Sikhs who perpetrated brutal atrocities on their Muslim subjects and made their existence miserable.

Similarly, their successors the British, were no less antagonistic toward the Pashtuns and waged constant war against them causing great hardships and miseries to the inhabitants of the entire area. The Pashtuns of what is called today NWFP and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan had to make tremendous sacrifices for about 130 years both under the Sikhs and the British (1818-1947). It was this misfortune of the Pashtuns of this belt that was partly responsible for the attempts made by the Kabul rulers to get it back.

But from August 14, 1947 things have taken a different turn and the entire perspective has changed. The Pashtuns of neither the settled regions nor the Tribal Areas are subjected to any discrimination nor any expeditions sent against them or armies deployed to suppress them. They are citizens of a free state where they enjoy the same rights as people of other provinces. Pashtuns hold positions of highest responsibilty in civil as well as military services of Pakistan. They are today proud citizens of a Muslim state and have so much endeared themselves to the other people of the country that one cannot think of Pakistan without the Pashtun element forming part of it. They have produced great leaders of national stature with large followings in the Punjab, Sind and Baluchistan.

Since the day Mahmud Ghaznavi entered this sub-continent, Pashtuns have been a constant factor in political, social and military life of Muslims of this sub-continent. In terms of time from 1000 AD onwards for about a thousand years, and in terms of space from Chitral to Chittagong and from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, the ubiquitous Pashtun has always been there. There is no city or town in this sub-continent with Muslim population without Pashtun 'mohallas' or neighborhoods and there is hardly a Muslim family which has not entered into matrimonial relations with Pashtun.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned we can very well understand the feelings of Amir Dost Mohammed, Sher Ali, Abdur Rehman Khan and King Amanullah toward fellow Pashtuns east of Durand Line living under non-Muslim rule during their time. But today they are not living under non-Muslim rule. Similarly today the problem is not of "divided Pashtuns" as Kabul was inclined to look at it in the past, but on the contrary Pashtuns playing a leading role in two Muslim states..... in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. There was a time when Durand Line divided Pashtuns to weaken them but today the Line makes them partners-in-power in two states. No decision on any issue can be taken by the government of Pakistan without the consent of the Pashtuns living in Pakistan.

Further, since they are spread over NWFP and Quetta division of Baluchistan, they will weild power in the governments of both provinces in any constitutional setup. Would the Afghan government and the supporters of 'Pakhtunistan' movement like to deprive the Pashtuns of this important role in Pakistan? Wise counsel is: they should not. Moreover, Pashtuns are the connecting link between the two brotherly Muslim states whose geographical and economic necessities may, in the near future, bring about their fusion.

A few words about the fusion of the two brotherly countries. The idea of Afghanistan forming an autonomous province of Pakistan is not an unfamiliar or impracticable one. The letter 'alif' in the Urdu (or 'A' in English) word Pakistan stands for Afghans. Both Jamaluddin Afghani and Allama Iqbal cherished the concept of North-West British India and Afghanistan together forming a single Muslim state. Moreover, Pakistan, as at present constituted is poor in minerals but rich in food and fibres while Afghanistan has tremendous untapped mineral and manpower resources. Plus, Afghans would be able to get direct access to Pakistan's ports of Arabian sea, while Pakistanis will be able to get direct access to Central Asian markets.

A fusion of the two would be pregnant with immense possibilities not only for the people of the two countries but for the entire Muslim world. There is nothing wrong or repugnant in this idea. The combined strength of the Pashtuns from the Indus to the Oxus and from Dir to Herat would ensure their internal autonomy as well as a strong voice and a powerful say in the Central Government of Pakistan. Furthermore, such confederation will be a diluting factor to the predominant groups of Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Punjabis in Pakistan, thus creating stronger equity among all groups. World trends are towards greater integration and larger pooling of resources. Let the Afghans give the idea a calm and cool consideration in the larger interests of Muslim unity. There is plenty of commonality between Pakistan and Afghanistan in respect to their religion, culture, race, history, geography, etc.

Here I would like to quote a paragraph relevant to this aspect from W.K. Frazer Tytler's book "Afghanistan: A Study of Political Developments in Central and Southern Asia". He writes: "It is indeed a strange feature of this complicated situation that there exists, like a cancer in the body politic of northern South Asia, this collection of 'independent' tribes, well armed, intractable and formidable, who may at anytime disturb relations and disrupt the economy of either of the states in whose midst they dwell. It is an anachronism and a danger to the stability of northern South Asia and the peace of Central Asia. The remedy is the fusion of the two states of Afghanistan and Pakistan in some way or other. It may be argued that, given the differences in mental and political outlook of the two states, such fusion is impossible. This may be so; I am in no position to argue the matter. But history suggests that fusion will take place, if not peacefully, then by force." This is the view of an eminent western author.

The above study brings out two alternatives for the solution of Pak-Afghan problems. Either the Durand line remains, enabling the people of Pashtun race to play a leading role in both Afghanistan and Pakistan which should lead to the shelving of 'Pakhtunistan' issue forever and the establishment of amicable relations between the two, Or, since one of the objectives of setting up an independent state (Pakistan) in the north-western parts of British India was to include in its fold Muslims living up to the Hindu Kush or the Oxus which have been the traditional boundaries of all the Muslim and pre-Muslim dynasties of this area, a fusion of Afghanistan and Pakistan is highly desirable. Such a development would be natural, normal and extremely welcome. It will benefit both, strengthen both, and open up new vistas for both. As the present boundaries of Afghanistan skip the Hindu Kush and lie along the Oxus, the possiblities are considerably broader and potentialities exceedingly brighter.

The whole issue needs to be studied in historical, cultural and religious perspective and not in terms of modern, recently nurtured ideas of parochial western nationalism. We have to break the linguistic and racial barriers sometime and somewhere and demonstrate to the world that Muslim nationalism does not brook petty ideas and does not believe in tenuous bonds. The best place to demonstrate the superiority of Islamic principles of nationalism is between the Sutlej and the Oxus and the best time is the 21st century.

Common rule over Pakistan and Afghanistan is not a new or novel idea in the context of history. The Sakas, Parthians, Graeco-Bactrians, Kushans, Ghaznavids, Abdalis and many others were rulers of both the countries with their capital either at Peshawar, Taxila, Ghazna or Qandahar.

Then, the territories now forming Afghanistan have great political significance for the Muslims of South Asia. From its bosom have originated movements and monarchs who established Muslim rule in Pakistan, and later in the entire sub-continent.

Mahmud Ghaznavi, though a Turk, was born and brought up in Ghazna in Afghanistan and it was with the help of Afghan soldiers that he conquered several cities in northern India and introduced Muslim rule in the areas now known as Pakistan (11th century AD).

Mohammad Ghori, though of Turko-Persian origin, was born and nurtured at Ghor in Afghanistan. It was again with the help of Afghan soldiers that he extended Muslim sway over the whole of northern India (12th-13th century AD).

It was again an Afghan, Alauddin Khilji, who extended Muslim rule for the first time to southern India up to Cape Comorin (end of 13th and early 14th century AD).

Zahiruddin Baber, though a Barlas Turk, conquered parts of Afghanistan and stayed at Kabul for no less a period than twenty years, making it a base for the conquest of the sub-continent where he finally established Mughal rule.

It were the Afghan dynasties of Lodhis and Suris that strengthened the base of Muslim rule in India by introducing land reforms, by bringing the rulers (Muslims) and the ruled (Hindus) closer to each other and by encouraging cultural and literary activities.

It will be noticed that almost all the Muslim dynasties that ruled over this sub-continent sprang up from the territories now constituting the state of Afghanistan...... Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khiljis, Lodhis, Suris and Mughals, not to speak the various Afghan dynasties that ruled over the provinces.

And finally when the Mughals were facing extinction, being stangulated to death by the Marathas and the Sikhs, it was again an Afghan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, who came to their rescue (middle of 18th century) and allowed them a brief respite. But since the Mughals were a spent force and unable to rise again, the support and succour provided by Abdali proved of no avail.

However, Abdali being a shrewd and sensible leader, aware of the huge anti-Muslim forces raising their head, and conscious of the limitations of his own power, established his hold, as a first step, in the north-western corner naming it Afghanistan (1747 AD). Pakistan is merely an extension of Abdali's kingdom..... in fact Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan and Kashmir formed part of it during reigns of Abdali, his son Taimur Shah and during short period of the latter's sons Shah Zaman and Shah Shuja. In view of this historical background, Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot remain separate from each other for long especially when the same forces that Abdali had faced and crushed in the 18th century (Sikhs and Marathas) are again, in a different garb (India), posing a threat to the independence of this entire region.

Since Afghans have made glorious contribution to the development of the administration, education and culture of this sub-continent, instead of remaining isolated with closed minds within the boundaries of Afghanistan, they can come out again play a leading and constructive role in the whole of Pakistan extending their area of activity up to Sea of Arabia. They have been known throughout history for their valour, broad-mindedness and tolerance. Instead of thinking on racial lines let them demonstrate these fine qualities once again for the benefit of their co-religionists.
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Post Pakistan-Afghanistan Border is a Settled Issue

Pakistan-Afghanistan Border is a Settled Issue

About twenty-three miles south of Pillar XII, which is erected on the Saricol range of Pamir, lies the beginning of the "North West Frontier". Pillar XII is located at latitude 37o20'5"N and longitude 74o24'50"E. It was erected by a joint Anglo-Russian Commission in September 1895, on the left bank of a tributary of the Tegermen-Su river, one mile from its mouth; and it is the last among pillars, which carry the Russo-Afghan frontier from the eastern end of Lake Victoria (Wood's Lake) to the Chinese frontier.

The protocol embodying the final agreement was signed on July 22, 1887 and is known as the Pamir Agreement. The demarcated boundary according to the 'The Pamir Agreement' remains unchanged to this day. This border was internationally recognized as the border between Russia (then Soviet Union) and Afghanistan. Today this boundary is the internationally recognized border between the Central Asian countries (former Soviet republics as successor independent states of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan) and Afghanistan.

The Afghan frontier turns west from Pillar XII and follows the northern ridge of the Sarikol Range bordering the Taghdumbash Pamir. It then curves southward over the Wakhjir Pass to join the present Pakistan-Afghan frontier, which is often referred to as the Durand line. While negotiating the Durand Line, Amir Abdul Rahman Khan of Afghanistan had received a British mission in a formal Durbar which was held in November 1893, in the Salam Khana Hall, where the civil and military officers of Kabul and chiefs of various tribes were present.

The Amir in his speech gave an outline to the audience of all the understanding which had been agreed upon and the provisions which had been signed, and urged upon them the necessity for adhering firmly to British alliance. He pointed out that the interests of Afghanistan and England were identical.

The Amir further told the audience that it was for the first time that Afghanistan had a definite frontier which would prevent future misunderstandings and would render Afghanistan strong and powerful after it had been consolidated with the aid in arms and ammunition which would be received from the British.

The demarcation of the Durand Line was carried out in fulfilment of the Anglo-Afghan agreement' of November 12, 1893 between Amir Abdul Rahman Khan of Afghanistan and Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary to the Government of India.

The demarcation of the Indo-Afghan frontier, as defined in the above mentioned agreement, was divided into sections and was carried out for the most part by the joint Anglo-Afghan Commission during the year 1894-1896. In 1947, the Indian sub-continent emerged as two independent dominions of India and Pakistan. West Pakistan by right of its location inherited the former North West Frontier of British India and the Indo-Afghan boundary established vide the agreement of 1893.

There are some circles who continue to spread disinformation that the agreement was signed under duress and has a validity of 100 years. Unfortunately, the propaganda emanates from a country in the neighbourhood of Pakistan. This country also instigates anti Pakistan elements in the Afghan government to issue controversial statements undermining Pak-Afghan relations. A host of websites of this country also disseminate anti Pakistan propaganda. It is therefore necessary to put the facts in the correct perspective as follows:

• The International Border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is based on the map attached with the original Agreement of 1893.

• Clause 6 of the Agreement clearly states that the agreement is regarded by both the parties as a full and satisfactory settlement of all the principal differences of opinion which have arisen between them. The Agreement has been reaffirmed by successive Afghan rulers.

• 1905 Treaty with Amir HabibullahKhan continuing the Agreements which had existed between the British Government and Amir Abdul Rahman Khan. Para 2 states "I also have acted, am acting and will act upon the same agreement and I will not contravene them in any dealing or in any promise."

• Treaty of peace between the British Government and the Independent Afghan Government concluded at Rawalpindi on 8th August 1919. Article 5 states that "the Afghan Government accepts the Indo-Afghan frontier accepted by the Late Amir.”

• Friendly and Commercial Relations treaty between Great Britain and Afghanistan at Kabul on 22 November 1921. Article 2 of the treaty states that, "The two high contracting parties accept the Indo-Afghan frontier as accepted by the Afghan Government under Article V of the treaty concluded at Rawalpindi on 8th August 1919."

• Notes were exchanged between His Majesty's Government and Afghan Minister in London, 1930 (His Highness General Shah Wali Khan to Mr. Arthur Henderson), Afghan Legation 6th May 1930. Both parties ~greed that it was their understanding that the Treaty of Kabul of 22 November 1921 continued to have full force and effect.

• On 13 June 1948, Shah Wali Khan, the Afghan envoy to Pakistan declared, " Our King has already stated, and I, as the representative of Afghanistan, declare that Afghanistan has no claims on frontier territory and even if there were any, they have been given up in favour of Pakistan. Anything contrary to this which may have appeared in the press in the past or may appear in the future should not be given credence at all and should be considered just a canard."

The Pak-Afghan International Border has sound technical and legal background. According to international law, treaties of the extinct state concerning boundary lines remain valid and all rights and duties arising from such treaties of the extinct state devolve on the absorbing state. Pakistan is the successor state of British India. The following is worth mentioning:

• A country to country treaty does not need any revision unless both parties desire change.

• International Agreement once finally concluded can be revoked only bilaterally and not unilaterally.

• Unless otherwise provided in the concluded treaty about its duration, the treaty becomes of a permanent nature. This is applicable to the 1893 Treaty Agreement.

• International Law does not lay down the maximum life period of one hundred years for an internationally concluded border agreement between the two states, when fixed border validity has not been mentioned in its text.

It goes beyond doubt to say that the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a settled matter and is globalfy accepted. It is supported by International Law and the treaty of 1893 has been ratified several times by successive Afghan governments.
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Post The Language Movement of Pakistan

The Language Movement of Pakistan
Preservation of Pakistan's native languages against the domination of English and Urdu

Should Urdu continue as our National Language?

Language is the most important aspect of culture. It is the dominant feature in determining nationality or ethnicity. It is the binding force that unites a people, and makes them distinct from others. Language represents a people’s heritage and identity. However, the imposition of Urdu as the national language of Pakistan has been disastrous to the country.

Urdu language evolved during the declining period of Muslim rule in South Asia. But Persian (Farsi) always remained the official language of South Asia during the Muslim rule. Turkic and Arabic languages were also popular, Turkic language being the mother-tongue of many among the ruling elite, and Arabic language learnt for religious or scholarly purposes. The base of most South Asian Muslim empires was in north India, particularly in Delhi and surrounding areas. With the passage of time, due to the constant interaction between the ruled Khari-boli-speaking north Indian Hindu masses and the ruling Persian-Turkic-speaking Muslim elite, a new language slowly evolved called Hindustani, whose Persianized form came to be known as Urdu. Although, Hindustani/Urdu language eventually became popular, it was limited to parts of north India (Delhi, UP, MP, etc.) and never became the official language during Muslim rule. Other regions continued their native languages such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Kashmiri, Seraiki, Baluchi, etc. having nothing to do with Urdu, while Persian was the official language throughout the Muslim empire.

Even in the case of north India, the official language continued as Persian down to the days of the last Mughal emperor. “Persian remained the official language of every Muslim state in India and the ambition to emulate Persian classics was nowhere given up, the influx of Persian poets being a compulsion for the study of Persian” (Indian Muslims, by M. Mujeeb). It was only later on, from the advent of the British that north Indian Muslims adopted Urdu and developed an attachment for it.

“During the first centuries of its existence, Urdu literature was entirely poetical. Prose Urdu owes its origin to the English occupation of India and to the need of text books for the College of Fort William. The Hindi form of Hindustani was invented at the same time by the teachers at the College. It was intended for the use of Hindus and was derived from Urdu by ejecting all words of Arabic and Persian birth, and substituting in their place words borrowed or derived from the indigenous Sanskrit” (A Study of History, Vol. V, by AJ Toynbee). Also, the Perso-Arabic script of Urdu and Devangari script of Hindi are other significant differences between the two.

Despite these differences, Urdu and Hindi languages are extremely similar to each other, mostly composed of native north Indian linguistic elements. Having a common origin, both languages are intelligible to each other, and overwhelmingly share the same syntax, vowels, vocabulary, etc. It would be safe to say that both Hindi and Urdu are almost the same language, the minor differences being somewhat comparable to the Persianized Azeri language of Iran with the Russianized Azeri language of Azerbaijan. Leaving aside the undoubtedly close relationship between Hindi and Urdu, the fact remains that Urdu is only native to parts of north India, and is a foreign language in Pakistan.

Since north India (Delhi, UP, etc.) was the base of Muslim and British empires, the Urdu-speaking north Indian Muslims had an environmental advantage in better education, jobs, and businesses. The result being that the Urdu-speaking north Indian Muslims dominated in South Asia as the educated elitist Muslim class. Due to their domination, it led to Urduization of some other non-Urdu-speaking Muslims who sought better education and status. Also, to some extent, propaganda of Urdu as being the only true “Muslim” and “superior” language of South Asia was promoted. With the birth of Pakistan Movement, the bulk of it having a majority of Urdu-speaking north Indians, Urdu language was further promoted. Upon Pakistan’s creation, the peak of Urduization process became a reality with the imposition of Urdu on the non-Urdu speaking peoples of Pakistan, in the form of Urdu as the national language of Pakistan.

Except for the 7% of Pakistanis who are north Indian Muslim migrants or their descendents, also known as Muhajirs, whose mother-tongue is Urdu, none of the other Pakistanis have anything to do with Urdu. In fact, imposition of Urdu is resented among many peoples of Pakistan. The loss of East Pakistan was also mostly due to imposition of Urdu on Bengalees. There were language riots in Sindh during the 70s. And basically Urdu is resisted in much of the country. If many people have learnt Urdu, it is simply because they are forced to do so, for social and economic communicational necessities under the Urdu-dominated system of the country. Instead of Urdu, why was not Arabic or Persian made the national language of Pakistan? At least, Arabic is the language of Islam (of Quran), thus naturally it would had been more accepted among Pakistanis. Also, Persian was another logical option, because of its historical role of being the official language in the region (Muslim and other periods), and would have made us closer to the Muslim brothers on our western borders.

National language is suppose to unite a country, but in Pakistan, Urdu as the national language has caused division and resentment among most Pakistanis. But the worse part is that Urdu being a north Indian language and foreign to Pakistan is slowly destroying the local languages/cultures, and “Indianizing” the native Pakistanis. This is cultural and linguistic genocide of Pakistanis. It is Indian imperialism, wearing the mask of falsehoods about Urdu language. Many of the native languages of Pakistan are already in danger of being extinct, mostly due to Urdu imposition. And when a language dies, so does its people’s identity and heritage. Pakistan was created mostly based on our cultural distinctiveness; unfortunately, Urdu-imposition is only forcefully making us artificially closer to India.

And with this linguistic imperialism, also comes other aspects of cultural invasion. For example, north Indian music/TV/film dominates in Pakistan, whereas native Pakistani music/film/TV is largely ignored by the Urdu dominated media. Indian culture is widely spreading in Pakistan and it is visible with more women wearing the Indian dress sari, people adopting many Indian words/phrases in their native Pakistani languages, many Indian customs and ceremonies followed by Pakistanis, Pakistanis being brainwashed with biased Indian socio-political views, and much more.

We Pakistanis are grateful to Quaid-e-Azam for his efforts in the creation of Pakistan; however, as a human being he was not perfect. Jinnah’s choice of Urdu as the national language of Pakistan was his biggest mistake with long-term negative consequences. Criticizing Urdu as the national language of Pakistan might be very painful to many Pakistanis. But ignoring this issue with falsehoods and illusions will only worsen the problem. Let us be open-minded and cease Urdu as the national language of Pakistan. At the same time, Urdu language should be respected, and people given the freedom to learn or speak it. Promoting native languages to become the official languages of their respective provinces or districts is the best solution to the problem. All native languages of Pakistan should be declared as the national languages of Pakistan. This will ensure the preservation of our language/culture, unity and respect between the various ethnicities, and pride and distinctiveness in our Pakistani nationhood. If a multi-lingual country like Switzerland can have a successful multi-linguistic system, then so can we. Let us make change for our betterment before it's too late!

Should English continue as our Official Language?

All languages of Pakistan are oppressed, and the ruling elite Anglophones continue to deny them their rightful role they deserve as the official languages of Pakistan. Fifty three years after the so-called independence English continues as the official language and graduates from non-English medium schools face a job market in the control of these colonial forces bent on the total destruction of all Pakistani languages. The fact is that in 1947 we inherited an elitist ruling class bureaucracy tenaciously clinging to power and owing allegiance to Britain alone and seeking a strengthening of Anglo-American interests and cultural subversion, the destruction of Muslim/Pakistani values and lifestyles throughout the country. The plain fact is that as long as English remains as the official language of Pakistan it will be difficult to create a vibrant national spirit or culture The status of national language is meaningless; unless it is allowed to assume the role of official language, and as the medium of universal instruction within the country. Language is a potent force in the promotion of nationalism and national cohesion.

Indeed, after more than a half century of the so-called independence, majority of Pakistanis are still in a state of mental slavery. You have accurately pinpointed the causes and agendas behind the far more potent danger to our culture and identity---the English domination in Pakistan; which is led by the British-installed Anglophile elite of Pakistan, to serve the interests of the Anglo-Americans and their own.

Widespread ignorance among the masses is being exploited, with the false propaganda of English as the "global" or "better" language. Also, the promotion of English is misleadingly justified as the "heritage" of Pakistanis, or on the basis of "linguistic evolution".

The argument of English being a global language holds no weight, as you know these so called global languages come and go, depending on a nation's politico-economic influence in the world. At different time periods, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Persian, and Arabic served as global languages. Sure, it is good to learn the global language or any other language, but not at the cost of losing your own. And what is more important is that while these transitions in the balance of world power take place, other nations should cling on to their language/culture in order to ensure their long term survival.

The claim of English as a better language is simply hogwash. Linguists and cultural anthropologists agree that language is independent of the mental level in people. There is no correlation between a people's language and their level of sophistication. For example, the once barbaric Germanic-speaking people, who were far less civilized than others, are today one of the most sophisticated people in the world. Languages that lack the essentials of today's constantly changing modern world can simply be further developed to meet the demands via proper linguistic institutions. Out of national pride, the once rarely spoken and ancient Hebrew language was revived and further developed as Israel's national language. Today, Israel is one of the world's leading countries in technology, and its Hebrew language proudly satisfies their demands. Japan, China, Korea, Russia, Latin and Arab countries, Iran, and many others are proof that national pride of language can overpower against any odds.

English language, as the heritage of Pakistanis is another bogus claim. The very fact that the British imperialists invaded South Asia, looted and enslaved its people, and then fled back to their country thousands of miles away does not make them part of our heritage. Unlike the Aryas, Sakas, Yavanas, Hunas, Turks, and various other invaders, the British did not settle permanently in South Asia, nor did they intermarry with the South Asians. Therefore, the British and their English language are not the true heritage of Pakistanis, but instead they are the bitter legacy of foreign subjugation and plunder.

It is true that language is in a constant natural process of evolution, dependent on the sociopolitical circumstances. As different peoples interact or merge, they influence each other, thereby bringing change. This is a slow natural process, independent of external factors. Unnecessarily using a foreign/colonial language, or purposely substituting the words in your language from it, is nothing more than slave-mindedness, and stands against the very principles of linguistic evolution. A proud Arab, Iranian, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc. would never unnecessarily prefer to speak English, nor replace words in their language from English.

The greater part of the blame for the continuing dominance of English language in Pakistan lies within us, the common Pakistanis. We blame others, particularly the elite and foreign powers, but at the same time it is very hypocritical of us to send our children to English medium schools, lavishly using English language/words instead of our own, and basically giving a godly status to everything English/Western. This slave-mindedness and inferiority complex is so deeply rooted in our psyche, that we don't even want to acknowledge or fight it. We are so much consumed with careerism and materialism that we continue to ignore the infection of slavery in our minds, like a deadly disease slowly destroying our identity and culture.
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Post The Land And People Of Baluchistan


In spite of the intrinsic hostility of its landscape and climate, archaeological discoveries have confirmed that Baluchistan was already inhabited in the Stone Age, and the important neolithic site at Mehrgarh is the earliest (7000-3000 B.C.) on the subcontinent. Until its overthrow by Alexander the Great, Baluchistan was part of the Persian Empire, whose records refer to it as "Maka".

In 325 B.C. Alexander led part of his army back from his Indus campaign to Babylon across the Makran Desert at the cost of terrible suffering and high casualties. Thereafter Baluchistan lay for centuries on the shadowy borderlands of the Zoroastrian rulers of Iran and the local Buddhist and Hindu dynasties of northwestern subcontinent.

Islam was brought to Baluchistan in 711 when Muhammad bin Qasim led the army which was to conquer Sind across the Makran route, but the area was always too remote for firm control to be exerted by any of the later local dynasties. It accordingly receives only very passing mention in the court histories of the time. The connections of the inland areas were variously with Iran, Afghanistan and India, those of coastal Makran rather across the Arabian Sea with Oman and the Gulf.

The name "Baluchistan" only came into existence later with the arrival from Iran of the tribes called Baluch (usually pronounced "Baloch" in Pakistan). Just how and when they arrived remains a matter of hot debate, since the traditional legends of their Middle Eastern origins, supposed to have been in the Aleppo region of Syria have been further confused by cranky theories either that like the Pathans they may descend from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, or that they originated from Babylon, since "Baluch" is phonetically similar to the names of the god Baal or the Babylonian ruler Belos.

Better evidence is suggested by the Baluchi language which beIongs to the same Iranian group of Indo-European as Persian and Kurdish. This suggests that the Baluch originated from the area of the Caspian Sea, making their way gradually across Iran to reach their present homeland in around A.D. 1000, when they are mentioned with the equally warlike Kuch tribes in Firdausi's great Persian epic, the Book of Kings:

Heroic Baluches and Kuches we saw,
Like battling rams all determined on war.

Warlike the history of the Baluch has certainly always been. As the last to arrive of the major ethnic groups of Pakistan they were faced with the need to displace the peoples already settled in Baluchistan. Some they more or less successfully subjugated or assimilated, like the Meds of Makran and other now subordinate groups. From others they faced a greater challenge, notably from the Brahui tribes occupying the hills around Kalat.

The origins of the Brahuis are even more puzzling than those of the Baluch, for their language is not Indo-European at all, but belongs to the same Dravidian family as Tamil and the other languages of south India spoken over a thousand miles away. One theory has it that the Brahuis are the last northern survivors of a Dravidian-speaking population which perhaps created the Indus Valley civilisation, but it seems more likely that they too arrived as the result of a long tribal migration, at some earlier date from peninsular India.

As they moved eastwards, the Baluch were initially successful in overcoming the Brahuis. Under Mir Chakar, who established his capital at Sibi in 1487, a great Baluch kingdom briefly came into existence before being destroyed by civil war between Mir Chakar's Rind tribe and the rival Lasharis, whose battles are still celebrated in heroic ballads. Although the Baluch moved forward into Panjab and Sind, the authority of the Moghuls stopped them establishing permanent kingdoms there, although the names of Dera Ghazi Khan in Panjab and Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP are still reminders of the Baluch chiefs who conquered these lands in the 16th century. The Baluch who settled in the plains gradually became largely detribalised, forgetting their native language and increasingly assimilated to the local population, with their tribal origins remaining little more than a proud memory.

In Baluchistan itself, which came only briefly under the authority of the Moghuls, the tables were turned on the Baluch by the Brahuis who succeeded in re-establishing their power in Kalat. Throughout the 18th century, the Khans of Kalat were the dominant local power, with the Baluch tribes settled to the west and to the east of them being forced to acknowledge their suzerainty.

The greatest of the Khans was Mir Nasir Khan (1749-1817), whose military success owed much to the regular organisation of his army, with its separate divisions recruited from the Sarawan and Jhalawan areas which constitute the northern and southern parts of the Brahui homeland. The Khanate of Kalat became the nearest thing there has ever been to an independent Baluchistan. This extended beyond the modern boundaries, since Mir Nasir Khan's authority ran as far as the then insignificant town of Karachi. Although dominated by the Brahuis, they themselves became increasingly "Baluchified". Today, for instance, the Brahui language only keeps the first three of its old Dravidian numbers. From "four" upwards Brahuis count in Baluchi, in which most are anyway bilingual.

With the British expansion into northwestern subcontinent and their disastrous first Afghan war (1839-41), internal power struggles within Kalat prompted the first British military interference, and the signing of a treaty in 1841. The British annexation of Sind in 1843 from the Talpur Mirs, themselves a dynasty of Baluch descent, and the subsequent annexation of Panjab meant that Kalat and the other regions of Baluchistan were now part of the sensitive western borderlands of British India, where the possibility of Russian interference induced a permanent state of imperial neurosis. Although the eastern Baluch tribes were partially pacified by the efforts of Sir Robert Sandeman, it was thought easiest to leave the Khan and his subordinate chiefs in control of most of the rest of Baluchistan.

A further treaty was signed in 1876, which forced the Khan to 'lease" the strategic Quetta region to the British but left him in control of the rest of his territories with the aid of a British minister. Granted the rank of a 19-gun salute to mark the size if not the wealth of Kalat, the Khans were for a while content to pursue the eccentric Iifestyle characteristic of so many south Asian princes of the time. One Khan became legendary as a passionate collector of shoes, and made sure no pair would ever be stolen by locking up all the left shoes in a dungeon below the Fort at Kalat.

With the last ruler of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan (1902-79), the Khanate again briefly entered the political arena. Exploiting the opaque clauses of the 1876 treaty, which left some doubt as to just how independent Kalat was supposed to be, he hesitated to join Pakistan in 1947. The brief independence of Kalat finally ended in 1948 when the Khan signed the necessary merger documents, followed by his formal removal from power and the abolition of the state's boundaries in 1955. The present shape of Baluchistan was finally rounded out in 1958 when the Sultan of Oman sold Gwadar, given to one of his ancestors by the Khan of Kalat, back to Pakistan.
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Post The People And The Land Of Sind


The land of Sind has a hoary past with some of the most striking episodes in history having occurred in its bosom. It has given a slightly different variation of its name to our neighbouring country and to the religious majority of its inhabitants. Both the words India and Hindu are derived from Sindhu, which, in Persian became Hind and Hindu (the letter H substituted for S) and in Greek and Roman, Ind (the letter S of Sind having being dropped). The meaning of the word Sindhu is water, referring to the great river. There is an old belief among Muslims that four rivers had sprung from Heaven: Neel (Nile), Furat (Euphrates), Jehoon (Juxartes) and Sehoon (Sind).

The Aryans called the whole of Pakistan, Kashmir and East Afghanistan as Sapta Sindhu -- the land of seven rivers. In Rigveda it is referred to as Sapta Sindhva, while India is named Bharat Varsa (the land of the sons of Bharat, a legendary Emperor).1 Thus, even for the Aryans there were two countries in this sub-continent: Sapta Sindhva and Bharat Varsa. The Assyrians in the 7th century B.C. knew the north-western part of the sub-continent as Sinda. However, when India began to be called Hind by Persians and Arabs, and Ind by Greeks and Romans, the local people continued to call their land, Sind. This distinction continued for centuries. Arab geographers, historians and travellers also called the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the range of Kashmir mountains Sind.3 As such, there were always two countries in the sub-continent -- Sind and Hind. The present Pakistan (including Kashmir and a major portion of Afghanistan) constituting one country, and India, another.

As regards the composition of the population of Sind Province (before Partition) the two main stocks that inhabit Sind are related to, and common, one with the Punjab and another with Baluchistan. The majority stock is that of Rajputs and Jats who are the descendants of Sakas, Kushans and Huns who also constitute the majority of the population the Punjab. During Kalhora rule a number of Jat tribes such as the Sials, Joyas and Khawars came from the Punjab and settled in Sind. They are called Sirai i.e., men from the north and speak Siraiki language.

Two main Rajput tribes of Sind are: the Samma, a branch of the Yadav Rajputs who inhabit the eastern and lower Sind and Bahawalpur; and the Sumra who, according to the 1907 edition of the Gazetteer are a branch of the Parwar Rajputs. Among others are the Bhuttos, Bhattis, Lakha, Sahetas, Lohanas, Mohano, Dahars, Indhar, Chachar, Dhareja, Rathors, Dakhan, Langah etc.4 The Mohano tribe is spread over Makran, Sind and southern Punjab. They are also identified with the 'Mallah' of the Punjab and both have in common a sub-section called Manjari. All these, old Sindhi tribes are known under the common nomenclature of Sammat.

The smaller stock is that of Baluchi tribes setlled in various parts of Sind mostly during the last five hundred years or so Since they were martial people and ruled over Sind for some time before the arrival of the British, they acquired vast lands in the province with the result that a large number of present-day Sindhi landlords are of Baluch origin. According to the 1941 census, which was the last one held before Partition Baluchis formed 23% of the total Muslim population of Sind. Among the Baluchi tribes inhabiting Sind are the Rind, Dombki, Jakhrani, Leghari, Lashari, Chandio, Karmati, Korai, Jatoi, Burdi, Khosa, Jamali, Umrani, Bugti, Marri, Mazari, Talpur, Brohi, Nizamani, Buledhi, Karrani, Bozdar, Nukharni, Magsi etc. These tribes are spread over Baluchistan, Sind and the south-western districts of the Punjab.

Yet a third stock of Sindhi population comprises of the descendants of Muslim conquerors, administrators and missionaries who were mostly Arabs, Persians, Turks or Mughals. They are a small minority settled in cities and towns but so deeply absorbed and blended with the other components of the population that all the three together have evolved a distinct language and culture. Of this third element Arabs have contributed most to the development of Sindhi language and literature and to the advancement of its intellectual and cultural activities.

Since the early history of Sind is intimately related to the history of the Punjab and other provinces of Pakistan it need not be dealt with at length. Only a brief account shall be attempted here, without mentioning the Indus Valley civilization which will be discussed some other time.

Dawn of history reveals an Aryan dynasty in power in Sind. In the Mahabharata (12th or 13th century B.C.) Jayadrath, King of Sind appears as a partisan of Panduas against their cousins Kauruas. Next historical mention of Sind is found about 575 B.C. during the time of Achaemenian dynasty. The Iranian General, Skylax, explored Indus in a flotilla equipped near Peshawar, conquered the Indus Valley and annexed it to the Empire of Darius the Great. The conquered province of the Punjab and Sind was considered the richest and the most populous satrapy of the Empire and was required to pay the enormous tribute of fully a million sterling. Next historical record is that of Alexander's invasion in 326 B.C. A tribe called Mausikanos whose capital is usually identified with Alor (Rohri) is said to have submitted. According to Greek historians the territories of this chief were the most flourishing of all that the Greeks had seen. A few centuries later Roman historians have mentioned Sind as a rich country. Patala in lower Sind was known to them as an emporium of trade.

Alexandrian period was followed by that of the Mauryas (3rd century BC) whose fall brought in Graeco-Bactrians (2nd century B.C.). They ruled over the whole of Pakistan with their capital at Taxila. Their coins are still found in the old towns of Sind. The Graeco-Bactrian period was followed by that of the Scythian (Saka) invasion in the first century BC. "They settled here in such large numbers that Sind became known as Indo-Scythia and to this day a large proportion of the population is certainly Scythian."5 Two Scythian tribes, the Jats and Meds, are mentioned as having invaded the Punjab and Sind. Some of the present day Mohanas of Sind and Baluchistan call themselves Med. "In 60 AD Sind was occupied by Scythians, ruled perhaps from far away Taxila."6

The first century A.D. witnessed the arrival of the Kushans who, along with the Scythians (Sakas) and later Parthians, ruled over Afghanistan and Pakistan for about four centuries from Peshawar. The next great holocaust occurred in the 5th century A.D. with the Hun invasion which surpassed all previous records in its intensity and vastness. Their invasion ushered in the Rajput era which lasted till the 7th century A.D. in Sind (80 years before the arrival of Mohd. Bin Qasim); till the end of 10th century AD in the Punjab and NWFP (upto the arrival of Mahmud Ghaznavi) and till the end of 12th century in northern India when Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj in 1192 A.D.

Before lmaduddin Mohammad Bin Qasim's arrival here, Rajputs were the ruling race in Sind and in the rest of northern India. The last Rajput ruler of Sind was Raja Sahasi II whose dominions extended up to Kashmir. He was a contemporary of Prophet Mohammad and professed Buddhism as did his father Siharus. The rule of Raja Sahasi II ended in 632 A.D. the year Prophet Mohammad died. He was succeeded by his Brahmin chamberlain, Chach, who had become a favourite of Sahasi's wife. Chach ruled over Sind for about 68 years from 632-700 A.D. His son Dahir was the ruler when Mohammad Bin Qasim arrived here in 711 A.D.

The line of rulership before Islam runs thus: Siharus, Sahasi II, Chach, Dahir. The first two were Buddhist Rajputs and the last two Hindu Brahmins. The new Brahmin rulers were extremely hostile towards the Buddhists who were in substantial numbers in Sind at that time and they had ruthlessly suppressed the Jats and Meds who formed the bulk of the peasantry.

Humiliating conditions were imposed on the Jats depriving them of many civil rights. "When Chach, the Brahmim chamberlain who usurped the throne of Rajput King Sahasi II went to Brahmanabad, he enjoined upon the Jats and Lohanas not to carry swords, avoid velvet or silken cloth, ride horses without saddles and walk about bare-headed and bare-footed."7 It was because of this background that Mohammad Bin Qasim received cooperation from the Buddhists as well as the Jats and Meds during his campaign in Sind. Among others who did not oppose Mohammad Bin Qasim's advance and made peace with him was the Bhutto tribe.8 In fact he was hailed as deliverer by several sections of local population. The humble position of the Buddhists in Sind seeking support from outside can be read in the Chach Nama.

"Mohammad Bin Qasim's work was facilitated by the treachery of certain Buddhist priests and renegade chiefs who deserted their sovereign and joined the invader. With the assistance of some of these traitors, Mohammad crossed the vast sheet of water separating his army from that of Dahir and gave battle to the ruler near Raor (712 A.D.). Dahir was defeated and killed."9


Before commencing a review of the Muslim period of Sind's history, we shall speak briefly of the Jats of Sind (Pakistan) who were known all over Iran and the Middle East for their sturdy constitution and industrious nature. They have a colourful history and an adventurous past.

The author of Mujmaul Tawarikh has quoted an extinct Sanskrit work according to which the original inhabitants of Sind were Jats and Meds. Early Arab writers on Sind also say that Jats and Meds were important tribes in their time. Ibn Khurdabah mentions 'zutts' as guarding the route between Kirman and Mansura while Ibn Haukal writes: "Between Mansura and Makran the waters from the Mehran form lakes and the inhabitants of the country are the south Asian races called Zutt. The Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang who visited this region in the 7th century A.D. also mentioned Jats.

"The Jats claim to be included in the 36 royal Rajput tribes. Some of them state that their forefathers came from Ghazni. But it is generally accepted that they are the descendants of the ancient Getae, or Jeutchi, from Scythia. Some authorities consider that they entered the sub-continent some time in 1500 BC and are the same as the Jattikas mentioned in the Mahabharata, and also identical with the Jatti of Pliny and Ptolemy. Their original home was on the Oxus."10 According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Jats of the lower Indus comprise both Jats and Rajputs, and the same rule applies to Las-Bela where descendants of former ruling races like the Sumra and the Samma of Sind and the Langah of Multan are found. At the time of the first appearance of the Arabs they found the whole of Makran in possession of Jats (Zutts).

According to a 'Hadis', Hazrat Abdulla Bin Masood, a companion Prophet saw some strangers with the Prophet and said that their features and physique were like those of Jats.11 This means that Jats we in Arabia even during the Prophet's time. Hazrat Imam Bukhari (d. 875 A.D. - 256 A.H.) writing about the period of the Companions in his book "Al adab al Mufarrad" has stated that once when Hazrat Aisha (Prophet's wife) fell ill, her nephews brought a Jat doctor for her treatment. We hear of them next when the Arab armies clashed with the Persian forces which comprised of Jat soldiers as well.

The Persian Command Hurmuz used Jat soldiers against Khalid Bin Walid in the battle of 'salasal' of 634 A.D. (12 hijri). This vvas the first time that Jats were captured by the Arabs. They put forward certain conditions for joining the Arab armies which were accepted, and on embracing Islam they were associated with different Arab tribes.12 This event proves that the first group of Pakistanis to accept Islam were Jats who did it as early as 12 hijri (634 A.D.) in the time of Hazrat Omar.

The Persian King Yazdjard had also sought the help of the Sind ruler who sent Jat soldiers and elephants which were used against the Arabs in the battle of Qadisia.

According to Tibri, Hazrat Ali had employed Jats to guard Basra treasury during the battle of Jamal. "Jats were the guards of the Baitul Maal at al-Basra during the time of Hazrat Osman and Hazrat Ali."13 Amir Muawiya had settled them on the Syrian border to fight against the Romans. It is said that 4,000 Jats of Sind joined Mohammad Bin Qasim's army and fought against Raja Dahir. Sindhi Jats henceforth began to be regularly recruited in the Muslim armies.

"Some of the Zutt deserters from the Persian army were transplanted in 670 A.D. by Caliph Muawiya from Basrah to Antioch. When the Arabs conquered Sind, another batch of Zutts whom the conquerors had uprooted from their native pastures seem to have been sent to Syria by Hajjaj (691-713 A.D.) and eventually sent on by the Caliph Walid 1(707-15 AD) to join the previous batch of Zutt deportees at Antioch whence some, again, were sent on by the Caliph Yazid II (720-24 A.D.) to Massisah in Cicilia…. But the bulk of Hajjaj's deportees from Sind seem to have been settled in Iraq. In the reign of Abbasid Caliph Mansur (813-33 A.D.) they broke into a rebellion which it took him and his successor Mutasim 833-42 AD), the best part of 20 years to quell….. Whether there had or had not been a voluntary immigration as well as a compulsory deportation of Zutt to Iraq from Sind, we may take it that in the course of the first two centuries of Arab rule, manpower from western subcontinent (i.e., Pakistan) had it in one way or another been pouring into a south-western Asia that, on the eve of the Arab conquest, had been depopulated by the two last and most devastating of the Romano-Persian wars."14

This statement of Tonybee is revealing in that it shows the close relations Pakistan had with the Middle East. Sindhis began to settle in areas as far away as Iraq and Syria which were depopulated by wars between the Persians and the Romans.

The origin of European gypsies is also traced to Sindhi Jats. Harun-ur-Rashid had recruited Jats to reinforce Cilician fortress. When the Romans descended on Ayn Zarbah in 855 A.D. they carried off into East Roman territory the Jats together with their women, children and buffaloes. This detachment of the Jats was the advance guard of the gypsies of Europe.15 They continued to pour into Europe in small batches at various stages subsequently.


Turning to the history of Sind, it may be divided into seven periods: (1) Pre-Muslim; (2) Arab Rule; (3) Middle Ages from Mahmud Ghaznavi to the establishment of Mughal Rule; (4) Mughal Period; (5) Kalhora period; (6) The Talpur Period; and (7) The British Period. We shall deal with briefly discussing only certain salient features of each period.

We have already spoken of the Indus Valley Civilization and the pre-historic period in an earlier chapter. Between the fall of the Mauryan Empire and the arrival of the Arabs i.e., roughly 200 B.C. to 700 A.D., a span of 900 years, Sind and other parts of Pakistan experienced wave after wave of hordes from Central Asia settling down in these regions. The Bactrians, Sakas, Kushans, the Pahlavas and the Huns etc., came, conquered and settled here. From these stocks, mingled with indigenous blood, ultimately emerged the new Kshatrya ruling class of Hindus later called Rajputs and the peasant class of Jats and Gujjars. 16 The most outstanding aspect of this pre-Muslim period is that Sind was intimately connected with the rest of Pakistan and not with India. It had either independent kingdoms or kingdoms in common with Pakistan.

Several reasons are ascribed to the Arab desire to conquer Makran 17 and Sind. Firstly, Sindhi Rajas had helped the Persians in their wars against the Arabs. Sindhi forces participated in the battles of Nehawand, ‘Salasal’, Qadisia and Makran and fought against the Arabs. Secondly, when after the conquest of Persia by the Arabs some of their rebel chiefs began to seek refuge in Sind, its Raja refused to surrender them to the Caliphs inspite of repeated requests. Thirdly, since Arab traders were being constantly harassed by pirates from the Makran and Sind coasts, a foot-hold in these areas considered necessary to safeguard Arab maritime interests.

The first naval expedition undertaken by the Arabs in this ocean was during Hazrat Omar's caliphate in 636 A.D. - 15 A.H. under the command of Osman bin Abi'Aas, the Governor of Bahrain and Oman. He attacked Thana, a port near modern Bombay. A little later he sent another naval expedition to Debal in Sind under the command of his brother Mughira. Raja Chach was the ruler of Sind at that time and his kingdom was well defended. Mughira was defeated by the Raja's forces and killed in action.

During Hazrat Omar's caliphate the Governor of Iraq also sent an expedition by land to Makran under the command of Rabi Bin Ziad Haris. Though Makran was conquered but the victory was short-lived, as the locals recaptured the country. Makran was, however, permanently conquered during the last days of Hazrat Omar's caliphate in 642 AD - 43 AH. under the command of Hakam Taglabi. Hazrat Osman, the third Caliph had sent Hakim bin Jabala to Sind in 650 A.D. to collect information. Before him Sahar-al-Abdi had visited Sind for the same purpose in 643 A.D. during Hazrat Omar's last days.18 The next Arab general to enter Pakistan by land was Muhlib bin Sufra who came through the Khyber Pass in 665 A.D. -65 A.H.

The real story, however, begins with Hajjaj Bin Yusuf who was Governor of Iraq. The story of Arab merchants returning from Ceylon to Basra having been looted by Sindhi pirates is well-known. It is related that some of the women who were being carried away by the pirates implored Hajjaj to rescue them.

Hajjaj took serious notice of the incident and wrote to Dahir, the ruler of Sind, for the release of captives as well as the goods which were being sent to the caliphate as presents by the ruler of Ceylon. Not receiving a favourable reply, Hajjaj, with the permission of Caliph Walid, sent a force to Debal under the command of Abdulla bin Nabhan. This force was annihilated by Dahir's army and its commander killed in battle. (According to Dr. Daud Pota the tomb of Abdullah Shah at Clifton in Karachi is of this General, Abdulla bin Nabhan).l9 Again, Hajjaj sent a bigger expedition to Debal, to oppose which Dahir sent his son Jaisia with a fairly large contingent. For the second time Arabs were defeated and their commander Badil bin Tuhfa killed in action at Debal. (According to the British historian Eliot, Karachi and the island of Manora constituted the city of Debal).

Hajjaj was infuriated and perturbed at the developments. Having realised that the ruler of Sind was a powerful monarch, he started making large-scale preparations and took personal interest in the matter
since the issue had now become one of prestige. The selection of a commander for this expeditionary force had also to be made with due care keeping in view all the aspects of the problem. Hajjaj's choice fell on the young 20 year old (according to some 17) Mohammad Bin Qasim. The army and its Commander were given rigorous training for over one year in the desert of southern Iran which had similar climatic conditions to those of Sind.

Through intelligence reports, all the strong and weak points of the enemy and details of their weapons and defences were collected, studied, and the Arab army equipped accordingly. Hajjaj bin Yusuf went through through the minutest details and after thorough study of the maps of Sind, guided Mohammad Bin Qasim on the strategy to be followed. Not content with this, Hajjaj made arrangements to convey his messages and orders to Mohammad Bin Qasim from Basra to any point in Sind within a week. Orders were that Mohammad Bin Qasim should not attack any city or fort or engage his forces in any large-scale battle with the enemy without getting orders from Basra. Even instructions concerning the day and time of attack and weapons to be used in a particular place or battle were sent by Hajjaj.

This time Arab armies triumphed and the triumph proved permanent. I shall not go into details which are available in all histories and mention only a few points which have not been high-lighted.


As mentioned elsewhere, Sind had a large Buddhist population at this time but the ruler, Dahir, was a Brahmin. It is said that the Buddhists been receiving constant information from their co-religionists in Afghanistan and Turkistan about the extremely liberal treatment meted out to them by the Arab conquerors of those regions. In view of these reports, the Buddhist population of Sind decided to extend full cooperation to Mohammad Bin Qasim and even acclaimed him as liberator from Brahmin tyranny. Several principalities in Sind were ruled by Buddhist Rajas. The Buddhist ruler of Nerun (Hyderabad) had secret correspondence with Mohammad Bin Qasim. Similarly, Bajhra and Kaka Kolak, Buddhist Rajas of Sewastan, allied themselves with Mohammad Bin Qasim.20 On similar grounds, Jats also joined the Arabs against Dahir.

Secondly, it is generally believed that Mohammad Bin Qasim conquered areas only up to Multan. No, he conquered almost the entire Pakistan which then formed part of the Kingdom of Sind. According to Chach Nama, after conquering Aror (near Rohri), Mohammad Bin Qasim advanced towards Bhatia, an old fort on Beas which was under the command of Chach's nephew. After conquering Bhatia the Arabs laid siege to Iskandla on river Ravi and took it. Chach Nama further states that Mohammad Bin Qasim proceeded to the boundary of Kashmir called Panj Mahiyat, at the upper course of Jhelum just after it debouches into the plains.21 "With a force of 6,000 Mohainmad Bin Qasim, a youth of 20, conquered and reorganised the whole of the country from the mouth of Indus to the borders of Kashmir, a distance of 800 miles in three years 712-15 A.D.22

"Waihind (neat Attock) which was one of the oldest cities of the sub-continent was included in the kingdom of Sind."23 "Mohammad Bin Qasim made Multan the base for further inroads and garrisoned Brahmanpur, on the Jhelum, the modern Shorkot, Ajtabad and Karor; and afterwards with 50,000 men marched via Dipalpur to the foot of the Himalayas near Jelhum."24

It is recognised by all historians that Mohammad Bin Qasim's rule was most liberal and his treatment of non-Muslims extremely just and fair. He not only appointed Hindus to senior administrative posts but left small Hindu principalities undisturbed. Brahmins had become so loyal to him that they used to go from village to village and urge people to support the Arab regime. When Mohammad Bin Qasim was recalled from Sind by the Caliph in very unhappy circumstances, the Hindus and Buddhist of Sind wept over his departure; and when he died they erected a statue in his memory and worshipped it for a long time. Mohammad Bin Qasim’s two sons had a distinguished career. Arnroo became Governor of Sind and Qasim was Governor of Basra for fifteen years.25

But the early Arab period is not one of peace and tranquility. With the recall of Mohammad Bin Qasim the province returned to chaos and confusion. After a few years of anarchy governor Junaid restored normalcy. A short while later, due to bad administration, chaos prevailed again. Conditions were so critical that the next governor, Hakam bin Awanah established a new city called 'Mahfooza' (place of safety) in 732 A.D. - 113 A.H. where all the Muslims collected for safety. Later on, after restoring order and reorganising most of the Province, Hakam’s general Amroo (the son of Mohammad Bin Qasim) built another city 'Mansoora' (victory) near Shahdadpur in 737 A.D. - 119 AH. which became the capital of the Arab kingdom. Because of these unsettled conditions Sind had to be conquered again and again.

"In Sind the recall of Mohammad Bin Qasim was followed by a Hindu reaction which almost wiped out the results of the first victories. When Hakam bin Awanah was appointed Governor of Sind, he found that the natives had rebelled and apostasized. He built two cities, Mahfuzah and Mansurah in the north and south of Sind, to provide places of security for Muslims.'' 26

From the departure of Mohammad Bin Qasim in 715 A.D. to the fall of the Umayyad caliphate in 750 A.D., a period of 35 years, Sind had nine governors. They were Habib Bin Mohlab, Amro Bin Muslim Bahili, Bilal Bin Ahwaz, Junaid Bin Abdur Rehman Marri, Tamim Bin Zaid Atbi, Hakam Bin Awanah Qalbi, Amroo Bin Mohainmad Bin Qasim, Yazid Bin Arrar and Mansur Bin Jamhur Qalbi. During this period "Governor Junaid again conquered all the territory up to Beas and Ravi in the north-east, Kashmir in the north, Arabian ocean in the south, Malwa in the south-east and Makran in the west."27

Umayyad caliphate was replaced by that of the Abbasids in 750 AD, Sind became part of the Abbasid dominions. It remained under Baghdad’s control during the Abbasid Caliphs Saffa, Mansoor, Hadi, Haroon, Mamoon, Mutasim, Wasiq and Mutawakkil. In the reign of the last mentioned Caliph, the Governor of Sind, Umar Hibari, became practically independent owing nominal allegience to the Caliph. Earlier, during the caliphate of Mamoon-ur-Rashid, Sind Governor Bashar Ibn-e-Dawood had revolted and withheld the payment of revenues, but the revolt was quelled judiciously. It may be of interest to note that the postal and intelligence services of Sind were directly controlled by the Caliphs.

The man who governed Sind (then covering major portion of present day Pakistan) for the longest period was Dawood bin Yazid bin Hatim who died in 821 A.D. Two members of the famous Baramaka family of Abbasid Prime Ministers ruled over Sind as Governors during this period. One was Musa Barmakh and the other his son Omar Barmakh. The Barmakh family were said to be originally Kashmiri Buddhists who had migrated to Balkh (now in northern Afghanistan) and after accepting Islam, went to Baghdad where several members of the family had distinguished career. Two of them, Yahya and Jafar, became Prime Ministers of Haroon-ur-Rashid. (The word Barmakh is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘par mukh’ meaning sardar).

During the 105 years of Abbasid period when Sind formed part of their dominions (750-855 A.D.) thirty-one Governors were appointed. The Hibari dynasty which had become independent lasted from 855 A.D. to 1010 A.D. i.e., till the annexation of Sind by Mahmud Ghaznavi. It was the last Arab government. One of its rulers Abdulla bin Omar Hibari (d. 893 AD) ruled for about 30 years and made great contribution to the cultural and economic development of the province. It was during the Hibari period that Sind severed its relations with the caliphate; and it was during this period that two separate states emerged in Sind: one had its capital at Mansura and the other at Multan. In addition, several small Hindu states had also sprung up. It was again during the Hibari rule that the Fatimid Caliph Obidullah-aI-Mahdi sent the first Ismaili missionary, Haishan, to Sind.


Sind being the eastern-most province of the Umayyad, and then of the Abassid Caliphates with loose control from the centre, its political as well as religious life was highly perturbed. In the political field due to internecine quarrels, Muslim governments in the area were divided into two sections: The upper region had Multan as its capital and the capital of the lower region was Mansura near Shahdadpur. Sind also became an arena of religious acrimonies because of the large number of Ismaili missionaries who visited this country and the herectics who took refuge here. The first Ismaili missionary to visit Sind was Haisham who came to Sind in 877 A.D. - 270 A.H. He was sent by the founder of the Fatimid caliphate, Obaidullah-al-Mahdi.

Among other prominent Ismaili missionaries to visit Sind were Hazrat Abdullah (1067 A.D.), Pir Sadruddin (1430 AD), his son Kabiruddin, his brother Tajuddin and Syed Yusufuddin, all of whom gained considerable following in Pakistan. Pir Sadruddin had his grand lodge in Sind and it was he who conferred on the new converts the title of Khwaja (Khoja), meaning honourable. According to Dr. Arnold a number of Ismaili missionaries were sent to Sind from the famous "Alamut" fort which was the headquarter of Hasan Bin Sabbah who lived in the late 11th and early 12th century A.D.28 Abdullah-al-Ashtar Alvi, a great grandson of Hazrat Ali was among those who had religious differences with the Caliph, was considered a heretic and took refuge here. Because of sheltering him, the Governor of Sind, Omar bin Hafs was transferred to North Africa by the Caliph. Hazrat Abdullah Ashtar's tomb at Clifton on the sea-shore near Karachi is still visited by devotees.

A large number of Sunni missionaries also visited Sind during the Arab period. The Omayyed Caliph Hazrat Omar bin Abdul Aziz is said to have sent a number of them who were successful in converting several Sindhi landlords. The Abbasid Caliph Mahdi also sent some missionaries who converted a number of Rajas and prominent Hindus up to Peshawar. Mohammad Alfi who came with Mohammad Bin Qasim and was among the most successful missionaries, later became adviser to the Raja of Kashmir and settled there.

As already stated, during the major portion of Arab rule, Sind and southern Punjab were rent by political as well as religious rivalries. Since every development in the Middle East had its direct impact on this region, the Fatimid-Abbasid political rivalry with its religious manifestation in the Ismaili-Sunni controversy, found its full echo here, particularly in the 10th century A.D. (early 4th century hijri). Ismaili, or according to some, Carmathian rulers were installed in the upper region whose capital was Multan. It is related that the Fatimid Caliph Imam Abdul Aziz Billah had sent a misionary Jalam bin Shaiban from Cairo to Multan with a sizeable army in 372 hijri (985 A.D.) to establish Ismaili rule which he did, and himself became head of the state.

At this time the rulers of Makran and Mansura were also Ismailis. The Sumra family of Sind which had accepted Ismaili Islam owed allegience to the Fatimid Caliphs of Cairo, sent them presents and zakat and read their name in Friday 'Khutba'. After the fall of the Fatimids, Sindhi Ismailis attached themselves to the Mustali branch of the Ismailis who were functioning from Yemen. (Members of the 'Mustali’ branch are called Bohris in the sub-continent). The history of this period is so confused that it is difficult to state with any certainty as to when and how long Ismaili and Carmathian rulers held sway at Mansura and Multan. There were frequent changes accompanied by enlargement or shrinkag of territories. Ferishta speaks of Shaikh Hamid Lodhi as the first ruler of Multan converted to Carmathian faith.

Haig says that Multan was seized by Abdullah, the Carmathian, about 287 hijri (900 A.D.). Ibn-e-Haukal visited in 367 hijri but does not mention the Ismailis and says that the rulers of Multan and Mansura recognised the authority of Baghdad. Al Maqdasi visited Multan in 375 hijri and wrote that the people of Multan were Shias, presents were sent to the Fatimids of Egypt and Ismailis were claiming an increasing number of converts. Al Beruni writing about the 424 hijri says "the rise of the Carmathians preceded our time by almost 100 years i.e., in 324 hijri." Whatever the fortunes of the rulers, there is some ground to believe that Ismaili form of Shiaism continued to be dominant in Sind and southern Punjab for a considerable time.

"Propaganda under the Fatimid 'Dawat' in the subcontinent is traced back to the time of Fatimid Caliph al Mustansir. Ismailis had indeed been sent to the subcontinent at a much earlier date. Their field of labour was in Sind, in a district of Multan. Their chief dai was in correspondence with Caliph Muizz (953) and the community had not only increased in numbers, but it had attained power in Multan during his Imamate. The community recognised the Fatimids as Imams but the initiative in Sind may have been taken by the Carmathians. Later history links Multan and Sind with the Nizarian Dawat"29

"Ivanow describes the Ismaili population in south Asia as the most ancient and interesting. Sons of Mohammad Ibn Ismail had sought refuge in Qandahar, then a part of Sind. Sind early became a dist. or Jazira, of the Ismaili 'dawat'. During the Imamats of Al Muizz (953) its chief dai was in direct communication with the Imam." 30


However, in spite of political chaos and religious confusion, Sind made great progress in the literary and economic fields during this period. Sindhi scholars and doctors made a mark not only in their own country but in the entire Muslim world. Mathematicians and philosophers from Sind visited Baghdad in large numbers and made outstanding contribution to the promotion of learning among the Arabs. Several physicians were called from Sind for the treatment of Caliphs among whom were Ganga and Manka who treated Haroon-ur-Rashid. The latter was a member of Bait-ul-Hikmat of Haroon-ur-Rashid. Another Sindhi doctor who made a mark in the Muslim world was a newly converted Muslim, Saleh bin Bhahla (Bhalla).

Among the notable Sindhi ulema were: Maulana Islami who hailed from Debal, accepted Islam during Mohammad Bin Qasim's days and was sent by him as envoy to Raja Dahir for negotiations. Abu Maashar Sindhi was Muslim world's noted scholar of 'seerat and 'fiqh'. He lived at Medina for a number of years and later shifted to Baghdad where he died. He was so much respected that on his death Caliph Mehdi led the funeral prayers. His son Abu Abdul Malik was also an eminent scholar and had settled down in Baghdad. Hafiz Abu Mohammad Khalaf bin Saalem who was a ‘hadees’ scholar had migrated from Sind to Iraq where he attained fame. Abu Nasr Fateh Bin Abdulla Sindhi was known for his proficiency in ‘hadees,’ 'fiqh' and Ilm-e-Kalaam.

He wrote 'Tafseer' in Sindhi and rendered Islamic teachings in such beautiful and forceful Sindhi verse that it gained immense popularity both among Hindus and Muslims. Another ‘aalim’ Ishaque Sindhi, was among the most revered muftis of the Abbasid period. Imam Auzai of Sind was considered an authority on religion in the Muslim world. Mohammad bin Ali Shwarib, the Qazi of Mansura and his son Ali bin Mohammad bin Ali Shwarib were also renowned scholars.

Among the Sindhis who earned eminence in the Muslim world as Arabic poets during this period were Abul Ata Sindhi, Haroon bin Abdulla Multani, Abu Mohammad Mansuri who hailed from Mansura, Mansoor Hindi, Musa bin Yakub, Saqafi, Abu Zila Sindhi, Kashajam bin Sindhi bin Shahak etc. Sindhi bin Sadqa was a 'Katib', a writer as well as a poet. Some of them wrote in Sindhi as well as in Arabic. It is said that at the request of a Sindhi Raja, Mahrook, who embraced Islam, the Quran was translated into Sindhi during the reign of Abdulla bin Omar Hibari. Due to the patronage extended by early Abbasid Caliphs and their Baramaka Prime Ministers, a number of Sindhi Pandits and Veds went to Baghdad and engaged themselves in scientific and literary pursuits. They translated a number of Sanskrit books on mathematics, astronomy, astrology, medicine, literature and ethics into Arabic. Prominent among them were Bhalla, Manka, Bazeegar (Bajaikar), Falbar Ful (Kalap Rai Kal), Ibne Dahan, Saleh bin Bhalla, Bakhar, Raja, Makka, Daher, Anko, Arikal, Andi, Jabbhar, etc. Some of these Pandits taught the Arabs, numerals.31

In about 780 A.D. - 154 A.H. when a deputation of Sindhi Pandits visited Baghdad, they carried with them a Sanskrit work known as 'Siddhanat’ which, after translation in Arabic, became known as AI-Sindh-Hind.

Sindhi accountants were also popular in the Arab world. According to Jahez (d. 874 A.D. - 255 A.H.) all the 'Sarrafs' (money-changers) in Iraq were Sindhi treasurers. They were proficient in accounting and exchange business and were also honest and loyal servants.

The Arab rulers of Sind-Multan were extremely liberal, spoke Sindhi and treated their subjects well. They never encroached upon the religious liberties of the Hindus and Buddhists and appointed them to positions of responsibility. Mohammad Bin Qasim had appointed Sisakar, the Prime Minister of Raja Dahir, his own Prime Minister, and Kiska, another Hindu, his Revenue Minister. The entire history of Sind under the Arabs is replete with instances of Hindus holding positions of great responsibility and honour. Three per cent of the country's revenues were given to Brahmins as stipends. When some of the district administrators informed the Government that they were experiencing shortage of cows and bulls which were needed for agricuiture and transport, Government prohibited cow slaughter.

In the economic field also Sind made considerable progress. Agriculture received great impetus with foodgrains being exported tothe Middle East. A number of new varieties of fruits were cultivated among which the bananas of Sind were extremely popular in the neighboring countries. Camphor, neel, banana, coconut, dates, sugarcane, lemons, mangoes, almonds, nuts, wheat and rice are mentioned by almost all visitors as grown in plenty in Sind. Bishari Maqdasi writes that there were innumerable gardens in Sind and the trees were tall and luxuriant. The whole city of Mansura was covered with almond and nut trees.

The cities established by the Arabs "flourished as great centres of trade and learning. A busy trade grew up and the merchants of different nationalities carried Indian goods through Sind to Turkistan and Khurasan imported horses into Sind."32 Debal, Nairun Kot, Sehwan, Khuzdar, Aror, Multan and Mansura were flourishing commercial centres. Arabs had more trade with this country than with Gujrat, Malabar and Bengal. A large proportion of merchandise was transported from the Punjab by rivers. 700-800 maunds of goods were sewn in jute cloth, put in leather bags oiled from outside to prevent water penetrating and put in the rivers. 33

"On account of their favourable geographical position the ports of Sind played a vital role, even before the Arab invasion, in the commercial intercourse between the countries to the west (Iran, South Arabia, Ethiopia) and to the east of the Indus delta, as well as in the export of commodities manufactured in Sind itself. This role gained momentum after Islam had reached Sind. The author of Hudud al'Alam mentions that there were plenty of merchants in Sind, stressing that many a citizen of the coastal areas were engaged in sea trade. The cities of Daibul and Mansura were major trade centres of Lower Sind at the turn of the first and second millennia. In the first centuries of the second millennium, Thatta came in the fore as another major economic and political centre of the country: in the opinion of some scholars, the city in its prime had a population of 280,000."34

Leather and leather goods industry also made great progress during this period. The coloured and soft leather of Sind was known all over the world markets as Al-Sindhi. According to 'Muruj-uz-Zahab', the shoes of Mansura were very popular in Iran and the Arab world. Imam Hanbal relates that a large number of shoes were imported from Mansura into Baghdad where they were in great demand among the royal family and the gentry. But, he remarks, they were very showy.

Arabs also took keen interest in animal husbandry. They improved several breeds of camels, horses, cows, bulls and buffaloes. Sindhi buffaloes were so popular that Arabs used to carry them to their home towns when returning from Sind.

Building of cities and construction of roads and houses was a hobby with the Arabs. They built several new cities such as Mahfooza (in 732 A.D), Mansura (737 A.D.), Baiza (835 A.D.), Jundrore near Multan (in 854 AD) and several others. They also improved and expanded the existing cities by constructing satellite towns. A bridge called "Sukkar-al-Maid" was built over the Indus near Sukkur.

A number of Arab tribes of Quraish, Kalb, Tameem, Saqeef, Harris, Ael-e-Utba, Aal-e-Jareema and Asad, and several prominent families of Yemen and Hejaz had settled in Sind. Masudi (915 A.D. - 302 A.H.) writes that he met many descendants of Hazrat Ali in Mansura who were in the line of Omar bin Ali and Mohammad Bin Ali. He also mentions that there was fertility and opulence here and people were healthy. Some authorities have expressed the view that the wife of Hazrat Imam Hussain, who other of Hazrat Imam Zainul Abdin from whom the line of Hussaini Syeds is traced, was not a Perstan as is generally believed, but a Sindhi lady of noble family."35

Bishari writes that the people of Multan were prosperous, they did not drink wine and their women did not use cosmetics. Both Arabic and Sindhi were spoken. Regarding Mansura he states that the people were very well-read, courteous and religious. The city had a large number of scholars and the general standard of morals and intelligence was high. Mansura remained the capital of Sind from 737 A.D. - 120 A.H to 1026 A.D. - 416 A.H. for about 300 years till its conquest by Mahmud Ghaznavi. In late 3rd century Hijri when Multan became the capital of the northern kingdom, Mansura remained the capital of only the south i i.e., modern Sind. It survived till the Tughlaq period in the 14th century A.D. when it disappeared due to change in the course of river Indus.

As during the time of Darius when Sind constituted the 20th Satrapy of the Achaemenian Empire and considered an extremely rich province, so also during the Arab rule Sind was regarded a prosperous part of the Caliphate and paid a million dirham per annum as revenue to the Government at Baghdad.
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Post Leading Tribes Of Punjab And Their Origins


Before the advent of Islam, but after the Aryan migrations, several invasions and mass migrations of the Central Asian tribes named as the Sakas, Parthians, Kushans, Huns and Gujjars took place in the Punjab (and other parts of Pakistan). The last two tribes i.e. the Huns (White Huns/ Epthalites) and Gujjars arrived in the 5th century AD when Hinduism had revived under the Gupta Empire but had not fully succeeded in crushing the influence of Buddhism. As the Gupta Empire collapsed under the impact of Hun invasions, it caused deep consternation among Brahmins in view of their failure to eliminate Buddhism while the Gupta power supporting them in this task had disappeared. Therefore, they began to make overtures to the new arrivals who were valiant, vigorous and warlike. They were offered the rank of Kshatryas in the Hindu fold, a position only next to that of the Brahmins and confers the responsiblity of rulership.

In the course of time the leading groups of Huns were absorbed in the Hindu fold as Kshatryas while Jats, who were the descendants of the remaining groups of Huns, occupied a lower strata of society. But the present day Jats and Rajputs also include the descendants of the previous invaders..... the Sakas and the Kushans and even of earlier races. Sakas, Parthians, Kushans, White Huns, and Gujjars were ethnically Iranian. In fact, Huns (White Huns/Hepthalites) are also called Iranian Huns to differentiate them from the other Mongoloid Huns who invaded Europe. The word Gujjar is derived from Khazar and Jat from Gatae who inhabited around the Caspian Sea and migrated towards northwest South Asia.

Todd assigns Scythian origin to the Rajputs. Scythians came to be known as Sakas in South Asia, and were absorbed in the Hindu fold as Kshatriyas. Sakas, Yavannas (Greco-Bactrians), Pallavas (Parthians) ultimately became Kshatriyas. The Huns are known to have been regarded as one of the 36 clans of Rajputs. However, except for the Huns, all others had mostly adopted Buddhism mixed with their religions (like Saka sun-worship).

Almost 60% of the population of the Punjab comprises of Rajputs and Jats and the various branches of their race such as Awans, Khokhars, Ghakkars, Khattars, Janjuas, Arains, Gujjars, etc. though the Awans, Khokhars and Khattars claim common ancestry from Qutb Shah who is said to have come from Ghazni with Mahmud Ghaznavi, scholars hold the view that they were most probably converted by Qutb Shah during Mahmud Ghaznavi's reign and were not his descendents. This tendancy of claiming foreign origin by some of the local tribes is not uncommon. Even admittedly Rajput tribes of famous ancestry such as the Khokhar, have begun to follow the example of claiming connection with the Mughal conquerors of India or the Qureshi cousins of the Prophet.

A branch of the Wattu Rajputs of the Sutlej by an affection of peculiar sanctity, have in the course of a few generations become Bodeas and now deny their Rajput and claim Qureshi origin. There is a Kharral family lately settled in Bahawalpur who have begun to affect peculiar holiness and to marry only with each other and their next step will certainly be to claim Arab descent.

However, a significant number of Punjabi tribes are indeed descended from Afghan, Turkic, Arab, Mughal and Iranian Muslim invaders/migrants. Even those who are of local origins but claim foreign Muslim ancestory, might have partial ancestory derived from them. But all in all, the foreign Muslim ancestory element among Punjabis does not exceed more than 20% of their population.

According to Thomson, Awans are a Jat race and were converted to Islam by Mahmud Ghaznavi. In several districts of the Punjab they are registered as Jats. Mr. Thomson in his Jehlum Settlement report adduces many strong reasons in support of his conclusion that the Awans are a Jat race who came from passes west of D.I.Khan. Griffin also agrees to the local Muslim origin of Awans while Cunningham holds that Janjuas and Awans are descended from Anu and calls them Anwan. Another scholar Wilson is of the view that Awans are of indigenous Hindu/Buddhist/Pagan/Animist origin. In the genealogical tree of the Nawabs of Kalabagh, who are regarded heads of the Awans, there are found several native names such as Rai, Harkaran, etc.

As regards Gujjars, the well known scholar Cunningham thinks that they are descended from Scythian (Saka) and Yue-Chi (Kushan) tribes who invaded Pakistan in the first century BC and in the first century AD respectively. Other scholars believe that they are descended from a Central Asian Turkic people called Kazars. Since the tribe migrated from Caspian Sea which is called Bahr-e-Khizar it was named Khizar, Guzar, Gurjar, Gurjara or Gujjar. The name Hazara was given to the district by these Guzara tribes. The name Gujjar, according to another version, is derived from the words 'Gau' and 'Char' meaning cattle grazers.

Though Arains claim Iranian descent, they too are generally considered of Rajput origin, but Rajputs having Scythian-Kushan-Hun origins are indeed related to Iranians. According to the Punjab Gazetteer, the Arains of sahiwal District themselves pointed out that they are Surajbansi Rajputs originally settled around Delhi. Arains of Ghaggar Valley say that they were Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan. Mr. Pursr writes that they are usually supposed to be Muslim Kambohs. the Jullander Arains themselves say that they are descended from Rai Chajju of Ujjain. Kambohs claim descent from Raja Keran who was related to him.

Similarly, Ranghars and Meos are described to be of Rajput/Jat origin who were converted to Islam during the time of Qutbuddin Aibak. Kahutas are a mixed Mughal and Rajput tribe. Khattars are related to Awans and Jats.

Khokhars are sometimes returned as Jats and sometimes as Rajputs. Col. Davis notes that many of the social customs of the Khokhars of Shahpur denote Hindu origin. Eastern Punjab Khokhars themselves claim Jat-Rajput origin. Only some of the West Punjab Khokhars claim Arab origin.

Gen. Cunningham identifies the Ghakkars with Gangaridae of Dionysius and holds them to be descendents of Yueti or Tokhari Scythians (sakas).

In Pakistan, Rajput and Jat tribes are so mixed up that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other at many places and in several cases. Some of the Rajput tribes are probably of Jat origin and vice versa. In southwest Punjab the name Jat includes a most miscellaneous congries of tribes of all sorts. Its significance tends to be occupational: to denote a body of cultivators or agriculturists. Even tribes which bear well-known Rajput names are often classified as Jats in the Punjab. Anyway, the origin of both is the same as stated earlier.

Gen. Cunningham and Maj. Todd agree in considering the Jats of Indo-Scythian stock. Maj. Todd classifies Jats as one of the great Rajput tribes. They belong to one and thesame stock.... they have been, for many centuries, so blended and so intermingled into one people that it is practically impossible to distinguish them as separate wholes. At present distinction is social rather ethnic. The same tribe Rajput in one district and Jat in another according to the position in local tribes... During census many of the Jats entered, as third heading, the name of the Rajput tribe from which they claim to have sprung.

The Jats in ancient times inhabited the whole valley of the Indus down to Sind.... They now form a most numerous as well as the most important section of the agricultural population of Punjab.

Beyond the Punjab, Jats are chiefly found in Sind where they form mass of the population.

The main (Muslim) Rajput tribes of the Punjab are: Bhatti, Punwar, Chauhan, Minhas, Tiwana, Noon, Chib, Gheba, Jodhra, Janjua, Sial and Wattu etc. While the important (Muslim) Jat tribes are: Bajwa, Chatta, Cheema, Randhawa, Ghammon, Buta, Kahlon, Gil, Sehota, Taror, Waraich, Summa, Wahla, Bhutta, Malhi, Sukhera, Alpials, Dahas, Langah, Ranghar, Meo, Awan, Khokhar, Ghakkar, etc. But some of these Rajput tribes are classified are Jats and vice versa.

Punjab has had its periods of prosperity and poverty in a regular cycle. Before the arrival of Muslims, Punjab along with the other regions/provinces of present day Pakistan was leading a separate existance from that of India, and kingdoms based in its territories or in the NWFP often ruled over most of northern India. Kushan, Saka, Bactrian and Hun Kingdoms with their capitals at Peshawar, Taxila and Sialkot respectively, ruled over large parts of northern India for centuries.
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Post Pashtuns and their Origins

Pashtuns and their Origins

Between South Asia, Central Asia and the Iranian plateau of Sijistan lies a triangular shaped territory studded by bare and barren mountains covering an area of approximately 250,000 sq. miles. Starting from Dir in the north, this triangle runs along the Indus, takes a westward turn a few miles south of Dera Ismail Khan, and embracing within its fold Loralai, Sharigh, Degari, Harnai, Quetta, Pishin, Chaman and Qandahar extends up to Herat. From here it curves north-east and following the foothills of Hindu Kush comes back to Dir. This region includes the major portion of NWFP, a part of Quetta Division of Baluchistan and three-fourths of Afghanistan. In this triangular-shaped, hilly country divided between Afghanistan and Pakistan lives the world's largest group of tribesmen numbering over 30 million variously called Afghans, Pathans, Pashtuns or Pakhtuns.

Any attempt to delve deep into the history of these interesting peopIe and find out their origin would prove baffling. But strangely indeed their history has attracted the attention of an unusually large number of scholars. In the modern period more and more western historians and researchers are taking keen interest in the past of this region and its people. But the larger literature on the subject, the greater the difference of opinion and deeper the confusion.

The difficulty arises because of the fact that the area is inhabited by a large number of tribes each of which makes different claims about its origin. The confusion becomes worse confounded when it is found that these claims do not conform to historical evidence and do not agree with the conclusions arrived at by the researchers. In view of this peculiar situation, it is proposed to give only the consensus of opinion and to simpilify matters as far as possible. Many Pathans may not agree with what has been stated here; but unfortunately the nature of the subject is such that an agreement even on broad outlines seems difficult.

Let us first discuss the origin of the names Pathan and Afghan. The term Pakhtun or Pashtun, according to Raverty, is derived from the Persian word 'Pusht' meaning 'back'. Since the tribes lived on the back of the mountains, Persians called them Pashtun which is also pronounced Pakhtun. Some scholars think that the word Pashtun or Pakhtun comes from the old Iranian words parsava parsa meaning robust men, knights. In Indian Ianguages it was spelt as Pakhtana or Pathan. Herodotus and several other Greek and Roman historians have mentioned a people called 'Paktye' living on the eastern frontier of Iran. By the word Paktye they meant the people of the frontier. (According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam the word Pathan is from the Sanskrit word Pratisthana). Muslim historians from Al-Biruni onward called them Afghans, never using the word Pathan which expression was extensively employed by the Hindus. "No Afghan or speaker of Pashtu ever referred to himself as a Pathan and the word is an Indian usage." (The Pathans, by Sir Olaf Caroe)

"It is significant that neither Ibn Batuta nor Baber mention the word 'Pathan'. Baber gives the names of many east Afghanistan tribes, but nowhere does he mention Pathans, Pakhtuns or Pashtuns. He calls the people Afghans and their language, Afghani." (Afghan Immigration in the early Middle Ages, by K.S Lal)

As for the word Afghan, it appears in the inscriptions of Shahpur I at Naksh-e-Rustam which mentions a certain Goundifer Abgan Rismaund. According to Sprengler, a similar name 'Apakan' occurs as the designation of the later Sassanian Emperor Shahpur III. "The word Afghan, though of unknown origin, first appears in history in the Hudud-al-Alam, a work by an unknown Arab geographer who wrote in 982 A.D." (Afghanistan, by W.K Frazier Tytler). But according to the Encyclopaedia of Islam: "the first mention of the Afghans in written history is in the Chronicle of al-Utbi in Tarikh-e-Yamini and an almost contemporary mention by Al-Biruni. Utbi records that Sabuktagin enrolled Afghans in his army." Another version states that the earliest recorded use of the name Afghan is by the Indian astronomer, Varaha-Mihira of the 6th century A.D. in the form Avagana. (Encyclopaedia of Britannica).

"'The supposition that the Pathans are any different from the Afghans is not borne out either by the legendary accounts associated with the origin of this people or by historical or ethnological data." (Afghan Immigration in the Early Middle Ages, by K.S Lal). Both Bellew and Longworth Dames consider the two terms as appellation of a common people. There is no racial difference between the two. The two words are synonymous referring to one and the same people though a few writers try to make a distinction between Afghans and Pathans which is ephemeral.

For instance, some authors maintain that only those tribes living in southern Afghanistan, particularly between Herat and Qandhar and who speak Persian should be called Afghans while others living in the rest of Afghanistan, NWFP and Baluchistan speaking Pashtu language should be called Pathans. What they mean is that those who speak Pashtu are Pathans and those of them who speak Persian are Afghans. Sir Olaf Caroe makes a distinction between the Afghans and the Pathans on the basis of the hillsmen and plainsmen. He thinks that those living in the fertile plains of Qandhar, Herat, Kabul and Peshawar should be called Afghans and those living in the hills, Pathans. Lt. Gen. George McMunn divides Afghans into three groups: Abdalis, Ghilzais and Pathans (Afghanistan from Darius to Amanullah, by Lt. Gen. Dir George McMunn). But, as already stated, such distinctions are confusing and will lead nowhere. All should be called either Afghans, Pashtuns, Pakhtuns or Pathans.

There has, however, been no dispute over the name of the language they speak. It is called by one name only i.e., Pashtu. But its origin, again is disputed. Most of the authors are agreed that "it is both in origin and structure an Eastern Iranian language which has borrowed freely from the Indo-Aryan group." (The Pathans, by Sir Olaf Caroe). But one of the greatest authorities on the Pathans, Morgenstierne, on the other hand, feels that it is probably a Saka dialect from the north. The general opinion, however, is that Pashtu is a branch of the original Iranian language called Pahlawi.


The triangle between the Indus, Hindu Kush and the Sijistan plateau of Iran is populated by an assorted group of tribesmen some of them living in plains and valleys and others in mountains interspersed over the entire length and breadth of this triangle. As already stated this is the largest conglomeration of tribal people in the world.

We shall begin with the accounts of their origin as given by later Muslim historians. According to Niamatulla's Makhzan-i-Afghani and Hamdulla Mustaufi's Tarikh-i-Guzida: one of Prophet Ibrahim's descendents, Talut (or Saul) had two sons, one of whom was named Irmiya or Jeremia. Irmiya had a son named Afghan, who is supposed to have given the name to the Afghan people. Tareekh-e-Sher Shahi states that Bakht Nasr who invaded Jerusalem and destroyed it, expelled Jewish tribes, including sons of Afghan, from their homeland. During the days of the Babylonian captivity when the Jews were scattered, one of the tribes settled in the Hari Rud area of modern (south) Afghanistan.

Pathan legend states that they accepted Islam during the time of the Prophet when a group of their kinsmen (Jews) living in Arabia sent word to them that the true Prophet of God as prophesied in their scriptures had appeared in Mecca. The Afghans, the story goes, sent a delegation to Arabia headed by one Imraul Qais who met the Prophet, embraced Islam, came back and converted the entire tribe to the new religion. The Prophet was so pleased with Qais that he gave him the name of Abdur Rashid, called him Malik (king) and Pehtan (keel or rudder of a ship) for showing his people the path of Islam.

The story proceeds: Qais Alias Abdur Rashid Alias Pehtan had three sons named Sarban, Batan and Ghurghust. Most of the present-day Pathan tribes claim descent from these three persons. Batan had a daughter named Bibi Matto. She fell in love with Hussain Shah, a prince of Turkish origin, and their intimacy reached a stage where her pregnancy could not be concealed. Marriage was the only course open, but the offspring, a boy, was given the name of Ghilzai, meaning in the Afghan language a son 'born of theft'. Bibi Matto's next son was Ibrahim who, because of his intelligence and wisdom, was addressed by Qais as Loi-dey (Lodi) i. e., Ibrahim is great. Two of Loi-dey's grandsons were Pranki and Ismail. BahIul Lodhi, the founder of the Afghan empire of Delhi, was eight generations from Pranki and was a member of the Sahukhel tribe of Lodhis. The Suris and Nuhanis are descended from Ismail's two sons Sur and Nuh. Thus the Ghilzais (Khiljis), Lodhis, Suris, Nuhanis, and their branches, the Sarwanis and Niazis are common descendants of Bibi Matto from her Turkish husband Hussain Shah.

The major tribes of Afghans named above, it must have been noted, should be of Turkish origin as they are descended from the Turkish prince Hussain Shah who married the Afghan girl Matto, daughter of Batan and grand-daughter of Qais Abdur Rashid. Thus, according to their own accounts there would be two groups of Afghans, one of Jewish (Semitic) origin and the other of Turkish origin.

There is a third group of Afghans called Hazaras living in the Hazarajat areas of Afghanistan. They are said to be descended from the remnants of the Mongol armies which had come along with Changez Khan or during later Mongol inroads. The origin of the Hazara Afghans, as such, is Mongol.

Regarding the large number of tribes living on both sides of Pak-Afghan border such as Shinwaris, Mohmands, Mahsuds, Khattaks, Afridis, Orakzais, Achakzais, Bannuchis, Waziris, Bangash, Yusufzais, etc., some trace their origin to Aryans, others to Greeks who had come with Alexander, some to the Jews and still others to the Caucasians. "The Kalnari tribes of today: the Waziris, Bannuchis, Khattaks, Bangash, Orakzais, Afridis and the rest are sprung from an indigenous stock not Pushtu-speaking and became fused with or overlaid by Pushtu and Pushtu-speaking peoples learning in the process the language of the dominant race. The Kalnaris are not Afghans in the true line and may be much older established." (The Pathans, by Sir Olaf Caroe)

"The original Afghans are a race of probably Jewish or Arab extraction; and they together with a tribe of Indian origin with which they have long been blended still distinguish themselves as the true Afghans, or since the rise of Ahmad Shah Durrani as Durranis, and class all non-Durrani Pushto speakers as Opra. But they have lately given their name to Afghanistan, the country formerly known as Khorasan.

"All inhabitants of Afghanistan are now in comon parlance known as Afghans, the races thus included being the Afghan proper, the Pathan proper, the Gilzai, the Tajik and the Hazara, besides tribes of less importance living in the confines of the country". (The Punjab Castes, by Denzil Ibbetson)

Of late, scholars in Afghanistan are seriously absorbed in research to prove that Afghans are neither of Jewish, nor Turkish nor Mongol nor Greek origin but of pure Aryan stock. They are taking pains to demonstrate original home of Aryans was Afghanistan by pointing out the similarity in the names of several places in their country with those mentioned in the Rig Veda.

Thus, the different tribes of Afghans/Pathans have different claims, racially as divergent as the Semitics and the Aryans, Greeks and the Turks, Mongols and the Caucasians. However, leaving aside the claims, there is another aspect of this issue which has great substance, weight and research behind it. This aspect is the conclusions arrived at recently by the Western scholars after a careful study of the historical and cultural developments of the region and its people. Based on the intormation obtained from latest excavations and the data collected in a specific manner, modern scholars have expressed certain views on the origin of the Afghans/Pathans which cannot be brushed aside lightly or treated flippantly. They aver that the origin of the Afghan/Pathan is something different. Let us briefly study their views.


They are of the view that there might have been some settlements of the Jews in the area in 800 B.C. or so; similarly, some remnants of the Aryans might have been left in the inaccessible mountains in days of yore; and that there did exist some Greek and Iranian colonies here and there. But from 1st century B.C. to 5th century A.D., during a span of 600 years, this area witnessed three immigrations from Central Asia of such gigantic magnitude --- those of the Sakas, Kushans, Huns and Gujjars --- that everything was swept before them, overwhelmed by them and submerged in them. In short, hardly any previous group whether Aryan, Jewish, Greek or Iranian could retain its identity.

Western scholars, therefore, maintain that an overwhelming majority of the Afghan/Pathan tribes are positively descended from the Sakas, Kushans, Huns and Gujjars. Some of the scholars point out the possibility of the word Abdali being another form of Epthalite by which name the White Huns (the ancestors of Rajputs) were known. Grierson finds a form of Paithan in use in the East Gangetic Valley to denote a Muslim Rajput. Bellew, one of the greatest authorities on Pathans, notes that several characteristics are common to both the Rajputs and Afghans and suggests that Sarban, one of the ancestors of the Afghans, was a corruption of the word Suryabans (solar race) from which many Rajputs claim descent (Bellew: Races of Afghanistan).

The great Muslim historian Masudi writes that Qandahar was a separate kingdom with a non-Muslim ruler and states that 'it is a country of Rajputs'. It would be pertinent to mention here that at the time of Masudi most of the Afghans were concentrated in Qandahar and adjacent areas and had not expanded to the north. Therefore, it is highly significant that Masudi should call Qandahar a Rajput country.

Since the modern state of Afghanistan and the N.W.F.P. province of Pakistan were the main regions through which Central Asian tribes passed and in which they settled down, it is impossible that these areas should have remained uncolonised and the blood of their inhabitants unsullied. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that the present day Afghans/Pathans are mostly, notwithstanding their claims, the descendants of Central Asian tribes of Sakas, Kushans, Huns and Gujjars. It need hardly be pointed out that from them are also descended the major tribes of the Kashmir, Punjab, Sind and Baluchistan.

Just as the present-day Greeks are Slavs and not of the same race as Alexander and Aristotle, so also is the case with the present day Afghans and Pathans. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the theory of the Jewish descent of Afghans is of later origin and may be traced back to Maghzan-e-Afghani compiled for Khan-e-Jehan Lodhi in the reign of Mughal Emperor Jehangir and does not seem to have been recorded before the end of the 16th century A.D. Prior to this period no other book mentions that Afghans are descended from Jewish tribes. The Jewish books also dont mention anywhere that Saul's son Jeremia had a son named Afghan from whom Afghans claim descent.

Similarly, the story of Qais Abdur Rashid having gone from Afghanistan to Arabia to meet the Prophet and after returning to his country having converted the Afghans to Islam also does not stand the scrutiny of history. Muslim historians Ibn Haukal, Utbi and Alberuni are unanimous in the view that uptill the time of Mahmud Ghaznavi i.e. almost four hundred years after the death of the Prophet, most of the Afghans were still non-Muslims. Mahmud Ghaznavi 'had to fight against the infidel Afghans in the Sulaiman mountains.' Even 200 years later in the encounter between Mohammad Ghori and Prithviraj in 1192 A.D., according to Farishta, Hindu/Buddhist/Animist/Pagan/Shamanist/Zoroastrian Afghans were fighting on the side of the Rajput Chief. The fact that the Afghans should have joined the Rajput confederacy of Prithviraj may also indicate some sort of kinship between them.

On this subject the views of the Russian scholar Yu V. Gankovsky are also interesting. He says: "My opinion is that the formation of the union of largely East-Iranian tribes which became the initial ethnic stratum of the Pashtun ethnogenesis dates from the middle of the first millennium AD and is connected with the dissolution of the Epthalite (White Huns) confederacy. In the areas north of the Hindu Kush some of the tribes of this confederacy participated in the formation of the nationalities who inhabit Middle Asia today, and, among other tribes, in the formation of the Turkmen and Uzbek nationalities. This is attested, among other things, in the records of genonimy which indicate that among the Turkmen and Uzbeks (as well as among the Lokai) there occurs the ethnonym Abdal descending from the name of an Epthalite tribal union (Abdals, Abdel). South of the Hindu Kush, another part of the Epthalite tribes lost their privileged status as the military stronghold of the ruling dynasty and was ousted into the thinly peopled areas of the Sulaiman mountains, areas where there were not enough water supplies and grazing grounds. There they became a tribal union which formed the basis of the Pashtun ethnogenesis.

"Of the contribution of the Epthalites (White Huns) to the ethnogenesis of the Pashtuns we find evidence in the ethnonym of the largest of the Pashtun tribe unions, the Abdali (Durrani after 1747) associated with the ethnic name of the Epthalites -- Abdal. The Siah-posh, the Kafirs of the Hindu Kush, called all Pashtuns by a general name of Abdal still at sing of the 19th century.

"It is not impossible that certain Kushan-Tokharian elements also took the formation of the Pashtun ethnic community. In this connection it is worthwhile to note the fact cited by G. Morgenstierne: among the Ormuri the Pashtuns are known under the ethnic names 'kas' i.e., Kushan. A number of Pakhtun tribes belong to the Ormuri group. They are Afridis, Orakzais, Khattaks, Khugiani, etc."

This treatise of Prof. Gankovsky forcefully puts forward the view that Afghans-Pakhtuns are the descendants of Epthalite (White Huns) and Kushans.
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Post Pakistan and Bangladesh

Pakistan and Bangladesh

In the context of Islam's journey in the sub-continent a few words about
the common factors between Pakistan and Bangladesh would not be out of
place here. We cannot overlook the fact that it were the people of
Pakistan and Bangladesh that welcomed the preachers of Islam and
embraced its teachings spontaneously and earnestly in overwhelming
numbers, while its success in other parts of the sub-continent was

The same phenomena was witnessed earlier when Buddhism, which had
embraced a major portion of the sub-continent was suppressed and driven
out by resurgent Hinduism under the Guptas. But large number of people
in Pakistan and Bangladesh remained firm adherents of Buddhism which,
almost extinct in other parts of India, continued to persist and prevail
in the two wings till the arrival of Islam. Militant Hinduism succeeded
in reconquering the rest of India in the 4th century AD during the Gupta
period but it could not re- establish itself firmly and regain its hold
to the same extent in Pakistan and Bangladesh which continued to remain
largely Buddhist. "While Buddhism in the rest of South Asia declined
before the rejuvenation of remained strong in Bengal
until the 12th century AD." (Pakistan---Birth and Growth of a Nation, by
Richard Weeks).

According to Huen Tsang who visited this sub-continent in the middle of
the 7th century AD, Buddhism of the Mahayana creed was still dominant in
the western/NW region i.e., Pakistan. Chach Nama also mentions that
Buddhists were in large numbers in Pakistan at the time of Muslim advent
in Sindh in the 8th century AD and were hostile towards their Brahmin

Whether it was a religious issue, such as the spread of Buddhism or
Islam, both Pakistan and Bangladesh accepted them simultaneously
shedding Hindu yoke at the earliest opportunity. Again, whether it was a
political issue, both the countries asserted their freedom again and
again and mostly remained independent of Central Indian Government.

The people of Pakistan and Bangladesh have availed of every opportunity
to work unitedly against Hindu imperialism and, what is most
significant, Hindu religion was never able to take deep roots in their
soil. This view is forcefully proved by the fact that no single sacred
city or holy temple of any importance for Hindus exists in the lands
that constitute Pakistan and Bangladesh. Of the seven sacred Hindu
cities of 1.Banaras, 2.Hardwar, 3.Ayodhya, 4.Ujjain, 5.Dwarka,
6.Conjeevaram, and 7.Mathura none is either in Pakistan or Bangladesh.

The entire Hindu religious literature insists on branding the two wings
of this sub-continent now known as Pakistan and Bangladesh as impure
lands inhabited by 'rakhashas' i.e., devils. Pakistan and Bangladesh
were never regarded as part of the 'holy' land of Bharatvarta.

These developments and aspects speak eloquently of the underlying
historical reality:

That Pakistan and Bangladesh have a common enemy; that they survive or
perish together; that the hearts of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis
invariably beat in unison and their feelings flow in a rhythm; that
their thinking has been harmonious, their outlook compatible, their
response to changes uniform, their approach to problems similar. They
accepted Buddhism in overwhelming numbers and adhered to it to the last
when the rest of India had exterminated that religion; they accepted
Islam and have adhered to it when the rest of the sub- continent has
remained largely Hindu. This phenomena of similarity of stance between
Pakistan and Bangladesh has persisted all through history, but divided
by a thousand miles of Hindu territory and Brahmin intrigues they could
not unite.

Due to this unfortunate aspect the 20th century experiment of a single
state of Pakistan embracing both the wings could not last even a quarter
of a century. Politically, Pakistan and Bangladesh may have fallen apart
for the time being but in due course they are bound to adopt a common
posture against Indian expansionist efforts.

The history of this sub-continent is a history of perpetual struggle of
the peripheral areas of the Indus Valley (Pakistan) and Padma-Meghna
Delta (Bangladesh) against the Gangetic Valley governments.
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Post Mongol invasions of the Punjab

Mongol invasions of the Punjab

With the establishment of Muslim Sultanate in Delhi in 1206 AD a new power had sprung up beyond Central Asia. Changez Khan had been crowned head of the united Mongol tribes the same year. A few years later began the misfortunes of the Muslim world which had a profound effect on every facet of Muslim life in the subcontinent, particularly the Punjab. Having smashed the power of Muhammad Khwarizm Shah who was the greatest Muslim monarch of the time, Changez Khan began to chase his nephew, Jalaluddin Khwarizm Shah.

This young and valiant monarch gave fight to the 'Scourge of God' and had several encounters with him all along Khorasan and Afghanistan-- the last on the banks of River Indus. With his forces depleted and unable to stand the vast numerical superiority of the Mongols, Jalaluddin Khwarizm Shah, while fighting the enemy and inflicting heavy casualties on him, plunged into the Indus at Kalabagh and wavingf his flag swam accross into the Punjab along with his retinue. From a rock jetting over the river near Kalabagh, Changez Khan watched this singular act of daring with deep admiration and profound respect. Turning to his sons Changez advised them to imbibe the invincible spirit, indomitable courage and implacable determination demonstrated by his youthful adversary. "Such a son must a father have", he exclaimed.

Perhaps exhausted, perhaps overawed by the bleak prospects of chasing such a formidable enemy, Changez returned home leaving in peace the newly born Delhi Sultanate. If Changez had crossed the Indus, history of this subcontinent would probably have been different. "Jalaluddin Khwarizm Shah fought bravely and desperately against the Mongols at the bank of the Indus and atlast seated on his charger, leapt from the top of a 60 ft cliff near Kalabagh into the river bearing the banner in his hand. Changez admired his bravery but it did not prevent him sending an army across the Indus in pursuit. It ravaged the districts of Peshawar, Lahore and Multan but did not find the Shah".

However, peace was not to last long. Changez Khan's successors took up the cutgels within a decade and for the next hundred years kept the Delhi Sultanate on it's tenterhooks. From the days of Shamsuddin Altamash to the early days of Tughlaq dynasty, Mongol raids and ravages were a regular and constant feature. And who bore the brunt of these ferocious Mongol attacks? The Punjab!!

It was on the rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab that India was defended; it was on the plains of the Punjab that the enemy forces were so often defeated and beaten; it was in the 'doabas' of the Punjab that the Mongols
practised their fiendish scorched earth policy. Thrice Lahore was captured, sacked and burnt. But the people of the Punjab bore these calamities with perfect equanimity and exemplary fortitude.

The extent to which the Punjab suffered as a result of Mongol attacks from 13th century onward can be reckoned from the following events:

1. In 1221 AD some of Changez Khan's forces crossed the Indus in pursuit of Jalaluddin Khwarizm Shah, ravaged vast tracts of the punjab and sacked Multan and Lahore. (At this time Naseeruddin Qabacha was the independent ruler of Pakistan and Shamsuddin Altamash of India).

2. In 1241 AD during the reign of Altamash's daughter, Razia Sultana, Mongols attacked the Punjab, sacked and burnt Lahore.

3. In 1246 AD Mongols attacked the Punjab and invested Multan.

4. In 1260 and in subsequent years during the time of Balban, Mongols attacked the Punjab and ravaged the countryside several times. In one of the encounters near Multan, Balban's eldest son Prince Mohammad was

5. Next big attack came in 1285 AD.

6. In 1291 AD a grandson of Hulagu invaded Punjab and was defeated by Alauddin Khilji.

7. In 1298 AD Mongols again invaded the Punjab with a force of 100,000 and advanced as far as Delhi but were decisively defeated by Alauddin Khilji.

8. In 1304 and 1305 AD Mongols attacked the punjab and ravaged Multan, but were defeated by the Governor of the Punjab, Ghiyazuddin Tughlaq.

9. In 1327 AD the punjab was attacked and Multan ravaged.

10. In 1358 AD Mongols again attacked the Punjab.

These were only the major attacks, in between there were innumerable raids with what consequences one can only visualize. Ghiasuddin Tughlaq who was Governor of Lahore before he became ruler of Delhi in 1320 AD is said to have fought 29 battles against the Mongols during Alauddin Khilji's reign.

Since to save the Delhi Sultanate, it was vital to make defence on one of the five rivers of the Punjab, whoever defended it successfully was considered a national hero and tipped for rulership at Delhi. When the Khilji dynasty declined, the court nobles invited Ghiasuddin Tughlaq, Governor of Lahore to take over. The Tughlaq dynasty he established lasted from 1320 to 1398 AD. It collapsed when Delhi was attacked by Taimur Lung.

From the establishment of Delhi Sultanate in 1206 AD for over 300 years, the Punjab bore the brunt of foreign attacks and saved the Muslim state from extinction.

In this painful process, Punjab's population and prosperity diminished and its entire life was crippled. After this period, the Punjab was almost an uninhabitable waste, except for a few walled cities. Because of constant Mongol raids, it remained depopulated and very little agriculture was carried on.
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Post Differences between Pakistanis and Indians

Differences between Pakistanis and Indians


About 99% of languages spoken in Pakistan are Indo-Iranian (sub-branches: 75% Indo-Aryan and 24% Iranian), a branch of Indo-European family of languages. All languages of Pakistan are written in the Perso-Arabic script, with significant vocabulary derived from Arabic and Persian. Punjabi, Seraiki, Sindhi, Pashto, Urdu, Balochi, Kashmiri, etc. are the languages spoken in Pakistan.

About 69% of languages spoken in India are Indo-Iranian (sub-branch: Indo-Aryan), 26% are Dravidian, and 5% are Sino-Tibetan and Austro-Asiatic, all unrelated/distinct family of languages. Most languages in India are written in Brahmi- derived scripts such as Devangari, Gurmukhi, Tamil, etc. Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Assamese, Punjabi, Naga, and many others are the mother-tongue languages spoken in each of India's states.

As you can see both countries have distinct linguistic identities. Even in the case of Punjabi, while it is the mother-tongue of a majority in Pakistan, it represents the mother-tongue of only 2% Indians. Besides, Pakistani Punjabi (Western Punjabi) is distinct in its vocabulary/dialect and writing script when compared to Indian Punjabi (Eastern Punjabi). Another thing to keep in mind is that Indian Punjabi is mostly spoken by Sikhs who consider themselves distinct from the rest of Indians and had been fighting for independence. In the case of Urdu/Hindi, while Hindi is the mother- tongue of a majority in India, Urdu is the mother-tongue of only 8% Pakistanis. Besides, they both are distinct languages, Urdu has a writing script and strong vocabulary derived from Arabic and Persian, whereas Hindi has strong vocabulary derived from Sanskrit and is written in Devangari script. Most Pakistanis can understand English and watch American/Brit movies but that does not make them British/American, same is the case with Hindi.


About 70% of Pakistanis are Caucasoid by race, 20% Australoid- Negroid, and 10% Mongoloid in their overall genetic composition. Majority of Pakistanis are tall with fair skin complexion, similar to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean peoples. While the racial features of each ethnic group are not uniform, Pashtuns are the most Caucasoid, followed by Kashmiris, Baluchis, north Punjabis, and then Sindhis, Seraikis, Urdu-speakers, etc. The Australoid-Negroid and Mongoloid racial elements are quite infused within the dominant Caucasoid genes among Pakistanis, however there are some that have retained their distinct racial characteristics.

About 50% of Indians are Australoid-Negroid by race, 35% Caucasoid, and 15% Mongoloid in their overall genetic composition. Majority of Indians are darker in their skin complexion, with wider noses, shorter heights, etc. The Australoid-Dravidoid racial element dominates among the lower caste Indians, South Indians, Eastern and Central Indians, etc. The Caucasoid racial element dominates in Northwest Indians and higher caste Indians. The Mongoloid racial element dominates in Northeast Indians and border regions with China.

Obviously, both countries have distinct racial identities. A common international perception based on observance of physical features is that most Pakistanis are lighter skinned than most Indians. Most Pakistanis resemble the looks of peoples inhabiting on its western borders and beyond. Indeed, many Pakistanis also resemble many Northwest Indians or higher caste Indians, but those are a minority in India. Similarly, a few people of Pakistan resemble peoples of South India, lower caste Indians, Northeast India, etc. but they are a minority in Pakistan. And besides, let's say, if some Saudis look similar to the French that does not make them one people, same applies here between Indians and Pakistanis.


Pakistanis have a distinct culture, traditions and customs. Shalwar kamiz is the dress commonly worn, both by men and women in Pakistan. Pakistani food is rich in meat (including beef), whereas wheat is the main staple. Pashto, Punjabi, Balochi, Sindhi, etc. music and dances are distinctly unique with their own melodies, instruments, patterns and styles. Pakistani arts in metal work, tiles, furniture, rugs, designs/paintings, literature, calligraphy, etc. are distinct and diverse. Pakistani architecture is unique with its Islamic styles. The manners and lifestyles are guided by a blend of Islam and local traditions.

India's commonly worn dress is dhoti for men and sari for women. Indian food is mostly vegetarian, with wheat as the main staple in the north and west, and rice is the main staple in south and east. Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Bengali, etc. music and dances are distinctly unique. So are Indian arts in the many areas. Indian architecture is unique in its mostly Hindu styles. The manners and lifestyles of most Indians are guided by Hinduism.

Pakistanis and Indians definitely have distinct cultures of their own. Some Indian women wear shalwar kamiz, but that was introduced by the ancestors of Pakistanis. Many Pakistani food dishes are absent in Indian cuisine and vice versa, and if some dishes are shared, they were also introduced by the ancestors of Pakistanis (like naan, tikka, kabob, biryani/pulao, etc.). There is barely any Hindu architectural influence in Pakistan (Gandhara is Graeco- Buddhist and Harappan is distinct), but significant influences by the ancestors of Pakistanis can be found in India. The lives of most Pakistanis are shaped by Islam, whereas the lives of most Indians are shaped by Hinduism.


Pakistanis are a blend of their Harappan, Aryan, Persian, Greek, Saka, Parthian, Kushan, White Hun, Arab, Turkic, Afghan, and Mughal heritage. Waves of invaders and migrants settled down in Pakistan through out the centuries, influencing the locals and being absorbed among them.

Most Indians are a blend of their heritage of Dravidoid-Australoid hunters and gatherers, and Aryans (in north). Northwest Indians have a heritage from Harappans, Aryans, Sakas, and White Huns. Northeast Indians have a heritage based from Mongoloid hunters and gatherers. Also, Turks, Afghans and Mughals ruled north India for centuries.

Pakistan and India have a distinct history and background. The region of Pakistan was never part of India except for 500+ years under the Muslims, and 100 years each under the Mauryans and the British. If any thing, it were the ancestors of Pakistanis who colonized north/northwest India, among them were Harappans, Aryans, Sakas, Kushans, White Huns, Turks, Afghans, and Mughals.


Pakistan is geographically unique, with Indus river and its tributaries as its main water supply. It is bordered by the Hindu Kush and Sulaiman Mountain ranges in the west, Karakoram mountain range in the north, Sutlej river and Thar desert in east, and Arabian Sea in the south. The country in its present form was created by the Pakistanis themselves out of the British Raj, the Indus people themselves who are now mostly Muslims.

India is geographically unique, with Ganges river and its tributaries as its water supply in the north, and other river systems in the rest of the country. Himalayas as its northern boundary, Sutlej river and Thar desert as its western border, the jungles of northeast as its eastern border, and Indian Ocean in the south. The mountains in the central-south India are the great divide between Dravidians of the south and Indo-Aryans of the north. The country itself was created by the British, a direct descendent of the remnants of British Raj.

It is evident that India and Pakistan have their own unique geographical environments. Pakistan is located at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. On the other hand, India is located at the core of South Asia.
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