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Friday, January 25, 2008

Building Peace (Part 5 of 6)

Bacha Khan Education foundation

Building Peace (Part 4 of 6)

Bacha Khan Education foundation

Building Peace (Part 3 of 6)

Bacha Khan Education foundation

Building Peace (Part 2 of 6)

Bacha Khan Education foundation Presentation-2

Building Peace (Part 1 of 6)

Bacha Khan Education Foundation Presentation.

Bacha Khan kaleeza

Pashtunwali and non-violence

By Adil Zareef
“When I turned back from the outer battle

I set my face towards the inner battle.

We have returned from the lesser jihad….

We are with the Prophet (PBUH) in the greater jihad.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnavi-e-Ma’anavi (1386-7)

SIXTY years after independence, Pakistan continues to be shackled by the same oppressive, undemocratic, feudal and militarised political system. There seems to be no end to our woes and no hope for the future.

Violence and mayhem appear to be our destiny and have been linked to the Pashtuns by the Pakistani establishment and its western supporters.

Are Pashtuns really the bloodthirsty holy warriors that the world portrays them to be or another breed altogether? Is the Taliban movement a natural phenomenon of “Pashtun identity and independence”, or is there another aspect to this discourse?

Jan 20 marked the 19th death anniversary of the charismatic Pashtun social reformer Ghaffar Khan fondly remembered by Pashtuns as Bacha or Badshah Khan.

Born in 1890 into a prominent feudal Mohamadzai family in Charsadda, he would briefly turn the violent Pashtuns into law-abiding Khudai Khidmatgars (non-violent soldiers of Islam). This seems to be an oxymoron now, but it was true until 1947 when Pakistan came into being and the NWFP Congress government headed by Dr Khan Sahib was dismissed prematurely.

According to Mukulika Banerjee in The Pathan Unarmed, most historical and anthropological accounts have portrayed the Pashtuns as a wild people living by a strict code of honour in a volatile environment, and as having a penchant for violence. Therefore, the NWFP seems the most unlikely setting for a movement with an ideology of non-violence. How did Badshah Khan blend his ideas of non-violence with Islam and the traditional Pathan code of Pashtunwali?

Of all other nationalist leaders of the subcontinent, Badshah Khan was the closest to Gandhi in character and practice. Both shared the characteristics of asceticism and moral strength that gave them great spiritual authority over their respective communities. They were intensely practical men who tailored participatory social programmes. Both were also conscious that their followers would have to purge themselves of anger and conceit in order to undertake civil disobedience successfully. Demanding high standards from their followers, they did not hesitate to rebuke them for their shortcomings.

However, it would be simplistic to consider this relationship as the plank for the Khudai Khidmatgars’ non-violent ideology. Many critics and commentators have erred on this account, particularly Muslim League and Congress supporters. “Although, drawing inspiration from the Congress experience and the precise techniques of civil disobedience, the needs and shortcomings of Pashtun society inspired Badshah Khan long before he met Gandhi. Gandhi’s philosophical inspiration was Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, while Badshah Khan was a devout Muslim and had performed Haj, besides being well-versed in the Quran and Hadith.”

Although Islam plays a very important role in Pashtun life as an important component of Pashtun identity, Pashtunwali is as influential as Islam for the Pashtuns. Had non-violence been portrayed as an authentically Islamic way, it may have been acceptable to the Pashtuns who would not have viewed it as being in contradiction to Pashtunwali. Violence was seen not as a criminal aberration but as central to the wider ethical system.

It was, therefore, important for Badshah Khan to assert that non-violence did not compromise the Pashtun code of honour by drawing rhetorically on the traditional elements and idioms of Pashtunwali. Therefore, the wider perspective of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement was essentially indigenous. In this way, the key terms of Pashtunwali such as shame, honour, refuge, and hospitality were subtly redefined. Many affirmed: “Badshah Khan raised our political consciousness so we could understand what was happening.”

In their jihad, the Khidmatgars declined to take an eye for an eye, and instead decided to turn the other cheek. “Rather than conceive a culture passively and an immutable charter, the KK ideology exemplifies the selective and innovative use of traditional cultural elements in order to form responses and solutions to particular historical challenges.”

Mohammad Badshah, an aging KK activist, recalled: “The common man could not make hujras, only the Khans could. Earlier, if they did, then the police came and demolished them. But Dr Khan Sahib changed that. Low castes were given the opportunity to buy land. They also became eligible for government jobs. Female education was started because earlier even the azad schools were only for boys. Dr Khan Sahib reduced taxes by one-third. Moneylenders were done away with… everyone was treated equally.”

Pashtun custom did not grant women the inheritance rights prescribed in the Quran. In 1937, a national Sharia conference of Muslim leaders and theologians passed a resolution by which a daughter could inherit a share equivalent to half of her brother’s, and Dr Khan Sahib’s ministry passed legislation to this effect. “Ours was the only province where this resolution was passed into law. People did not resist the change because as many people stood to gain by it as lose”. Therefore, “The Congress ministers made a big difference in the lives of the people who were happy with the reforms they introduced. In the elections we managed to defeat the big Khans and gained a lot of say for the first time in government.”At the start of the Second World War, when Congress offered to cooperate with the British war effort in return for complete Indian independence afterwards, Badshah Khan resigned from the party in protest. He argued that the principle of non-violence could not be put aside in any context, whether local or international, and neither he nor the Khudai Khidmatgar could go along with this policy.

Thus he emerged as more determinedly non-violent than the rest of Congress. It had taken much effort on his part to persuade the Pashtuns to lay aside their violence and this could not be traded for political compulsions. The Pashtuns had been “officially designated as the martial race and were natural recruits” into the Indian army. This affected the British policy and they did not take kindly to this.

Sarfaraz Nazim reminisces, “Badshah Khan wanted to humanise the Pashtuns. But later the influence of the Muslim League on the people ruined it all and destroyed the tolerant values of the region. All the Hindus were driven out. Hence Partition became a lasting problem.”

Eighty-year old Sher Khan said, “I remember sitting with Badshah Khan by the Sindh river at dusk, talking…I remember telling him that I could not accept Pakistan and that I wanted to kill off the brown sahibs.”

Later, when son Wali Khan was sent to jail by PPP, an enraged Hama Gul challenged the frail and aging Badshah Khan, “I know that it is in the Quran that if anyone wrongs you, you forgive him — but is anyone ever going to forgive us, or are we expected to do the forgiving all the time?” To this and many other questions, however, Badshah Khan’s cool response remained the same: “Violence would get us nowhere.”

Bacha Khan Education Foundation.

Bacha Khan Education Foundation.

Bacha Khan Education Foundation has decided to establish 300 educational institutions across the Pakhtunkhwa and its adjacent tribal areas.The foundation will provide subsidised and free education to boys and girls of under-developed areas and neglected communities.
Foundation’s managing-director Brig (retd) Ishaq said the foundation would be able to set up a complete network of educational institutions throughout the province and tribal areas. Under the programme, he said, five primary and two high schools and a college would be established in every district of the Pakhtunkhwa.
Asfandyar wali khan said that the foundation had started its activities when some elements resorted to bombing and threatening education institutions, particularly girl schools in the region. He said that such elements were trying to deprive girls of modern education.
Khan said his party wanted to revive the Bacha Khan Education Foundation to impart quality education to the young generation. He said the foundation would provide books and uniforms free of cost to students. He appealed to the philanthropists to assist the foundation in this respect.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Haroon Bacha

Haroon Bacha In Sharja/

Saturday, January 12, 2008

کچ ماچ ېو وړوکے بوټې دے، چه په پوله پټو کښې په پخپله راټوکېږی

Friday, January 11, 2008

The dream of Loy Afghanistan

The dream of Loy Afghanistan

Afghans have distinct ethnic physical features and are friendly, sociable, hospitable, curious, dignified and egalitarian people.Pashto – which is regarded as centuries old language by the linguists - is the predominant language in the Afghan land.
The current Afghanistan and FATA, PATA, FANA, NWFP, Attock, Mianwali and Pakhtun-belt of Balochistan having 45 percent of Pashtun population in 14 districts of Balochistan is the historical land of Afghans.
Pakhtuns have been the true followers of monotheistic religions like Judaism and Islam among the revealed religions of history and despite of being exploited by the religeous clergy in the name of religion they have stuck to the abstract ideals of monotheism,truth,social justice and respect for the institution of prophethood due to its revolutionary voice against socio-plitico-economic injustice and oppression.
Afghans have always appreciated the reformative and humanitarian role of true religeous scholars so much so that the concept of “Jumaat” in Pashto which symbolises the space-time-realisation of abstract realities has become a part and parcel of Pashtun culture.It is due to this regard that Afghan history has produced personalities like Rehman baba,Hameed baba,Abdur Raheem Popalzai,Saadullah Khan (Sartor Fakeer),Fakir Ippi,Pir Rokhan etc.These personalities are known for embodying the true spirit of religion which was introduced to the indians of the subcontinent by Sir Mohammad Iqbal in his poetry.
Due to the geo-political importance of the historical Afghan land as a gateway to south asia all the imperialist powers whether they were Greeks, Mongols, Mughals or British tried to invade and conquer the Afghan land due to which Afghan land has since been compelled to portay the picture of battlefield between the imperialist forces and retaliatory and resilient Afghans.The result was instability in the Afghan land and in turn political turmoil in Asia.
The most vital factor in Afghan nationalism is Pukhtunwali or Afghaniyat which is in the blood of every Afghan.It is the centuries old socio-ethical code of Afghan societal nomenclature.It is the cultural tradition of Afghan society which defines itself in the individual and collective behaviour pattern of Afghans.This code of ethics has evolved over centuries through nomadic,tribal,agrarian and now in the contemporary industrial and information age.It is even visible in those pashtuns who have been living in Punjab,Sindh and some states of India and no more know or speak Pashto language.They still unconsciously practice the socio-ethical code of Pukhtunwali in their social relations and collective affairs.
There is no doubt that with the passage of time Pakhtuns living in Pakistan and India are getting affected due to indianisation and state controlled-propaganda-based education system in Pakistan which is suitable to produce good and submissive servants for the colonial legacy prevalent in Pakistan and India but it is alo a fact that despite of geo-political division of Afghans, the intrinsic and inborn love for freedom, retaliation against injustice and No to dictation present in the Afghan nature can get triggered any time which can rejuvenate the freedom loving instinct in the Pakhtuns.Consequently they would be get attracted to their common nucleus of Afghanland - a poor but proud land which has passed the test of time in the most critical moments of its existence even when it was sandwitched between the super powers of the past namely the Persian ,Russian,Chineese and Indian empires.
The contemporary Afghanistan is the remenisance of the glorius Durrani Dynasty of Ahmed Shah baba – the empire which was second in size only to the Ottoman Empire.It can still serve as a source of inspiration for the Pakhtuns to re-attain their past glory in the form of a bright future after getting over the gloomy present in which they are being used to kill their fellow Afghan brothers, to safeguard their non-Afghan enemies,to serve a geographical territory which is destined to change again due to the unjust ,brutal and anti-Pashtun policies of the ruling junta and lack of sincere efforts to give due rights to the people of all nationalities.
Afghans possess a national language spoken by the majority,common religion practiced by the majority,thousands of years old glorious past,resilient and freedom loving nature and Pakhtunwali/Afghaniyat as their socio-ethical code of life.
Pashtuns of Pakistan are wasting their energies to venerate and defend fake political figures,fabricated parties,fascist movements,dying institutions and adhoc constitution despite of the fact that they constitute an integral part of Afghan nation - a nation which is concentrated in Afghanistan,a power to reckon with in Pakistan and visibly presence in India.
Under the current political circumstances it seems difficult if not impossible but history is witness to the fact that despite of reverence and contrary to one’s wishes geographical boundries keep on changing.The current inhabitants of Pakistan except Pakhtuns were all indians before 1947 and they became Pakistanis overnight.The current bengalis were all Pakistanis before th formation of Begla Desh but now they are Bengalis.
The experiment of dividing countries and lands on the basis of religion has proved wrong times and again and has lost its meaning in the contemporary world.This is the age of Nationalism.States are getting created and disintegrated based on the idea of Nationalism. Language, Land, Ethnicity and social code of ethics are defining new nation states though factors like religion,economy,natural resources ,geo-strategic position and interests of the super powers are also important specially in strengthening and weakening of a nation.
It might sound like a dream but it will be difficult for the “lar aw bar” Afghans (meaning Afghans across the durand line) to remain divided for long as the forces of history will ultimately combine them into a common land so that the region is segmented into its natural and historic nations after which peace and stability of Asia in general and south asia in particular will be ensured.This unification of “lar aw bar” Afghans will turn out to be the formation of Loy Afghanistan comprising of its lost Pakhtun land (currently under the geographical jurisdiction of Pakistan) and based on the tenets of Pukhtunwali – the centuries old socio-moral code of Afghans.
Pukhtoon Khan


Pictures: Nokia Apredi

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Where do the Chach Pathans originate from?

A site which provides greater awareness of the Chach Pathans of Northern Punjab, Pakistan.

Where do the Chach Pathans originate from?

The following article discusses the important issue of geneology of the Pathan tribes, and were they originated from. Interestingly, it mentions the Ghurghust clan; this is the clan that most Chach Pathans claim ancestory too. Chach is the area, that is better known as Ghourghusti, in district Attock. What is more remarkable is that the Sahokhel tribe is mentioned, which exists today, more commonly known as Sarkhel. 'Saho' means generous, and this is one of the main characteristics associated with the Sarkhel, also better known as Dilawarkhel.

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 Buddhists or Hindus/Pagans/Aminists. 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/Pagan 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.

The Dominant Chach Pathan Clans

There are various clans of Chach Pathans and sub-tribes that exist in the area of Chach, some of which are more notable than others and many of these clans have members living abroad in western countries.
The following information, regarding the clans is not comprehensive, and there is a lot more research to be done to finalise a conclusive study. The dominant clans are:
Anayatkhel; Dilawarkhel; Sulemankhel, nowadays pronounced as Sarmakhel; Muttahkhel; Chachakhel; Tarkhel.

There are many other tribes, but these are the most prominent. Like most Afghan tribes the Chach Pathan tribes are noted from they're individual characteristics, some of which they may find to be offensive.

Below is a table which provides a list of tribes/clans, that are prevalent in Ghourghusti.




Some people may state that one of the most infamous chach pathan clans have been omitted from this list, the clan of karakel. However, a little investigation would reveal that in fact karakhel, which is a village in ghourghushti, shelters inhabitants from various clans including anayatkhel, sadokhel, chachakhel, and therefore karakhel cannot be classified as a clan in the strict sense, it is merely a reference to the geographical origin of a particular group of people. However, the original inhabitants of Karakhel are called Karakhelis, who view themseles as being a distinct group of people. Karakhel is a small village, which is infamous because of the fact that many notable people have originated from that village, including many Islamic scholars.