Khyber Pakhtoonkha Kohat District



Inactive Member
Kohat District
(Pashto: کوهاټ,Urdu: کوھاٹ)


A major town of the North-West Frontier Province . It is a division and districts headquarter, The town is 37 m. south of Peshawar by the Dara Adam Khel( Kohat Pass ), along which a military road was opened in 1901. The famous and dangerous bounteous road over the Kotal post is now bypassed by most beautiful Kohat Tunnel, Kohat is linked to Islamabad and is 160 miles west and now a comfortable highway links Kohat to Bannu and Waziristan and to Zoab Baluchistan and on other side Indus High links to Multan and Karachi and Sindh. On the west road leads to Hangu, Thal and Kurram Agency.


Area : 2,545 km2 (982.6 sq mi)
Location: 33° - 04’ and 33° - 34’ north latitudes and 70° - 29’ and 72° - 01' east longitudes
Population: 562,644
Kohat district is divided into two Tehsils.
• Kohat
• Lachi (Lachi is one of the largest village of Kohat. (Situated on the southern border with Karak district)

Kohat is surrounded by a chain of mountains, holding a beautiful cantonment. It is one of the oldest cantonments of Pakistan and also the old district of Sub-continent. Kohat is described in the old history of Buddhism. This district has boundaries with Aurakazai Agency, district Hangu, district Kurak, district Nowshera and Punjab.

The town centers around a British-era fort, various bazaars, and a military cantonment. Kohat is also known for its Sufi Saints. There are a number of tombs of famous Sufi Saints in the area, like Haji Bahadar Ali Abdullah Shah alias Haji Bahadar Sahib, Shrine of Saint Bona Baba, Janan Baba shrine, Shrine of Peer Ghamkole Sharif and Shrine of Hazrat Banoor Baba.

The District of Kohat has an area of 2973 sq. m. It consists chiefly of a bare and intricate mountain region east of the Indus, deeply scored with river valleys and ravines, but enclosing a few scattered patches of cultivated lowland. Important historical places include Darra, Khushal Garh, Kohat town, Lachi, Shakardarra, Gumbat and Tanda Dam.

Kohat is blessed with many natural resources. The orchards of Kohat Guava are popular in the whole country as it is the major fruit of the area and Kohat is famous for its quality and taste. This fruit gives very high returns to the farmers. Other fruits are apricot, mulberry, citrus etc. Other resources included honey, gypsum, arms and ammunition, kohati chappal and Mazari products.

Cadet College Kohat, a boarding military college is also located in the outskirts of Kohat spread over an area of about 144 acres.
According to data from Pakistan's last census in 1998, the district's population stands around 562,640 with an annual growth rate of 3.25%. The predominant language is Pushto, which is spoken by 77.54 percent of the total population, while Hindku is mostly spoken and understood in Kohat city and adjacent areas.

The early history of the district is limited to the vaguest traditions. It is said that in the Buddhist times, two Rajas named Adh and Kohat settled along with the northern border of the district. The remnants of the Buddhist day is a road cut off the mountain side, on the western skirts of the Jawaki hills near Kotal Post which leads by an even gradient towards the crest.

The first historical mention of Kohat is to be found in the memoirs of Babur (who later created the Mughal Empire), who visited Kohat in 1505. Babar in his memoirs calls the inhabitants of the area Afghan.
After Babar the history of Kohat revolves around two major tribes namely Bangash and Khattak. These people appear to have settled in the district, during 14th am 15th centuries. From 16th to 18th centuries, Kohat remained a part of Afghanistan, administered by the Chiefs of two afore mentioned tribes. In the beginning of 19th century Kohat came under the control of Sikhs who ultimately withdrew leaving to the administrative control of Khan of Teri in 1836.
Kohat was finally annexed to the British dominion on 28 March 1849 with the rest of Punjab and an Assistant Commissioner was posted here to run the administration and to look after the British interests. In the initial stages of the British administration, the locals of the area posed considerable problems. Later on some of the tribe joined with the British Government and helped them in running the area. Nevertheless, the Britishers were never at peace in this part of their Kingdom as resistance and opposition always cropped from one quarter or the other. But their tactics of "Divide and Rule" ultimately strengthened their hold over the region. They put one tribe against the other by giving preference to one against the other and finally succeeded in administration them. An example of unrest against the British in this area is the event of the brave Afridi Ajab Khan, who forced the entire British administration of the district to surrender to his demands.

Ethnicity and Tribes;
Pashtuns are the main (largest) ethnic group in Kohat, The main pashtun tribes are Bangash, Khattak and Afridi are the major part of the population of the district. Pushto is the predominant language while Hindku is mostly spoken and understood in Kohat city and adjacent areas.

The population of Kohat district is Muslim, the Sunni predominate and there is also large Shias population settled in the district and they stretch from Chikarkot Bala, Sherkot to Kachai (i.e. southern border of Kohat). Usterzai Payan is the largest village of Shias. It is an educated and civilized village. It is also popular because of Al-Asar College.Al-Asr college is run by an NGO. Chali Bagh, Jauzara, and Kachai(Katsi) are famous for their natural springs. People come here in summer day from far of places. There are some Christian families, which settled during the British colonial rule, most of whom are employees of Municipal Committee, Cantonment Board and defense services also reside in Kohat city and Cantonment area. Some scattered families of Hindus also reside in Kohat, Kachai and Marai while a good numbers of Balmiks are employed in various local bodies.

Rivers and Streams;
The river Indus forms the eastern boundary of the district, which separates it from the province of Punjab. Kohat Toi is a principal stream, which enters from Hangu district and flowing to east and southeast, drains into river Indus. The river has a small perennial flow, which disappears before it reaches the town of Kohat, it reappears again at some distance down stream and then flows continuously to the Indus. The Kohat Toi has several small torrents or tributaries, which join it at different places. Another, stream Teri Toi, which flows from west to east, in the southern half of the district, joins the river Indus. The river has little or no perennial flow.

The common trees are ber, Blueberry, sanatha, phulal, olea etc. All kinds of roses, bougainvillea, kashmalo, gul-e-nargis, gui-e-dawoodi Chameli and other seasonal flowers are planted and sown in the district.[4]

Typical wildlife found in the district are hare, jackal, wolf, fox, wild cat, chakor, black partridge, grey partridge, urial, chinkara, blue bull, hogdeer, water fowl.

Worth seeing Places;
RAZA Mansion Usterzai Payan, Kotal and Kohat Pass, Masjid Haji Bahadur, The Bridge of Khushal Garh, The remnants of the Durranis at Shahpur, Kohat Fort, KUST, Kohat Board, Kohat Tunnel, Kohat Cantonment, Kotal Town (KDA), Usterzai Payan, Sherkot,Chiker-kot-Bala and Tanda Dam

Renowned Educational Organizations;
Kohat University of Science & Technology, Preston University Kohat. Cadet College Kohat, Garrison Cadet College Kohat, Frontier Education Foundation Academy, Postgraduate College for Boys, Postgraduate College for Women, Iqra Public School, Army Public School & College, Fazaia College and Peace Associates bayna tor speen, jungle khel, tanda dam, AL-ASAR ACADEMY USTERZAI PAYAN,

Weekly Hamdam, Weekly Sharar, Weekly Uqab, Weekly Dastak, Weekly Tehqeeq,Nayab (literary magazine), Monthly Kohat on Line, Monthly Shehr-e-Sukhan (literary magazine), Daily Taseer, Weekly Kohatnews, Monthly HAQAIQ Kohat

• Radio Pakistan Kohat
• Radio KUST
Radio-KUST FM 98.2 MHz was launched on 14th of August, 2009. It is primarily an educational broadcasting radio with a fairly wide coverage. It is reportedly heard in nearly three Agencies of FATA, Kurum, Aurakzai and Khyber, besides Kohat and its surrounding cities like Karrak, Hangu and Darra Adam Khel. The radio exhibited the technological expertise of the Kohat University of Science and Technology by broadcasting live conversations from callers, not only on land phone line but also from the Internet facility called Skype. Skype users from all over the world connected to the radio transmission for nearly 48 hours as part of Independence Day Celebrations. It thus became the first radio in Pakistan that introduced broadcasting to the local community, through global connection to the Internet free voice calling facility over Skype. The university intends to use this facility for receiving lectures in some hard core areas of natural and social sciences and broadcasting it to the surrounding area to raise educational standards and increase awareness. The radio is primarily a laboratory for the students of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Blog where they can learn practical skills of electronic journalism. Radio KUST will be shortly streamed live to the Internet after securing permission from PEMRA. It would be then possible to listen to the broadcasts from anywhere in the world on the Internet.
•KUST Television

Utility services;
The city is facilitated with two dams; Tanda Dam and Gandiali Dam. The former is located in the SW of the city and the later is located in the SE. Moreover , the city is giving a good friendship symbol between Japan and Pakistan by having a 1.8 km long tunnel constructed by Taisei Corporation of Japan. "Kohat Start.(Kohat Tunnel construction, Pakistan)(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)".

Economic Scenario of the District:
Kohat is famous for agri products and hand made kohati chappal. Agricultural products of the area include wheat, maize, barley, guava and citrus fruit. Poultry and local breeds of cattle are also good source of income for the people of Kohat.

Different regions of Kohat are characterized by the production of different items e.g.

Billitang is famous for the production of mazri products. These products are being sold in Kohat, Peshawar and Islamabad markets, while some organizations have started exporting them to UK and Holland as well.

Darra Adam khel is famous for the production of arms and ammunition throughout the country. The technical skill attained by these gunsmiths is acknowledged even in foreign countries. It has also become a major source of livelihood for the people of this area. Shakar Darra is famous for Bee keeping and Honey processing. About 150 bee keeping farms are currently present in Kohat district making it a good source of income for the habitants of this area Tanda Dam was built in 1960s near Kohat city towards the Hangu district. It is the main source of irrigation to adjoining areas. It has lovely surroundings, which attract a large number of people especially on weekends. The peaceful recreation provided by its natural beauty is unsurpassed. Main bazaars of the area are Kohat, Gumbat, Lachi and Bilitang. Lachi is the main vegetable market and also Sub Tehsil of District Kohat. Gumbat is alos Sub Tehsil ofKohat and is main market located on Pindi Kohat Road.

Economic Potential


The major crops grown in the district are wheat, barley, onion, garlic (Rabi), maize, rice, bajra, ground nut, chari, and sugarcane (Kharif). Guava is the major fruit of area and Kohat is famous for its quality and taste. This fruit gives very high return to the farmers. Others fruits are apricot, mulberry, citrus, etc.

Garlic and ladyfinger are the leading vegetables which give maximum income to the farmer. Other vegetables grown in the district are onion, potato, bringel, turnip, carrot, tomato and chilies among others.
Provision of adequate and dependable source of irrigation water is essential for the economic and social uplift of the area. In Kohat district only 25 percent of the total cultivated area is irrigated. The main source of irrigation is Tanda Dam. Furthermore, there are a number of tube wells and civil channels which supply water for irrigation purposes.

At present about 2.5 percent of the total land is under forest. Mostly forests are subtropical scrub forest with major species like acacia, oleo cuspidate etc.

Livestock, Fisheries and Dairy development:

The local cattle breeds available in Kohat are Lohani, Dani and mix breeds which are non-productive and are being changed by artificial insemination with Frezien breed to improve milk/meat production. Similarly the local goats are being crossed with Beetal goats to increase their milk/mutton production. Under rural improvement of poultry program, the local poultry is being protected against
various diseases through preventive inoculation and the poultry is crossed with Foamy breeds to improve the eggs production.


As far as industrial development is concerned Kohat is lagging behind as compare to other big cities of the country. Forward efforts are needed to uplift the pace of industrial development in this region. However three big units established in Kohat including Kohat Cement, Babri Cotton and Saif Cotton Mills and the Janana the maloocho Textile Mill are the major contributors to the economy of not only Kohat region but for the national economy as well.

Detail of industrial units is given below
  • Textile Units: 3
  • Cement: 1
  • Ghee units: 1(Closed)
  • Arms: 3
  • Flour Mills: 6
  • Cement Based Industry: 3
  • Carpet: 1
  • Dall Factory: 2
  • Mineral Based industry: 1
  • Ice Factory: 10
Small Industrial Estate Kohat

  • Ice Factory: 1
  • Wood: 2
  • Paper & paper board: 1
  • Dall Factory: 1
Besides the industrial units established at Kohat, some potential clusters are also exist which can be further developed which will play their role in District Economy.​

  • Honey bee keeping and Honey Processing

  • Mineral

    Leather Products

    Mazri Products

    Trade and trade centers

Small Investment Projects for the District:

  • Guava Processing Plant
  • Honey Processing Unit
  • Leather Bullet cases Manufacturing Unit
  • Leather Sandals & Chappal
  • Modern Poultry Farm
  • Stitching Unit



Inactive Member
The history of the Kohat district from the time of Babar is little more than an account of the Bangash and Khattak tribes. These clans appear to have taken possession of the district during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but before giving the history of this settlement it will be well to sketch the connection of Kohat with the outside world up to the annexation of the Punjab in 1849. From the time of the Emperor Akbar to the invasion of Nadir Shah the Kohat district formed a part of the Mughal Empire.


Inactive Member
The Buddhist Period

The early history of the district is limited to the vaguest traditions. It is said that in Buddhist times two Rajas named Adh and Kohat settled along the northern border of the district. Raja Kohat gave his name to the town of Kohat, and Raja Adh to the ruins of an old fort on the hill side north of Muhammadzai, a village four miles to the west of Kohat. The remains of this fort, which is known as Adh-i-Samut, consist of the ruins here and there of the old ramparts. These show that the plan of the fort was merely escarping with walls and bastions a spur of the hill projecting between two ravines. Like most of the forts of those days, Adh-i-Samut is situated far below the crest of the range, and is easily commanded with the weapons of the present day from the adjacent hill-side. The masonry of the ruins is inferior. None of those gigantic blocks are to be seen, such as compose the walls of the Buddhist forts of Bil and Til Kafir Kot on the Indus in the Dera Ismail Khan district. No ruins of buildings are now to be found within the fortified enclosure. There is a small spring, the presence of which undoubtedly led to the selection of the position. The other sights consist of an old banyan tree and a small stalactite grotto. The only other remnant of the Buddhist days is a road cut out of the mountain aide, near the Kohat Kotal, leading by a very even gradient towards the crest of the hill.

Babar's Expedition

The first historical mention of Kohat is to be found in the memoirs of the Emperor Babar. The district was then being taken possession of by the Bangashes and Khattaks who now hold it. Babar's annals, however, throw little or no light on the extent of their occupation. He first mentions generally that Bangash was a Tummun entirely surrounded by hills inhabited by Afghan robbers, such as the Khogiani, the Khirilchi, the Buri and the Linder, who, lying out of the way, did not willingly pay taxes. He then narrates that in the year A.D. 1505, when at Peshawar, he was induced by Baki Cheghaniani to visit Kohat on the false hope of obtaining a rich booty. Babar had never before heard even the name of Kohat. He reached the town through the Kohat pass in two marches, and fell on it at luncheon time. After plundering it he sent foraging parties as far as the Indus. Bullocks, buffaloes and grain were the only plunder. He released his Afghan prisoners. After two days he marched up the valley towards "Bangash." When he reached a narrow part of the valley, the hill men of Kohat and that quarter crowded the hills on both flanks, raised the war shout and made a loud clamour. At last they foolishly occupied a detached hill. Now was Babar's opportunity. He sent a force to cut them off from the hills. About a hundred and fifty were killed. Many prisoners were taken. These put grass in their mouths in token of submission, being as much as to say "I am your ox," a custom which Babar first noticed here. Notwithstanding he had them beheaded at once. A minaret of their heads was erected at the next camping place. The next day he reached Hangu. Here again he met with resistance. The Afghans held a fortified Sangar, which was stormed by Babar's troops, who cut off the heads of one or two hundred of them for another minaret.
Babar gives us no further account of either Kohat or Hangu. In two marches from Hangu he reached Thal, and thence marched for Bannu through the Waziri hills along the Kuram. His guides took him along the gosfand-lar or sheep road, which was so bad that most of the bullocks plundered during the previous expedition dropped down by the way. Babar uniformly speaks of the inhabitants of the country as Afghans, making no mention of special tribes by name. Like Kohat, Hangu appears to have been established as a town previous to the advent of the Bangashes.


Inactive Member
Nadir Shah's Invasion (AD 1738)

In 1788 Nadir Shah invaded India. His main army appears to have forced its way through the Peshawar district. A portion of his forces is said to have marched by the Kuram route through Biland Khel to Bannu. The Kohat district thus escaped invasion. After the sack of Delhi, the whole of the Trans-Indus tract was surrendered to Nadir Shah. His death in 1747 was followed by the establishment of the Durani Dynasty in the person of Ahmed Shah. From that time till the conquest of Peshawar by the Sikhs, Kohat remained a portion of the Afghan kingdom. Till the beginning of the present century such Government as there might be was administered through the local Bangash and Khattak chiefs. These collected a little revenue, but were more often called on to furnish levies, and many of them served in person in Hindustan, the Punjab and Cashmere.
Mr. Elphinstone's Visit (AD 1809)

In the spring of 1809 Mr. Elphinstone passed through the Kohat district on his way to Peshawar to the court of the King Shah Shuja. He marched from Kalabagh on the Indus through the Bhangi Khel country to Chashmai near Shakardarra, and thence by Malgin and Shadi Khel to Kohat. It was February and the rain fell heavily, so that the march as far as Malgin was not pleasant. Some of the baggage was plundered by robbers. Mr. Elphinstone speaks of the country as belonging to the Baraks, whom he stigmatises as a wild tribe living in a state of anarchy and independent of the Khan of Teri. He probably confounded the Sagris and Bhangi Khels with the Baraks; the real Baraks being more to the west. He was escorted by Musa Khan, one of the King's officers. At Dodha he was met by Umar Khan, the son of the Khan of Kohat (Azizullah) with seven or eight hundred matchlock men. The party went on to Peshawar through the Kohat pass. Mr. Elphinstone mentions that the people of lower Bangash (Kohat) were very obedient to their Khan and to the King; those of upper Bangash less so.
Fall of Shah Shuja (AD 1810)

After the fall of Shah Shuja in 1810 Kohat was brought more directly under the control of the rulers of Kabul and Peshawar, and like the rest of Afghanistan was subjected to a constant change of masters. Kohat was first leased for Rs. 33,000 to Mirza Girani, Munshi Bashi. He was succeeded by Sardar Shakur Khan, who in turn had to evacuate in favour of Shahzada Muhammad Sultan, brother of the King Mahmud Shah. This prince resided at Kohat for some years. After the murder of Wazir Fateh Khan in 1818, the whole of Afghanistan, except Herat, revolted from the Abdali Dynasty. The country was parcelled out among Fateh Khan's brothers. Dost Muhammad Khan had Ghazni; Muhammad Azim Din had Kabul; Sultan Muhammad Khan, Syed Muhammad and Pir Muhammad had Peshawar. Samad Khan obtained Kohat and Hangu. Samad Khan was on good terms with Dost Muhammad Khan, who afterwards obtained possession of Kabul, and thus excited the jealousy of his other brothers at Kandahar and Peshawar. Samad Khan's sons were expelled from Kohat by a force under Pir Muhammad in 1827. Mr. Masson, who visited these parts in that year, passed through Hangu just as Sadu Khan, the son of Samad Khan, was retiring thence to Kabul. [1]


Inactive Member
Sikh Conquest (1834)

Ranjit Singh first marched to Peshawar in 1819. In 1832 Azim Khan was defeated by Ranjit Singh with great slaughter near Nowshera, after which the Peshawar Sardars became tributary to the Sikh Government, who sent an army each year to collect the revenue and ravage the country. In 1834, on the flight of the Sardars, Harri Singh, the Sikh General, gained possession of Peshawar, and a Sikh Governor, Autar Singh Sindhanwalia, was now sent to Kohat. A Sikh outpost was at the same time established at Teri. On the arrival of the Sikhs at Kohat, Sardar Pir Muhammad made his way to Kabul by the Paiwar Kotal.
Kohat Granted to Sultan Muhammad Khan (AD 1836)

In 1836, however, Ranjit Singh became reconciled to Sultan Muhammad, and restored to him in service jagir Hastnagdar and half Doaba with Kohat, Teri and Hangu, the annual revenues of which were Rs. 1,50,000. The Sikhs now abandoned Kohat, and their garrison at Teri was at the same time massacred by the Khattak chief Rasul Khan. Harri Singh Nalwa was killed in 1837 in a battle near Jamrud. Tej Singh administered the Peshawar Government for a short time in his place until relieved by General Avitabile, who retained charge for five years from 1838 to 1842, and was again followed by Tej Singh, who governed for four years. In 1846 Tej Singh was succeeded by Sher Singh, who was accompanied by Colonel George Lawrence as assistant to the newly appointed British Resident at Lahore. All this time Sultan Muhammad remained jagirdar and ruler of Kohat.
Second Sikh War (AD 1848)

In 1848 the second Sikh war broke out. The troops at Peshawar did not mutiny till October 1848. Colonel G. Lawrence knowing that the road to Attock was closed then took refuge at Kohat, where he was hospitably received by Khwaja Muhammad, son of Sardar Sultan Muhammad. The Sardar himself had remained at Peshawar in order to receive over charge of that province in accordance with a treacherous agreement that he had made with Chattar Singh, the Sikh General. Previous to Colonel Lawrence's departure Sultan Muhammad had sworn solemnly to provide for his safety and that of his family and of the officers with him. The party, however, soon found that though well-treated they were really prisoners. In the beginning of November Lawrence was sent back to Peshawar and delivered over to Chattar Singh. On the termination of the war, Lawrence, who had been previously released by the Sikhs, was re-appointed to Peshawar, Lieutenant Pollock being appointed Assistant Commissioner at Kohat, which, with the rest of the Panjab, had been formally annexed to the British dominions on 29th March 1849.
History of Tribes Occupying the District

It will now be convenient to give some account of the tribes already mentioned as occupying the district.
The Bangash Tribe

The Bangashes are not real Pathans. They claim a problematical descent from Khalid Ibn Waleed Ibn Moghaira, a Sheikh of the Arab tribe of Koreish, whose descendants are said to have settled in Persia, whence they were driven at the commencement of the 13th century by the tyranny of the Mughal Emperor Jenghis Khan. They passed via Sindh into Hindustan, and their chief Ismail was appointed Governor of Multan. His oppression gained him the title of Bangash, or tearer up of roots, and his descendants have been known as Bangashes ever since. He and his people excited the enmity of the neighbouring tribes, who drove them off. They retired to the Suleman mountains and eventually settled in Gardez.
Bangash Pedigree
Ismail is said to have ruled in Gardez for 30 years. After his death his sons moved down into the Kuram valley. The statements as to the names of his sons and grandsons vary. Some say that he had four sons; Gora, Gara, Samil, and Bai. Others say that Bai was a descendant of Gara. Miran and Jamshed were also sons of Gara. The only facts to be deduced from these mythical genealogies seem to be that the Bangashes were originally divided into two main sections, Gara and Samil. The Gara comprised of the Baizais and Miranzais, who now occupy the tappas of those names. The descendants of Jamshed are included under the general head of Miranzais. The Samilzais are not divided into any well marked sub-sections. They also have given their name to a tappa, which is mainly occupied by their descendants.
Settlement in Kuram
The whole tribe at first settled in the Kuram valley. This immigration is supposed to have taken place subsequent to the invasion of Taimur (AD 1398); in the beginning of the 15th century they gradually moved down into Miranzai and eventually ousted the Orakzais from the country about Kohat. They appear to have done this in alliance with the Khattaks, who were simultaneously invading the Kohat district from the south. The Orakzais previously held as far as Reysi on the Indus. The Khattaks took the eastern country, Reysi, Pattiala and Zera; the Bangashes took the valley of Kohat. This occupation had been probably completed prior to the time of Babar's invasion in AD 1505. [2]


Inactive Member
Defeat of the Orakzais

The decisive engagement which made the Bangashes masters of the Kohat valley is said to have been fought near Muhammadzai. Local traditions describe the battle as having lasted day and night for three days, till at last a youth in white appeared on the scene shouting "Dai, Dai, Dai, Sam de Bangasho; Ghar de Orakzo," which, being translated, means "It is, it is, it is, the plain of the Bangashes; the hill of the Orakzais." This legend is supposed by the Bangashes to satisfactorily dispose of any claims of the Orakzais to proprietary rights in the Kohat or Miranzai valleys. According to another tradition the Kohat valley before the Bangash invasion was occupied, not by Orakzais, but by the tribes of the Gabris, Safis and Maujaris, who are not now to be traced. Whoever the original inhabitants may have been they now entirely disappeared. They were either exterminated, or more probably they were incorporated with the Bangash settlers, at first as Hamsayahs till in process of time they became indistinguishable from the real Bangashes

Settlement of Baizais at Kohat

The original settlements of the Bangashes were in the Kuram valley. Miranzais, Samilzais, and Baizais were all located there. The Baizais, whose summer quarters were at Ziran in Kuram, used to move during the winter to the Kohat plain, much as the Waziris and Ghilzais now do. After a time they quarrelled with the inhabitants of the country. Being unable to cope with them alone, they got the men of Upper Miranzai and Hangu to join them, and with their assistance conquered the country, which has been since known as Baizai. In dividing the tract the Hangu and Miranzai confederates got allotments which their descendants still hold.
As the Bangashes took possession of these lower valleys the lands abandoned by them in Kuram were taken possession of by a new tribe, the Turis, who gradually obtained the mastery over the Bangashes that remained, and are now the dominant tribe there. The Bangashes still possess the following tracts in the Kuram valley: Baghzai occupied by Jamshedis, and Shalozam, Makhazai, Hajikhel, and Ziran occupied by Shamilzais.

Gar and Samil Factions

There seems at some remote period to have been a bitter feud between the two great branches of the Bangashes, the Gar and the Samal, and all the neighbouring tribes joined either one faction or the other. The distinction still remains long after the origin of the quarrel has been forgotten. The Khattaks, the Waziris, the Zaimushts, and most of the Orakzais and Khaibar Afridis are Samil. The Turis, the Adam Khel Afridis and some of the Orakzai and Khaibar Afridi tribes are Gar. The factions are not of much political importance nowadays, having been superseded by the more rabid enmity between Shias and Sunnis.

Effect of Factions in Present Times

In our own territory, though one village may be pointed out as Gar and another as Samil, the old faction feeling has almost disappeared except when kept alive by some further cause of enmity. As regards the relations of our people with trans-border tribes, as a rule where both are Gar or both Samil they are friendly. Where they belong to different sides, they are hostile. The Gar villages of Upper Miranzai hate the Waziris and the Zaimushts, who are Samil. The Khattaks and Waziris are both Samil, and are on good terms with one another. In the wars between the Sunnis and Shias which go on in Tirah, a Samil tribe on one side will sometimes interpose in favour of a Samil tribe on the other, on account of the old connection; and so with the Gars. Thus in 1874, when a great confederacy of the Sunni tribes had collected together to crush the Shias, the Ismailzais who are Samil got off the Bar Muhammad Khels, and the Ali Khels who are Gar got off the Mani Khels, so that the expedition came to nothing.

Dr. Bellew's Hypothesis

Dr. Bellew in his "Races of Afghanistan" explains the existence of these factions in the following way. He writes that "The factions evidently came into existence on the conversion of the people en bloc to Islam, when all became a common brotherhood in the faith, and called themselves Musalmans, though they yet maintained a distinction expressive of their original religious separation; a sign that their conversion was effected by force. And thus the people of the two rival religions, at that time flourishing side by side in this region, namely, the Buddhist and the Magian, ranged themselves naturally under the respective standards or factions of their original religions; the Buddhist Saman or Sraman giving the name to the one, and the Magian Gabr, Gour or Gar to the other." The theory is ingenious, but the simple explanation given by the people themselves seems more probable, viz., that the factions took their origin in a quarrel between the Gar and Samil sections of the Bangash tribe, in which the neighbouring clans took sides. The Bangashes did not enter the district till the 14th or 15th century, long subsequent to their conversion to Mohammedanism. It is hardly likely that they should have been affected by religious distinctions, which had come to an end centuries before they came into existence as a separate tribe.

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Similar threads

Saad Sheikh
Saad Sheikh
Saad Sheikh
    • Like
  • Falak
  • 3
  • 79
Ana Zai