The Sulaiman Mountains (کوہ سلیمان) and Pashtuns

Takht-i-Sulaiman In Dera Ismail Khan, the highest peak of the Sulaiman mountains range (کوہ سلیمان) is known as Takht-i-Sulaiman at 3,487 metres (11,440 ft). In Balochistan, its highest peak is Zarghun Ghar at 3,578 metres (11,739 ft) near Quetta city. Takht-i-Sulaiman is situated in the territory of Sheranis, near Darazinda village. Legend has it that … Read more

A heroic Orakzai Pashtun who saved the lives of thousands of Muslims from a genocidal maniac

In 1709, a sudden calamity fell upon Punjab, which shocked everyone in the Mughal empire. A Sikh leader by name of Banda Singh Bairagi (mentioned as “false Guru” in Mughal sources) committed barbarities which were never before heard of in India. The author of “Siar-ul-Mutakhireen” (written in 1780) writes: ” He (Guru Gobind) was succeeded by … Read more

Qizilbashs of Kabul corroborated with British invaders during First Anglo-Afghan war

Qizilblashs, Shia Turkmen from Iran, were planted in Kabul and Peshawar by Ahmad Shah Durrani. They had their own quarter in Kabul city, known as Chindawal which was heavily fortified. In general, the Sunni Pashtuns and Shia Qizilbashs hated each other because of sectarian differences. Qizilbashs and other Shias of Afghanistan supported British invaders against … Read more

Various people of NWFP: Afridi, “Afghan”, Mashud, Wazir, Khyberi, Swati, “Tochi”

Various people of NWFP: Afridi, “Afghan”, Mashud, Wazir, Khyberi, Swati, “Tochi”, 1915 (c). Postcard photo by R.B.Holmes (a Peshawar based photographer). Some explanation (by the Admin of Tarikh-i-Pakhtunkhwa): 1- Afghan was general term for Pashtun people but R.B.Holmes and some other Britishers in early 20th century, began to apply the term exclusively for the subjects … Read more

Dress and appearance of 16th-century Pashtuns during the reign of Sher Shah Suri

One of the few resources that provides some clue to the dress of Pashtuns in the 16th century is a set of illustrations called the Codex Casanatense, created by a Portuguese. Two of its illustrations depict Pashtun male and female archers. The inscription reads: “People called Pathans, very warlike, for their women also accompany them … Read more

Akhund Salak; a Pashtun who converted Kohsitanis (Dardic people) to Islam

In 1908, Stuart Hill Godfrey (the British Political agent for Dir, Swat and Chitral since 1902) toured Dir-Kohistan. The local Kohistanis (who are Dardic people) shared with him their oral traditions and legends. They informed him that eight generations ago their ancestors were converted to Islam by Akhund Salak,  whose descendants for many years took … Read more

Umra Khan of Jandul and fairies of the Kumrat valley

Umra Khan of Jandul and fairies of the Kumrat valley In the last quarter of 19th century, Umra Khan of Jandul, a Pashtun chieftain, garnered fame in the northern districts of Pakhtunkhwa, who had the ability and talent to found a sizable kingdom. He belonged to the Jandul area of present-day Lower Dir district of … Read more

Pashtun tribal flags

Pashtun tribal flags In the past, each section or a sub-tribe of a Pashtun tribe used to have its own unique flag or standard (‘bairagh’ بیرغ in Pashto). For example each of the eight sections of the Afridi tribe had their own particular flags representing them.  The Pashtun tribal flags were triangular in shape. They … Read more

Palay Shah Khosti (Palay Khan)

Palay Shah Palay Shah, popular as Palay Khan, fought against British and Zhob Militia in 1930s. The story of Palay Shah is shrouded in legends and is not documented well. His exploits against British are preserved in local folk poetry known as ‘Kakarai ghara’ (کاکړۍ غاړه). He and his men are said to have taken … Read more