Khushal Khan Khattak Shaheed, Gakhars and Marathas

A relatively unknown episode of the Panipat war (1758-1761) containing the account of Khushal Khan Khattak Shaheed (the one who got martyred) and the Gakhar vassals of Durrani empire when Punjab briefly became part of Maratha empire. In March 1758 Marathas, assisted by local Punjabis (Adina Beg and Sikhs) invaded Sirhind city of the Durrani … Read more

Pashto was spoken in Rampur as late as 1815 | Rohillas

Pashto was spoken in Rampur region of Uttar Pradesh as late as 1815 AD. This was reported by Mountsuart Elphinstone in his book “the account of kingdom of Cabul” which was published in 1815. Elphinstone had visited Afghanistan in 1808 as ambassdor of British East India Company and met Shah Shuja Durrani in Peshawar. He … Read more

Biography of Rahman Baba (Abdur Rahman Mohmand)

Abdur Rahman Baba belonged to the Baezai division of the Mohmand tribe. Abdur Rahman dwelt in the village of Hazar Khani in the tappa of Mohmands. He was a man of considerable learning, but lived the life of a darvesh, absorbed in religious contemplation separated from the world. He held no greater interaction than necessary … Read more

Kashmir shawl, attributed to Muhammad Azim Khan Barakzai

Persian text stitched onto the shawl, which reads:  یا حسین فرمایش نواب اشرف والا محمد عظیم خان ‘O Hussain; ordered by the most noble governor Nawab Mohammed Azim Khan’ Mohammed Azim Khan Barakzai was one of the last Pashtun governors of Kashmir, between c. 1813 and 1819. He was a younger brother of Fath Ali … Read more

Interesting historical tidbits about Sher Shah Sur

 1- I will start by pointing out that the correct spelling of Sher Shah’s tribal surname is Sur (سور), not Suri (سوري). This error was originally made by early European writers and repeated by others. In all the pre-modern inscriptions and sources, the nisba of Sher Shah is written as Sur. It is also spelled as … Read more

A British officer is shot dead by Khostwal tribesmen in Waziristan, 1915

On 7 January 1915 a Khostwal lashkar (comprising of Zadrans, Tanis and Gurbaz) entered Waziristan to attack British posts in the Tochi valley (North Waziristan). They were attacking British posts in Waziristan because Britain had declared war against Ottoman caliphate on 5 November 1914.  The British officer who got killed by the Khostwals at Spina … Read more

Abdullah Khan Alakozai (a Pashtun ruler of Kashmir)

From a richly illustrated manuscript of Pashto diwan of Rahman Baba, commissioned by Sardar Abdullah Khan Alakozai, Kashmir, dated to 14th October, 1798. Source Abdullah Khan Alakozai was governor of Kashmir from 1795 to 1807. In 1796.A.D, Syed Yahya from Baghdad visited Kashmir. After paying his visit to various religious places of valley he decided to leave. … Read more

Sher Khan Sur’s capture of Rohtasgarh fort through stratagem (late 16th century painting)

Sher Khan Sur’s capture of Rohtasgarh fort in 1539 A.D. Ascribed to the artists La’l, Dhanu and Khem Karan, leaf from the ‘third’ Akbarnama, Mughal India, circa 1595-1600 A.D. This skillfully designed painting illustrates part of the Sher Khan Afghan’s campaign against the Sultan of Bengal and against Humayun when he attempted to interfere. Sher … Read more