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

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

Shahzada Sultan Jan Saddozai, Kurram valley, 1878

  Original caption: “Shahzada Sultan Jan of Kurram valley and Nawabs”. Shahzada Sultan Jan Saddozai was sixth in descent from Ahmad Shah Durrani. Shahzada Hassad, grandson of Timur Shah Durrani, fled to Peshawar around 1830 AD and sought the protection of Ranjit Singh. His son Shahzada Jumhoor (father of Shahzada Sultan Jan) took the side … Read more

Ataullah Khan Ozai‐Durrani conducting an experiment involving rice oil

Ataullah Khan Ozai‐Durrani (1897-1964) was an Afghan inventor and developer of a method with which rice can be cooked under a minute. General Foods Corporation bought the patent and marketed it under the name “Minute Rice.” This made Ozai-Durrani a millionare. He was born in Herat, Afghanistan in 1897 and had immigrated to the US in … Read more

A Pashtun heroine of the First Anglo-Afghan War

During the first Anglo-Afghan war, a Pashtun woman of Zamindawar (a widow of a chieftain)) assembled and led a lashkar to combat the British invaders. Mullahs, Ghazis and others followed her. She went to battle on horseback with standard of her husband in her hand. After a fierce battle, her lashkar was repulsed by the British. … Read more

Multani Afghans

The term “Multani Afghan” or “Multani Pathan” specifically refers to those Pashtun clans who settled in Multan in 17th and 18th century. Otherwise, Pashtuns had settled in Multan much earlier. When Kandahar was in the possession of Mughal emperor Shahjahan for the short period from 1638 to 1649, he had created a party of Afghans, … Read more

Usman Khan (Shah Shuja’s Wazir)

Sketch of Usman Khan (a Kamran Khel Saddozai), from London Illustrated News, dated to December 18, 1858.  Usman Khan served as Grand Wazir of Shah Shuja in 1840-1842. He fled to Peshawar after the Anglo-Afghan war and joined the British. He fought on the side of British in Second Anglo-Sikh war (1848-1849) and was stationed … Read more

The rise and fall of the Abdali state of Herat in early 18th century

The Abdali historical tradition (recorded in early 19th century) relates that a grand jirga of Abdali clans around Kandahar was held in 1589 AD. To get rid of the feuds between the various clans of Abdali, they decided that the entire tribe should have one malik as had been the case when the tribe dwelt … Read more

Dresses of Afghanistan in early 19th century

The earliest reliable set of illustrations of Afghans of all ranks, albeit men only, dates to the early nineteenth century and was published by a British diplomat, Mountstuart Elphinstone. Yousafzai     Elphinstone describe the dress of Yousafzais as, “The ordinary dress of the men is a cotton tunic, made to fit the body down to … Read more