History of Bannuchis

It will be convenient to adopt the simple style of narration in which
the people themselves relate their story, and which would bear almost
literal translation into idiomatic Pashto. Now when the abomination of
idolatry had ceased in the land, it remained desolate for two hundred
years, until, in the reign of Shahab-u-d Ghori, it was peopled by a
race of true believers of the tribes of Mangal and Hani. They lived in
peace for many generations, until they forsook the laws of the Lord and
his prophets, and withheld tithes from their Pir Sheikh Muhammad. Then
the holy Pir, seeing that their ways were evil, was vexed in his heart,
and called his son, and said, ” Go thou to the hill called Shawal, and
say to the sons of Shah Farid,  Come, and ye shall inherit the land ; ‘ ”
and the young man rose up, and went and said, “Come, for my father
calleth you.” Then the children of Shah Farid, who was also called
Shitak, were glad, for they were sore pressed at the hands of men of the
tribe Wazir, and they girded up their loins, and with their wives and
little ones came down from the mountains, and camped at the mouth of the
pass called Tochi. Then their elders assembled together, and said, ”
Let us send three pigeons to the Mangals and Hanis, as a sign of what we
shall do unto them.” Then they took three pigeons, and the first they
left entire, and the second they plucked of its wing-feathers alone ;
but on the third they left not a feather, and moreover they cut off its
head and feet; and they sent a messenger with them, who said to the
elders of the Mangals and Hanis, “The Lord is wroth with you, for you
have treated his Pir scornfully, and he has delivered you into our hands
; if ye rise and flee, even as this pigeon ye shall be safe ; if ye
remain, ye shall be maimed even as this one ; and if ye resist, ye shall
be destroyed even as this one.Then the Mangals and Hanis feared
exceedingly, and it happened unto them as unto the pigeons. When the
children of Khatak also had been expelled, the Bannudzais divided the
land amongst themselves by lot.

Now Bannu was the wife of Shitak,
whence his descendants were called Bannudzais, and she had two sons.
Kiwi, which was the father of Miri and Sami, and Surani. The share of
the sons of Miri fell to the south, of the sons of Sami in the middle,
and of the sons of Surani to the north and west. Now the name of the
land was Daud, for there was much water ; but the Bannudzais dug drains
and sowed corn and Said, “Let us call this place Bannu, after our
mother, for it is fruitful, even as she was.” And they did so.

there was peace in the land for four hundred years, and the people
waxed great and multiplied, and obeyed the commands of their priests. In
those days holy men, hearing there was plenty in Bannu, came there from
the west and the south � a vast multitude; but there was room for them
After many generations Bannu passed from the hands of the
Kings of Delhi, and became a part of the kingdom of Kabul ; but when the
power of the king waxed faint, the leaders of the Bannudzais raised
their heads, and each said in his heart, ” There is no ruler in the
land, lo, I shall make myself chief! ” And the people were perplexed,
saying in their hearts, ” Whom shall we follow ? ” So they divided
themselves into two parties, the ” black ” and the ” white,” and there
was war in the land for many years. Then the Wazirs saw there was strife
and discord in Bannu, that the land was good, so they stretched their
hands forth for the prey. There was sore trouble in those days, but the
cup of bitterness was not yet full, for a race of infidels came from the
east and harassed the land even for twenty years.

Excerpt from Bannu Or Our Afghan Frontier by S. S. THORBURN

Categories Blog

Leave a comment