History of the Jadoon or Gadoon tribe

Jadoon or Gadoon tribe is said to be descended from Zhadun, son of parnaey, and brother of Kakar, the two latter being sons of Danaey, son of Ghurghast, son of Qais Abdul Rashid. Jadoon was one of the 18 sons of Parnaey.

According to Khulasat al-Ansab of Hafiz Rahmat Khan (written in 1770 AD):

“Panni whose descendants reside in the country of Sangan Mandai, contiguous to Shikarpur : the Safis and Gadoons are descended from him “

The original name of the tribe was Zhadoon ږدون (or ژدون as spelled in Farsi or Urdu). It changed to Gadoon in the hard dialect of Pashto. The tribes of Peshawar valley also sometimes change ژ into ج , so the Jadoon variant also appeared.  

In the census of 1901, the Jadoons of Hazara numbered 11,590.

It is said that initially Jadoons were settled near the Spin-Ghar or Sufed Koh range. They affiliated themselves with the Khasi tribes and accompanied the latter to Peshawar valley in late 15th century. After the battle of Katlang (in which Yousafzais and the allied clans defeated Dilazaks), the Jadoons were assigned the territory in the eastern part of the Yousafzai ‘Samma’ near the Indus, presently occupied by them. In early 18th century, Jadoons crossed the river Indus and conquered their present holdings in the Abbotabad district.

Classification of the tribe

The Jadoon tribe is made up of three major divisions, the Salar, Mansur and Hasanzai, have multiplied into many sub-clans. The whole territory of the Salar, Hasanzai and much of that of the Mansur is in the Hazara mountains, being situated on both banks of the Dor stream as far as the Urash valley. A portion of the tribe is settled in trans-Indus territory on the southern and and western slopes of the Mahaban mountains. They are bounded in the east by the Utmanzai Mandanrs, in the north by Amazai Mandanrs and in the west by Khadu Khel Mandanrs. The Mansur and Salar divisions maintained some connection with their trans-Indus kinsmen and some of them still speak Pashto, however, the Hasanzai have since long lost all links with the latter and have entirely forgotten their Pashto language.

Jadoons during the Durrani period

During the reign of Timur Shah Durrani, Azad Khan Durrani, who was governor of Kashmir and son-in-law of the Saadat Khan Swati of Garhi, rebelled against the Durrani king. Jadoons aided the king Timur Shah Durrani. Initially Azad Khan succeeded in warding off the royal force from Kabul and the Jadoons suffered heavily at his hands. Azad Khan made minarets of the severed heads of the Jadoons who were led by Inayat Khan Hasanzai Jadoon. The latter was later recognized as the ‘Khan’ of the Jadoons. They then occupied the Urash valley and Gadoon-Amazai tract though Hasanzai were not represented in the latter tract. Subsequently, the Jadoon area was divided into three ‘tappas’ ; the Rajoia ‘tappa’ was given to the Salar clan, Dhamtaur and half of the Mangal tract to the Hasanzai and Nawanshahr remained with rest of the Mansur clan. They used to pay Rs.2,000/, and provided a horse and a falcon to the Durranis as a revenue of the area. [1]

Jadoons and Hari Singh Nalwa

In December 1821 Ranjit Singh removed Hari Singh Nalwa from the governorship of Kashmir and recalled him to Lahore. Hari Singh left Kashmir via Muzaffarabad and entered Pakhli with 8,000 troops. He was accompanied by Amin Khan Swati (the ‘Khan’ of Garhi Habibullah) who had thrown in his lot with Sikhs. At Mangal (مانگل), the passage was blocked by a large number of Jadoons, Tanolis and other Hazarewals (estimated to be around 25,000 by Mehtab Singh who was in the service of Hari Singh Nalwa) who were gathered by the efforts of Muhammad Khan Tarin. Hari Singh parleyed with them, asking for a free passage but they demanded toll on all the Kashmiri goods and treasure he was taking with him. Hari Singh sent Najibullah Khan Swati (uncle of Amin Khan Swat) to sow seeds of discord among the allied tribes. As a result, Tanolis and others abandoned Jadoons, leaving the latter in the lurch. 

Hari Singh was now feeling confident to finish off the thinned out enemy. He stormed the Mangal town where Jadoons had entrenched themselves. Sikh soldiers managed to climb the outer walls of the town and fighting with Jadoons ensued on the rooftops of the houses. Sikh soldiers began to set houses on fire and soon the entire town was engulfed in flames. In that fiery commotion, around 2,000 Jadoons were rumoured to have been burnt to death or killed in fighting. After this affair Hari Singh imposed a fine of eight rupees upon every house in the parts inhabited by the tribes who had thus gathered against him, and sent out his people to collect it. They succeeded in collecting between five and six rupees from each. Hari Singh then built a fort at Nawanshahr and garrisoned it. 

After Hari Singh Nalwa left Hazara, the Jadoons reorganized themselves. Under the leadership of Inayat Khan and Hasan Ali Khan of Dhamtor, they carried out a night raid on the Sikh outposts in Nawanshahr. Sikhs were caught unprepared and were defeated. During that fighting, Najibullah Khan Swati (fighting on behalf of Sikhs) got wounded and subsequently died of his wounds. Jadoons placed the body of Najibullah Khan on the bank of a dry pond near Ilyasi Masjid, just in front of Salar Baba’s shrine and beat the body with shoes. Then it was stoned till it got buried under the stones. Later Hari Singh sent a force under Mahan Singh which defeated the Jadoons and took the fort at Nawanshahr.

Hasan Ali Khan Jadoon made a name for himself by carrying out bold raids on the Sikh garrisons. Once he was captured by the Sikhs by deceit and was kept in Muzaffarabad fort. His son supplied him a piece of sandstone with which he cut his shackles and jumped from the fort wall, and succeeded in escape. He, along with his uncle Pir Khan of Banda Pir Khan, continued harassing Sikh garrisons.

Jadoons and James Abbot

James Abbot (after whom Abbottabad is named) was appointed by East India Company as military advisor to Charat Singh Attariwala, the Sikh governor of Hazara. During the second Anglo-Sikh war, he exploited the anti-Sikh sentiments feelings of Hazarewals and raised a force of the locals at Khalabat. Abbot fought a few skirmishes against the Sikhs. In one of these the Jadoons supported him when he defeated a Sikh contingent at Do Tar near Rajoia. However, he was not happy with the Jadoon’s performance and when he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Hazara, he gave the jagir of three ‘tappas’ to Pir Khan and ignored the other Jadoon ‘Khans’ namely Faizullah Khan of Dhamtaur, Khudadad Khan of Mangal and Amriullah Khan of Bandi Atai. Later, he realized their importance and befriended them, thereby increasing their influence. Initially he chose Nawanshahr as his headquarters, however, because of the hygenic problems, he changed it to the site of the present Abbottabad town.

Role of Gadoons in the ‘Mujahideen’ movement

In the battle of Naranji in 1858, British artillery inflicted crippling losses on the Hindustani Mujahideen (who were the remnants of Syed Ahmad Bareilvi’s followers). The few survivors withdrew into the Gadoon territory at Malka, on the north side of Mahaban. The Gadoons provided a base for re-organization of the small band of the Mujahideen. Maulvi Nasrullah and Mir Takki, the Mujahideen leaders, moved to Malka. A secret agency for the conveyance of money to ‘Mujahideen’ in the Gadoon hills was also organized.

Prior to that, the British had signed an agreement with Gadoons that they would not admit the Hindustani Mujahideen into their area and would resist any tribe that might reinstate them in Sithana or in Fort Mandi. Therefore the British came down hard on the Gadoons for allowing passage to the Indian Mujahideen through their territory for raiding the British territory. British placed Utmanzais and Gadoons under a blockade. On 2nd October 1861, they succumbed to the pressure and entered into a fresh agreement to expel the Indian Mujahideen from their area. However, with the active connivance of some Gadoon and Utmanzai Maliks, the Mujahideen re-occupied Sithana on 5th July 1863. Therefore the British re-imposed the blockade.

On 23rd September 1863, the ‘Mujahideen’ led by their leader Maulvi Abdullah and accompanied by Malik Easu Gadoon attacked the camp of Guides Cavalry of British that formed the blockading force at Topi (in Swabi district). On 18th October 1863, a British force comprising 5,000 men and 13 guns, under the command of of Major General Neville Chamberlain, left for the Ambela Pass. On 19th October, the British Commissioner wrote a proclamation to the Maliks of the Chamla clans, including the Gadoon and Utmanzai, reminding them that they had earlier entered into a written agreement not to permit the return of the Hindustani Mujahideen to their former position at Sithana. He also assured them that the expedition was against the Indian Mujahideen and not against the local tribes. Nevertheless the local Pashtun tribes supported the Indian Mujahideen and opposed the British troops tooth and nail, inflicting heavy losses on them including the killing of Major General Nevile Chamberlain. However later the British succeeded in breaking the tribal unity through diplomacy. The Bunerwals agreed to destroy the Malka village in the presence of British officers. 

The Gadoon jirga surrendered , however Malik Isa (Essu) Khan of Mansur section, did not submit. He was supported by Jahangir Khan of Salar section in his anti-British activities. The British government harassed the Gadoon villages of Bisak, Gandap and Khabal, however the Gadoons pinpricks continued. In 1870, Mir Baz Khan Gadoon also joined the Jahangir Khan’s group and they kept harassing the locals who supported the British. With the collapse of the Indian Mujahideen movement, the anti-British activities of Gadoons also died down.


1- Haroon Rashid, “History of the Pathans, Vol-III
1- Hazara Gazetteer, 1907
2- History of the Pathans’, Vol-3, by Haroon Rashid
3- ‘Tarikh-i-Hazara’ by Sher Bahadur Khan Panni
4- Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Hazara District of the Punjab, 1868-74


“Jadoons, Afghan frontier tribe, Soonee Mussulmans, Hazara”, 1861. From “People of India” by Watson and Kaye.

An old member of the famous Jadoon tribe in his typical dress, 1951
Sketch of a Jadoon from Kalu Maira village (in Abbotabad district), 1870 (c).

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