Yusafzai–Khattak conflict in 17th century

Shah Jahan’s times , the vale of Peshawar came to witness the
inter-tribal war of Yusafzai and Khattak tribes.  Khattaks were assigned
the task of supervising the Emperor’s highway by Mughals , so the
Yusafzais, the arch-enemies of Mughals, turned their guns towards
pro-Mughal Khattaks.  Akbar built the Attock fort and one Malik Akor,
chief of Khattaks was given the duty of guarding the high-road from
Attock to Peshawar in return for collecting the revenue of land between
Khairabad and Nowshera. . He was given the right of collecting ferry
dues at Attock. In due course of time Malik Akor became the richest and
leading man of his tribe. He also built a Serai on the main road , which
was called after his name, Akora Serai. . Malik Akor remained the
guardian of high-road for 41 years , and was finally killed at Pir Sabak
, between Nowshera and Attock by Balak clan of Khattaks. He was
succeeded by his son Yahya Khan, during whose period bitterness broke
out between Yousafzais and Khattaks.

cause of enmity between two tribes was that , the Khattak had uprooted
Yousafzais from the village Misri Kot , opposite Akora Sarai  , to
establish their supremacy in the region. Secondly Yousafzais had never
shown a re-conciliatory policy towards Mughals and Khattaks were
pro-Mughal forces in the region. After Yayha Khan’s death, his son
Shahbaz Khan succeeded to lordship of the Khattak tribe. Shahbaz Khan
continued fueling enmity with Yousafzais and in due course of time had
killed many of his arch-enemies.

the same time Yousafzis were gathering under the leadership of Malik
Bahaku Yusafzai. In one of the encounters , Shahbaz Khan was killed by
Yousafzais in 1640 A.D and he was succeeded by his son Khushal Khan
Khattak.. Khushal Khan Khattak was appointed to a dignified position by a
firman of Shah Jahan which
also required the new chieftain to join the Royal army in Ajmir, with a
large Khattak contingent. Khushal Khan rendered meritorious service in
reducing the famous fort of Taragarah and in return received a Jagir and
had to maintain a force of 500 cavalry and 1000 infantry for the
Emperor’s services. Khattak contingent had also fought with Royal armies
in Balkh and Badakhshan campaigns and Khushal Khan Khattak himself took
part in these wars.

his service Khushal Khan Khattak took part in many expeditions against
Yousafzais for Mughals. The enmity between Khattaks and Yousafzais was
further intensified when Emperor conferred certain Yousafzai villages to
Khushal Khan during his visit to Kabul in 1649 A.D . Malik Bahaku, the
Yusafzai chief, decided to try his luck at the Mughal court. He appeared
at Shah Jahan’s court at Delhi for nominal submission. Bahaku was
successful in gaining the support of Dara Shikoh , the eldest son of
Shah Jahan and on the interference of Dara Shikoh, Bahaku was pardoned
and his territories were restored to him. Thus Mughal-Yusafzai’s
strained relations turned into normal for the first time. Yousafzai’s
chief was also awarded and honored in the Royal court. 

Khushal khan Khattak

Khan, seeing his fortunes dividing, in face of Yousafzai’s ascendancy,
tried his level best to regain the Royal support, but to no avail, Dara
stood in favour of Bahaku. The hatred grew stronger in his heart against
Yusafzais and also against Mughal. During war of succession among the
sons of Shah Jahan, Yousafzais backed the cause of Dara Shikoh to the
throne of India, while Khushal Khan Khattak supported Aurangzeb
Alamgir’s cause to Kingship. As Aurangzeb became successful, Dara turned
a fugitive , this raised the position of Khushal Khan Khattak.

the request of Dara Shikoh, Yousfazai Lashkar had seized the boats at
Indus near Attock and waited for reception of Dara, to give him shelter.
Feroz Khan, Khushal Khan’s uncle, attacked Yousafzais in which in which
Bahaku was injured and his brother Saida Khan killed.

rivalry continued during the war of succession between the sons of Shah
Jahan and many bloody battles were fought between two tribes. When
Aurangzeb became successful in defeating his brothers, Yousafzais were
anticipating humiliation and destruction at the hands of Mughal-Khattak
forces. In due course of time, Aurangzeb confirmed chieftainship to
Khushal Khan and Mughal-Khattak swords were eliminating Yousafzais
simultaneously. But the Royal favour , bestowed on Khushal Khan proved
short-lived. In 1664 A.D Mughal governor Amir khan , got Khushal Khan
arrested in Peshawar and sent him to Aurangzeb in chains.
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