Babar (Pashtun tribe)

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The Babar (Pashto: بابړ) or Babori tribe is a Pukhtun tribe from the Sarbanri branch.

The Babar diaspora is spread across Pakistan and Afghanistan today. However, the most prominent communities remain the same, the most notable of which is in Pirpiai. Chaudhwan still has a large number of Babars living there. Other communities include, Zhob, Quetta, Multan, Kandahar, Shikarpur and Sindh [Dadu].

In the First World War 78 people of the Babar tribe from Pirpiai went to the war as Indian Army men and four were killed. Hence, Pirpiai is one of the very few villages which has an official plaque commemorating its First World War contribution.

Babars have risen to many prominent positions in the government and army of Pakistan, along with many other career fields such as Engineering, Medicine, Acting, etc. Some notable Babars from Pirpiai include, Khurshid Zaman Babar a well known lawyer, Abdullah Zaman Babar, Colonel Mir Haider Khan, Major General Adam Khan, Shah Zaman Babar a prominent lawyer and Justice of Peshawar High Court till 1975, Farouk Adam Khan (a prominent lawyer and later on the Prosecutor General of the National Accountability Bureau) and Major General Naseerullah Khan Babar. Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan also hails from the same tribe.

History[edit]

Babar, the ancestor of the Babar tribe was born at Koh-e-Sulaiman in 1175; six generations after Qais Abdur Rashid. It is interesting to note that the Babars were initially the same tribe as the Shiranis, also settled in and around the same region as the Babars. As far as the pedigrees show, Shirani was the father of Babar. The Shiranis have three sub-tribes, namely:

  • Marani
  • Babar

Maranis still refer to themselves as 'Shirani' as they are the main sub-tribe, but Babars and Mianis identify themselves as completely separate tribes. The Babars are treated by some genealogists as a section of the Shirani Tribe. They are, in fact, the latter's neighbours in the Zhob District of Pakistan, but so distinct that neither has any sense of common tribal solidarity; the Babars even collaborated with a British punitive expedition against the Sherani in 1853. Hence showing, they never speak of such a kinship.

In the 12th Century there was an initial settlement of a few Babar families in Chaudhwan, in the modern day district of Dera Ismail Khan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. By the 14th Century, they had moved entirely from the Sulaiman Mountains. In the early 16th Century the tribe had moved to Chaudhwan and some to Zhob. In c.1534, some migrated on to Kandahar in present day Afghanistan from Zhob. Meanwhile, in Chaudhwan, the Babars fought a battle against a local tribe and emerged victorious. In 1628, they fought another battle against the Gandapur tribe. Soon after, in 1647, the Babars fought off the Marwat tribe in order to gain full command of Chaudhwan by the mid-17th Century. Around the year 1700 or so, some Babars migrated up north to Pirpiai, which they established and held control of. In the reign of Ahmad Shah Durrani many moved east to Multan as well from Chaudhwan. By 1783, others had moved south to Shikarpur in Sindh.

This is why the Babar diaspora is spread across Pakistan and Afghanistan today. However, the most prominent communities remain the same, the most notable of which is in Pirpiai. Chaudhwan still has a large number of Babars living there. Other communities include, Zhob, Quetta, Multan, Kandahar and Shikarpur.

Structural Division of the Babar Tribe[edit]

The further subdivision of the Babar Tribe has been debated frequently in many genealogical books but the ground reality is very clear.

The tribe is divided into sub-tribes based on the offsprings of four sons:

  • Maswad Khel
  • Gora Khel
  • Ibrahim Khel
  • Marwat Khel (Later modified as Mara Khel)

Maswad Khel[edit]

Maswad Khel is further divided into the following sub-sections:

  • Ahmed Khel
  • Mardanzai
  • Musazai
  • Bahadinzai
  • Ghorazai
  • Mochizai

These Maswad Khel reside in Chaudhwan, Qila Saifullah (Pakistan) and Sheberghan (Afghanistan). The Ahmed Khel, however, mainly reside in Shikarpur (Pakistan)

Gora Khel[edit]

Gora Khel is further divided into the following sub-sections:

  • Yasinzai
  • Safarzai
  • Shakarzai
  • Khidarzai
  • Mangalzai

Gora Khel reside in Chaudhwan, Qila Saifullah (Pakistan), Kandahar and Sheberghan (Afghanistan). The Yasinzai primarily live in Khangarh (Pakistan).

Ibrahim Khel[edit]

The Ibrahim Khel are known to be the most prevalent sub-tribe of the Babars. They primarily reside in Pirpiai, Chaudhwan, Multan, Ibrahim Khel Kot, Zhob, Qila Saifullah, Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan. In Afghanistan, they have communities in Kandahar and Sheberghan.

Marwat Khel / Mara Khel[edit]

Mara Khel is further divided into the following sub-sections:

  • Mirzai
  • Sulaimanzai

They reside in

in Pakistan. In Afghanistan, their main settlements are Kandahar and Sheberghan.

Note: All sub-tribes of Babars except Mara Khel are present at Chaudhwan, that is why this town is labelled by English historians as a center of command and authority of Babar tribe.

Migration of Babars[edit]

Pirpiai[edit]

Amanullah Khan Babar (Also known by his nickname 'Manu Khan') is the forefather of all the Pirpiai Babars. He was the first well known personality from the Babar tribe. Amanullah Khan belonged to the Ibrahim Khel sub-tribe and, hence, all Babars from Pirpiai belong the same sub-tribe. Initially, he belonged to Ibrahim Khel Kot, situated near Zhob. The remnants of the great fort built there by him still exist. The date inscribed on this fort is of AD 1650 (era of King Shah Jahan).

By profession, Amanullah Khan was a great trader, leading the Babar caravan starting from Calcutta and Bombay (India) all the way to Samarkand and Bukhara (Uzbekistan). He was also renowned as being a great warrior, protecting the caravans from being looted. Many heroic stories are told about his fights with different tribes.

By the end of his life, Amanullah Khan moved to Pirpiai along with his family, the main reason for which was to save his children from his enemies. This migration towards Pirpiai is well known and remembered by all the Babars in Zhob and Ibrahim Khel Kot. His name is included in all the Shajra (Pedigree) collected from the Pirpiai Babars. The fort he built in Pirpiai also still exists and is located in the heart of the village.

With the arrival of Amanullah Khan, the Babars settled in the Pirpiai region, in the beginning of the 18th century (era of King Aurangzeb). All the Babars there today are his descendants.

Multan[edit]

Khan Bahadar Rub Nawaz Khan Babar was a famous Babar Pathan in Multan. He was appointed as a political agent by the British government, during their rule in the sub-continent, in Chitral. Khan Bahadar Rub Nawaz Khan was a brave man. He fought a battle in Chitral for which the British government gave him the title of Khan Bahadar. When Rub Nawaz Khan came back to Multan he was appointed the honorary magistrate. And Ghulam Qadir Khan Babar was also a famous Babar in Multan. By profession, Ghulam Qadir Khan Babar was a great businessman, leading the Babar Khadi starting from Multan, Dera Ismail Khan, Calcutta and Bombay (India).

Khangarh[edit]

Khangarh is a town/tehsil of Muzzafargarh District. In this district, there are two settlements of Babars.

1. Khangan village, Tehsil Muzzafargarh:

Descendants of Abdul Karim Khan Babar reside here.

2. Khangarh:

The Babars here belong to the Yasinzai sub-section of Ghora Khel sub-tribe of Babars. Initially from Chaudhwan, the family of Naik Qadam Khan Babar moved to Ghazni and settled there. The tomb of Naik Qadam Khan Babar can still be found there.

From Ghazni, they moved to Bannu and then back to Chaudhwan.

From Chaudhwan, their family head, Muhammad Hussain, moved to Multan. His son, Abdul Samad Khan settled in Multan.

Allah Dad Khan, son of Abdul Samad Khan, moved on request of Khan Bibi (sister of Nawab Shuja Khan) to Khangarh as the administrator of Khangarh. His mango plantations of the time were famous. Saifullah Khan, son of Allah Dad Khan, was awarded the title of “Nawab” and Honorary Majistrate during the British era.

Nawab Saifullah Khan has six sons, among them Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan is a big name in Pakistani politics.

Sheberghan[edit]

Babars are widely scattered in Afghanistan, but the biggest community resides in the city of Sheberghan. It is the provincial capital of Jowzjan Province.

Before the reign of Sardar Daud, four thousand families of Babars were living in Sheberghan. During his time, upon the arrival of the Soviet Army, the Babar tribe supported Mujahideen. As a consequence, the lives of Babars there became miserable and their killing and looting started.

In 1953, 2000 Babar families moved further up to the mountainous areas while the remaining 2000 families moved to Balochistan (Pakistan). Pakistan arranged a camp for them in Loralai (Pakistan).

A few years back, Loralai camp was abolished. One thousand Babars families moved back to Sheberghan, 400 families are scattered throughout Balochistan and 600 families or so, live as a community in Qila Saifullah. Babars from all four sub-tribes are found here.

Afghanistan[edit]

There is a rough estimate of 70,000 Babars living in Afghanistan presently, in very scattered places.

The major settlements of Babars in Afghanistan includes:

Sheberghan (capital of Jowzjan province) - 9000 families

Kandahar (capital of Kandahar province) - 2000 families

Minor settlements include:

Maymana (capital of Faryab province) - 1500 families

Other settlements can be found throughout Afghanistan including, Kunar province, Herat province, Kundus province, Lugar province and Baghlan province,Parwan province and town of Pule Khumri.Babar communities can also be found in the cities of Kabul and Ghazni.

In the 16th century, a lot of Babar families migrated to Afghanistan from Chaudhwan and Zhob. They were tired of the high death toll resulting from bloody fights with neighbouring tribes for the sake of survival, water and lands. They were mainly rich people due to trading involvement. A majority of them settled in Kandahar, because Kandahar was a major economic and political center at that time in the region.

Gul Mohammad Khan was the chief of the tribe here and he was a member of the Loya Jirga during Mirwais Hotak's reign. He was also appointed as the Finance Minister during the era of Ahmad Shah Durrani.

In the 18th century, Nur Mohammad Khan, son of Gul Muhammad Khan was the Finance Minister during the era of Timur Shah Durrani and Zaman Shah Durrani. He did a lot for the Babar community in this whole region.

In the 19th century, in the time of Sher Ali Khan, Amir of Afghanistan, Pakhtun tribes from South Afghanistan were motivated to settle in the North. The same policy continued till King Zahir Shah.

This policy stimulated another big migration of Babars from Kandahar to Northern Afghanistan, mainly to Sheberghan.

Nowadays, the main trade in Sheberghan belongs to Babar tribe.

Tor Abbas Khan is chief of the Babar tribe at Sheberghan. The District Governor of Faizabad, Gohar Khan is also from the Babar community. The elders of these Babars still remember Chaudhwan as their native village.

Mehboob Ali Babar belongs to grand grand Son of Haji Gul Babar, gul babar is a Zamindar of his village

Dera Ghazi Khan[edit]

Babars here descendants of two families:

1. Madu Khan

He belonged to the Maswad Khel Babar sub-tribe and resided in Chaudhwan. He murdered his tribesman in the village. The Jirga decided to provide 200 animals and 2 women for marriage to the affected family in compensation. Madu Khan decided to leave the village. He travelled on the right bank of the Indus River and reached Dera Ghazi Khan, where he settled. His grandson, Abdul Karim, joined the British Police.

Today, the majority of this family serves in the Police Department.

2. Charsham Khan

He belonged to the Ibrahim Khel Babar sub-tribe and also resided in Chaudhwan. Charsham Khan Babar was a follower of Pir Khwaja Sulaiman. He moved to Druk, District Musa Khel, Balochistan to live with Pir Sahib. When Pir Sahib shifted to Taunsa in Punjab, this Babar family also accompanied him. From Taunsa Sharif, this family, later on shifted to Dera Ghazi Khan.

Notable People[edit]

Amanullah Khan Babar (Manu Khan)[edit]

Amanullah Khan Babar (Also known by his nickname 'Manu Khan') is the forefather of all the Pirpiai Babars. He was the first well known personality from the Babar tribe. Amanullah Khan belonged to the Ibrahim Khel sub-tribe and, hence, all Babars from Pirpiai belong the same sub-tribe. Initially, he belonged to Ibrahim Khel Kot, situated near Zhob. The remnants of the great fort built there by him still exist. The date inscribed on this fort is of AD 1650 (era of King Shah Jahan).

By profession, Amanullah Khan was a great trader, leading the Babar caravan starting from Calcutta all the way to Bukhara. He was also a renowned as being a great warrior, protecting the caravans from being looted. Many heroic stories are told about his fights with different tribes.

By the end of his life, Amanullah Khan moved to Pirpiai along with his family, the main reason for which was to save his children from his enemies. This migration towards Pirpiai is well known and remembered by all the Babars in Zhob and Ibrahim Khel Kot. His name is included in all the Shajra (Family Tree) collected from the Pirpiai Babars.

With the arrival of Amanullah Khan, the Babars settled in the Pirpiai region, in the beginning of the 18th century (era of King Aurangzeb). All the Babars there today are his descendants.

Gul Mohammad Khan Babar[edit]

AD (1709–1747)

Gul Mohammad Khan Babar belonged to the Gora Khel sub-tribe and used to live in Kandahar. There, he was the chief of the Babar tribe and Member of the Loya Jirga in the era of Mir Wais Hotak. Gul Mohammad Khan Babar was also the Finance Minister in the reign of Ahmad Shah Durrani (AD 1737-1747). He is also remembered most for his participation in the Third Battle of Panipat against the Marathas.

Nur Mohammad Khan Babar[edit]

AD (1747–1798)

Nur Mohammad Khan Babar was a famous personality of his time. He belonged to the Gora Khel sub-tribe and was also from Kandahar. He was the son of Gul Mohammad Khan Babar and like his father, he was appointed as Finance Minister in the reign of Timur Shah Durrani. He later on continued with the same post in Zaman Shah Durrani's time. He was also the father-in-law of Zaman Shah Durrani.

Nur Mohammad Khan Babar served and helped his tribesmen in Shikarpur, Multan and Chaudhwan. Due to his efforts, the Babar tribe was exempted from taxes and compulsory recruitment in the army during the Durrani Empire. Sadly, in AD 1798, Nur Mohammad Khan Babar was murdered on the order of Zaman Shah Durrani, his own son-in-law and Shah of Afghanistan.

Abdul Kareem Khan Babar[edit]

He belonged to the Ibrahim Khel sub-tribe from Multan. Abdul Kareem Khan served as Chief of the Multan Provincial Army in the Sadozai and Sikh regimes. He was famous as a great administrator.

Sultan Mohammad Khan Babar[edit]

AD (1795–1822)

Another famous personality of his time, Sultan Mohammad Khan Babar belonged to the Gora Khel sub-tribe from Shikarpur. He was the grandson of Nur Mohammad Khan Babar. He was appointed as the Governor of Jalalabad in the era of Zaman Shah Durrani. He gave up his post and relocated to Shikarpur, upon the wish of his grandfather. Here, Sultan Mohammad Khan Babar purchased 50000 acres of land and also, a canal, from Dost Khan. He used to reside in Sultan Kot, just outside Shikarpur.

Sultan Mohammad Khan Babar was also on really good terms with Shuja Shah Durrani since his daughter was married to Shuja Shah Durrani's son, Fateh Jung. Shuja Shah Durrani stayed at his settlement in Shikarpur for many months.he also help him in his last attempt for throne of Afghanistan in 1838.

Sultan Mohammed Khan Babar was son of Behrose khan Babar governor of jalalabad in Tamoor Shah era.

Zaman Khan Babar[edit]

AD (1849–1901)

Zaman Khan Babar was a Maswad Khel babar from Chaudhwan. He served as a Commander in the army of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan. He also led the fight against the invaders from neighbouring tribes in order to protect Zam Chaudhwan (the only drinking water and irrigation source to Chaudhwan). Zaman Khan Babar was known as a brilliant warrior, leader and tactician. He also built a fort at Zam Chaudhwan.

Allama Abdul Shakoor Rashad[edit]

AD (1921–2004)

Allama Abdul Shakoor Rashad was an Ibrahim Khel Babar from Kandahar. He served as the Deputy Mayor of Kandahar and later on in life was a Professor at Kabul University. He has written a total of 139 books. 59 out of which have been published and 80 are unpublished. One of his unpublished books, "Aminul Mulk and Babar Clan" is the leading source on the history of Babars.

Colonel Mir Haider Khan[edit]

AD (?-1973)

One of the first Pukhtun officers in the British Army, he was a much respected village elder from Pirpiai, a man of distinction. He served as the last Defence Minister of Kalat before its accession to Pakistan. A major landlord of Pirpiai and a notable person of the Babar tribe, he was a man known for his flair and principles. He was an avid antique collector. Col. Mir Haider Khan was also the one who, for a large sum of money, purchased Peshawar Zoo and shifted it to Pirpiai. Famous British generals were known to have been invited to Pirpiai Fort by him, which included Field Marshal Gracy, Field Marshal Roos Capel, General Hastings, the Governor General of India and many more notables of the time. The barbecues and shooting parties of the time were famous. Most remember him as the man that put a face to Pirpiai and probably is the architect of making the village what it is today.

Major General Adam Khan[edit]

AD (1910–1973)

A Sandhurst returned army officer, Maj. Gen. Adam Khan served in the British Indian Army and was later one of the first five Major-Generals in Pakistan. He was the nephew of Col. Mir Haider Khan and the son of Mir Safdar Khan. A distinguished officer of his time, he is still known in the Pakistan Army for his strong personality and principles. He was also appointed as the head of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation. Maj. Gen. Adam Khan was a reputed landlord of Pirpiai, but in his later years chose to settle in the nearby village of Amangarh, where his sons and their families still reside. He was a recipient of the Military Cross, a British Military decoration, for "acts of exemplary gallantry".

Major General Naseerullah Khan Babar[edit]

AD (1928–2011)

A very well known personality in Pirpiai, Maj. Gen. Naseerullah Khan Babar served in the Pakistan Army. Throughout his life he remained an important political figure in Pirpiai and enjoyed several other posts. He was appointed the Inspector General of the Frontier Corps and was a senior central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party. He served as Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 1975–1977 under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government as well as the Interior Minister of Pakistan during Benazir Bhutto's second government from 1993–1996. He was a Special Assistant in Benazir Bhutto's first government from 1988–1990. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat for single-handedly capturing an entire Indian company of soldiers during the 1965 war, and also the Hilal-e-Jurat, which he famously threw away along with other army medals at the presiding officer of a military tribunal, when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged by the military regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

Major Farouk Adam Khan[edit]

AD (1940-)

One of the most prominent lawyers in Pakistan today, Maj. Farouk Adam Khan is the son of Maj. Gen. Adam Khan. Like his father, he was also a Sandhurst officer and was the architect of The Attock Conspiracy, whereby with the help of his brother Maj. Iftikhar Adam Khan and other army officers, he hatched a conspiracy in the 1970s to topple the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. They were apprehended by the then serving General Zia ul Haq and tried in the famous Attock Fort, after one of their own lost his nerve and went to report the entire scheme directly to the Prime Minister. Hence, naming the conspiracy by the same name and sentenced to life imprisonment later commuted to 5 years each, which they served. Farouk Adam Khan later served as the Prosecutor General of the National Accountability Bureau upon its formation. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat for acts of bravery in the 1965 war


* IHSAN ULLAH BABER


One of the most respectable Judge in Pakistan,Ihsan Ullah Baber is the son of Abdul Sattar khan Baber.He was highly qualified and worked as District and Session Judge High Court Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.He was born in 1947 and got retired in 2007 as District and Session Judge Peshawar.Now he is working as an Advocate OF HIGH COURT PESHAWAR.

Babar Queens[edit]

The first Babar Queen was the daughter of Nur Muhammad Khan. She was the wife of Zaman Shah Durrani, the Shah of Afghanistan. It is unclear as to whether her name was Shako Jan or Aziz Bibi.

The second Babar Queen was Ilum Bibi. She was the wife of Fateh Jung Durrani, son of Shuja Shah Durrani. She was the Queen of Afghanistan for the short duration that he was King.

See also[edit]