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The Khokhar or Khokhar are people of the Punjab region of Pakistan and northwestern India. The Khokhars were designated as an "agricultural tribe" for the purpose of the Punjab Land Alienation Act, 1900, a term that was at that time synonymous with that of "martial race".[1]

Mostly Muslim Khokhars claim to be descendents of fourth Caliph Hazrat Ali through Qutb Shah.[2] The origins of the Khokhars are as obscure as those of any Punjab tribe. Tradition appears to invariably connect them with the Awans, making Khokhar one of Qutb Shah's sons and the Khokhar Qutb Shahis his descendants, who would thus be akin to the Juhans also . But this pedigree probably merely records the fact that the Awans and Khokhars owe their conversion to Islam to the saint Qutb Shah or his desciples , or that they both accepted his teachings.[3]


Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori undertook many campaigns against the Khokhar in the Punjab before he was killed by the Khokhars of the Salt Range in March 1206.[4][5]

In 1240 AD, Razia, the daughter of Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, marched with her husband Altunia to recapture the throne from her brother Muizuddin Bahram Shah. She is reported to have headed an army composed mostly of mercenaries from the Khokhar tribe of the Punjab.[6][7]

In 1246-7 Balban mounted an expedition as far as the Salt Range to chastise the Khokhars.[8] His last campaign was undertaken with the objective of subjugating the turbulent Khokhars of the Salt Range.[9]

Although Lahore was reoccupied by Delhi,[when?], for the next twenty years Lahore remained in ruins, being attacked on several occasion by the Mongols or by their Khokhar allies.[10] Around the same time a Mongol commander named Hulechu occupied Lahore in alliance with Khokhar chief Raja Gulchand, the erstwhile ally of Muhammad's father.[11]

Shaikha Khokhar and Tamerlane[edit]

Raja Shaikha Khokhar (sometimes Sheikha or Shuja) was a chief of the Khokhars in the 14th and early 15th centuries and a contemporary of Tamerlane's invasions into Punjab.[12] Shaikha occupied Lahore in 1393,.[13]

Jasrath Khokhar[edit]

Raja Jasrath Khokhar (sometimes Jasrat or Dashrath)[14] was the son of Shaikha Khokhar. He became leader of the Khokhars upon the death of Tamerlane, escaping prison in order to do so.[clarification needed] He supported Shahi Khan in the war for control of Kashmir against Ali Shah, and was rewarded when victory was achieved. Later, he attempted to conquer Delhi, taking advantage of the death of Khizr Khan. The scheme met with partial success, as he won campaigns at Talwandi and Jullundur but was hampered by the seasonal rains in his attempt to take over Sirhind.[15]

Modern era[edit]

In reference to the British Raj's recruitment policies in the Punjab, vis-à-vis the British Indian Army, Tan Tai Yong remarks:

The choice of Muslims was not merely one of physical suitability. As in the case of the Sikhs, recruiting authorities showed a clear bias in favor of the dominant landowning tribes of the region, and recruitment of Punjabi Muslims was limited to those who belonged to tribes of high social standing or reputation - the "blood proud" and once politically dominant aristocracy of the tract. Consequently, socially dominant Muslim tribes such as the Gakkhars, Janjuas and Awans, and a few Rajput tribes, concentrated in the Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts, ... accounted for more than ninety per cent of Punjabi Muslim recruits.[16]

Notable Khokhars in Politics[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Mazumder (2003), p. 105
  2. ^ H.A. Roz (1911), p. 29
  3. ^ H.A. Roz (1911), p. 539
  4. ^ Allan, Haig & Dodwell (1900), p. 210
  5. ^ Singh (2000), p. 28
  6. ^ Syed (2004), p. 52
  7. ^ Bakshi (2003), p. 61
  8. ^ Basham & Rizvi (1987), p. 30
  9. ^ Allan, Haig & Dodwell (1900), p. 213
  10. ^ Chandra (2004), p. 66
  11. ^ Jackson (2003), p. 268
  12. ^ Anon (), p. 333
  13. ^ Syed (2004), p. 147
  14. ^ Pandey (1970), p. 223
  15. ^ Singh (1972), pp. 220-221
  16. ^ Yong (2005), p. 74