List of Pashtun empires and dynasties
The following is a list of Pashtun empires and dynasties. It includes states, regions, princely states, empires and dynasties in the history of Central and South Asia which were founded by Pashtun rulers. The Pashtuns, alternatively known as ethnic Afghans or Pathans, are an eastern Iranian ethnic group originating from northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan, and have an extensive military history in the region (see military history of Pakistan and military history of Afghanistan). As a result of migration and military conquests in South Asia, a large number of communities throughout the region claim Pashtun ancestry, especially in areas which were previously ruled by Pashtun dynasties.
- Khilji dynasty (1290–1320), founded by Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji. The Khilijis were reportedly a Pashtunized group of Turkic origin, and were related to the Ghilzai tribal confederation.
- Lodi dynasty (1451–1526), founded by Bahlul Khan Lodi who belonged to the Lodi tribe. The dynasty encompassed much of Pakistan and northern India, with its capital at Delhi. It was the last of the dynasties which ruled during the Delhi Sultanate era.
- Sur Empire (1540–1557), founded by Sher Shah Suri, a Pashtun military and political figure born in Bihar who belonged to the Sur tribe of Ghilzai confideration. The Sur dynasty displaced the Mughals in north India and controlled areas encompassing eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India and up to Bengal, with Delhi as its capital. The Surs were supplanted by the Mughals in 1557 after a seventeen-year rule.
- Hotaki dynasty (1709–1738), established by Mir Wais Hotak from Kandahar who overthrew the Persian Safavid dynasty. Hotak was a tribal chief of the Ghilzai Pashtuns. The Hotaki dynasty ruled over Afghanistan, most of Iran (Persia) and western Pakistan. The dynasty lasted until 1738 when it was overthrown by the Afsharids of Persia under Nader Shah.
- Durrani Empire (1747–1862), a Persianate empire founded by the Pashtun military commander Ahmad Shah Durrani, with its origins in the Durrani dynasty of Afghanistan. Kandahar in modern Afghanistan served as the empire's first capital. Ahmad Shah belonged to the Durrani tribe (also known as the Abdalis). At its peak, the Durrani Empire encompassed all of Afghanistan, most of Pakistan and parts of northern India (including Kashmir), northeastern Iran and eastern Turkmenistan. In the second half of the 18th century, the Durrani Empire was the second-largest Muslim empire in the world after the Ottoman Empire.
Dynasties that ruled in the native Pashtun region:
- Durrani dynasty (1747–1826). In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani united the various Pashtun and Afghan tribes and formed the powerful Durrani dynasty in Afghanistan. He rallied the tribes against neighboring powers, pushing towards the Mughals and the Marathas of the Indian subcontinent in the east, the Afsharids of Persia to the west and the Khanate of Bukhara to the north. The rise of the Durrani dynasty established the Durrani Empire in South–Central Asia.
- Barakzai dynasty (1826–1973). From the early nineteenth century to early twentieth century, the Barakzais were the royal family of Afghanistan.
Dynasties in South Asia
- Lodhi Dynasty of Multan (961–1040), founded by Hamid Khan Lodhi after Arab rule.
- Swati Dynasty (1339–1561), founded by Shah mir Swati in Kashmir
- Langah dynasty (1445–1526), founded by the Langah tribe. The Langah claim to be a tribe of Afghan origin who came to Multan from Sibi. They ruled Multan for eighty years. The Langah dynasty was terminated by the Arghun Dynasty who captured Multan in 1526. Shortly after, the Arghuns submitted to the Mughal Empire led by Babur, who made conquests in the region at around the same time.
- Karrani dynasty (1564–1576), founded by Taj Khan Karrani. He hailed from the Karlani tribe, was a former employee of Sher Shah Suri and had moved to Bengal. The Karrani dynasty ruled over all of Bengal, as well as Orissa and parts of Bihar. It was the last dynasty of the Bengal Sultanate. The Karrani were defeated by the Mughals, losing all territory to the latter by the seventeenth century.
- Rohilla Chieftaincies (1710–1950), Ali Mohammed Khan founded a strong Rohilla state in western U.P. After his Death in 1748 ,Rohilkhand split up into several independent Rohilla Chieftancies. Notable Chiefs were Hafiz Rahmat Khan, Najib ad-Dawlah, Faizullah Khan, Ali Mohammed Khan Bangesh and Dundy Khan. In 1772 the total force of the Rohilla leaders was estimated at 80,000 cavalry and infantry. Rohillas were main allies of Durranis in Third Panipat war 1761.Most of the Rohilla leaders were defeated in Anglo-Rohilla wars, only Rampur under Faizullah Khan survived as a Princely state.
- Babi Dynasty, founded in 1735 by Muhammed Sher Babi. He belonged to the Babi clan of the Yusufzai Pashtun tribe. The Babi dynasty ruled over parts of Gujarat. Babi's descendants (see Pathans of Gujarat for more information) controlled the following princely states:
Several independent princely states founded by Pashtuns existed during the British Raj era. Most of the Pashtun region east of the Durand Line was annexed by the British in the twentieth century and formed the North-West Frontier. The Pashtun tribal agencies along the Durand Line, further west from the North-West Frontier, formed a buffer zone between Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier of British India. Following the end of the Raj and the independence of Pakistan and India, the North-West Frontier and tribal agencies became part of Pakistan. The princely states were also given the choice to formally accede to the Dominion of Pakistan or Dominion of India, depending on their geographical location. The princely states were eventually abolished and integrated into the federation (see Former administrative units of Pakistan and Political integration of India).
- Amb (1772-1972), Amb was a princely state of the former British Indian Empire ruled by the Pashtun Tanoli tribe of Ghilzai confideration. In 1947 by the Indian Independence Act 1947, the British abandoned their supremacy, and following the Partition of India Amb's Tanoli Nawab decided to give up his state's independence by acceding to the new country of Pakistan. However, Amb continued as a distinct state within Pakistan until 1969, when it was incorporated into the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa). In 1972, the royal status of the Nawab was abolished by the Government of Pakistan.
- Dir (1626–1969), a small princely state comprising the present-day Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The state was founded in the seventeenth century by an Akhun Khel nawab, with Dir serving as the capital. Dir acceded to Pakistan in 1948. In 1969, the state along with the royal house was abolished.
- Bhopal State (1723–1949), a princely salute state existing from 1818–1949, although its origins date back to 1723 when the Bhopal State was established by Dost Mohammad Khan, a Pashtun soldier in the Mughal Army who belonged to the Mirazi Khel clan of the Orakzai tribe from Tirah (located in the present-day tribal areas of northwest Pakistan). The state came under the suzerainty of the Nizam of Hyderabad shortly after its foundation in 1723, and then came under the Marathas in 1737 after their victory in the Battle of Bhopal. It became a princely state in 1818, following the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Islamnagar served as the first capital, followed by Bhopal (in present-day Madhya Pradesh). It was the second largest Muslim princely state in pre-independence India, after Hyderabad State. In 1949, the state acceded to the Dominion of India (see Pathans of Madhya Pradesh for more information).
- Kurwai State (1730–1948), founded by Muhammad Diler Khan, a Pashtun rising through merit in the Mughal Army. Muhammad Diler Khan belonged to the Firoz Khel clan of the Orakzai tribe from Tirah and was a cousin of Dost Mohammad Khan, the founder of the neighboring Bhopal State. Diler Khan's state consisted of the town of Kurwai and several surrounding villages in present-day Madhya Pradesh. Diler Khan's descendants continued to rule the state until 15 June 1948, when the last ruler acceded to India.
- Jaora State (1808–1948), founded by Abdul Ghafur Muhammad Khan, a Pashtun cavalry officer serving Muhammad Amir Khan, the Pashtun founder of the princely state of Tonk. Abdul Ghafur Muhammad Khan also served the Holkar ruler, annexing Rajput territories in northern Malwa. For his services, he was designated the title of a nawab. His state existed in modern Madhya Pradesh, comprising the tehsils of Jaora, Barauda, Tal and Barkhera, along with the dependencies of Piploda and Panth-Piploda.
- Tonk State (1768-1834),The founder of the state was Muhammad Amir Khan an adventurer and military leader of Afghan descent. In 1817, upon submitting to the British East India Company, he received the territory of Tonk and the title of Nawab. While retaining internal autonomy and remaining outside British India, the state consisted of six isolated districts. Four of these were under the Rajhasthan, namely, Tonk,Chhabra, Pirawa and Nimbahera. The other two, Aligarh (formerly Rampura and Sironj were in Madhya pradesh.
- Pashtun tribes
- Military history of the North-West Frontier
- Name of Afghanistan
- Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
- List of Muslim empires and dynasties
- List of Sunni Muslim dynasties
- List of Iranian dynasties and countries
- List of Turkic dynasties and countries
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