Abdul Majid Khan Tarin

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Khan Abdul Majid Khan Tarin (also spelt Abdul Majeed Khan) (1877–1939), Khan-Sahib, OBE,[1] was a prominent magistrate, MLA and philanthropist of the North West Frontier Province of former British India.[2]

Abdul Majid Khan Tarin c 1930s

Early life and education[edit]

He was the son of Sardar Muhammad Habib Khan Tarin (or Tareen), (c.1829/30-Dec.1888), Nawab Bahadur, Risaldar, CSI, an ex-cavalry officer[3] and a landed jagirdar of Talokar and Dheri estates in Haripur, Hazara, NWFP.[4] At his father's death Majid Khan was a young boy and the family estates were placed under the Court of Wards.[5][6] He was initially taught at home by English tutors, then sent to the Aitchison College, Lahore, and then to a mission school in Simla. After his Matriculation from there he proceeded to England in 1899 and qualified as a barrister in 1901.[7] He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in April 1902.[8]


On returning to India, he became a Junior Magistrate in the Punjab service, then a 1st Class Magistrate, Extra Assistant Commissioner and then Deputy Commissioner; he also served briefly as a Judge in the Punjab Sessions Courts[9] and on retiring from service in 1934, he became an early and active member of the NWFP (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan) chapter of the All India Muslim League and a close associate of Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum, also serving as a Member of the NWFP Legislative Assembly (1937–1939).[10] Although keen to protect Muslim rights, he remained a firm preponent of a consolidated Muslim entity within a larger Indian confederation, till the end. He died at his ancestral village, Talokar, in June 1939.[11]


Khan Sahib Abdul Majid Khan Tarin was also a very active philanthropist. Apart from his support of the establishment of the Islamia College, Peshawar, and support to various Indian Muslim charities, he played a considerable role in the early development of his native Haripur area in Hazara, NWFP. He founded several charitable schools, set up a public Tuberculosis ward at the Haripur Government Hospital, provided for a system of educational scholarships for local students as well as supporting numerous needy people.[12] This tradition of public service has been carried on by his family.[13]

Khan Sahib had three sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Abdus Salim Khan, a noted Pakistani diplomat,[14] was married to the well-known former Pakistani minister, Begum Mahmooda Salim Khan, daughter of the late Punjab Premier, Sardar Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan (1892–1942).[15] His second son Abdul Hamid Khan was an agriculturist of NWFP,[16] whilst his third son, Abdul Rashid Khan, was commissioned in the British Indian Army[17] and later served in the Pakistan Army after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The Pakistani poet and research scholar, Omer Tarin is a great-grandson of Abdul Majid Khan Tarin.[18]


  1. ^ Awarded in the January 1920 New Years List, see 'Burke's Handbook of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire', London, 1921, p 650
  2. ^ Who's Who in the Hazara District, 1932, p.6
  3. ^ Col. H St GM McRae, Regimental History of the 45th Rattray's Sikhs, Vol 1, Glasgow, 1933, p.136
  4. ^ O.Tarin & SD Najmuddin, "Sardar Habib Khan, 1st Bengal Military Police Battalion" in Durbar: Journal of the Indian Military Historical Society, UK, Summer 2010, Vol 27, No2, pp. 67-75; also see 45th Rattray's Sikhs, which was originally raised as the 1st Bengal Military Police Btn, 1856
  5. ^ Indian Princely States and Jagirs website
  6. ^ A younger half-brother of Abdul Majid Khan, Abdul Latif Khan Tarin, later served as a Jemadar in the 82nd Punjabis (now 4th Btn the Punjab Regiment), and died in action at the Battle of Dujaila Redoubt, in Mesopotamia, March 1916, World War 1
  7. ^ His records are available on the Old Rolls of Lincoln's Inn, London, UK
  8. ^ "Calls to the Bar". The Times (36750). London. 24 April 1902. p. 8. 
  9. ^ 'Punjab Government Gazetteer', 1932
  10. ^ See Introduction to the early history of the NWFP Assembly
  11. ^ 'The Hazara Enquirer' , Sept 23rd 1939, Obituary notice
  12. ^ Gazetteer, 1932
  13. ^ Pl see Indian Princely States and Jagirs website, Dheri Talokar jagir[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Pakistan Foreign Office Archives, Islamabad; Listings 1952-1962, Ref No 23
  15. ^ List of Pakistani women leaders
  16. ^ Hazara Reporter, Monday 19 October 1959, p. 12
  17. ^ Indian Army List April 1943 ed, informs us that the said 2nd Lieutenant Abdul Rashid Khan was given an Emergency/Wartime Commission, with effect from 14 July 1942, straight from the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun.
  18. ^ Oct 2011 Interview of poet Omer Tarin, by Dr Ilyas Khan. Shared online at http://ilyask2.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/interview-with-poet-omer-tarin-2011/ . Retrieved 6 April 2014