Amir Mohammad Khan

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Nawab Malik Amir Muhammad Khan Awan
نواب ملك امیر مُحمد خان اعوان

Nawab of Kalabagh Malik Amir Mohammad khan.jpeg
3rd Governor of West Pakistan
In office
12 April 1960 – 18 September 1966
PresidentMuhammad Ayub Khan
Preceded byAkhter Husain
Succeeded byGeneral Musa
Personal details
Kalabagh, British India
Died26 November 1967 (aged 57)[1]
Kalabagh, Pakistan

Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan (1910 – 26 November 1967) also known as Nawab of Kalabagh (نواب کالا باغ‬) was a prominent feudal lord, politician and the chief of his tribal estate Kalabagh, in Mianwali District of north western Punjab, Pakistan.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan received his college education at Aitchison College, Lahore and then went on to finish his education at Oxford University in England.[2] He belonged to and was the chief of the Awan tribe in Punjab, Pakistan. He also served as Governor of West Pakistan from 1960 to 1966.[1][3][4]

Khan Bahadur was a courtesy title granted personally to Nawab Malik Muzzafar Khan the First in 1870. Who was the Great- Grandfather of Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, the Awan tribal chief of Kalabagh area in Mianwali District of northwestern Punjab, Pakistan.[5][6] Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan had also served as a member of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab from 1956 – 1958.[7]

History of Kalabagh[edit]

Kalabagh, on the bank of Indus River, was a territory ruled by the Awans for long, since pre-Islamic times. The tribe believed that:

All branches of the tribe (Awans) are erroneous in stating that they originally came from neighbourhood of Ghazni to India, and all trace their genealogy to a companion of the Prophet. One fictitious Kutab Shah, who came from Ghazni with Sultan Mahmud[disambiguation needed], was also the supposed common ancestor of the Awans. It was only in the Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Shahpur districts that they became of any political importance…. In Shahpur District, the Awans held the hilly country to the north west, Jalar, Naoshera and Sukesar, where the head of the tribe still resides.

— Sir Lepel H. Griffin, The Panjab Chiefs (1865 Edition) p.570-571.[8]

Kalabagh, on the bank of Indus River, was a quasi-independent territory stretching from the modern day district's of Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Mianwali to some parts of Chakwal District at its zenith, ruled over by the Awan Malik tribal chief's who would later become known as the Nawab's of Kalabagh, since and even before the time of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni.[9] Much of this area was later taken over by the Sikhs during Ranjit Singh's era in the early 19th century, and later, during the British Raj, what remained of it was confirmed to the Awan Tribal Chief of the family as Kalabagh jagir (Kalabagh landholdings), because of the help of Nawab Malik Muzzafar Khan the First to the British in defeating the Sikh's. According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India 1881

Nawab Malik Muzzafar Khan is the first Nawab of Kalabagh to be Given the title of "Khan Bahadur" because of his services rendered in defeating the Sikh empire including the building of the fort of Dalip Garh.

— Sir William Wilson Hunter "Imperial Gazetteer of India 1881"

.[10] Nawab of Kalabagh' was the title that Malik Amir Mohammad khan's Grandfather's Great Great Grandfather Malik Surkhuru Khan had taken. When after the death of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1707 the Viceroy of Bengal&Murshidabad Murshid Quli Khan became independent in 1717,And the viceroy of Oudh Saadat Ali Khan followed suit in 1724. Thus in the early 1730s the viceroy of Dhan Kot also declared his independence from Mughal rule and established his own state. Which included the modern day districts of Dera Ismail khan,Bannu,Mianwali,& some parts of chakwal district,And placed the foundations of a new city named Kalabagh a name literally meaning Black Garden,As he planted a lot of gardens of mango trees and from afar their dense dark green leaves looked black in the dusty haze to a traveller thus the name.It should also be noted that the word Nawab literally means Viceroy in Urdu,So when the various viceroys became independent it became a badge of rank and later through the ages a hereditary title,But it should be known that before this the hereditary title of the Awan tribal chief since time immemorial had been Malik.The First Mughal Emperor Babur writes of them:-

They Are The Famous Jodha's. The Ancient Ruler's of the Mountain Range of the Judh. Last remnants of the Hindu Kabul Shahi Kingdom of Raja Jaypal.Whose kingdom stretched from Kabul to Kashmir,And from Multan to Sirhind. Though now they have since long converted to Islam.With their Seat at the Great Fort of Dhan Kot overlooking the river Indus.

— Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad Babur "Baburnama"

.[11] They had ruled from the time of the Mahabharat,Over What was then called the Mountain Range of the Judh,Now known as the Salt Range,From their hereditary seat of The Great Fort of Dhan Kot whose ruins stand to this day and whose name literally means the fort of wealth. Its name is even mentioned as the seat of the Awan Malik Chief in the Ain-e-Akbari or Akbarnama of Mughal Emperor Akbar as written by Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. But it was situated in an extremely difficult area on a ridge overlooking the Indus River and an ancient trade and invasion route. So the first Nawab moved his summer residence to his new and by comparison much cooler city of Kalabagh. And later by the time of his greatgrandson Nawab Malik Muzzafar khan who was the first nawab to have come in contact with the British the fort of Dhan Kot was completely abandoned. Nawab Malik Muzzafar khan had allied with the British and fought against the Sikh empire for his own personal goals as the Sikhs had tried to and had been partially successful in taking his state over,And so the British gave him yet another title of Khan Bahadur,And confirmed to him his half remaining state which now became an estate. During the First World War Nawab Malik Muzzafar khan's great grandson and Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad khans father namely Nawab Malik Atta Mohammad Khan was asked to give volunteers for the British war effort.

But he flatly refused. When told that his Estate would be taken over if he did not give men or money for the war effort. He still did not give a single man. Rather He gave two boat loads of gold bullion. With this money were built two Sopwith Camel bi-plane fighters, and named KB-1&KB-2 respectively, and the remaining money used for the refitting of 30,000 cavalry remounts.

— Mianwali district Gazetteer 1915

.[5] Nawab Malik Atta Mohammad khan died when Nawab malik amir Mohammad khan was just 12 years old,And thus the estate came under protection of the crown,until he grew up.[12][13][14][15]


He was appointed chairman Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation with the rank of a Central Minister in 1959, and subsequently Governor of West Pakistan on 12 April 1960 by Pakistan President General Ayub Khan. Both Amir Mohammad Khan and Sandhurst trained General Wajid Ali Khan Burki were instrumental in Ayub Khan's rise to power, until today the three families retain adjoining houses in Islamabad.

His role during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 is praised as he kept the law and order, controlled the prices, trafficking of the raw material and prevented the smuggling.

He has also been described as a man of principles and traditions. He liked to remain in the national dress and his cabinet members tried to please him by doing the same also. It has been sometimes reported that he once declined to shake hands with the British Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Pakistan because he believed that Islam prohibits men from shaking hands with women. At one point in time, Kalabagh used to have one of the most modern agriculture farms. He was very knowledgeable about farming and fruits and once answering a question from a visiting Jacqueline Kennedy over a luncheon, he impressed her so much that she remarked that she would recommend him as the 'Adviser on Agriculture' to her husband John F. Kennedy.[2]

Among the guests on his famous Kalabagh Guest house The Bohr Bangulow, over the years, has been Eleanor Roosevelt in 1952, former Presidents of Pakistan, Iskander Mirza, Ayub Khan and then foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto among many other dignitaries.[2]

After a distinguished military career, Lieutenant General Jahandad Khan served as Governor of Sindh during 1984–87 time period under General Zia Ul-Haq regime. Earlier in 1965–66, he was Military Secretary to the then Governor of West Pakistan, Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan.[16] He wrote a book, Pakistan Leadership Challenges, in which Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan comes across as a sound, no-nonsense administrator, firmly wedded to the values and traditions of the feudal class.[16] British assessment of the Nawab of Kalabagh was very similar. In his book, Jahandad, Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan's Military Secretary dismisses alleged rumours about a somewhat sinister aspect of the Ayub regime. In 1963, the regime faced strong opposition from the political party Jamaat-i-Islami. Ayub himself "felt gravely threatened by its head, Maudoodi". "Some sycophants" sought to persuade Ayub that "the physical elimination" of Maulana would bring peace to the country and that Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan was to help execute this attempt. Jahandad Khan dismisses this as a baseless rumour in his above book.[16]


It was widely reported in the Pakistani news media that his third youngest son Asadullah Khan killed him over a family property dispute on 26 November 1967.[1]


His eldest son Nawab Malik Muzaffar Khan won the National Assembly seat from NW-44, Mianwali-I in the December 1970 elections Nawab Malik Muzzafar Khan had three sons namely the eldest Malik Idrees Khan, the second Malik Fareed khan and the youngest Malik Waheed Khan. Nawab Malik Idrees Khan became the Nawab of Kalabagh after his father Nawab Malik Muzzafar Khan's death. A post which he holds to this day. Nawab Malik Amir Muhammad Khan's second son Malik Allah Yar also remained the member of Majlis-e-Shoora during General Zia-ul-Haq's military regime. Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan's grandson from his third son Malik Asad Malik Amad Khan won the National Assembly seat from NA-71 Mianwali-I, in the February 2008 elections as an independent candidate.[17] Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan's fourth and youngest son Malik Azam Khan was a bit of a wild card he was murdered in 1995. Malik Azam died without issue.[2][18][17] His paternal granddaughter, Sumaira Malik,daughter of his second son Malik Allahyar Khan, was a member of the National Assembly from 2004 until she was disqualified in 2013.[2][18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Amir Mohammad Khan, Nawab of Kalabagh killed Dawn (newspaper), Updated 27 November 2017, Retrieved 4 March 2018
  2. ^ a b c d e f Omar Mukhtar Khan (6 March 2016). "Once upon a time in Kalabagh". The News International (newspaper). Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  3. ^ List of our governors on website Published in 2016, Retrieved 4 March 2018
  4. ^ History of Mianwali District on Mianwali Online website and District Gazetteer of Mianwali (1915) Retrieved 5 March 2018
  5. ^ a b The Mianwali district Gazetteer 1915
  6. ^ The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1881
  7. ^ Amir Mohammad Khan served as member of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab (1956–1958) on website Retrieved 5 March 2018
  8. ^ The Panjab Chiefs: Historical and Biographical Notices of the Principal Families in the Lahore and Rawalpindi Divisions of the Panjab, Volume 2, Lepel Henry Griffin
  9. ^ Baburnama by Zaheer-ud-din Muhammad Babur
  10. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India 1881 by Sir William Wilson Hunter
  11. ^ Baburnama by Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad Babur (Chapter on the mountain range of the Judh & its Rulers)
  12. ^ The district gazetteer of the mianwali district 1915
  13. ^ Akbarnama by Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak(Chapter on the awans of Dhankot Fort)
  14. ^ Baburnama by Emperor Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur(Chapter on The mountain of Judh)
  15. ^ The imperial Gazetter of India 1881 by William Wilson Hunter
  16. ^ a b c Asif Javed (29 June 2014). "Nawab of Kalabagh: The Man Who Knew Too Much". The Nation (newspaper). Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  17. ^ a b A family-dominated contest Dawn (newspaper), Published 28 April 2013, Retrieved 5 March 2018
  18. ^ a b Sumaira Malik, Member of National Assembly on website Retrieved 5 March 2018
  19. ^ "Disqualification over fake degree". 29 October 2013. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Panjab Castes, by Sir Ibbetson, Denzil, p.170
  • Siysat ke Firauns, (Pharaohs of Politics), by Wakil Anjam, Ferozsons Limited, 1992. p. 423–436
  • Tarikh-ul-Awan, by Malik Sher Muhammad Khan Awan, Lahore.
  • The Panjab Chiefs: Historical and Biographical Notices of the Principal Families in the Lahore and Rawalpindi Divisions of the Panjab, Volume 2, Lepel Henry Griffin
  • Gazetteer of the Jhelum District, 1904 & Punjab Census Report, 1911
  • Chiefs and families of note in the Delhi, Jalandhar, Peshawar and Derajat divisions of the Panjab, by Charles Francis Massy p. 543
  • Imperial gazetteer of India, Volume 14 p. 290
  • PANJAB CASTES, by : Ibbetson, Denzil, Sir, 1847–1908, p169-170
  • The Gazetteer of Mianwali district
  • The Ain-e-Akbari of abu al-fazal pages about the awans of dhankot
  • The Tuzk-e-Baburi by Zaheer-ud-din Babur The pages about the history of the mountain of jud its two ruling relative clans and dhankot fort.
Political offices
Preceded by
Akhter Husain
Governor of West Pakistan
Succeeded by
Gen (R) Muhammad Musa