Awan (tribe)

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Awan (Punjabi: ਅਵਾਨ, Urdu: اعوان‎) is a tribe living predominantly in northern, central, and western parts of Pakistani Punjab, with significant numbers also present in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and to a lesser extent in Sindh and Balochistan.


People of the Awan community have a strong presence in the Pakistani Army[1][need quotation to verify] and have a notable martial tradition.[2]

Christophe Jaffrelot says:

The Awan deserve close attention, because of their historical importance and, above all, because they settled in the west, right up to the edge of Baluchi and Pashtun territory. [Tribal] Legend has it that their origins go back to Imam Ali and his second wife, Hanafiya. Historians describe them as valiant warriors and farmers who imposed their supremacy on their close kin the Janjuas in part of the Salt Range, and established large colonies all along the Indus to Sind, and a densely populated centre not far from Lahore.[3]

On a rural level, Awans historically were of the zamindar or landowning class,[4] and many Awan families to this day live on and cultivate land, which their ancestors have held for centuries. The tract of land running from Attock towards the Southern Salt Range has at various points in history been called the Awan-kari, or the 'Abode of the Awans'. Awan tribesmen often carry titles typical to Punjabis who own tracts of ancestral land,[5] which may include the honorific Malik or Khan.

Notable people[edit]

Air Marshal Nur Khan, Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, 1965–69, Governor of West Pakistan, 1969–70
  • Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan - late Chief of the Awan tribe-Governor of West Pakistan, (1960–66)[6]
  • Sultan Bahu (Urdu: سُلطان باہُو‎‎; also spelled Bahoo; ca 1630–1691) was a Sufi mystic, poet, and scholar active during the Mughal empire mostly in the present-day Punjab province of Pakistan.
  • Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad - legal scholar of the Qur'an, Hadith, and the Hanafi school of Islamic law[7]
  • Air Marshal Nur Khan - Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, 1965–69, Governor of West Pakistan, 1969–70, and recipient of the Hilal-i-Jurat[8]
  • Malik Meraj Khalid (Urdu: ملک معراج خالد‎; 20 September 1915 – 13 June 2003), was a Pakistani left wing statesman and Marxist philosopher who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan in an acting capacity from November 1996 until February 1997.[1
  • Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, is the former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and member of Majlis-e-Shoora from 2008 to 2013. He was one of the youngest members of the Cabinet of Pakistan.
  • Sumaira Malik (Urdu: سمیرا ملک‎; born 19 December 1963) is a Pakistani politician who had been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 2002 to October 2013.
  • Firdous Ashiq Awan (Punjabi, Urdu: فردوس عاشق اعوان‎, born 11 January 1970) [1] is a Pakistani politician from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. She is currently serving as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting,
  • Zaheer-ud-din Babar Awan (Urdu: ظہیر الدین بابر اعوان‎; born 27 January 1958; SI), is a Pakistani politician, lawyer, author, analyst, columnist, and leftist writer. He also served as Federal minister for parliamentary and also minister for law and justice .[1]
  • Shahid Imran Awan[1] (born 1980) is a Pakistani-American information technology worker. From 2004 to 2017, he worked as a shared employee for Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Imran Ashraf Awan (born 11 September 1989 in Peshawar) is a Pakistani actor and writer. [2][3][4]
  • Lieutenant GeneralAkhtar Hussain Malik (died 22 August 1969) was a distinguished General, a war hero of Pakistan Army in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.
  • Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (Urdu: امیر محمد اکرم اعوان‎, Amīr Muḥammad Akram A‘wān; born 31 December 1934 in Noorpur Sethi, British India – died 7 December 2017 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan) was an Islamic scholar and spiritual leader of the Naqshbandia Owaisiah order of Sufism.
  • Akil N. Awan is a British academic and the current RCUK Fellow in the 'Contemporary History of Faith, Power and Terror' and Lecturer in both International Terrorism and Contemporary Islam in the Department of History and the Department of Politics and International Relations, at Royal Holloway, University of London

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, P.E., 2003, The Pakistan People's Party: Rise To Power, Oxford University Press, p.61.
  2. ^ Ali, I., 2003, The Punjab under Imperialism, 1885–1947, Oxford University Press, p.114.
  3. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2004). A History of Pakistan and Its Origins (Reprinted ed.). Anthem Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-84331-149-2.
  4. ^ Ahmed, S., 1977, Class and Power in a Punjabi Village, Monthly Review Press, p.p. 131-132.
  5. ^ Ahsan, A., 1996, The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan, Oxford University Press, p.88.
  6. ^ Feldman, H., 1972, From Crisis to Crisis: Pakistan 1962–1969, Oxford University MPress, p.57.
  7. ^ Sarwar, S., 2002, Wadi Soon Sakesar: The Soon Valley, Al-Faisal Nashran, p.35, p.149, p.152, p.163, p.177.
  8. ^ Khan, R., 1999, The American Papers: Secret and Confidential India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Documents, 1965–1973, Oxford University Press, p.265.