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The Gandapur (Pashto: ګنډہ پور, Urdu: گنڈہ پور) also called Gandapore, are one of two Pashtun tribes (the other being the Bakhtîâr/Pakhtîâr) who originated in southwestern Pakistan. During the early 20th century, the tribe numbered about 8,000 and principally resided in the small town Kulachi in the Dera Ismail Khan District, the Northwest Frontier Province, and a large part of them settled in the Dera Ismail Khan area in the 17th century AD after a bloody feud with Lohani tribe near Qamar Din Karez.
The Gandapur, like many other nomadic Pashtun groups in the region, regularly moved between the Daman plains stretching from the Indus to the eastern slopes of the Sulaiman mountains. They combined pastoral nomadism with the transportation and peddling of goods between central Asia and south Asia. The pattern of these nomadic movements and the transformations of their society fluctuated with the rhythms of trade and the nature of their contacts with the surrounding political economies throughout their history. During the 17th century, most of the Gandapur had settled in Dera Ismail Khan, with large numbers engaged in the trade between India and Khorasan, which intensified in the next two centuries.
There are different legends about the origin of the Gandapur tribe. But the widely accepted version is that their ancestor Stori Khan was born to a Syed saint, Muhammad Hussain known as Gaisu Daraz and a Sherani mother. Stori's son Tairi Khan, alias Gandapur. AS Gaisu Daraz soon left on his preaching mission, never to return his son was brought up by the mother's tribe they have been a part of that in the Pashtoon genealogical tables. who was a Pashtun/Pukhtun living in Afghanistan. He had four sons and one daughter.
The Khaḍəl Lawuṇ Era
Lavuṇ is a small Pashtun tribe residing in and around Qamardin Karez in the west of Zhob district in northwest Balochistan. Gənḍapūrs used to pass through this area while going from their place in Ghazni to Dera Ismail Khan in a usual annual cycle of nomadic life.
Khaḍəl Lawuṇ was chief of the Lavuṇ tribe in the 16th century AD. He found a narrow pass on the path of nomadic tribes going to Dera Ismail Khan and the rest of Indus plain passing through his area. When groups came upon him, he demanded that girls from the various tribes should lift him in their shawls. This was an extremely humiliating demand which none of the tribes could accept. When the Gənḍapūrs arrived at the pass, they found Khaḍəl Lawuṇ lying there. After lengthy and unsuccessful negotiations, some of the Gənḍapūr young men disguised themselves as girls by wearing women's shawls and approached Khaḍəl. He assumed they intended to follow his request, but they soon killed him.
The death of Khaḍəl Lawuṇ made the Lawuṇ tribe furious with the Gənḍapūrs, and the route from Ghazni to Dera Ismail Khan no longer remained safe for them. This led to the separation of the Gənḍapūr tribe into two parts. One part of the tribe settled in Damaan, Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan, currently Pakistan and the other part of the tribe remained in Ghazni, currently Afghanistan. The enemy tribe now separated the two groups with a distance of more than 450 kilometers (≈280 miles) between them. Over a period of almost four centuries, the two parts of the Gənḍapūr tribe lost contact between themselves.
Gənḍapūr or Afghānpūr
When the great Afghan King and warrior Ahmad Shah Abdali gathered all the Pashtun tribes and conquered a large part of the area in present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Gənḍapūrs were part of his army. As the tradition goes, soldiers speaking Persian used to pronounce the "d" in the word Gənḍapūr as a soft "d" (Voiced dental stopIPA [d̪], like "th" in the English word "the") instead of the actual hard "d" or "ḍ" (Voiced retroflex stop, IPA [ɖ], as in English word "made"). With the soft "d", the word "Ganda" would become a Hindustani language word "Ganda" (meaning "not clean" or "untidy"). When Ahmad Shah Abdali came to know that fact, he bestowed upon Gənḍapūrs the title of "Afghānpūr". Gənḍapūrs were held in high esteem by Ahmad Shah Abdali.
Size of the tribe
Gənḍapūrs is a rather small tribe occupying about 1,200 km2 of Dera Ismail Khan district (Kulachi Tehsil) but compared to their size they have exerted a rather greater influence. They have produced two Chief Ministers and three ministers in the province at different times.(They are Sardar Aurangzeb Khan, Inayatullah Khan as C.Ms. and Aminullah Khan, Ali Amin Khan, Israrullah Khan and Ikramullah Khan, as ministers) The claims of connecting the tribe origin to Tarakai tribe of Afghanistan is not correct and not supported by the Pashtoon genealogical tables.
The most important sources regarding the history of Gandapurs are as follows:
- Tarikh-e-Pushtun (History of Pushtun) by Sher Muhammad Khan Ibrahim Zai Gandapur. Originally written in Persian with title Khurshid e Jahan (Sun of the World) for Begum of Bhopal
- Tarikh-e-Ganadapur (History of the Gandapurs) by Qadir Dad Khan Gandapur
- Tarikh-e-Sarzamin-e-Gomal (Urdu) (History of the Gomal Land) by Aminullah Khan Gnadapur, published by National Book Foundation, Islamabad, 2008
- Gazetteer of District Dera Ismail Khan (1882–83)
- "Musalman Races in Sind, Baluchistan and Afghanistan" (1904)
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