Hazara, Pakistan

Coordinates: 34°50′N 73°14′E / 34.833°N 73.233°E / 34.833; 73.233
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Hazara region by James Abbott.

Hazara (Hindko: هزاره, Urdu: ہزارہ) is a region in northern Pakistan, falling administratively within Hazara Division of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is dominated mainly by the Hindko-speaking Hindkowan people, who are the native ethnic group of the region and often called the "Hazarewal".


The origin of the name Hazara has been identified with Abisāra, the country of Abisares, the monarch of the region at the time of Alexander's invasion.[1] The British archaeologist Aurel Stein regards it as derived from the Sanskrit name Urasā, or 'Urasha'.[1] However, the region only came to be known as Hazara after Timur held control of it in 1399, and assigned it to his local chieftains, namely the Hazara-i-Karlugh.[2]


Ancient period

Alexander the Great, after conquering parts of northern Punjab, established his rule over a large part of Hazara. The region of Amb and its surrounding areas have been associated with Embolina mentioned by Arrian and Ptolemy's Geography near Aornos, the town chosen to serve as Alexander's base of supplies.[3] According to Arrian, the ruler of the region in Alexander's time was called Arsakes.[4]

With the rise of Chandragupta Maurya, the region came under the complete control of the Mauryan Empire. Ashoka governed this area as a prince, imperial throne c. 272 BCE. he made it one of the major seats of his government. The Mansehra Rock Edicts, inscribed on three large boulders near Mansehra record fourteen of Ashoka's edicts, presenting aspects of the emperor's dharma or righteous law. These represent some of the earliest evidence of deciphered writing in the subcontinent, dating to middle of the third century BCE, and are written from right to left in the Kharosthi script.[5]

The region was briefly and nominally controlled by many rulers foreign rulers, including the Indo-Parthians, Indo-Scythians, and Kushans, who promoted Buddhism throughout Central and South Asia. The region reached its height under the Buddhist ruler Kanishka the Great. During the Kushan period, Buddhist art and architecture flourished in the area.[6]

Major Rock Edict of Ashoka in Mansehra.

Medieval period

When the Chinese pilgrim Hiun-Tsang visited the area in the 7th century, it was under the control of Durlabhavardhana, the ruler of the Karkota dynasty.[7] He mentioned the region as Wu-la-shi.[4]

The Turk and Hindu Shahi dynasties ruled Hazara one after another. Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the Hindu Shahi ruler Jayapala during his first campaign. However, there is no significant historical evidence attesting the Ghaznavid rule in Hazara. After the fall of the Hindu Shahi dynasty in the 11th century, the rulers of Kashmir took control of the area, the most notable being under the leadership of Kalasa (1063 to 1089) until the area fell to the Ghurids.[8]

In 1399, the Turco-Mongol warrior Timur, on his return to Kabul, stationed his Karluk Turkic soldiers in Hazara to protect the important route between Kabul and Kashmir.[9]

In Mughal era, the region was part of the Pakhli Sarkar (district), which formed a part of the larger Subah of Kashmir, which in turn was part of the Subah Kabul before 1586.[10][11][12]

At the beginning of the 18th century, Turkic rule came to an end due to the increased aggression of the Swatis. The most crucial attack was that of the Swatis in 1703, in collusion with Syed Jalal Baba, the son in law of the last ruler of Pakhli, Sultan Mehmud Khurd. Thus, Swatis ousted the Turks and captured this area during the last part of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century.[13][14]

Modern period

The area became under the Durrani Empire from the mid-18th to the early 19th centuries. The Durranis considered it wise to rule the region through the local tribal chiefs. The Amb area was ruled by Suba Khan Tanoli during the reign of the Durrani Empire.[15] He was appointed as nazim (area administrator or Governor) by Taimur Shah Durrani in 1775 or 1776.[16] Suba Khan Tanoli died in 1783.[17]

Hazara came under Sikh rule in 1820 when the region was conquered by the Sikh Empire led by the Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa. The city of Haripur was founded by him in 1822 and became the headquarters of Hazara until 1853.[18] He was also appointed by Ranjit Singh as the second Nazim of Hazara after the first Nazim Amar Singh Majithia was killed by the local populace at Samundar Katha in Abbottabad.[19]

After the First Anglo-Sikh War, under the terms of the Treaty of Lahore, the area was governed by Major James Abbott. Abbott managed to secure and pacify the area within a year. During the Second Sikh War Abbott and his men were cut off by the Sikh army from supplies and reinforcements from the rest of the British Army, but were able to maintain their position.[20]

By 1849, the British had gained control of all of Hazara. However, the local tribes were occasionally rebellious, including the Swatis and the Tor Ghar tribes. The British sent many expeditions against these tribes to crush several uprisings between 1852 and the 1920s, including the Hazara Expedition of 1888.[21][22][23]

From the early 1930s onwards, the people of Hazara gradually became active in the freedom movement for an independent Pakistan under the active leadership of renowned All India Muslim League leaders such as Abdul Majid Khan Tarin and Jalal Baba. Sometime before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the Nawab of Amb Muhammad Farid Khan Tanoli also developed good relations with Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan as a politic move.[24][25]

In this picture seated (left to right): Sahibzada Mohammad Khurshid (first Pakistani Governor of the NWFP), Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan (first Prime Minister of Pakistan), Muhammad Farid Khan Tanoli (Nawab of Amb) and Begum Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan (wife of Liaquat Ali Khan). Darband, Amb State, 1949.

During British rule, the region of Hazara along with the districts of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, had formed part of Punjab province, until the western parts of the province were separated to form the new North-West Frontier Province in 1901.[26][27][28] The areas around Abbottabad and Mansehra became the Hazara District of Peshawar Division, whilst areas to the north of this became the Hazara Tribal Agency. Sandwiched between Hazara Tribal Agency and Hazara District were the small princely states of Amb and Phulra.[27] This system of administration continued until 1950, when these two small states were incorporated into the Hazara district.[27]

From 1955 to 1970, NWFP province became part of West Pakistan under the One Unit policy, with the Hazara district forming part of the Peshawar Division of West Pakistan.

Geography and climate

Lake Saiful Muluk, located in the Kaghan Valley, near the town of Naran in the Saiful Muluk National Park.

Hazara is bounded by the Islamabad Capital Territory and the province of Punjab to the south, Azad Kashmir to the east, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, whilst to the west lies the rest of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The river Indus runs through the division in a north–south line, forming much of the western border of the division. The total area of Hazara is 18,013 km2.

Because it lies immediately south of the main Himalayan range, and is exposed to moist winds from the Arabian Sea, Hazara is the wettest part of Pakistan. At Abbottabad, annual rainfall averages around 1,200 millimetres (47 in) but has been as high as 1,800 millimetres (71 in), whilst in parts of Mansehra District such as Balakot the mean annual rainfall is as high as 1,750 millimetres (69 in). Due to its location on the boundary between the monsoonal summer rainfall regime of East Asia and the winter-dominant Mediterranean climate of West Asia, Hazara has an unusual bimodal rainfall regime, with one peak in February or March associated with frontal southwest cloud bands and another monsoonal peak in July and August. The driest months are October to December, though in the wettest parts even these months average around 40 millimetres (1.6 in).

Due to the high altitude, temperatures in Hazara are cooler than on the plains, though Abbottabad at 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) still has maxima around 32 °C (90 °F) with high humidity in June and July. Further up, temperatures are cooler, often cooler than the Northern Areas valleys due to the cloudiness. In winter, temperatures are cold, with minima in January around 0 °C (32 °F) and much lower in the high mountains.

Hazara accounts for a high level of Pakistan's tourism industry.[29] Along the Karakoram Highway are major destinations for tourists including the famous Kaghan Valley, Lulusar Lake, Balakot, Naran, Shogran, Ayubia and Babusar Top.[30] The region is famous for its scenic beauty and landscapes, resulting in its popularity as a summertime resort amongst locals and tourists.[31]

National parks

There are about 29 National Parks in Pakistan and 3 in Hazara.

Name Photo Location Date established Area (Hec) Key wildlife
Ayubia National Park Abbottabad District 1984 3,122 Indian leopard, Leopard cat, Yellow-throated marten, Asian palm civet, Masked palm civet, Rhesus macaque, Red giant flying squirrel, Koklass pheasant and Kalij pheasant
Saiful Muluk National Park Mansehra District 2003 12,026 Himalayan black bear, Yellow-throated marten, Masked palm civet, Himalayan goral, Himalayan musk deer, Siberian ibex, Himalayan monal and Cheer pheasant
Lulusar-Dudipatsar National Park Mansehra District 2003 75,058 Persian leopard, Yellow-throated marten, Himalayan black bear, Siberian ibex, Himalayan goral, Himalayan monal and Western tragopan


Some districts of Hazara have received high scores in education in Alif Ailaan's 2017 rankings: Haripur District was ranked first in Pakistan, while Abbottabad and Mansehra were in the top three for the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[32]

Movement for Hazara Province

The movement for a separate Hazara province began in 1957, when regional lawyers Mufti Idrees and Abdul Khaliq first raised the question of a separate province, Kohistan.[33] In 1987, Hazara Qaumi Mahaz (HQM) was founded by Muhammad Asif Malik advocate , a prominent advocate who campaigned for the creation of a separate province.[34]

Map of Hazara division, Khyber Pakhtunkwa

The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan was passed on the 8th of April 2010, which among other changes, renamed the North-West Frontier Province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The name change of the province was met with strong opposition from the people of Hazara and protests erupted in the region with wheel and shutter jam strikes. Abbottabad became the nerve center of the movement. On the 10th of April, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police fired at unarmed protesters, leaving 7 dead and dozens injured.[35] Allegedly, the firing was ordered by the coalition government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, led by the Awami National Party.[36] This is one of the earliest incidents of police brutality in Pakistan in recent years,[clarification needed] occurring before the Model Town Lahore incident, whose FIR has not been registered still today.[37]

In 2014, the resolution for the creation of the Hazara Province was adopted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.[38] The movement slowed down and shrunk to only observing the 12th of April martyrs anniversary, the death of the movement's pioneer, Baba Haider Zaman, in 2018.[39]

In 2020, the movement started again when the government began work for the creation of the South Punjab province.[40] Hazara's leaders sought to include the creation of the Hazara Province along with it.[41] A bill for the creation of the Hazara province has also been tabled in the Parliament of Pakistan.[42]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b Heckel, Waldemar; Tsouras, Peter G. (2021-06-30). Who's Who in the Age of Alexander and his Successors: From Chaironeia to Ipsos (338-301 BC). Greenhill Books. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-78438-651-1.
  2. ^ Kohli, M. S. (2003). Miracles of Ardaas: Incredible Adventures and Survivals. Indus Publishing. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-81-7387-152-8.
  3. ^ Holdich, Thomas (2020-07-25). The Gates of India. BoD – Books on Demand. p. 59. ISBN 978-3-7523-3718-1.
  4. ^ a b Brill, E. J. (1993). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936. BRILL. pp. 297–298. ISBN 978-90-04-09789-6.
  5. ^ Department of Archaeology and Museums (2004-01-30). "UNESCO world heritage Centre - Mansehra Rock Edicts". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
  6. ^ Ancient Pakistan. Chairman, Department of Archaeology, University of Peshawar. 1971.
  7. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. p. 293. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0.
  8. ^ Watson, Hubert Digby (1908). Gazetteer of the Hazara District, 1907. Chatto & Windus. p. 121.
  9. ^ The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 13, p. 76
  10. ^ Abu'l-Fazl, 16-17th century. tr. H.S. Jarrett, v 2, p 397 (1891)
  11. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha (2019-09-11). Kashmir. Oxford University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-19-099046-6.
  12. ^ Siyar-ul-Mutakherin
  13. ^ Hazara Gazetteer 1883–84
  14. ^ Tareekh e Hazara
  15. ^ Hazara Gazetteer 1883–84
  16. ^ Panni, 341
  17. ^ Panni, aa
  18. ^ "Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 13, p. 55". Dsal.uchicago.edu.
  19. ^ "Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Subjugation of North Western Frontier – Kirpal Singh". The Tribune. Retrieved 2012-10-26.
  20. ^ Charles Allen, Soldier-Sahibs: The Men who made the North-West Frontier, London: Abacus, 2001. pp. 193–195. ISBN 0-349-11456-0
  21. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "McQueen, John Withers" . Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). Vol. 2. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  22. ^ Raugh, Harold E. The Victorians at War, 1815-1914: An Encyclopedia of British Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2004, pp. 163-164, ISBN 978-1-57607-925-6.
  23. ^ H. E. Weekes (2011). History of the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles1858 to 1928. p. 90.</ref
  24. ^ Quaid-I-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers: First Series, Volume III: On the Threshold of Pakistan, July 1–25, 1947 By Mahomed Ali Jinnah, Series Editor, Prof Dr Z. H. Zaidi Edition: illustrated Published by Oxford University Press, 1997 Original from the University of Michigan Digitized 29 Aug 2008 ISBN 978-969-8156-07-7 1120 pages
  25. ^ Frontier of faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan borderland By Sana Haroon Edition: illustrated Published by Columbia University Press, 2008 ISBN 978-0-231-70013-9 254 pages In 1947 the Nawab of Amb, Mohammad Farid Khan, acceded to Pakistan by signing the Instrument of Accession of his State, in favour of Pakistan
  26. ^ Khan, Mohammad Asif (2007). Changes in the Socio-economic Structures in Rural North-West Pakistan. Mohammad Asif Khan. p. 15. ISBN 978-3-8175-0408-4.
  27. ^ a b c Law, Gwillim (2015-05-20). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 276. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3.
  28. ^ Epstein, M. (2016-12-27). The Statesman's Year-Book: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1934. Springer. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-230-27063-3.
  29. ^ "Hazara division continues to receive influx of tourists". The Express Tribune. 2022-05-09. Retrieved 2023-05-02.
  30. ^ "Tourists throng scenic Hazara division". Daily Times. 2021-07-23. Retrieved 2023-05-02.
  31. ^ "Tourists throng scenic Hazara division". Daily Times. 2021-07-23. Retrieved 2023-05-02.
  32. ^ "District Ranking". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  33. ^ Orakzai, Rifatullah (16 April 2010). "آخر ہم ہیں کون؟". BBC Urdu. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  34. ^ Munir, Mohammad (2017). "Realities of a Separate Hazara Province". Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  35. ^ "Seven killed in Abbottabad violence". Dawn.com. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  36. ^ Shaheen, Sikander (14 April 2010). "Complete strike observed in Hazara Division". The Nation. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Abbottabad firing incident: Tehreek Suba Hazara to request Khattak to order registration of FIR". The Express Tribune. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  38. ^ "KP Assembly adopts resolution to create Hazara province". Dawn.com. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  39. ^ Yousafzai, Shahabullah (24 October 2018). "Man behind Hazara province movement, Baba Haider Zaman passes away at 84". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  40. ^ Editorial (2020-03-17). "Hazara province". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-03-19.
  41. ^ Rehman, Ziaur (3 February 2020). "Why Hazara province movement has resumed from Karachi". The News International. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  42. ^ Asad, Malik (21 August 2019). "Bill seeking to create new provinces referred to NA speaker". Dawn.com. Retrieved 11 April 2020.

34°50′N 73°14′E / 34.833°N 73.233°E / 34.833; 73.233