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The Karlal (Urdu کرڑال also known as Kard'al, Karaal, Karhral, or Kiraal) is a Hindko speaking tribe in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The majority of the tribe is native of the Abbottabad District, and inhabit the hilly area of the Galyat and the Nara tract. A minority are also settled in the Haripur District.


The tribe traces their descent from Kallar Shah who is believed to have come from southern Afghanistan, and is cited to have been a descendant of Alexander the Great. The Word Karlal is derivative of "Kallar Aal" that means "decedents of Kallar Shah". Karlal territory consists of Galyat and Nara tract and borders to Azad Kashmir to the east, Punjab to the south, Mansehra to the North, and rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west. In Haripur and Abbottabad, Karlals use Sardar as their title or prefix to their name. The origin of the title Sardar (translated as leader) is because Karlal remained political and territorial leaders during the time of the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1296). Although the territorial leadership system around sardar became obsolete centuries ago, the name prevails due to extensive usage by local peoples. The majority of the people of the Karlal tribe are Sunni Muslims.

As per 'Wajab Ul Arz' of 1874 compiled by British authorities, the Karlal tribe throughout history tried to retain their independence.[citation needed]

In 1822 Ranjit Singh sent a large force under General Amar Singh Majithia, to subdue the troublesome tribes of Hazara, which was defeated by the Karlals, killing Amar Singh.[1] From 1822 to 1845 the Karlal tribe fought many battles with Sikhs and was able to retain its independence throughout the Sikh period.[2] In 1844 Lahore Darbar sent a large force under Diwan Mulraj and Hari Singh to subdue the Karlal country. Taking advantage of the terrain, the Karlals were able to defeat the Sikh army at Nah, killing more than 150 Sikh soldiers. Despite of the Sikh Empire holding parts of lower Hazara, including some Karlal territory, the Karlal tribe paid no tribute to the Sikh Empire and remained Independent.[3]

After the fall of the Sikh Empire, the British colonial forces had partial control over some parts of Karlal territory. During the Murree rebellion of 1857 ,the Karlal tribe tried to revolt against the rule of the East India Company, however, the British were able to imprison the Karlal chief, and the mutineers of this tribe were hanged along with some Dhund (Abbasi) tribesmen.[4][5]

Notable people[edit]

< Karlal History>


  1. ^ [1]
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  5. ^ [5]

(Pl note that these given ref are not at all reliable and some are non-existent )

Further reading[edit]