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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. A part of the tribe is also bilingual in Pashtu and Hindko. The tribe lives in the Abbottabad , Haripur districts, and are the native as well as the dominant tribe in the hilly areas of Galyat.


The Karlals trace their descent from Kral/Kallar. Kral/Kallar is believed to have migrated from Takht-e-Kalar, which is in the Lorestan Province of modern day Iran[1] to Afghanistan before migrating to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In Haripur and Abbottabad, they are known as 'Sardars' (leaders) because prior to the time of the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1296) they were among the area's original 'sardars'. Today, the majority of the Karlal tribe are Sunni Muslims. Although the Sardari system is now obsolete, the name persits due to usage by local people, including other tribes who refer to Karlals as sardars. The Karlal are mentioned both in the census reports of Ibbetson and Rose as well as in the Hazara District Gazetteers of 1884, 1907 and others, compiled during British rule.They are extensively distributed in hilly areas of Abbottabad District known as Gallies or Galyat.

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 Majitha, which was defeated by the Karlals, killing Amar Singh[citation needed]. Lepel Griffin writes in his book[clarification needed] about this battle of Sumandar Khata. From 1822 to 1845 the Karlal tribe fought many battles with Sikhs and was able to retain its independence throughout the Sikh period. 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.

At the time of mutiny in 1857, during 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 many mutineers of this tribe were hanged along with some Dhund tribesmen. [2] [3]

During the Pakistan movement, the tribe pledged support towards the formation of Pakistan by supporting a notable Karlal, Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi who was a staunch supporter of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and campaigned for him in his home province of North West Frontier Province as well as Punjab. [4]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Oshtran Kuh Protected Area, Iran
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]

Further reading[edit]

  • Tareekh-E-Frishta
  • Tareekh-E-Hazara by Dr S. Bahadur Khan Panni[citation needed]