Marghuz

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'Marghuz Village' is a manor and Union Council of the Swabi District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.[1]

Marghuz village has an altitude of 1,046 feet (319 m) (Latitude=34.07, Longitude=72.53). The village has a population of approximately 25,000, and consists of two parts: Marghuz Yara Khel and Marghuz Aka Khel. Afghan tribe Mandanr Yousafzai's sub-branch Mirahmedkhel resides in this village; which is further divided into Akakhel and YaraKhel clans.

Marghuz has literacy rate of over 85.6%, one of the highest in Pakistan, and far exceeds the national average of approximately 49.9%.[2] The female literacy rate is 92% and male literacy rate is approximately 80%. In village Marghuz, there is one Degree college for women, there are two High schools one each for girls and boys. There are two Middle schools, one each for girls and boys. There are four primary schools for girls and five for boys. In addition, there are also several private schools both for girls and boys.

There is a hospital in the village (Dr. Sohrab Government memorial Hospital. The renowned Medical Doctors are: Prof. Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad Khan (Pediatrician), Prof. Dr. Shafique Ahmad Khan (Gynecologist), Prof. Dr. Taskeen Ahmad Khan (Urologist), Prof. Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad Khan (ENT & Head & Neck Surgeon), Prof. Dr. Nighat Yasmeen (Pathologist), Prof. Dr. Nargis Parveeen (Physiologist), Brig (R) Dr. Habib-ur-Rehman (Psychiatrist), Lady Dr. Johar Khatoon (Gynecologist), Dr. Muhammad Tufail Khan, Group Captain Dr. Israr Muhammad Khan (Dental Surgeon), Dr. Brekhna Jamil (Health Professionals Educationist), etc. belong to Village Marghuz. In addition Several Ph.D scholars also belong to village Marghuz like Professor Dr. Fahamdil Khan, one of the prominent educationalists and Dr. Altaf Hussain, a renowned chemical ecologist. Village Marghuz has produced a number of outstanding Armed Forces officers who excelled in their profession in Army Airforce and Navy The list include Air Commodore Taufiq M Khan, Lt col Tariq Ahmed Khan, Lt col Jehan Zeb, Sqn Ldr Israr khan, Lt Asima Zahir etc. The Director Zahir Muhammad from Ministry of Population Welfare was also belong to village Marghuz. The father of Maolana Mohammad Ali Johar and Maolana Shawkat Ali belonged to this village, who played a vital roll in the politics of India the independence of Pakistan in 1947.

Former provincial minister and noted Awami National Party leader Haji Zain Mohammad which was considered to be Mr. Clean,[3] Mr. Shabbir Ahmed Khan, prominent leader of Jamaat-e-Islami and Ex. Member National Assembly from NA Peshawar-1 and Asad Qaisar a prominent leader and provincial president (KPK) of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf also belong to village Marghuz. Marghuz is sometimes called "the village of government servants". Awami National Party has been the largest in Marghuz since 1930. Approximately 41 percent people have no political affiliation and about 30 percent are staunch members of Awami National Party, about 10 percent are affiliated with Pakistan Peoples Party, 10 percent with Pakistan Muslim League (N), 5 percent Pakistan Muslim League (Q) some 4 percent with JUI F and Jamaat-e-Islami. The 41 percent people cast their vote on the basis of their own judgement regardless of political affiliation. The local population consists of a very tolerant Islamic society. The people of village Marghuz are peace-loving. There are more than 70 mosques in the village. The recent development in infrastructure has changed the entire socioeconomic structure of the village, and new businesses have emerged as a result of the last 15 years' development.

The village benefits from a particularly large market for agriculture and household items. Tobacco and Sugarcane are the main cash crops of village Marghuz. Many surrounding villages depend on the Marghuz bazaar (alias Deira), and Marghuz is increasingly becoming a local business hub as a result.

The History of Marghuz[edit]

Early settlement[edit]

Eusefzai / Mandanr tribe lived around Kabul (Afghanistan). It was in the last quarter of the 15th century when a calamity befell on Eusefzai /Mandanr tribe. They were invited by Mirza Alagh Beg the Governor of Kabul uncle of Zaheer-ud-Din Babar (1483-1530) later king of India, as his honoured guests. Little did they realize that it was a treacherous plot and a deceit played on them. After the feast when they were unarmed and merry making all numbering seven hundred were put to death. Only six were left alive including one Ahmed Khan aged barely 15 years, later chosen as Head/Malik of the Eusefzai/Mandanr tribe by the elders. To save themselves from annihilation, the remaining migrated in miserable condition to this part of the country. The Dalazak a pukhtoon tribe, who lived in this area, gave them shelter. Later as a result of inter tribe wars Eusafzia tribe overcame Dalazak and the later were pushed to Hazara across the river Indus. The Dalazak tribe is now extinct. Their descendants are scattered but the tribe has no such boundaries as other pukhtoon tribes have.

Different Phases of the History of Marghuz[edit]

When Dalazak were defeated, lands left behind were distributed (wesh) amongst all the segments of Eusafzai / Mandanr families. This stupendous task was performed by Shaikh Malli, the advisor and right-hand man of Malik Ahmed Khan, the chosen leader of Eusafzai. In the beginning, land allotment was not permanent but the tribes had to shift to new lands (garzenda wesh) after a period of five, seven and ten years. It is said the khels / tapa of Marghuz have shifted from Slaim Khan another village in District Swabi and took their abode here. They adopted the same names of ‘tapa’ as they had in Slaim khan ‘Aka khel’ and ‘Yara khel’. People had their dwellings near the lands allotted to them.

Who were the Khans/elders of the village? Who nominated them? What were the rules of ascendency? To the misfortune of Eusafzia/Mandanr tribe, the central authority was broken after Malik Bhakoo Khan a contemporary of King Aurangzeb (1618-1707). It was Malik Ahmed Khan who had united the Eusafzai / Mandanr tribe as one unit. He carved a state for ‘Eusafzai/Mandanr’ tribe including the whole of Swat, Sama (Mardan, Swabi) extending up to Charsadda. It was a formidable force and could be called a state in its real meaning. After the death of Malik Ahmed Khan, there came in line Khan Gaju, Malik Misri Khan, Malik Ghazi Khan, Malik Kaloo Khan and Malik Bhakoo Khan. All these Maliks who took over after Malik Ahmed Khan were elected in Jirga of the elders. Ascendency to Malik-ship was not hereditary but depended on the meritorious services rendered to the tribe. After the last Malik Bhakoo Khan there were some thirty two Khanates/units each headed by a khan exercising full authority and control over the people. Central authority was lost and each one grinded his own axe and took care only in preservation of his fiefdom. What sort of measures they took to dispense justice and settle the family feuds and land disputes of their subjects are a domain not documented.

At that time there was only one vocation of people that is agriculture. The whole society depended on land. Being agrarian society there was no other economic activity. Lands were distributed according to a formula devised by Shaikh Malli agreed upon by all. Shaikh Malli was the right-hand man and adviser of Malik Ahmed Khan the ‘malik/king’ of Eusafzai tribe. It is said that Shaikh Malli maintained full record of the land possessions with each family but alas, these are lost and no more available.

Senior people in the advanced age bracket talk that the people of Marghuz have come from Slaim Khan another village in District Swabi. Shifting of dwellings was a mechanism devised by Shaikh Malli for the satisfaction of the families and to settle their disputes on lands so that no one is left permanently on harsh and uncultivable piece of land. The Marghuz ‘tapas’ (Akakhel and Yarakhel) are named on the same pattern as in Slaim Khan. A metaled road divides the two main ‘tapas’/ branches of the village.

If we believe on this assumption and there is nothing contrary to this, the people here in Marghuz have a history of around 200 years. This gives credence to the fact that because of Shaikh Malli’s rule of distribution (wesh) of land the families used to exchange land and shifted to new places leaving behind lands to some other family. Later on when people started living in houses made of mud instead of huts, this practice of movement from one place to another stopped.

Little, almost nothing is known about the different ‘khel’ family units of Marghuz claiming to be lineage (segmental) Pukhtoons and the land holdings allotted to them. The khans had an edge over the rest of the people and given more lands as they had to incur expenditure on entertainment of guests and they had to look after the ‘hujra’ and other related matters. Expenses for the oil in lamps lit in 'hujras were born by Hindus. Name of any person belonging to Marghuz is not documented in the wars fought with Dalazak or in the war fought with the Mughal armies of Emperor Akbar under Zain Khan Koka in Malakand / Swat and later with Sikh armies of Ranjeet Singh at Peer Sabak. The favorite companion Bheerbal of Mughal Emperor Akbar was killed in the battle fought with Mughal Army in Swat. In this war all the Mughal army was wiped out. Mughals did not dare to attack again on Eusafzai/Mandar lands. It remained independent till 1857 when the English occupied the whole of subcontinent.[4]

Marghuz History Till Independence (British Period)[edit]

Sikha Shahi[edit]

The ‘Sikh’ community from Punjab gained power and strength after the death of Ahmed Shah Abdali (1726-1773). His descendants because of inter family feuds known in history as ‘badshah gardi’ were unable to govern areas Kashmir, Punjab, Multan, which were part of the Afghan Kingdom. A Sikh Sardar Ranjeet Singh (1780-1839) later Maharaja capital at Lahore Punjab was able to unite the warring Sikh Sardars and established a formidable state for himself. His armies challenged the Durranis and marched on under the command of Hari Singh Nalwa to Peshawar. Hari Pur city is named after him. Durranis fled to Kabul, looting their own people on the way and left them at the mercy of Sikhs. Sikhs were a ruthless community and Pukhtoons suffered immensely at their hands. Hari Singh had divided his army in two branches. One advanced via Attock and the other via Pehur joining at Jehangira. Sikh army was confronted at Pir Sabak Shaidu and a fierce battle took place between the two armies. Sikhs were victorious. Pukhtoon martyrs from different tribes are buried in the graveyard in Shaidu on road side going to Peshawar.

There was no unified command against the onslaught of Sikhs and Pukhtoons could not defend their people and country. No resistance was put to the Sikhs and practically there was a walk over by them. Books are silent if Sikhs army was checked by the local inhabitants of Marghuz and surrounding villages while they were trespassing of their area. It appears that complete co-operation was extended to the Sikhs. The marauding forces of Sikhs did a virtual walk over. The Khans of the area withdrew the support they had promised to Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi who had come all the way from Delhi (India) for no other reason except to help the pukhtoons to get them free from the atrocities of Sikhs. Ahmed Shaheed failed because of his ignorance and interference in centuries old customs of pukhtoons. Marghuz and surrounding villages were not of strategic importance and therefore the Sikhs did not remain in the area for a long time and soon left.

There was no central authority and people were at the mercy of local Khans who exercised full control over them. I have heard a story that poor people in the area could not light fire and cook food in their huts. If smoke (looge) was seen coming out of the hut, men of a Khan would come on horses and snatch away all that was in the hut. Because of this fear people devised special type of hearths where they would light fire but no smoke would come outside the hut. The smoke would spread inside the hut lest the horsemen of Khan should come and take away whatever little there was with the poor family.

English Period till independence in 1947[edit]

Across the river Indus in Hazara Sikh Armies were defeated by English with the wholehearted support and sacrifices of Mushwanis across Indus in Hazara. With the end of Sikha Shahi the English did not have any difficulty in occupation of the area. People were weary of the Sikh rule and the British were taken as their liberators. Full cooperation was extended to them. English were visionary people and did not interfere in local customs. Also they did not marry any local women, did not appropriate any lands for themselves and showed complete tolerance towards religion.

Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali belonged to Marghuz. Their great grand father migrated to India from the Mohallah Mulla Khel, Tapah Yara Khel, Marghuz Village to Ram Pur. In 1937 after a public meeting of All India Muslim League at Mardan Maulana Shaukat Ali desired to go to Marghuz Village in order to visit their residence, hujra, graveyard of his great grand fathers. He was advised by the local leadership of his party to avoid any visit to Marghuz as it was a strong hold of All India Congress. But he did not listen to those advises and visited Marghuz. Surprisingly he received a warm welcome by all the inhabitants of the Marghuz Village irrespective of their political affiliations. He stayed there for two days at the residence of K. B. Taj Muhammad Khan.[5]

References[edit]

Coordinates: wiki-plaintext-parser 34°4′6″N 72°31′56″E / 34.06833°N 72.53222°E / 34.06833; 72.53222