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Sudhans (also known as Sudhozai) are one of the major tribes from the districts of Poonch, Sudhanoti, Bagh and Kotli in Azad Kashmir.


The tribe claims an Afghan ancestry.[1] According to Syed Ali, Sudhans have a Pashtun descent and moved to the Poonch district of Kashmir region some centuries ago.[2] About 40,000–60,000 Sudhans were recruited and served in the British Indian Army during the First and Second World Wars.[2][3]

Rebellion against Kashmir State

The Sudhan tribe has been described as "a main and martial tribe of dissident Poonch" by Christopher Snedden, a political analyst. Sardar Ibrahim Khan, formerly a little-known barrister, was among the Sudhan people who rose to significance from 1947 as a result of a campaign and later rebellion against the Maharaja of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, Hari Singh. Khan led a significant faction of the Muslim Conference in their demands that Singh should join with Pakistan rather than accede to India. Together with Muslims from Bagh, it was the Sudhans who were at the heart of this campaign.[4] The rebels were directed by the Pakistan Army, and with the support of Pashtun tribal lashkars sent in from the Khyber and Waziristan tribal agencies[5] and although Kashmir state acceded to India, they were able to 'liberate' a portion called Azad Kashmir (Free Kashmir/ controlled by Pakistan).[citation needed]

Sudhans were not given security clearance until 1972, and were not accepted in the Pakistan Military Academy regular course until 1965.[6][full citation needed]

Together with the Rajputs, it is the Sudhans who dominate the politics of Azad Kashmir in the present day, although the Gujjar community is probably the largest among the population.[7]


  1. ^ Hussain, Rifaat (2005). "Pakistan's Relations with Azad Kashmir and the Impact on Indo-Pakistani Relations". In Dossani, Rafiq; Rowen, Henry S. Prospects for Peace in South Asia. Stanford University Press. p. 361. ISBN 9780804750851. 
  2. ^ a b Syed Ali (1998). "South Asia: The Perils of Covert Coercion". In Lawrence Freedman. Strategic Coercion: Concepts and Cases. Oxford University Press. p. 253. ISBN 0-19-829349-6. 
  3. ^ Stephens, Ian (1963). Pakistan. Frederick A. Praeger Inc. p. 199. 
  4. ^ Snedden, Christopher. Kashmir - The Untold Story. HarperCollins India. pp. 1937–1938. ISBN 9789350298985. 
  5. ^ Josef Korbel, Danger in Kashmir, New York:United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan Report, 1954, pp.49-54
  6. ^ Sardar M. Saleem Khan (19 October 1997). "The Sudhan Revolt". The News. 
  7. ^ Lyon, Stephen M.; Bolognani, Marta (2011). "The Mirror Crack'd: Shifting Gazes and the Curse of Truth". In Bolognani, Marta; Lyon, Stephen M. Pakistan and Its Diaspora: Multidisciplinary Approaches. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230347120.