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The Tareen (or Tarin) (Pashto: ترین‎) is a tribe of Western Pashtuns who inhabit Southern Afghanistan, the Balochistan province of Pakistan and Hazara region of northwestern Pakistan.[1][2]


Little is known of the Tareen prior to Muhammad Ghori's incursions into India in the late 12th century.[3][4]

The Tareen people identify with descent from Sharkbun, a grandson of Qais Abdur Rasheed. Tareen had three sons, Tor, Speen and Abdal (Durrani). The descendants of Tor settled in Dukki, Balochistan, Pakistan. The descendants of Speen settled in Pashin, Balochistan. Abdali-Durrani was an ancestor of the people of Afghanistan.[1][5]

Sher Shah Suri brought the Tareen from the Pashtun to parts of central and northern India such as Bhagalpur, Bihar and regions of contemporary Pakistan.

At the time of Akbar the Great, Alaf Khan was a Tareen leader in Bhagalpur. He was a Mansabdar (government official) of the "Chahr Hazari" rank.[6][7]

During the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628 to 1658) a group of Tareen from Tarin Kowt emigrated to the area which is now the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.[3][8]

In about 1750, Ahmad Shah Abdali, ruler of Durrani Empire made incursions into northwestern India. In January 1761, a contingent of Tareen played a noted role in the Third Battle of Panipat, against the Maratha Empire. They were from the Batezai clan of the Tor Tareen. Their leaders became governors and administrators of the Lower Hazara Plain and the neighbouring Chhachh area of Attock in Northern Punjab.[3][8]

From 1820 to 1849, Punjab came under Sikh control. The Tareen people resisted occupation with sometimes severe consequences. [8][9]

On 29 March 1849, the British annexed Punjab. Initially, the Tareen resisted. Later, the Tareen reconciled themselves to the new situation and gradually found service with the British Raj. The Tareen worked in the military and civil administration.[10][3][8][11]

Branches (septs)[edit]

According to Neamet Ullah in History of the Pashtuns, Tareen had three sons after which the branches of the Tareen descendants are named: Tor, Speen (Aspin or Spin) and Abdal (Durrani).[12][13] Some list a fourth branch, the Zarh who are divided into the Zarh Khail and the Nangkhail. Of this last group, there are few remaining in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.[citation needed]

The Tor are divided into the Haroonzai, the Alizai tribe and the Sergi.[4]:124-125

Among the Haroonzai clans are the Malikyar, Noorzai, Khanzai, Kamalzai and the Abubakar. The Abubakar are further divided into the Batezai, Khudaidadzai and Hekalzai.

The Alizai are divided into the Gowran and the Saimzai.

The Abdal are divided into the Zirak, and the Panjpai. The Abdal became known as the Durrani.[2]

The Zirak groups include the Barakzai, Popalzai, Alikozai and the Achakzai.

The Panjpai groups include the Alizai tribe, Ishakzai and Noorzai.


The principal languages of Tareen are Pashto and Hindko.[4] Persian was once used as a formal language for official records and correspondence. Until the late 1800s, tombstones were also inscribed in Persian.[1] Tareen who have settled away from Pishin have adopted their local languages but some remain bilingual.[2]



In Afghanistan, most Tareen are of Bor (Abdal or Durrani) descent. The next most populous are the Tor Tareen. The Tareen in Afghanistan reside in provinces including Kandahar, Urzgan, Karabagh, Ghazni, Laghman, Parwan and Helmand.

The Tareen population is most numerous in the Kandahar area. However, the Tareen also hold influence in Urzgan province. Here, the provincial capital is Tarin Kowt ("Fortress of the Tareen"). Afghan rulers from Kandahar include Ahmed Shah Durrani, Abdur Rahman Khan, Nadir Khan, Zahir Shah and Hamid Karzai.

Clans of the Bor (Abdal or Durrani) Tareen in Kandahar province include the Achakzai, Barakzai, Mohammadzai, Popalzai, Alikozai, Ishaqzai, Alizai and Noorzai. Clans of the tor Tareen in Kandahar province include the Nurzai, Saggi, Barech, Kiral and Ghilzai.

Baluchistan Province, Pakistan[edit]

In Balochistan province, the majority population are ethnic Baloch (Baluch) people. The minority Tareen are the largest population of Tareen people beyond Afghanistan. They reside in Quetta, Mastung, Pishin, Qilla Abdullah, Loralai, Ziarat and Harnai. The Tareen people of Pishin are of Tor descent and are of many clans. In Qilla Abdullah, there are members of the Segi clan who are of Tor descent. In Loralai district, there are members of the Spin clan who reside in Ismail Shahr near Dukki Killi who are tor descendants. In Harnai district, the Tareen speak a unique dialect called "Tareeno" which may have developed as a lingua franca in the 1700s and 1800s as a derivative of other local languages.

Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan[edit]

In the 1600 and 1700s, Tareen people of Tor descent of the Bazetai clan moved to the Haripur District and Abbottabad District of the Hazara region of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa [3]In the Hazara area, the Tareen people have adopted the ways of the people of the North Punjab in Attock and Rawalpindi.[14]

Punjab, Pakistan[edit]

In Punjab, Pakistan, Tareen people reside in towns and villages including Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Lodhran, Attock (Chach area), Multan, Faisalabad, Mianwali, Khushab and Sargodha districts.

India and Bangladesh[edit]

Small populations of the Tareen have settled in India since the 1100s, particularly near Bhopal and in Sambhal (Sarai clan) Uttar Pradesh.[2][3] According to the Bangladesh official report, some Tareen are settled in the Tangail district, near Dhaka.[15]

Notable people of Tareen descent[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Caroe O. The Pathans 550 B.C.- A.D. 1957 Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-577221-0. Page 521.
  2. ^ a b c d Nawab Muhammad Hyat Khan, "Hayat i Afghan" (Orig. in Persian 1865) trans. by Priestley H. B. "Afghanistan and its Inhabitants", 1874; Reprint Lahore: Sang i Meel Press, 1981
  3. ^ a b c d e f Panni S. B. Tarikh i Hazara (1969) 2nd edition, Peshawar. p270 - 275.
  4. ^ a b c Ridgeway R. T. I. The Pathans (1911) Reprinted Peshawar, 1983.
  5. ^ Haider G. R. The Pashtuns - a monograph on tribal claims of their origins (1988) University of Peshawar Press p 11 - 13.
  6. ^ Mir Ali Wardi Khan Mansabdar aha Behar o Bengal (1724) translation to Urdu 1921.
  7. ^ Cardew C. H. H. Bhaugalpore: a short history (1894) Calcutta.
  8. ^ a b c d Hazara District Gazetteer 1883 and 1907.
  9. ^ Rawalpindi Gazetteer 1890.
  10. ^ Spain J. W. The Pathan Borderland (1964)
  11. ^ Attock District Gazetteer 1892
  12. ^ Dorn B. History of the Afghans: translated from the Persian of Neamet Ullah Third edition p42.
  13. ^ Elphinstone, II. p. 162.
  14. ^ Ahmad A. S. Report on the Hazara (1964) DC's Office Abbottabad Hazara District.
  15. ^ Bangladesh District Report and Tables: Tangail Government of Bangladesh 2011.