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The Khans of Begu Khel Mawat

Khan Mir Khan, the chief of the Begu Khel section of the Achu Khel branch of the Marwat tribe was a great grandson of Begu, the founder of the family, and was also the head of the "white" party in Marwat, better known as the Gundi Nawazan. Begu and a contingent of 120 Marwat horsemen served under Ahmad Shah Durrani in the campaign which closed with the destruction of the Maratta army at Panipat near Delhi in 1761. After his return he led some attacks against Niazis in Isakhel, in the last of which he was killed. Nawaz Khan, his second son, was elected to succeed him. All Marwat were at the time divided into two hostile factions. As the eruption of the feud between the two goondis, it is said that a murderer had some years before been given an asylum with the Achu Khels. This led to other murders of revenge until at last the blood feud became so ramified that every clan and every family of note in the country became involved in the great quarrel. The leaders of the one party were the Nawaz Khan (also known as Khooni Nawaz, i.e. Murderer Nawaz), and another man of the same name, a Maidad Khel, the father of Sahibdad Khan. On the other side the leader was Abezar Khan, a distant cousin of Begu Khan's son, and one who aspired to be chief of the whole Achukhel clan. Thus arose the two great parties which divided Marwat, and which gave rise to the saying "God is one, but Marwats are two". The one party was known as the "whites" or Gondi Nawazi and the other as "blacks" or Goondi Abezar. Nawaz, son of Beu, spent his whole life in trying to wear down the Abezar party. Beaten in several fights, he was so unpatriotic as to invoke the aid of the Nawab of Mankera. The Nawab's army routed Abezar's in 1819 and from that year the Marwats lost their independence. A few years afterwards the Abezarites allied themselves with the Wazirs, who were ready to assist either side when there was a prospect of plunder, and many fights ensued, in one of which the Wazirs suffered heavily and were pursued across the Kurram to the hills. When the rule of the Sikhs superseded that of the Nawab, the Nawazites sought favour with the new power, and in 1843, assisted Fateh Khan Tiwana to build the Lakki fort. Nawaz, son of Begu, died two years after. Even during the British time, the local measure of length in use was that of his arm from elbow to tip of the longest finger, and the length of the hand more, and is known after him. It was thirty-one inches long. Abusamad Khan, a younger son, was elected to succeed him, and held the chieftainship until his death in 1864, when Khan Mir Khan became head of the family. Begu Khels have remarkable history of the past and many Begu Khels, nowadays, are well placed in the society and in government services.

Khans of Essak Khel Marwat

Abezar Khan from Isak khel branch of the Achu khels had intense rivalry with Nawaz, son of Begu that cost the Marwat tribe their independence. Abezar and Nawaz were contemporaries. Both lived to old age, and both died within a year or two of each other on the eve of annexation of Marwat ellaqa to the British. Abezar's father, namely Almar, may be regarded as the founder of the house. This Almar was a fine, honest character, and had such influence that he united all Marwat to fight the Khattaks. On Abezar's death in 1847, his son Sarwar was recognized as head of the clan. He died in 1860 and was succeeded by his son, Arsala Khan. He was a quiet, simple man, partially blind from cataract, and was greatly respected by the Marwats. He and Khan Mir Khan, as heading the rival parties in the country and being hereditary enemies, have no intercourse together, though their villages adjoin each other. Both families sent representatives to assist at the siege of Multan, but neither family, nor indeed the Achu Khel clan generally, was heartily with the British until the battle of Gujrat annihilated the Sikh army. Their Luke warmness to the British gave Hakim Khan and the Sikandar Khel clan an opportunity of distinguishing themselves in 1848, when Major Taylor besieged the Sikh garrison in the now dismantled Lakki fort.

Khans of Maidad Khel Marwat

The Maidad Khel family had for many generations supplied chiefs for the Bahram Khel branch of the Marwats, but the tenure of chieftainship was always very uncertain, and the hold of any individual in the clan was never strong. Power depended entirely on personal qualifications, and the clan was from the first split up into two opposing parties. One was Nawaz Khan, who with his Begu Khel namesake gave the name Gundi Nawazan to their party. This Nawaz was a man of great ambition, and ruled by art more than by force. Lately, he attempted to consolidate his hold on his clan by entertaining a band of foreign mercenaries, and began building himself a fort in the hills about a mile and a half up the Kharoba nala. Before the work was completed, he was assassinated by a youth whose father he had murdered. This was in 1835. On his death Langar Khan, a distant clansman, rose to power, and held it until he died in 1856, when his son Wali Khan and the late Nawaz Khan's son, Sahibdad Khan, were jointly made heads of their clan. In 1878, Wali Khan was deprived of his barat of Rs. 195. That of Sahibdad was Rs, 405 which remained paid to him and his successors during the British time.

Khans of Ghazni Khel Marwat

The Ghazni Khels remained part of one of the two ‘gundis’ in their local influence in the Marwat area; and not before but in the first quarter of the 20th century, they attained fame when Faziullah Khan emerged as a politically blessed person who lead the Ghazni Khels in politics and local influence, much stronger than ever before. Prior to him, long ago in the Durranis and the Sikhs period till 1847, the Ghazni Khels remained in the same level of social livings as other Marwats did appear at that time. From the routine living in houses of twigs and Camel skin tents during the Durranis period to the existing state of prosperity as many of them enjoy so, they have emerged as a distinguished Marwat sub clan through hard work and not by any virtue of indignity. Saifullah Khan then emerged a stronger politician of the area in 1945 and onward, after succeeding his father, Faizullah Khan. Saifullah Khan was married to the daughter of Khan Quli Khan, a known political agent of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Saifullah Khan attained political distinction in 1956-60 when elected to the National Assembly of the country, thenceforth succeeded by his existing sons, famously known as ‘Saifullah Khan Brothers’. They exercised strong influence in the whole Marwat area. The other families in line at Ghazni Khel also attained considerable status, property and dignity as well. Ghazni Khels are model people of fine complexion, soothed and much prosperous in Marwat area and some of them are termed as the ‘makers of the modern Marwat’.

Khans of Meena Khel Marwat

By virtue of caste, the Khans of Meena Khel are Sikandar Khels of the Marwat who spent nomadic life during the Durranis period much in the same level as the other Marwats appeared at that time. Not much ago but during the early days of the British Period, Hakeem Khan Meena Khel emerged an an influential person in the Sikandar Khel Clan when he was duly supported by the local British administration for his since alliance to them. He owned much land, some of which was inherited by him, some land forcibly occupied after depriving his kinsmen and other larger part of the land was gifted to him by the then British rulers of the district. The sons of Hakeem Khan emerged briskly and lately in 1932, the clan was lead by Khan Habib Ullah Khan who was a distinguished lawyer and landlord of Bannu, then MLA, who also became Minister of Interior Affairs during Ayub Khan’s Regime; as well as was elected as Chairman of Senate in 1972.

The other Meena Khel's Khans have attained dignity and status of importance in the Marwat society in line with the said descendants of Hakim Khan and his sons; one famously known as the Mohammad Khan family, having social influence in Lakki area. The Meena Khels are much unified. Perhaps, it is by the virtue of the Meena Khel Khans that the rest of the Sikandar Khels in Marwat area, have been introduced well in the society, who actually are landlords but of little political importance, yet they stand aloof with separate identity as Sikandar Khels. Sikandar Khels are politically moderate among Marwats unlike Ghazni Khels. They bear fair complexion. The Sikandar Khels of Marwat are different in caste from the Sikandar Khels of Bannu.

Families of Khwaja Khels Marwats of Naurang

This family achieved status of a ‘progressing family’ after 1900 AD. In fact, the Khwaja Khels of Naurang emerged in the last quarter of the 19th century when their forefathers purchased the land now possessed by them, from the sons of one person namely Naurang (orderly of John Nichoson); and shifted in this tiny village from the main Village of Khwaja Khel. The recent generations of the family attained respectable posts and positions since two decades before the creation of Pakistan, by virtue of their lust for education and through hard work in the weary tides of time. The family has maintained social links with their blood relations in the main village of Khwaja Khel. They are reasonably unified and possess soft corners in their hearts for each other, yet the different sub branches of the family are erecting own mosques, which has ultimately bricked a wall of dissociation among them, perhaps due a mere run for overwhelming each other, which issue, on the other hand, has created intensification in their routine achievements. However, in overall, their meritorious services of the past towards uplift of the Marwat tribe cannot be ignored. Late Ghulam Ishaque Khan (The ex president of Pakistan) was married to a lady from this family.


Special Thanks

Special Thanks for Prof:Samsher Ali Khan and Jahangir Khan Sikandri for history Information

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