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Hazara Abbottabad

Hazara Abbottabad

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Published by aceleaf
Abbottabad Hazara a brief history
Abbottabad Hazara a brief history

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Published by: aceleaf on Nov 28, 2009
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Hazara, Pakistan
is a valley and region located in the  North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Until the year 2000 the region was an administrative subdivision of the NWFP known as Hazara Division, headquartered at the city of  Abbottabad.
 However, the divisions were abolished in 2000, as part of an administrative shake up. Although the administrative division has been abolished by the government, the identity and name have been retained and used for other purposes. The election commission of Pakistan also groups the districts of Pakistan under the former divisions. Five districts make up Hazara; these areAbbottabad
According to the
,v. 13, p. 76: "The origin of the name Hazāra is obscure. It has been identified with Abisāra, the country of  Abisares,the chief of the Indian mountaineers at the time of  Alexander 's invasion. Dr. Stein regards it as derived from Urasā, the ancient name of Pakhli. Another  possible derivation is from Hazara-i-Karlugh
, or the Karlugh legion, which was settled in this tract by Timur after his invasion of India."
In spite of 
 Imperial Gazetteer' 
s above-quoted views, modern historians and distinguishedIndologistsincluding Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee, Dr B. C. Law, Dr J. C. Vidyalankar, Dr M. Witzel,Dr M. R. Singh and Prof K. N. Dhar concur with Dr Stein's identification of modern Hazara with theancient Sanskrit name Urasa
.Evidence from 7th cChinesetraveller  Hiuen Tsang
combined with earlier evidence fromMahabharata 
attests that Hazara District of  Kashmir had formed part of  epic Kambojaand that the Kamboja rulers of this region observedrepublicansystem of government
Alexander the Great and Ashoka
Alexander the Great, after conquering parts of Punjab, established his rule over a large part of Hazara. In327 B.C.,Alexander  handed this area over toAbisaras(Αβισαρης), the Raja of Poonch state. Hazara remained a part of  Taxiladuring the rule of the Maurya dynasty.Ashokawas the Governor of this area when he was a prince. After the death of Ashoka’s father, Bindusara, Ashoka inherited the throne and ruled this area as well as Gandhara.Today, the famous edicts of Ashoka, inscribed on three rocks near  Bareri Hill, serve as evidence of his rule. These edicts also show that this area was a famous religious centrefor pilgrims. The name Mansehra is a modified form of the name Maan Singh, who once ruled over thisarea.Hazara has several places of significance for the  pagans related to the Pandavas.
'There are the fivePandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharat favourite objects of worship in the east and sometimes addressed as the Panj Pir. Many are the legends current about these heroes andthey are localised at quite a number of places. The Hill of  Mokshpuri, just aboveDunga Galihas an elevation of 9232 feet. Its name means 'the hill of salvation' and on its summit is a
 Panduan daSthan
, or place of the Pandavas
,where it is said they were visited and tempted byApsaras who still frequent the place .
In the 2nd century CE, a mythical kingRaja Risalu
,son of Raja Salbahanof  Sialkot, brought the area under  his control. The local people consider him as their hero and, even today, parents tell their children thestories of  Raja Risaluand his wifeRani Konklanon winter nights. When a Chinese pilgrim, Hiun -Tsang,  visited this area, it was under the control of  Durlabhavardhana,the ruler of  Kashmir . The TurkishShahi Dynasties ruled Hazara one after another. Among the Hindu Shahi dynasty rulers, Raja Jayapala is the best known.Mehmood of Ghaznidefeated Raja Jayapala during his first campaign. However, there is no historical evidence that Mehmood of Ghazni ever visited or passed through Mansehra.After the fall of the Shahi dynasty, in the 11th century, the Kashmiris took control of this area under theleadership of  Kalashan(1063 to 1089). From 1112 to 1120, King Susalaruled this area. In the 12th century, Asalat Khancaptured this area but soon after Mohammad of Ghor 's death the Kashmiris once again regained control of Hazara.
Turkish rule
In 1399, the great Muslim warrior  Timur ,on his return toKabul,stationed his Turk soldiers in Hazara to  protect the important route between Kabul and Kashmir. By 1472, PrinceShahab - ud -Dincame from Kabul
and established his rule over the region. Prince Shahab-ud-Din, a Turk of central Asian origin, founded thestate and named it Pakhli Sarkar and chose Gulibagh as his capital. During the Mughal rule, these localTurkish chiefs acknowledged Mughal authority. In fact, Hazara (Pakhli) provided the main route toKashmir and was the most commonly used route for Emperor Akbar  to travel to Kashmir. During the last days of Emperor Akbar's rule, the Turkish Chief Sultan Hussain Khan revolted against the Mughals. Heclaimed that the Mughals were interfering with his internal affairs. After this complaint, he was exiled bythe Mughals, but later was pardoned and given back his land. Now, descendants of these Turkish rulers livein villageBehaliand some other villages of Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Haripur districts.They are known asRajas as the local people called them even at that time when they called themselves Sultan.
Durrani rule
When Ahmad Shah Durraniexpanded his kingdom to Punjab, Hazara also came under his control. Durrani considered it wise to rule the area through local tribal chiefs, like Saadat Khan and Faqir Khan of GarhiHabibullah. Saadat Khan was such an authoritative man amongstSwatis whereas Faqir Khan was the khakan of his Mughal tribe and they were considered to be the fighting machines, even disputed matters of  Jadoons andTanolishad been sent to them for rectification through jirgas. The Durranis' rule ended abruptly in the beginning of the 18th century.The first quarter of the 18th century was miserable for the Turks. Their rule came to an end due to the decayof their vitality and the increasing aggression of the Pukhtoons. The most crucial attack was that of the Swatisin 1703, under the command of Syed Jalal Baba who was a son-in-law of last Turk ruler, SultanMehmud Khurd. During the absence of his father-in-law Syed Jalal BabainvitedSwatisto invadePakhli Sarkar. Being an insider, he provided crucial information to invading forces and succeeded in overthrowinghis in-laws through his shrewd conspiracy. Turks had already became weak due to their internal feuds, aswell. Swatis thus ousted the Turks from upper Hazara (Mansehra andBatagram) and captured it. However, the extremely hostile and powerfulTanolis
, of the Tanawal Mountains, brave and hardy, who were deemedthe best swordsmen in Hazara, remained loyal to the Turks until the end of latter's rule in Hazara. By thetime Awans,Jadoons, Karlal andTareens captured lower Hazara (Abbottabad and Haripur), the Tanolis,  who later on founded a state named Amb, had already established their authority over Tanawal. Upper Tanawal and Lower Tanawal, covering the greater part of Hazara, have been ruled by Tanolis for centuries.Descendants of the former Turkish rulers of Hazara now live in the village of Behali, district Mansehra, andin some other villages of Abbottabad, Haripur and Mansehra.Another famous martial tribe called theGakhars settled inKhanpur (NWFP)in the early 18th Century. This tribe once ruled areas from Attock to Jhelum.
Sikh rule
Durrani rule had weakened considerably at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1818Ranjit Singhformallyannexed Hazara; however, in 1820 his generals were defeated. In 1821, during another attempt at conquest by the Sikhs, Amar Singh was killed atHarroh. Sardar Hari Singh, the governor of Kashmir, then went toHazara to battle against the tribes, but it took him three years to subdue the warlike mountaineers of theouter hills. It was not until 1836 that the Gakhars of Khanpur were finally defeated.
However in 1845 the local populace, taking advantage of the problems inLahore(the capital of the SikhEmpire), rose up in rebellion. They drove the governor of Hazara, Diwan Mulraj, to Hasan Abdal in 1846.However, with the conclusion of thefirst Sikh War 
, Hazara along with Kashmir was given to Raja GulabSingh. But in 1847 the Raja gave back Hazara to the Lahore Darbar in exchange for land near Jammu, andHazara passed into British control.
British rule and Pashtun resistance
After the first Sikh War, the area was governed by Major James Abbott. Abbott managed to secure and  pacify the area within a year. During the Second Sikh War  Abbott and his men were cut off by the Sikh army from supplies and reinforcements from the rest of the British Army, but were able to maintain their  position.
By 1849, the British had gained control of all of Mansehra. However, the western Pashtuntribes remained rebellious. These tribes included the clansof Allai,Batagramin the Nandhiar valley, and the tribes inhabiting both slopes of the Black Mountain of Hazara. In 1852, after three years of relative peace, Zaman Shah of Kaghan turned against the British. James Abbotsent an expedition to Kaghan which deprived Zaman Shah of his territory and he was exiled to Pakhli plain.After four years the British forgave him and he was permitted to get back his lost territory.The British sent many expeditions against the Pashtun tribes to crush the rebellion between 1852 and 1892,especially against the Black Mountains. Along with some parts of Balakotwhich are located near to the
 boundary of Azad Jammu & Kashmir including  Neelum Valleyto stop the resistance by Mughal tribesand those tribes were command by Faqir Khan of Lambian Pattian.To maintain peace in the area the British also took preventive measures by co-opting the local rulers.The British divided Hazara Districtinto three Tehsils(administrative subdivisions) : Mansehra, Abbottabad
,andHaripur ; and decided to annex it to the Punjab.In 1901, when the North-West Frontier Province  (NWFP) was formed, Hazara was separated from Punjab and made a part of NWFP. Throughout their rulein Mansehra, the British met fierce resistance from the local Pashtun tribes and declared martial law.Meanwhile, the people of Mansehra's many villages largely governed themselves. Many of Mansehra'scitizens joined the Khilafatmovement. When the Muslim League in Pakistan started its movement for a separate land, the local people joined andstruggled for liberation under the leadership of  Quaid-i- Azam
. Their eventual victory culminatedin the creation of  Pakistan,an independent state for the Muslims of the sub-continent. During Bhutto's regime, Mansehra was upgraded to a district, containing two subdivisions: Mansehra andBatagram. Later,the Mansehra district had the Balakotsubdivision added to it. Swatis were given places by Turks in Hazara so that they can protect the valley from the foreign attacks.There was no fight fought between Turks and Swatis; Punjabis remained popular.
, the region of Hazara had formed part of the Punjab province, until the western parts of that province were separated to form the new North-West Frontier Province. The areas around Abbottabadand Mansehra became theHazara Districtof Peshawar Division,whilst areas to the north of this became the Hazara Tribal Agencyand theKohistan Tribal Agency. Sandwiched between Hazara Tribal Agency and the Hazara district were the small princely states of Amband Phulra.This system of administration continued until 1950, when these two small states were incorporated into the Hazara district.From 1955 to 1970, the North-West Frontier Province became part of West Pakistanunder the One Unit policy, with the Hazara district forming part of the Peshawar division of West Pakistan. On the dissolutionof West Pakistan, the Hazara district and the two tribal agencies were merged to form the new Hazaradivision with its capital at Abbottabad. The division was initially composed of three districts (Abbottabad,Kohistan and Mansehra) but within a few years, Haripur district was spun off from Abbottabad District andBatagram District was spun off from Mansehra District.In 2000, administrative divisions were abolished and the fourth tier districts were raised to become the newthird tier of government in Pakistan.
Only two districts in the division are Pashtun and Dardic in character, these being Kohistan and Batagram.Dardic andPashto speakers form the majority population in Kohistan District
, and districtBatagramisoverwhelminglyPashtun. The remaining three districts of  Manshera,Abbottabad andHaripur are  predominantly Hindko speaking and the people similar to those of Northern Punjab. Overall approximatelyhalf of the population speaks Gujri and Hindko and most of the rest speak Pashto and Kohistani. Small numbers of people speak other languages (Persian, Panjabi, Pohari etc) but there is considerable bilingualism and multilingualism amongst the population. The districts of  Haripur  andAbbottabad have higher literacy rates than most districts of the province.Afghan refugees
,although predominantly Pashtun (including the Ghilzai and Durrani tribes), and other smaller groups are found throughout the Division.
 Kalhana's Rajatarangini: A Chronicle of the Kings of Kaśmīr (1988), P 267, Kalhana, M. A.Stein; The Historical Background of Pakistan and Its People (1973), P 156, Ahmed Abdulla; Ethnic Settlements in Ancient India: A Study on the Puranic Lists of the Peoples of Bharatavarsa(1955), P 91, Sashi Bhusan Chaudhuri; Kalhana (1978), P 57, Somnath Dhar; The Indian Society: A Process of Peoples' Revolutionary Struggle Through the Ages (1974), P 207, R. P. Saraf; IndianConquest of the Himalayan Territories: Military Exploits of General Zorawar Singh Dogra(1978), P 18, Sukh Dev Singh Charak; Maharaja Ranjitdev and the Rise and Fall of Jammu

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