ilgrims, Fa-Hien (399-414 A.D.) and Hiuen-Tsang (629-645 A.D.), through their historical records shed light on Gandhara and its ms. Fa-Hien found five hundred monasteries devoted to the flourishing Buddhist faith. But Hiuen-Tsang visiting Peshawar and Swd that Buddhism was suffering at the hands of Hinduism which was in the ascent. Almost a hundred years later, U-K'ong (757-764 A.hundred Buddhist monasteries. The last monarchs of the Kushan dynasty had submitted to relentless Hinduism which soon elimiuddhism from this entire area. Deserted were the enlightened centres of learning like Taxila. Gone was the glory of n hold was beginning to weaken because of the challenges of Generals who had begun to act like independent satraps and Persia'nts in the west to meet the march of Muslims. With swift victories in the Middle East and Persian defeats in the plains of Nihawand, the Muslims established themselves in Persia. During this period and till the arrival of Muslims in the Indus area, the Hindu ShatheDuring the last decades of the first millennium, Sabuktagin, (d.997), established at Ghazni, turnedto Peshawar, Punjab and Upper Sindh. By the time his valiant son Mahmud (d. 1030) succeededSultanate consisted of a sizeable area of modern Iran, Punjab and the valleys of the present NFrontier Province. Then for the first time in the annals appears the name "Afghan" for the people livhills between Ghazni and the Sulaiman Range.9 Between 999 A.D. and 1026 A.D. Mahmud undertocampaigns. These met with repeated success. He defeated Raja Jaipal in the decisive battle foPeshawar in 1000 A.D. The next battle fought with his son Anandpal, in 1008 A.D. was the last nail inof Hindu Shahimud Islam began to cast its pervasive, transforming light. A great flowering of Muslim culture began. A man of refined taste, manyufi and poet, including the great Persian poet, author of the epic
Firdausi (940- 1 020), gravitated to his court and migraquered areas. The unifying call of Islam which negated the caste system - perpetrated and perpetuated by Hinduism - struck a chhe populace. The Pathan began to embrace Islam
thus cementing military force with religious unity. This dynamic coa "tide of Pathan infiltration into every part of the Indian peninsula reached by Muslimhtened Ghaznavid dynasty ruled for almost a hundred years before it was succeeded by the Ghorids. Muhammad Ghori ruled tillas assassinated in his tent on the banks of the Indus River. Several dynasties such as the Khiljis (1290- 1321) followed. Frontier-to their banner for suddenly the whole of South Asia lay open. In the early thirteenth century Mongols under Chengiz Khan (r. 1 1reat turmoil. One of the armies penetrated as far south as Lahore and destroyed it in 1240 A.D. Timur (1369-1405) or Tamerlane, celthe English playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564- 1593), subdued Kator, now Chitral and made his "devastating inroad into thvia Bannu in March, 1399."11 He pushed as far as the Ganges at Hardwar upsetting the Tughlaq dynasty which had succeeded theasties such as the Lodhis (1451-1526) and the Surs (1539-1555) also exercised periodic control.dawns with the coming of Babur (1482-1530).
his memoir, is an incisive record of the Frontier region. Foundernd long-enduring empire, he was a renaissance man: a man of sword and the pen. Of keen sensibility and not without poetic and chments, he invented a new form of writing which unfortunately did not acquire pble to marshal the Frontier tribes for his several forays into India. The most prominent were the Yusafzais who marched in his ars too depended on Pathan prowess to expand their empire. It was not surprising that Khushhal Khan Khattak should declare:
owed his place to thehear the story of Bahlol and
her in days gone by Pathans were Kings in Hind; For seven generations theirs was the Kingdom, And all wondered at And After him was Babur King of Delhi,
Babur's account lists tribes spread from Swat to the Daman. Like Alexander, he endeavoured to secbase for the conquest of India. As such his administrative control was flexible. Following the deathKamran his younger son, proclaimed himself ruler of the region as far as the Indus. But conflict withbrother, Humayun (1508-1556), led to the weakening of the Mughal power and afforded Sher Sha1545), a Pathan, the opportunity to capture the empire