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The Khattak (Pashto: خټک [xaˈʈak], Urdu: خٹک), or Khatak, are a Pashtun Afghan tribe, which speaks a variant of the softer Kandahari Pashto. The Khattaks are settled along the western bank of the Indus River from as north upwards as Lund Khwar, Sher Garh and near Malakand, to south through Karak District. Across the Durand line, a smaller number of Khattaks are scattered in Kandahar, Ghazni, Logar and Khost in Afghanistan. The historic capital of the Khattaks is Akora Khattak, a town 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of the provincial capital, Peshawar.

A warrior poet by the name of Khushal Khan Khattak (1613–1690) belonged to this tribe, and his contributions to Pashto literature are considered as classic texts. They have been translated into numerous languages. The Khattaks have high literacy rates in comparison to other Pashtun tribes having achieved positions of influence throughout history.



Karlani Afghan Tribes Genealogy & Family Tree.
Migration of the Khattak & Shetak Tribe through the ages.

Migration from Afghanistan

Earliest records show migration of the Khattaks from Ghazni, Ghor and Logar in Afghanistan. Later on, the Khattaks settled in the Shawal region located in present-day Waziristan.

Then the Khattaks migrated further eastwards and settled in Bannu District, where the Afghan tribes of Mangal and Honai were already settled. In the 14th century, the Shitaks, a tribe allied to the Khattaks which also previously held Shawal, migrated to Bannu. The Shitaks first defeated and drove away the Mangals and the Honais, and later gradually captured Bannu District and pushed the Khattaks northwards to the southern portion of Kohat, where the Khattaks settled in Bahadur Khel and Teri. Then the Khattaks allied with the Bangash, defeated the other tribes of Afghans, and occupied northeastern Kohat, Gumbat, Pattiala and Zira tippas. Eventually, the Khattaks settled in Karak and Nowshera, and finally a small number migrated to Mardan and Malakand.[1] Khattak are also migrated from Akora Khattak more than 100 years ago, and settled down in city of Mansehra provice Khyber Pakhtoo Khwa. they are settled in Mansehra city, village Lambi Dheri, village Kotkay and Village Jhagir.

Khushal Khan Khattak

A warrior poet by the name of Khushal Khan Khattak (1613–1690) was once the chief of this tribe, and his contributions to Pashto literature are considered as classic texts .[2] His life and times are one of the most chronicled and discussed subjects in Pashtun history, as he was active on the political, social and intellectual fora of his times and contributed significantly at each front. He was a most voluminous writer, and composed no less than three hundred and sixty literary works, both in the Pashto and Persian languages .[3] His poetry revolves around concepts of Honour, Justice, Bravery and Nationalism and his works have been translated into numerous languages, English and Urdu being the primary ones.[4] The Khattaks have achieved positions of influence throughout history .[5]

Older references

According to Nimatullah's 1620 work History of The Afghans, the Khattaks are amongst the oldest of the Afghan tribes.[6] Their history has been closely knit with that of the Yusufzai Tribe from their first settlement around the mountains of Ghor and Ghazni[6] to present day East-Central and North-Eastern Pukhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

Herodotus, Book 3, 91.[7] (In this and the two succeeding passages the historian is giving a list of the Achaemenian satrapies and their peoples.)

The Sattagudai and the Gandarioi and the Dadikai and the Aparutai, who were all reckoned together paid 170 talents.

Herodotus, without assigning a name to the satrapy, tells us that Darius' yth Satrapy was inhabited by four tribes, the Sattagudai, the Gandarioi, the Dadikai, and the Aparutai.[8][9]

The addition of the Aparutai/Aparidai correspondence helps to buttress the case for finding in Herodotus traces of names which carry through to the present day. Bellew has gone further and identified the Sattagudai with the famous Khatak tribe. "The Pathans 55O B.C.-A.D. 1957" printed St Martin's Press 1958 by MacMillan and Company Limited"[9]


Numerous historians identify the Khattak with the Sattagudai.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:[9]

"Let us now refer to the third passage cited, in which Herodotus, without assigning a name to the satrapy, tells us that Darius' yth

Satrapy was inhabited by four tribes, the Sattagudai, the Gandarioi, the Dadikai, and the Aparutai.

Bellew has gone further and identified the Sattagudai with the famous Khatak tribe, and the Dadikai with an obscure branch of Kakars whom he calls Dadi."

Khattaks and Shetaks

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:[9]

"Neither Khataks nor Shitaks appear by name until the period of publication of genealogies under the Mughals, and the time of Akbar's dealings with the Khataks for the protection of the highway to Peshawar. Babur indeed in his memoirs mentions the Karranis (Karlanris) whom he encountered in 1505 around Bannu along with the Niazis and Isakhel. It is probable that this reference of his is to Khataks or Shitaks, or both, for both are Karlanri tribes, and the other Karlanris who live in that area, Wazirs and Bangash, Babur mentions by name when he comes to them."

It is thus clear that Babur & other Mughals in their descriptions identify Khattaks & Shetaks together without any differentiation.

In Afghan history

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:[9]

"Taken together, the Khataks and the Shitaks, who now have a common boundary close to Bannu, cover a stretch of territory as large as that held by any Afghan or Pathan tribe, whether Ghilzai, Yusufzai or Durrani. From the Khatak settlements around Lundkhwar, close to the Malakand Pass, to the Shitak villages in Upper Daur in the Tochi, the distance is over 200 miles. The wide extent of their present territory, their large population, and the association of both groups of tribes at one time or another with the rich oases of Bannu and the Tochi, suggest sufficiently their importance in this family of peoples."

Theory of descent from Israelites

The Afghan Tribe Khattak has Oral Traditions & History of descent from the Israelites.[17]
Khushal Khan Khattak chosen Malak in 1641 believed that Malak was a continuation of the Israelite title Malak given to the legendary progenitors King Saul and Malak Afghana.[18]
A famous Pushto historian and scholar Qazi Fazl e Azeem in his book, the Bani Israel in Pakistan also expresses this view.[19]
During the expansion of their territories the Khattaks were renowned and fierce Knights and Warriors. Khushal expresses that this valor stems from the fact that Khattaks and Afghans have been nursed by the Lioness’s (King Saul’s wife) milk.[20][21]
One of the first progenitors of the modern tribe is Manal. Manal is considered to be a modification of Manas from the word Manasseh.
In his book The Armies of India, Author A.C. Lovett on page 152 declares the Khattaks to be a widely enlisted tribe, who also lay claim to the Afghan Jewish descent.[22]

Theory of descent from the Greeks

After the creation of Pakistan, some Pakistani scholars, suggested a Greek descent for the Khattaks. However from the Histories of Herodotus, Herodotus, Book 3, 91.,[7] it is clear that a tribe by the name of SattaGydae (or Sattagudai) were already settled in the area around current day Ghor in Afghanistan and paid as tribute coinage and materials to the Greeks when they subjugated these areas:

"The Sattagudai and the Gandarioi and the Dadikai and the Aparutai, who were all reckoned together paid 170 talents."

Later Bellew, Caroe and other historians both Afghan and Western through their works identified the Sattagudai with the famous Khatak & Shitak tribes. "The Pathans 55O B.C.-A.D. 1957" printed St Martin's Press 1958 by MacMillan and Company Limited"[9]

Though all Afghan DNA[23] including Khattak DNA has minor contributions from haplogroups more common to the Greeks,[24] these are minor enough to rule out a direct lineage. Together with works from Herodotus and more recent historians, the theory of Khattak descent from the Greeks is unfounded.[25][26]

Afridi and Khattak history

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:[9]

"The Afridis and Khataks lumped together as Karlanris, can be held to reflect a knowledge that they represented a more aboriginal stock, which only later absorbed the characteristics of the invaders. In other words, it is not surprising that in looking for a prototype in the oldest recorded history bearing on this region we hit on the ancestor of the Pakhtun."

Though Afghan DNA has minor contributions from Greeks, Turks, Arabs & Persians, this represents the inter marriages (albeit in minor proportions) between local Afghan Tribes and foreign invaders throughout the ages. This is the basis for some of the Theories though in error of Afghan descent from these peoples.

Molding and amalgamation

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:[9]

"This is not to assert that the ethnic or linguistic stock can be traced through to tribes of similar names today. The case would be rather that these were sub-stratum agglomerations of people who, through contact with later-comers, modified their language and were assimilated to later cultures, but retained in the more inaccessible places sufficient of their older inspirations to boast their original names. The theory does at least give a starting-point to Pathan history & the stock belief in the Bani Israel."
The Khattak super Tribe and sub tribes. Khattak Family Tree.

Khattak super tribe and sub tribes

Khattak super tribe


Akori Khattak

Areas: Peshawar, Nowshera. City Centers: Peshawar, Akbar Pura, Akora Khattak, Mansehra, manki sharif and cherat, ilaqa Khwara

Yusufzai Khattak

Areas: Mardan, Sawabi, Malakand, Charsadda. City Centers: Lund Khwar, Jamal Garhi, Sher Garh, Katlang, Hatia'n (alternatively Hatiaan), Sakha Kot.


Bangi Khel Khattak

Bangi khel are sub tribe of Khattaks.Bangi Khel are completely located in district mianwali.(Province of punjab) the tribe is bounded by district karak in north east kotat in north and indus river in the south.The capital of bangikhel is Tabbisar.The area is completely dominated by singl tribe.Bangi khel are divided in two part that upper and lower.The main villages o Bangi khel are Tola,manja ghondi, Madochanda, Neryob, mezrena,Missar wala, chapry and Tola magali.The main Sub Tribe are Hakeem khel,Jani khel,Saho khel and Manki khel. Missar wala is the main part of the political and Development of the area. The people of Missar wala is divided a small tribe just like Saduo Khel, Muhram Khel, Hashim Khel. Most of the Missar Wala people served in Pak Army.

Barak Khattak of Karak

Areas: Karak District, which includes three Tehsils, named Karak, Banda Dawood Shah and Takht-e Nasrati. District Karak has the highest literacy rate after Islamabad and Wah.[citation needed] Since both Islamabad and Wah are mainly composed of temporarily migrated people, therefore Karak is ranked as the highest educated district.

This is the only area where no other tribe except Khattaks are living. As Khattaks are primarily brave and well-built people, most of the Khattaks living in Karak District, have been serving the armed forces of Pakistan, both as soldiers and officers.


Areas: Kohat

Seni khattaks live in district kohat, especially in areas of village seni gumbat and lachi; seni gumbat is the village of SENI KHATTAK they came from lachi side. TEHSIL LACHI is the main land of seni khattaks, from where they came to city areas.SENI GUMBAT, LACHI, Teri Banda, Mandori,Dartappi Chorlakki, Ghorozai Zera-Patiala(UNION COUNCIL AND VILLAGE) WHERE seni khattak settled.[citation needed]


Areas: Shakardarra, Narra Kanjoor, Jand,Chhab Dakhnair,Lakarmar,Injra Afghan, Nakka Afghan, Nakka khurd, Haddowali, Sur Kamar (ratti Dandi) Kot Kalla (Kotiwali), Injra Khurd Chhab, Aziz abad, Nandrak Abad, Faisal Banda, Mansoor Banda, Torangabad, Mianda Kalla, Kanjoor, Hotakay, Lakkarmor, Kabul Banada, Mirza Banda, alamabad, Jamdar Banda, Valley mela, tora Khelo Mela, Chismai, Yingora, Eerr, Toada Mela, Tora Bera, Tori Kala, Sihola, Jabbi, Baz Gul Banda, Malangai, Dupper, Girdi, Rag (Dakhnair), Dhok Pai Khel, Girdi, Ratti Kiri, Ratti Kassi, Attock.they do have some scattered population katcha koh vehari more Multan, pi mahal faisalabad, sagodha, district Dadu Sind and Saghri colony Karachi.

The distribution of the Khattak Tribe in modern day Pakistan. Also shows major Khattak centers, cities, Tribal capitals and Districts where the Khattak Tribe is populated. All percentages shown are related to census demographics of population surveys of Pakistan.


The Khattak sub tribes include the Seni Khattak (Kohat), Barak Khattak (Karak), Akora Khel Khattak (From Lundkhur to Nizampur), Mungi Khel Khattak (Shakar Dara), Mattu Khel Khattak (Shakar Darra), and the Saghri Khattak (Narra Kanjoor, chhab, nakka afghan, INJRA AFGHAN, injra, Jand - Attock). They also live in Sndh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces of Pakistan. In past there was democratic process to make a new leader of the tribe by vote of leaders of clans. each tribe leader was given extra land as Jagir (padgai or pagrrai) to cover the expenses of his Public Kitchen (Langer). There are 3 Chieftain of Khattak's, Khan of Terri, Akora and Makhad. it seems till the time of Khushal Khan, khattaks were having one Chieftain at Akora. Bangi khels live at Narrah (Taraf Jamal Khel of Narrah) Bani Afghan, Tabbi sari at Mianwali and some village at Shakar Dara District Kohat. Bangi khel are much in count so mostly considered separate tribe of Khattak's but actually Bangi khel and Akora's are part of Saghri's. Saghris living at Shakardara are called as "Topi Sughri" whereas at Attock are called "nar-rray sughri" in local dialect. According to punjab government revenue record Saghri khattak's living at Tehsil Jand belong to the following clans/ Pats. Taraf Narrah comprise the Patti khosar khel, Patti Nanadrak, Patti Khatter khel, Patti Abdullh Khel and Patti Chandel Khel, Patti Taraf Syeded Khel comprise of Patti Nanadrak, Kotiwal, Qureshi, Bangash, Awan, Malyar and Sarban and Patti Taraf Jamal khel. The property belonging to each Patti is separately compiled as book to avoid mistake due to repetition of names. This system provide authentic family tree through inherited land transfer record. today each Patti is sub divided in dozens of sub khels

Saghris in the past were warlike people and didn't have written history but wisely they recorded their existence through naming their new settlements with old names. Saghris seems to have existence before first migration from Syria. it is pertinent to note that Syria and Iran still have a good number of Saghris. After Qandhar they moved to Zhob area where they again left their signs as Saghri ghar and Saghri lake.

Lund Khwar

Lund Khwar[27] was known in the old days as Sammah.[9] The Khattaks here are the direct descendants of Khushal Khan Khattak through his son Sadar Khan. In his campaign of Swat, Khushal Khan Khattak had camped here and those of the Khattaks that live here today are his children through his Yousafzai wife. She was the daughter of the Yusufzai chief of the time in Mardan.[9]


See also


  1. ^ "History of Kohat - The Khattak Tribe, Gazetteer of the Kohat District, 1883-84". 
  2. ^ "Afghan Poetry: Selections from the poems of Khush Hal Khan Khattak., Biddulph, C.D., Saeed Book Bank, Peshawar, 1983 (reprint of 1890 ed.)". 
  3. ^ A Grammer Of The Pukhto, Pushto: Or Language Of The Afghans, Raverty, H.G., London, 1860. 
  4. ^ "Poems from the Diwan of Khushâl Khân Khattak, MacKenzie, D.N, London, Allen & Unwin, 1965". 
  5. ^ "Khattak, Program for Culture and Conflict Studies, Naval Post Graduate Institute, Monterey, USA". 
  6. ^ a b Deportation by the Assyrians, Makhzan-i Afghani, page 37:
  7. ^ a b "The Histories of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, Translation 1858–1860". 
  8. ^ "The Pathans 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957" printed St Martin's Press 1958 by MacMillan and Company Limited"
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Pathans 55O B.C.-A.D. 1957 By Sir Olaf Caroe"
  10. ^ The Histories of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, Translation 1858–1860.
  11. ^ Guardians of the Khaibar Pass: the social organisation and history of the Afridis of Pakistan David M. Hart Page 7.
  12. ^ The races of Afganistan being a brief account of the principal nations, By Henry Walter Bellew - 2004 - 124 pages - Page 85.
  13. ^ An inquiry into the ethnography of Afghanistan: prepared and presented to the Ninth international congress of Orientalists, London, September, 1891 - The Oriental university institute, 1891 - 208 pages - pages 107,108,122.
  14. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province: Based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883 - Horace Arthur Rose, Sir Denzil Ibbetson, Sir Edward Maclagan - Printed by the superintendent, Government printing, Punjab, 1914 - Page 217.
  15. ^ Qabila: tribal profiles and tribe-state relations in Morocco and on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier - By David M. Hart - - 2001 - 254 pages - Page 152.
  16. ^ Afghanistan of the Afghans - Bhavana Books & Prints, 2000 - 272 pages - Ikbal Ali Shah (Sirdar.) - Page 95.
  17. ^ Ferishta, History Of The Mohammedan Power In India, The Packard Humanities Institute Persian Texts in Translation, Book 1 Chapter 2 page 11, Part II page 54 and Part II page 130, (90)
  18. ^ Dastar Nama, Khushal Khan Khattak, Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.
  19. ^ Bani Israel in Pakistan; The Israeli History of the Pathan Tribes by Qazi Fazli Azeem.
  20. ^ Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Volume 54, Issues 3-4, Page 30.
  21. ^ Perspective , Volume 4, Pakistan Publications., 1971.Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 54, Issues 3-4, Pakistan Historical Society, 2006 - Page 86.
  22. ^ The Armies of India, A. C. Lovett, Major, The Lancer International Inc., 19558 S. Harlem Avenue, Suit 1, Frankfort IL. 60423., 224 pages, Page 152.
  23. ^ Sengupta S, Zhivotovsky LA, King R, et al. (2006). "Polarity and temporality of high-resolution y-chromosome distributions in India identify both indigenous and exogenous expansions and reveal minor genetic influence of central asian pastoralists". Am. J. Hum. Genet. 78 (2): 202–21. doi:10.1086/499411. PMC 1380230. PMID 16400607. // 
  24. ^ Firasat S, Khaliq S, Mohyuddin A, et al. (2007). "Y-chromosomal evidence for a limited Greek contribution to the Pathan population of Pakistan". Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 15 (1): 121–6. doi:10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201726. PMC 2588664. PMID 17047675. // 
  25. ^ " Result for haplotype 16-13-30-23-11-11-13--1--1--1".*&geogroup=*. 
  26. ^ " Result for haplotype 17-13-30-23-11-11-13--1--1--1".*&geogroup=*. 
  27. ^ "Lund Khwar".