Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

The Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 online

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I O.S.I. I I

Malik Sher B. 1879. I Mnaafar
Mahomed | Mahomed Khan

Khan, Khan XJmar Khan b. 1870.

Bahadar, Hayat a. 1848.

B. 18] 8. Khan

1 B. 1874.


j ] B. 1881.

an Ata Mahomed
Bahadar Mahomed Navras
B.1881. B.1673. B. 1871. ^



Ghnlam Jilanl
B. 1888.





I Mahomed
Bab Hayat Khan
Nawas >• U84.



NawabKhan Sher Ahmad Khan
B. 1863. Khan b. 1860.

I B. 1867.

Sher Ali Khan i

Mahomed Ahmad-
Khan yar JUum
B. 1879. B. 1808.

B. 1871.^^

Mahomed Khan
B. 1884.

B. 1888.

MiLXK Fatbs
Shbb Kxav,
Khan Baha^ari
B. 1810.

Alam Sher Khan

Hayat Khan

Malik Sher



B. 1883.


B. 1843.


Khan Mahomed

Anrangseb Khan«






(Foni& in deaoent

from Karam Ohand).

Mailn (Sixth in

descent from




(Third in descent from

Biideo. From Bai

Bhankar have



Mai (from whom have Marukh (from
deeoended tha . whom haye
Tawwae). tbo Ghebaa).



Watn (from whom

have descended the

Dandpntras of


Lakhn (fhun whom

have oesoended


Tawaaai of Ffttiala).

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From a common ancestor haye descended three remark*
able tribes^ the Sials of Jhang^ the Ghebas of Pindi Gheb and
the Tawanas of Mitha Tawana in Shahpur. The Ghebas know
but little of their past history, but they are claimed as kin by
both Sials and Tawanas, who, till lately, were agreed as to
their respective descent from Gheo, Tenu or Teo, and Seo, the
three sons of Bai Shankar, a Rajput of Dharanagar ; the
ancestor of the Ghebas being Gheo, of the Tawanas Teo and
of the Sials Seo. The bards of the Tawana tribe have lately
been making further enquiries, and have now a dijSerent story,
which will be more easily understood by an extract from the

Whether the amended genealogy is more truthful than
before, it is impossible to say. It certainly seems more probable
than the regular descent from the three sons of Rai Shankar.
If the Tawanas did not come to the Fanjab with the Sials
their emigration was no long time after, and must have
been before the close of the fifteenth century. They soon
embraced Mahomedanism and settled at Jahangir on the
Indus, where they remained till the time of Mir Ali Khan,
who by the advice of his spiritual guide. Fakir Sultan Haji,
moved eastward with his tribe and many of the Shekhs, Shah-
lolis, Mandials and others. He arrived at the country then
called Danda, and founded the village of Oukhli Maula in the
Shahpur district. His son Mir Ahmad Ehan, about the year
1680, built Mitha Tawana, seven miles east of Oukhli, where
he had found sweet water, from which the town was named.
This Chief was engaged in constant hostilities with the Awans,
his neighbours to the north, and at Hadali, five miles from
Mitha Tawana, defeated them with great slaughter. Dadu
Khan and Sher Khan, the third and fourth Maliks, improved
and enlarged Mitha Tawana, which soon became a flourishing
town, and many settlers from other parts of the country took
up their residence in it : Awans from Jhilami Earars from

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Mankera, Cbahals from the neighbourhood of Lahore, and
Nuns from the Upper Chanab.

Sher Khan became Malik in an irregular way. Discon-
tented with the severe rule of his father, he rebelled with his
brother Alam Sher Khan, and, assassinating their uncle Mir
Khan, killed their father in a skirmish outside the walls of
the fort. The two brothers seem to have lived together
without fighting between themselves, a circumstance remarkable
enough among the Tawanas, and they considerably enlarged
their territory at the expense of the Awans, seizing Warcha
and other territory at the foot of the hills. It is related that
Alam Sher Khan, thinking Awan-shooting the finest sport
in the world, would frequently go alone to the mountains with
his gun, and after shooting two or three Awans, as other less
ambitious men shoot partridges, would return to breakfast.
Sher Khan now thought himself strong enough to refuse the
tribute the Tawanas had hitherto paid to the Governors of
Dera Ismail Khan. ' His brother accordingly attacked the
troops which had been sent to collect it on their return march,
and, taking them by surprise, routed them with the loss of
their leader.

About the year 1745 Sher Khan founded Nurpur
Tawana, which soon became a large and thriving village.
Some years later he contrived to quarrel with Inayat
Khan, the fighting Chief of Jhang Sial. The latter
had won Mari, on the right bank of the Jhilam, from the
Nawab of Multan and had placed it in charge of Sher Khan,
who was to receive a certain sum for its management. This
was not paid with any regularity, and Sher Khan, thinking to
exact it by force, assembled his clan and, driving the Sials
out of Khai, laid siege to Kot Langar Khan. Inayat Khan
marched to relieve it, and defeated the Tawanas in a battle
before the walls. Sher Khan died in 1767 leaving two sons,
Khan Mahomed Khan and Khan Beg Khan. His brother

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Alam Sher Khan had fallen some time before in an expedition
against the Panchars, The first occupation of Khan Mahomed,
the new Chief, was the suppression of a revolt of the
Hasnal and Mastial tribes who inhabited Botala,* Hadali
and Hamoka. In this he was successful, and he then went
to Jhang to visit his kinsmen, leaving Mitha Tawana in
charge of his brother. On his return he found the gates
closed against him and his brother the acknowledged Chief.
He then retired to Nurpur Tawana, where he raised troops
and marched against Khan Beg Khan, who was defeated and
thrown into prison. He was, however, soon released, promising
obedience for the future.

Khan Mahomed was engaged in constant hostilities
with his neighbours. Nurpur was attacked by the Nawab
of Mankera, and only relieved after a siege of more than
a month. With Lai Khan, the Chief of Khushab, some
fifteen miles from Mitha Tawana, on the Jhilam, Khan
Mahomed had always been friends, till Jafar Khan, the
son and heir of Lai Khan, suspecting the Tawana Chiefs
intentions were not quite honest, plotted against him while
visiting Khushab. Khan Mahomed escaped to his own
town and prepared for fight. Lai Khan, with his younger
son Hakim Khan and his wife Nurphari, came to . assure Khan
Mahomed of their innocence, but he arrested them and,
marching to Khushab, opened fire upon the town, tying his
hapless prisoners to the guns to divert the fire of the enemy.
Jafar Khan called Mahan Singh Sukarchakia, an old friend of
Khan Mahomed, to his aid. The Sikh came with a consider-
able force and compelled the Tawana Chief to retire. Khan
Mahomed, however, had his revenge, and killed in cold blood
his wretched prisoners, who had neither done nor wished him
evil. Towards the end of his rule, his brother Khan Beg

• Called Botala from the number of idolf (hiU) found when digging the fonndrn-
tione of the village*

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ISiiBXL again took up arms against him, being aided by Rajab
Khan, a Sial Chief of Oarh Maharaja, Fateh Khan of Sahiwal,
and Jafar Khan of Khushab. For some time Khan Mahomed
defended himself ; but his enemies were too powerful, and
in 1803 he applied to Banjit Singh for succour. That Sardar
was by no means secure himself ; but on the promise of a
subsidy of one lakh of rupees he consented to trap Khan
Beg Khan. It was arranged between the confederates that
when Banjit Singh marched into the country Khan Mahomed
should take to flight, seeing which Khan Beg Khan would
probably come to pay his respects, believing the Lahore Chief
his friend. All happened auspiciously : Khan Beg Khan
was caught by Banjit Singh, and made over to his brother, by
whom he was put to death. Banjit Singh took his blood-
money, and with some small tribute from the Mahomedan
Maliks of the neighbourhood returned to Lahore in 1804.
Khan Mahomed Khan had outwitted his brother ; but his
second son, Ahmad Tar Khan, now rebelled against him, and,
having won over most of the tribe to his side, induced his
father to make a virtue of necessity and yield the Chiefship
to him. He had no easy life, and was always fighting with
the Chiefs of Mankera, Kbushab and Sahiwal with varying

In 1817 Maharaja Banjit Singh sent a force, under Misar
Diwan Chand, against the Tawana Chief at Nurpur. After
a short resistance the fort was taken, and Ahmad Yar Khan
fled to Jhandawala or Jandiala in the Mankera territory.
When the Sikh army had retired, leaving a garrison under
Jawant Singh Mokal in Nurpur, Ahmad Yar Khan returned
and regained possession of the country ; but he was a second
time compelled to fly to Jandiala, from which he was driven
by the Mankera Nawab, who threw his sons into prison. He
now submitted to the Maharaja, who granted him the Ilaka
of Jhawarian, worth Bs. 10,000, in jagir, subject to the service

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of sixty horsemen, tn 1821 Ranjit Singh marched against
Hafiz Ahmad Khan, Nawab of Mankera, and the Tawana
Malik gladly joined the expedition, aa he had an old score to
wipe out with the Nawab, Mahomed Ehan, the predecessor
of Hafiz Ahmad, had surrounded Mankera with a cordon of
twelve forts, Haidrabad, Maujgarh, Fatehpur, Pipal, Daria
Khan, Khanpur, Jhandawala, Kalor, Dulewala, Bhakar,
Dingana and Chaubara ; while to make the central fortress
inaccessible he had permitted no wells to be sunk within the
cordon. But for all this, the besieging army, with the
invincible Ranjit Singh commanding in person, moved on,
digging wells as it advanced, invested the fort, and after a
siege of twenty-five days the Nawab capitulated, being allowed
to retain the government of Dera Ismail Khan.

The assistance rendered by the Tawanaa during this cam-
paign was very great; and the Maharaja was so much struck
with their handsome and manly appearance, their bold riding
and their gallant fighting, that he insisted upon a troop of
Tawana horse returning with him to Lahore. Of this troop
of fifty horsemen Kadar Bakhsh was the commander. He
served at Multan some years, and in many campaigns, with dis-
tinction. In 1837 his cousin Fateh Khan shared with him the
command of the sowars. Khuda Yar Khan found himself a
person of very small importance at Lahore, where no one of
the Sikh nobles cared a straw for his long genealogy or for
his hereditary claim to rule over the Shahpur jungles. He
was appointed, on Rs. 1,000 a year, chabuk-sowar, or rough
rider to the Maharaja, whose hunting expeditions he superin-
tended until his death in 1837. Fateh Khan, son of Khuda
Yar Khan, had been during these years in the service of Sardar
Hari Singh Nalwa, to whom the Mitha Tawana country was
given in jagir in 1819, Jawant Singh Mokal having held it
two years. He proved himself aa impetuous and overbearing
as his masteri and quarrelled and fought with Sardars Fateh

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Singh Man and Amar Singh Sindlianwalia, who successively
held the adjacent district of Panjkata. Till the death of Hari
Singh, in 1837, Fateh Khan held a command under him in his
native country, and any jagir or estates he may have received
were given by the Sardar and not by the Lahore Q-overnment.
In 1837 he came to Lahore, where Eaja Dhian Singh, who
had heard of his courage and unscrupulousness, thought that
he would make a useful employ^ and took him into favour ;
and in 1838 procured for him the appointment of manager
of the Mitha Tawana country, with control of such of the
salt mines, like Warcha and Choha, as lay to the south of the
range and close to the plain country. With him was associated
Paras Bam, a Khatri; but their joint administration was not
very successful, and in 1840 Fateh Khan was Rs, 20,000 in
arrears ; and Prince Nao Nahal Singh, glad of an opportunity
to humble an adherent of Raja Dhian Singh, placed him in
arrest in the house of Misar Lai Singh Toshakhania until the
arrears were paid off.

On the death of Nao Nabal Singh the Raja regained
his power, and Fateh Khan's fortunes rose with those
of his patron. He was sent as manager of the Kachi
country, and Sahib Khan, Alam Khan and other of his rela-
tions were made Kardars of Mianwala, Shekhowal and Nurpur
Tawana. Soon after the accession of Sher Singb, Fateh Khan
was sent on duty across the Indus. The country of Tank had
been ruled for many years by a Katikhel family, the last of
whom, Aladad Khan, had been ousted by the Sikhs. The
country, however, brought little profit to its conquerors.
Aladad Khan, indolent when in power, but active enough in
opposition, ravaged the country, cut ofE Sikh convoys and
foraging parties, and the revenue had fallen to next to nothing.
In this state of things Raja Dhian Singh proposed Fateh Khan
as the only man who could restore order, and he was according-
ly sent with a strong force and full powers. His mission

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was entirely snccessEul. He proposed to reinstate Aladad
Ehan as Governor of Tank, but the Chief died before it was
possible to carry out the design. Then Fateh Khan pro-
ceeded to Marwat, the country to the north of Tank, to
collect the revenue, without fighting if possible, but anyhow
to collect it. The first thing that he did waa to build a fort
at Laki, on the Gumbela river, in the heart of the Marwat
country. This was not opposed by the Chiefs, for he had pro?
mised to reduce the revenue demand to one*sixth of the produce,
and had thus won their support ; but no sooner was the fort
completed then Fateh Kljan begged for loans, in addition to the
revenue charge, which loans could not be refused, and which
Diwan Daulat Bai, his successor, made a perpetual poll tax,
odious to the last degree to the people. This accomplished,
Fateh Elhan returned in triumph to Lahore, taking with him
Shah Nawaz Ehan, the young son of Aladad Ehan Eatikhel,
who was well received at Court.

The fortunes of the Malik now seemed made, when>
in one day, his friend and patron. Raja Dhian Singh and
Maharaja Sher Singh, fell by the hands of the Sindhan-
walias. Fateh Ehan was with the Raja just before his
murder; but as the assassins and their victim passed
into the Lahore fort, he fell behind and allowed him«
self to be shut out. No man was more versed in intrigue
than he; he saw a catastrophe was impending, and had
no such love for the Raja as to desire to share his fate.
Raja Hira Singh, the son of the murdered Minister,
openly accused Fateh Ehan of being in the conspiracy,
and put a price on his head. There was no reason to
believe the charge true, for by the Raja's death Fateh
Ehan could gain nothing and might lose all. He
escaped in disguise from Lahore and fled to his native
Tawana, whither he was followed by a force sent to arrest
him. But the Malik fled across the Indus to Bannu, and

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took refuge with Swahn Khan, who was offered Rs. 3,000
to give up his guest ; but this the Waziri Chief was too
honorable to do. Kadar Bakhsh, who would have been .
imprisoned had the Sikhs succeeded in capturing him, took
refuge with his old n^wter Sawan Mai at Multan. When
the Lahore troops had retired, Fateh Khan re-crossed the
Indus and called the Mahomedan tribes to arms. He was
now well known along the Indus, and he soon had a large
following at his back. He ravaged the country with fire and
sword, and defeated several bodies of irregular troops sent
against him. When, however, a regular force under Sardar
Mangal Singh SiranwaU marched against him, he again
escaped across the Indus, while Mitha Tawana was sacked by
the Sikhs.

When at length Raja Hira Singh and Pandit Jala
fell from power, Patch Khan hurried to Lahore, where he
knew that he should be well received by Sardar Jawahir
Singh, the new Minister, whose battles he had fought in
fighting against the late administration. He was not disap-
pointed. Jawahir Singh gave him valuable presents and
made him Governor of the Mitha Tawana country, of portions
of Jhilam and Rawalpindi, and of the whole province of Dera
Ismail Khan and Bannu, superseding Diwan Daulat Rai, son
of Laki Mai, the Governor first appointed by Maharaja Ranjit
Singh when he resumed the country from Nawab Sher Maho-
med Khan.*

But Jawahir Singh had not given Fateh Khan this
power and position for nothing. The Minister had a danger-
ous rival in the person of Prince Pashora Singh, son of
Ranjit Singh, to whom the Sikhs now generally looked as
the best man to sit on the throne. The Prince had, with
the help of the Mahomedan tribes in the neighbourhood,
gained possession of the fort of Attock, and Fateh Khan

• Comiiionljr known m Shah Nawai Khan.

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Tawana and Sardar Chatar Singh Atariwala, men upon whom
the Minister knew he could rely, were directed to proceed
against him. With some eight thousand men they invested
the fort, but the feeling in f avout of the Prince was so strong
that they would have been unable to reduce it by force.
Strategem was accordingly resorted to, and, on solemn
promises of safety, the Prince surrendered the fort to Fateh
Khan and Chatar Singh. Having secured their victim, the two
Chiefs began their march to Lahore, and in two days reached
Hasan Abdal, some thirty miles from Attock. At this place
a letter from Lahore was received, in which was written that
it was unsafe in the present temper of the Sikhs to bring
Pashora Singh to the capital, and that he must be detained in
the north country. The order was well understood. That
very night Fateh Khan and his confederate entered the
Prince's tent with a guard, seized him, placed him in irons,
and, leaving the camp standing, marched back to Attock with
all speed, accompanied by a few hundred horse, and carry-
ing the Prince with them. As he drew near the gloomy
walls of the fortress he saw his certain doom, and begged for
his sword. and shield that he might die fighting like a man.
But the unfortunate Prince was hurried into the fort and
placed in the lower chamber of a tower, past which rushed
the black, swift Indus. When night came he was strangled,
and his body thrown into the river.

Through all the evil history of the Panjab there is
recorded no murder more cruel than this. Pashora Singh
was a fine, high spirited and gallant youth, beloved by
the troops and the people, and only hated by those who
feared his rivalry. But the murder did not go unavenged.
The weak-minded, slavish Chatar Singh died in exile many
hundred miles from his native land. Jawahir Singh, the
instigator of the deed, was killed by the enraged soldiery
shortly afterwards, while upon Malik Fateh Khan came

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the troubles related here. After the murder he crossed the
Indus at Kalabagh and took possession of his new province of
Dera Ismail Khan. The (Jovemor, Daulat Rai, retired, not
prepared to resist at this time, and the Malik then determined
to get rid of some of his Tank enemies and thus render his
own power the more secure. The three chief Jagirdars in
Tank were the famous Fainda Khan, Ashak Mahomed Ehan
and flayat Ula Khan. These three Chiefs were enticed to
Dera Ismail Ehan, and Fainda Khan visited the Darbar of
the Malik to talk over his affairs and arrange them satis-
factorily. The conversation grew somewhat excited, and at
length Fateh Khan insulted the Afghan to his face. Fainda
Khan saw his danger and sat still ; but his young son, Sakan-
tlar Khan, unable to control himself, drew his sword and cut
down the Malik's Jamadar Fartaja, who was standing by
him. Fateh Khan was ready for this. In a moment the
room was fall of armed men. Fainda Khan, his son and
most of his retainers were cut to pieces. Then the Malik
attacked the house of Hayat IJIa Khan, where Ashak Mahom-
ed and Nasir Ula Khan had taken refuge, stormed it and
put the inmates to death. Hayat Ula himself escaped to
the house of Nawab Sher Mahomed, who purchased safety
for himself and the fugitives for Es. 40,000.

The indignation at this atrocity was great on the frontier,
and even the authorities at Lahore were compelled to appear
shocked. Fateh Khan bribed high for immunity. Raja Lai
Singh, the Maharani, and Mangla the slave girl, all took his
money and promised him protection ; but popular feeling was
too strong against him, and Diwan Daulat Bai was again nomi-
nated Gk)v6mor of Dera Ismail Khan. The Malik determined
on resistance, and when Daulat Rai arrived at Bhakar, op-
posite Dera Ismail Khan, on the left bank of the Indus, he
crossed the river to attack him. The Diwan, however, had
regular troops with him, and Fateh Khan was compelled to

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retire to Dera. Daulat Rai followed and marched upon the
town^ outside which the Malik met him with some three
thousand men. But these troops were undisciplined «nd did
not care to wait the assault of the Diwan's Multanis, whose
prowess was well known, and they dispersed without fighting.
Fateh Khan, deserted by his adherents, was compelled to
retreat to the fort of Akalgarh, which he had left in charge of
his son Fateh Sher Khan. There he murdered all his prisoners,
and the same night, crossing the Indus, retired to Mitha Tawana
to wait for better days. The country was at this time in con-
fusion after the Satlaj Campaign ; and the English, to whom
the Malik had offered his services during the war, were at
Lahore. Raja Lai Singh was no friend of Fateh Khan, and
would have confiscated all his jagirs but for the intercession
of Sardar Sultan Mahomed Khan. In the hot weather of
1846 the Malik was sent to Kashmir, as he waa an intimate
friend of Shekh Imamudin, the rebel Governor, and it was
thought that he might influence him favourably, as he could
gain nothing by playing the Government false. He went
with Edwardes as far aa Jamu ; from thence to Kashmir with
Furan Chand ; and having performed his mission with ability
and success, returned to Jamu. He afterwards accompanied
Major H. Lawrence to Kashmir.

On the return of Fat6h Khan to Lahore he was called
upon to explain the accounts of his late government, as Diwan
Dina Nath had brought him in a defaulter to the amount
of seven lakhs of rupees. This, Fateh Khan asserted, was
covered by the expenses of five thousand horse and foot,
engaged by orders of Sardar Jawahir Singh ; but thie written
orders which he produced as those of the Sardar were with-
out date, no particular service was specified, nor any detail
as to the number of men. After a long dispute, and full
allowance for these presumed levies having been granted, the
demand against the Malik was reduced to four lakhs of rupees.

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Fateh Khan complained of the liarshness of this demand, but in
reality he was treated with exceptional leniency. Every rupee
of the four lakhs was due, as the accounts still in Raja Dina
Nath's office show, and this was at the time admitted by him-
self, and the admission signed and sealed with his own hand.
Fateh Khan could have paid the four lakhs without the slightest
inconyenience. He had not been a manager under the tyran-
nical Hari Singh, or irresponsible Governor of the Derajat, for
nothing ; but he pretended that he could not pay, and he was
placed in restraint in the house of Kahan Singh Man, with
the approbation of Major H. Lawrence. For three and a
half months he was thus kept under arrest ; and then, as he
resolutely asserted his inability to pay, he was removed to the
fort of Govindgarh. Directly the order for his imprisonment
was issued he offered to pay two lakhs of rupees in eight days.
The Darbar allowed him twenty days in addition to this, but
when the time had elapsed Fateh Khan had changed his
mind. He kneW that a temporary imprisonment was all he
had to fear, and he preferred this to paying what was due
from him. But he had not done with his promises. His son
Fateh Sher Khan was imprisoned with him, and after two
months he petitioned that the young man might be released
in order to raise the money. This was permitted. Fateh
Sher Khan was liberated, and declared in Darbar that Maha-

Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 20 of 29)