Sibi Mela

Horse Show Sibi First held in 1885.

Sibi Mela (Horse Show )

The first of these fairs was held in January 1885, when a sum of Rs. 2,000 contributed from local funds in the Agency, was disbursed in prizes. This fair was an experiment intended to open out the large market for horses afforded by Baluchistan. It was attended by Mr. Crainger, then officiating as Superintendent of Horse-breeding operations in Bombay and pronounced by him to be a great success.

Horse Show Sibi First held in 1885.
Horse Show Sibi First held in 1885.
The second fair was held in February 1886 and to the expenses of this fair the Sibi and Quetta Municipalities contributed respectively Rs 2000 and 700.
Sibi Mela First held in 1885
Sibi Mela First held in 1885
Five hundred and ninety-four (594) horses competed for prizes in the various classes and the total amount disbursed on this account was Rs 1465. Sixty-seven (67) remounts were purchased for military purposes but their prices were not recorded.
The Government of Bombay in their Resolution N0.4794, dated 6th July 1886 in Revenue Department declared the results of this second horse show to be very satisfactory and observed that the horse show promised to become in future a good market for remounts.
In consequence of the continued success of this fair the Government of India was asked to sanction an annual money grant towards its expenses in future and though no grant could be made for the year under review a provisional sanction to the allotment of Rs. 1000 has been given for the fair of 1888.
Bhagnari Bull in Sibi Mela Stadium
Bhagnari Bull in Sibi Mela Stadium
The Fair of 1887 began on the 19th January continued till the 25th of the same month.
Brigadier General Luck C.B commanding in Sindh was President of the Judging Committee and Mr. Hellen, general Superintendent Horse Breeding Operations in India one of members.
The total number of horses brought to the show was computed to be 1400 of which no less than 1022 competed for prizes as against 594 in previous year.
Sibi Mela History
Sibi Mela History
The expenses of the fair were met by the same contributions from local funds as before Rs. 2000 from the Sibi and Rs. 700 from the Quetta Municipality. The total of sales effected at this s how was over 40, the Punjab Remount Committee purchasing 15 horses at an average price of Rs. 199 and the Bombay cavalry 19 at an average price of Rs. 177. One donkey stallion was purchased by the General Superintendent Horse-breeding Operations for stud purposes at Rs. 110.
Sibi Mela Musical Show
Sibi Mela Musical Show
Notwithstanding that the prizes at the present and previous shows were expressly arranged with a view to encourage the exhibition of geldings very few appeared this year. This is mainly accounted for by there having been no Government salutri available for castration operations in the year preceding the show but a competent salutri has since been entertained and it is hoped that next year there will be a considerable number of geldings for show and sale.
Sibi Mela Stadium
Sibi Mela Stadium
The breeders appear to have no objection to the castration of their colts and now that a large number of Government stallions are available at various places in the Agency, it is very desirable to prevent haphazard breeding. With this in view it is in contemplation to offer as many as twenty-five (25) prizes, amounting to Rs. 410 at the next show for geldings from 1 to 4 years of age.
There is no longer any doubt that Baluchistan affords a large and good the Agency will certainly produce a number of Horses admirably suited for native cavalry requirements.
The number of Government stallions in the Agency is now as follows: –
English Thorough breeds . . .. .    . .   ..   .   . . . ..     8
English Norfolk Trotters . . . . . .. . .  .. .  .. . . . . .  .    2
Arabs . . . . . . …………………. . ………………………… . . .   9
Donkeys  . . . . .  . .. .  ..  ..   ……    … . . . .  . . .. . . . .  . 4
Sibi Mela 1974
Sibi Mela 1974
The Jubilee
Her Majesty’s Jubilee was observed throughout the Agency on the 16th February at Sibi the Officiating Agent to the Governor- General held a Darbar at which a number of chiefs were present and at Quetta a Darbar was presided over by the Political Agent. At both a number of prisoners were released. His Highness the Khan celebrated the occasion at his winter capital of Bhag, where he founded a school in commemoration of the day. The Towns of Sibi, Quetta and Bhag were illuminated at night.
Sibi Horse fair
Sibi Horse fair
سبی میلہ کا تاریخی جائزہ
سبی میلہ مویشیاں کا آغاز 1885 ء میں 2000 روپے لوکل فنڈز سے ہوا تھا ۔ دوسرا سبی میلہ 1886 میں 2700 روپے فنڈز سےہوا تھا ۔ اس طرح تمام سبی میلہ مویشیاںو اسپاں کا سرکاری ریکارڈ بلوچستان انتظامی رپورٹس میں درج ہے ۔
سبی میلہ مویشیاں و اسپاں 1895 میں کل 1437 جانور لائے گے فنڈ ز 3279 روپے تھا ۔ 1896 میں 1262 جانور 3655 روپے تھا ۔
سبی ڈسٹرکٹ گزیٹیر سےتفصیلات لی گئی ہیں ۔

The second fair was held in February 1886 and to the expenses of this fair the Sibi and Quetta Municipalities contributed respectively RS. 2,000 and Rs. 700.
Five hundred and ninety-four horses competed for prizes in the various classes and the total  amount disbursed on this account was Rs. 1,465. Sixty seven remounts were purchased  for military purposes.

Reference : Administrative Report of Balochistan agency 1886-87

 

Nawab Ghous Bakhash barozai and Governor Balochistan in Sibi mela
Nawab Ghous Bakhash barozai and Governor Balochistan in Sibi mela

 

History of Barozais.

Prime Minister Zulfiqar Bhutto with Chief Minister nawab Muhammad Khan barozai and Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmad Yaar Ahmadzai

History of Barozais

The history of the Barozai dates from about 1470 when Baro Khan, the founder of the Barozais, ingratiated himself with the Mizri who were then in possession of Dhadar and married the daughter of the chief. On the decay of the Arghun rule, the Pannis increased in power and importance, and about 1570 -1575 are found as being in possession of the Sibi fort and district.

Nawab barozai Timeline History
Nawab barozai Timeline History

Three expeditions were undertaken by the Mughals against them. In 1595, the fort of Siwi, finally fell to the imperialists, led by Mir Masum, the soldier and the historian. The tribe is spoken of as having fought bravely and it seems to have retained its importance, as in 1695 its dependencies were held by one Mirza Khan, a Baruzai, who had received the title of Nawab from the ruler of Delhi and also administered the affairs of Upper Sind.

Nawab Mirza Khan Barozai
Nawab Mirza Khan Barozai

During the time of Mirza Khan Barozai, the Afghan Chief of Sibi (1666-1699 AD) eighteen battles were fought between the Panni Confederacy and the Brahuis of Kalat in the neighborhood of Sibi or Dhadar . In sixteen battles with the Barozai Ruler of Siwi, Mir Ahmad Brahui  was defeated in each encounter with their forces. A seventeenth engagement took place at a spot called Pir Lehkan in which neither party obtained a decisive result. But Mir Ahmad himself, and his Minister, Akhund Mohammad Saleh, were both wounded and Mir Shawaz and Mir Ibrahim, the latter an ancestor of the  Naushirwani Sardar Mir Azad Khan, lost their lives. The Brahuis left the battlefield; the Afghans collected the booty, consisting of silken belts and horses of Turki and Tazi breed. Mir Ahmad Qambrani’s sister named Bibo gallantly attacked the Pannis. Attired in male garments she fought valiantly and got killed at the hand of Jalal Khan Kurak. Soon the Brahuis avenged themselves on the Pannis and defeated Rahim Khan Pirang who led the Pannis in the absence of Mirza Khan Barozai. In 1695 AD, peace prevailed between the two tribes, which was sealed by a happy marriage of Princes Mahnaz the daughter of Mir Ahmad Qambrani with Said Khan Barozai Panni, the brother of Mirza Khan Barozai.

Barozai Family Tree
Barozai Family Tree

Mirza Khan was succeeded by his son Bakhtiar Khan Barozai who rose in revolt against the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb Alamgir in January, 1702 A.D. He successfully fought for the freedom of Siwi or Sibi, but later fell a prey to a strong Mughal force led by the Subedar of Multan, Muizuddin. His successor Ismail Khan  is locally credited with having built the town of Dera Ismail Khan ; he was succeeded by Isa Khan, who was followed by Ismail Khan II who accompanied Nadir Shah to Delhi and later on built the fort at Sangan.
The Baruzais of Sibi appear to have become separated from the Sangan branch at this period, and during the reign of Ahmad Shah, Durrani, Muhammad Khan, who had gone to Kabul to complain of Ismail Khan, was granted a warrant dated 1759 in which Ahmad Shah entrusted the Government of the Sibi District and the Barkhan, Khethran and Hasni dependencies jointly to both claimants.
Muhammad Khan was killed by the Khajjaks, a branch of the Panni tribe who had greatly increased in strength and importance, and his successor Habib Khan, who was also ultimately slain by the Khajaks, was obliged to abandon Sibi and retire to Kurk. The Khajjaks had now become the most powerful section, and their importance is shown by the common Sibi proverb which says that, “though the Kakars may conquer in the hills, the Khajaks lord it in the plains.”
At the out- break of the Afghan war in 1839, the nominal chief of the tribe was Shakar Khan, but the real power was in the hands of Misri Khan, who tendered his services to Shah Shuja and was taken into British pay. In 184 1, as already described in the section on History, the town of Khajak was occupied by British troops and dismantled. The power of the Khajaks was thus weakened, and shortly afterwards the Marris acquired a footing in the Sibi District. They dis- possessed the Pannis of Badra and Quat-Mandai and over- ran Sangan. Shakar Khan was succeeded by his son Doda Khan, but he was a weak chief and after Misri Khan’s death the management of the tribe passed successively into the hands of Bakhtiar Khan and Sher Zaman Khan, the latter of whom was killed while endeavouring to stop a fight between the Brahuis and the Marghazani section of the Pannis. After Doda Khan’s death the chieftainship of the tribe devolved on his eldest son Muhammad Khan after being unsuccessfully claimed by Sarbuland Khan, the son of Misri Khan.

Nawab Mirza Khan Barozai
Nawab Mirza Khan Barozai

According to Tarikhi Sindh of Ghulam Rasool Mehr, the Dhahdar area was in possession of Barozais, with Malik Kala khan Barozai listed as owner of land thereof , upto the times of Mian Nur Muhammad Kalhora (1719-1753 A.D). Graves of Panni notables such as Junaid Khan Barozai , Mirza Khan Barozai, and well known Mullah Misri Afghan are present in Dhadar. The town of Dhadar formed the first capital of the Panni tribe of Afghans on their arrivals in the plains. It was also the place where Dara Shikoh, the Mughal prince, visited Juanid khan, the first Barozai chief and in the vicinity of which many of the famous Baruhi Afghan battles were fought towards the end of seventeenth century A.D.
In 1901, the number of Pannis in the district was 3,656 : males 1,871,females 1,785. They are divided into nine- teen sections : Abdulla Khel, Ali Khel, Bjighun, Baruzai, Davi, Dehpjil, Janti, Khajak, Kurk, Laun, Luni, Marghazani, Mizri, Musa Khel, Naudhjini, Pirani, SAfi, Sodi and Usmani.

Daud Khan Panni

Daud Khan Panni was a Mughal commander, Nawab of the Carnatic and later Viceroy of Deccan.In 1703, Daud Khan was appointed as the Nawab of the Carnatic. Before he was made Nawab, the Emperor Aurangazeb appointed him as a leading commander of the Mughal Army in 1701.The Ahmad shah Abdali issued sanads to Ismail khan Panni Barozai of Sangan and Muhammad khan Panni Barozai of Sibi.
Revenue of Sibi District collected by Barozai Nawabs
Revenue of Sibi District collected by Barozai Nawabs

Sources

1.Sibi district; text. Compiled by A. McConaghey”
2 The Tribal Baluchistan by Syed Abdul Quddus
3 Afghans of the frontier passes: a study in the historical geography of Sibi and Dhader in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, Volume 1
The Ain I Akbari – Volume 3
Notes on Afghanistan and Baluchistan by Henry George Raverty

Ahmad shah Durrani Degree issued to ismail Khan barozai of Sangan
Ahmad shah Durrani Degree issued to ismail Khan barozai of Sangan
Translation of Parwana Issued by Ahmad Shah Durrani to Barozai
Translation of Parwana Issued by Ahmad Shah Durrani to Barozai Pannis

Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto with Governor Balochistan Khan of kalat Ahmed Yar khan Ahmedzai and Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Khan Barozai

Prime Minister Zulfiqar Bhutto with Chief Minister nawab Muhammad Khan barozai and Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmad Yaar Ahmadzai
Prime Minister Zulfiqar Bhutto with Chief Minister nawab Muhammad Khan barozai and Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmad Yaar Ahmadzai

Khajjak of Sibi district.

Khajjaks of Sibi district.

It is during Taimoor Shah’s period that Khajjaks gained a popular saying in the local populace that ‘though the Kakars may conquer in the hills, the Khajjak lord it in the plains’ .
Khajjak Tribe
Khajjak Tribe
The Khajjaks, were initially located at Mekhtar; which is nowadays in the possession of Kakars. In the latter half of 17th century Kakars defeated them in a feud, which resulted into their migration to Sibi. Sibi was then ruled by Junaid Khan, son of Baru Khan, the Progenitor of Baruzai. According to Abdul Aziz Luni, author of “Afghans of the frontier passes”, the Khajjaks recovered a herd of Camels from the Baloch raiders that belonged to Junaid Khan . The latter, in recognition of their services gave them the land and water. Captain N.Hart writes that Khajjaks were granted one cubit’s breadth of water of Nari river for irrigation. When Khajjaks increased in numbers and power, they obtained increase in share of water from Nawab Mirza Khan, son of Junaid Khan Barozai.

Sardar Panju Khan Khajjak 

Tomb of Panju Khan Hamimzai, Khajjak chief (Sibi district , Baluchistan). He was a contemporary of Timur Shah Durrani.

Shrine of Sardar Panju Khan Khajjak
Shrine of Sardar Panju Khan Khajjak

“Three Khajjak headmen of the time- Sardar Panju Khan Hamimzai, Jangi Khan Doulatzai, Itabar Khan Umarzai – are mentioned in a royal Afghan farman which is dated 1179 A H /1782 A.D. In this farman each of them has been granted one Pao of water along with the proportionate agricultural lands in Siwi area in addition to their ancestral share in the common tribal property. Sardar Panju Khan was son of Qaim Khan son of Nihal Khan son of Azmat Khan son of Mir Khan son of Hamim Khan son of Khajak.” [“Afghans of the Frontier Passes”, A. Aziz Luni , Volume 2, p-200]
“In Sibi tehsil (now a district), the Pathans have adapted themselves to local conditions and have forgotten even their language and they mostly speak Sindhi. Only Khajjaks living in the village of the same name speak Pushto and Sindhi both” [Population Census of Pakistan, 1961]….. “The Khajaks of Sibi speak Pashto which has a mixture of Sindi words and the Panri Afghans speak Sindi in their homes” [Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series: Sibi, 1907 – Page 49].
“The Khajaks were originally located in Mekhtar, which is now held by the Hamzazai Kakars. Expelled thence, they settled in the Siwi district, where they were assigned land and water by their kinsmen. Afterwards, however, they picked a quarrel with the Barozais and other Panis, in the course of which they got the upper hand. In consequence they considered themselves without rivals in those parts, and hence their proverb: “Although the Kakars may coquette in the hill tracts, the Khajaks lord it in the plains.” [Census of India, 1901, Parts 1-2, p-93]

History of Khajjak Tribes of Sibi District

It is during Taimoor Shah’s period that Khajjaks gained a popular saying in the local populace that ‘though the Kakars may conquer in the hills, the Khajjak lord it in the plains’ . They started harassing their own Afghan kinsmen. The Marghzanis were their first victims. The Barozai rulers antagonized them by frequent complaints to the Afghan Kings of Afghanistan. But Khajjaks succeeded in in establishing direct relationship with the Afghan King and got political recognition as well as grant of land and water in Khajjak’s revenue circle. The in-fight helped the Balochs to encroach upon Panni lands and later drove them out of some of the important tracts. Khajjaks never defended other Panni clans from the raids and forays of their Baloch neighbours. The Pannis, harassed by Balochs, migrated to village Kurak and the Khajjaks occupied the lands thus vacated. Subsequently, they started harrying the Baruzai. They helped the Marris in double squeeze of the Panni clans in Sibi tract. The elders of the area refer to this period of Sibi as ‘Highhandedness of Marris and Khajjaks’
Mc Gregor writes, “Though agriculture is their chief employment and though they are peacefully inclined they are said to have a high character for bravery.” . The power of Khajjaks was crushed by the British army in March 1841 so that they left the plains of Sibi and Sangan defenseless against the Marri inroads. In 1872, the Khajjaks openly refused to accept the writ of Amir Sher Ali Khan of Afghanistan who didnt give them any protection against the Marris and stopped the payment of revenues to Amir. The Amir sent a force that too the chief of Khajjaks along with his son, as a hostage to Kandahar for payment of revenue due from Khajjaks.

Anglo-Khajjak battle 1841

In 1839, Misri Khan Barozai, the head of the Panni tribe, tendered his services to Shah Shuja and was taken into British service with a number of his followers, who were styled incorrectly the ” Baloch Levy.” In March 1841, Mr. Ross Bell, the Political Agent in Upper Sind, deputed one of his assistants with a detachment of troops, under the command of Colonel Wilson of the Bombay Cavalry, to collect the arrears of revenue due from the Khajjaks of Sibi on behalf of Shah Shuja.

Anglo Khajjak battle 1841
Anglo Khajjak battle 1841

The detachment was accompanied by Misri Khan, and on the Khajjaks refusing to comply with the demands, attacked the town, but were repulsed with heavy loss, losing fifty- three men killed and wounded and four officers including Colonel Wilson. Reinforcements from Bhag were sent up under General Brooks, but before they could arrive the Khajjaks abandoned their town,the defenses of which were then demolished. The power of the Khajjaks was thus weakened, and shortly afterwards the Marris acquired a footing in the Sibi District. They dispossessed the Pannis of Badra and Quat-Mandai and over-ran Sangan.

Anglo Khajjak Battle 1841
Anglo Khajjak Battle 1841

Anglo Khajjak Battle 19 Feb 1841

The troops sent consist of the 3rd cavalry, Leslie’s horse artillery, some of Skinner’s and of Curtis’s irregular horse and a wing of the 20th N.I, these were afterwards joined by 200 of the 2ndGrenadiers with Lieutenants Hogg, Falconer and Morrison. The whole was commanded by Colonel Wilson of the Cavalry. The distance they had to march from quarters was about 40 miles: a detachment worse suited for the attack of a fortified town, could not be imagined; especially when the General had every variety of troops in such abundance at command. So late as the 17thafter the troops were on their way certain of the Khajjak chiefs had an interview with Mr. Rose Bell: some misunderstanding appears to have arisen: Mr. Bell stated that he was left under the impression that the chiefs wished to evade payment altogether, though admitting it was due and some of the natives on whom he so often so unworthily relied, assured him that the Khajjaks were arming and preparing for resistance. The groundlessness of this last became obvious when our troops arrived near the Khajjak Fort and the populace appeared never to dream of hostilities. Lieutenant Brown A.P.A, was sent to join the force in consequence of Lieutenant Col. Wilson reporting that the people were hostile and that our camel-men had been detained in the town. Which he deemed it imperative to make known. He proceeds to say “but little forage had been promised and the people who went for it were treated with ill-concealed ill-will. I am positively informed that an attack on our camp will be made should a favorable opportunity of doing so occur. I respectfully solicit the Major-General granting further and more explicit instructions.” It was at this time that the Assistant Political Agent was ordered to proceed to Col. Wilson’s camp in case of difficulty, that the commanding officer might be fully aware how matters were to be managed. On the day of the fight, 20th February, a deputation of the chief men had an interview with Lieutenant Brown: they declared their readiness to pay the sum required but requested twelve hours to make the collection. This was refused and they were informed that unless within two hours they should produce 2200 pounds their town would be attacked by the troops. The attempt was made the collection was commenced on the instant; and rupees, gold and silver ornaments were gathered in the utmost haste in amount equal to our demands. A Moonshee with some attendants who had been sent to the town when the two hour’s leave which had been given were expired, met the chiefs bearing the treasure to our camp. Before they arrived there, however, they observed the guns getting into position and the troops being drawn out in order of battle. Supposing some trick or delusion to be intended, that we meant both to take the money and attack the town besides, they retired within the walls and charged the Moonshee with endeavoring to practice a fraud upon them. The fight immediately began. The Fort which contained about 4000 people. It was situated in a level plain, which afforded no cover for ordnance and surrounded with a ditch and mud wall, varying from 12 to 20 feet in height, with four open gateways respectively of 9, 10, 12 and 20 feet in width. The detach surround the fortress at 12 feet distance from the wall was 25 feet broad and 4 feet deep; it was encircled on three sides by marshes and water-courses. About two 0’clock p.m. the guns opened with round-shot and spherical case at the distance of two hundred yards; after a fire of nearly half and hour’s duration, they were removed to within one hundred yards of the mud wall. The defenses were so thick and numerous that even at this distance our shot scarcely told upon the town. The enemy had kept up a brisk and galling fire upon us from the moment our artillery was in position. Colonel Wilson was wounded through the thigh; the femoral bone being badly splinted by one of the first shots. The command in consequence devolved on major Rollings of the 2nd Grenadiers. The storming party consisting of two companies of the regiment just named, supporting by the left wing of the 20th N.I, proceeded to a place where the men were able easily to cross, the ditch having been left unfinished and advanced by the pathway 12 feet wide, which intervened betwixt the edge of this and the base of the wall. Captain Walter with a troop of the 3rdcavalry proceeded round to the other side of the tow to cut off the enemy’s retreat. The rest of the troops remained to support Captain Leslie with his guns and act circumstances might require. The enemy were six to eight hundred (600 to 800) strong just within the gate: there being about twelve hundred (1200) fighting men in the town altogether: the guns which otherwise kept the gate clear, required to suspend their fire as the storming party advanced. So soon as the head of the column got near the gate, the enemy rushed out and cut down the leading men, who were unfortunately very indifferently supported as no effort on the part of the officers could induce the Grenadiers to move forward. Lieut. Falconer was killed and Lieut. Shaw sub-assistant commissary general who volunteered his services on the occasion severely wounded in leading the assailants on. On seeing the check of the storming party, the intrepid Lieut. Creed H.A., requested permission to take some dismounted artillerymen to head the column and endeavor to recover the fortunes of the day. This gallant band of about 20 horse artillerymen at once advanced and endeavored to force their way into the town. Lieut. Creed and some few got within the gateway.: but here the heroic officer and five of his men were immediately cut down, and the remainder most of whom were severely wounded, driven back by force of numbers were compelled to retire being unsupported.  The enemy began to flag and had the attack been persisted in the Fort must have fallen. Evening was now rapidly advancing: it was obviously in vain to maintain the struggle so our troops retired to a distance of 1000 yards and proceeded to encamp for the night with view of next morning renewing operations.
The causalities in this unfortunate affair amounted to 15 killed and 25 wounded: Lieuts. Falconer and Creed were amongst the former, Colonel Wilson and Lieut. Shaw amongst the latter. Colonel Wilson died in a few days afterwards from the effect of his wound. The enemy’s loss is said to about 60 killed.
A report was spread that Khajjaks intended to attack us at night, so that the troops slept under arms. The rumor proved groundless about 11 O’ clock p.m. a banyan arrived in camp from the fort, intimating that the chiefs had left, the whole of the occupants of the town save the aged and bedridden made their escape to the hills, so that when morning dawned it was tenantless. Khajjak was taken possession of and all them moveable’s contained in it declared prize property. This amounted to about 2000 pound in value: this as will by and bye be seen, had afterwards to be restored by order of government.
Khajjak Society
Khajjak Society
The tidings of this mishap reached General Brooks at Mengal ka Shaher (Bhag) about noon on the 21st and he immediately ordered out a detachment to join Captain Rollings with the utmost expedition. This consisted of the head-quarters of the 4th troop horse brigade H.M.’s 40th and 21st N.I with the sappers and mines: they marched about 5 P.M. the same afternoon. These were to proceed by forced marches without a moment’s delay as the extent of the mischance was believed to be much more serious than it turned out, but on the march the Major-General receiving authentic intelligence that the Khajjaks had evacuated their Fort, directed the infantry to remain that night at Mithree and proceeded only with the head-quarters and 4th troop Horse Artillery to Khajjak. The infantry recommended their march the following afternoon. Before they had proceeded far rain began to fall in torrents and from the night being pitchy dark, the troops remained for some time in a perfect slough of mud were detained before Khajjak till the middle the camels of the force.
After the town had fallen into our hands but before it was destroyed some of the people who were starving on the hills, returned with a view of recovering their lost properly: they were driven back some perishing in the ditch and orders were given to fire on any one who should approach the town. Foiled in avenging our mischances on the Khajjak warriors, Mr. Bell resolved that the property of the inhabitants should suffer. An order was fulminated directing the place to be destroyed and the country desolated. On the 6th March accordingly, the aged, sick and bedridden having been carried beyond the walls, the clothes on them being the only property they were allowed to retain, the Fort was set fire to and laid in ruins. The houses that could not easily be pulled down were mined and blown up. The timbers that could not be otherwise destroyed were burnt. The devastation was complete the fire raged for several days and the property accumulated and buildings erected through the space of seven generations during which the place had flourished in the hands of the Khajjaks was appropriated or destroyed by us. The crops were eaten up or trampled underfoot by the horses the camels and the baggage cattle of the army, the desire appearing to be to do as much want on mischief as possible. An edict was issued when the work of ravage had been completed that no part of the town should be rebuilt.
Graveyard of Britishers killed in khajjak 1841
Graveyard of Britishers killed in khajjak 1841
The Forces consist as follows:
2nd Grenadiers Regiment: 1 captain, 3 Liutenants, 4 native officers, 12 havaldars, 200 rank and file: killed 1 Liutenant (Falconer), 8men, wounded 20.
Sindh Horses: 1 captain, 4 native officers, 2 daffedars, 66 swars; killed-1 sowar.
1st Troop H.A : 1 captain, 2 lieuts, 98 men : killed 5 and 1 officer ( Lieut. Creed), wounded 6 and 1 officer (capt. Blood).
3rd Lt.Cavalary: 1 connel, 1 captain, 6 lieuts and cornets, 201 troopers: killed 1 trooper.
Regiment Wing 20th: 2 captains , 2 lieuts, 2 ensigns, 381 men : killed 1 private, 10 ditto wounded
Total Force . . . . . .. .  .. . .  .. . . . . . . . . .  . Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . ..  ..266
                                                                           Infantry…………………….   581
                                                                                                                 —————
                                                                                                                           847
Deduct sick and guards   . …………………………………….              ..    182
Present in action ……………………………………………..   665
Killed 1 Lieut. Colonel, 2 Lieutenants and 12 men.
Wounded 2 Lieuts and 45 men.
The names of the Khajjak Cheifs, the descendants of the sons of Khajjak are:
Head Chief:  Ismail Khan Khajjak ,  other Chiefs: Essa khan , Syed Khan, Karim Khan, Hussain khan, Meeran Khan, Door Khan , Kamal Khan.
The tribe is said to have numbered from seven hundred to one thousand fighting men this year.
Martyred of Khajjaks in 1841
Martyred of Khajjaks in 1841
We have heard General Brooks declare that he never in the course of 40 years’ service, experienced anything so intensely mortifying as the failure in Khajjak (Seebee). He sent out a light detachment on the assurance of Mr. Bell that by no possibility could there be fighting, that a mere demonstration was all that was desired. The neighborhood of Khajjak had been recommended as a station for part of the mounted force and the cavalry and horse artillery were ordered there in the first instance without any idea of warfare but simply for the benefit of forage which was hardly procurable at Bhag.

Pen-and-ink drawing of Sibi at the end of the Bolan Pass by George Boyd (1800-1850) dated between 1821 and 1844

Notes and References

    1. A.Aziz Luni, “Afghans of the frontier passes”, Vol-I, p-108
    2. There is also a saying, “Balochan-i-Marri bar koh minazand, wa mardumi Khajjak dar maidani goi shujaat mi rubayand” Translated from Persian in English language the- proverb will read as follows – “Marri Baloch are proud of their mountains whereas Khajjaks are proud of their bravery in the plain area.
    3. Haroon Rashid, “History of the Pathans”, Vol-III, p-99
    4. Mc Gregor, “North-West Frontier Province”, Vol-II, p-940
  1. Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series: Sibi district, compiled by Major.A. McConaghey, p-26

History of Sibi District

History of Sibi district of Balochistan.

The History of the district center chiefly round Sibi, or as it was sometimes written, Siwi which owing to its position at the mouth of the Bolan Pass has always been place of considerable importance and has figured prominently in the annals of the country. cut off from the rest of Baluchistan by belts on intervening hills, Sibi itself during the earlier part of its history appears to have followed the fortunes of Kachhi and Multan rather than those of Khurasan. In  the older maps the country between the Bolan Pass and the Derajat is marked as Sewistan, but this name has been now passed out of common use among the natives of Balochistan and authorities differ as regards the accurate defination of its boundires. It is difficult at this period to arrive at any correct solution, as alterationsin the course of the Indus river have modified the local divisions of territory, districts have become intermingled and names have been inaccurately applied in the narratives of the earlier Writers. It is held that the name of Sewistan is erroneously given to this part of the country, which was a dependency of the extensive province of Sewistan of Tatta or Sindh. The name however has been generally adopted in earlied histories and in the absence of conclusive proof th the contrary, it would seem desirable to retain it. All local traditions assert that the former rulers of this part of the country including Kalat were Hindus who were called Sewas. As history shows that Muhammadan dynasties have held Baluchistan from about the Seventeenth century, an earlier period must be looked for the date of these Sewas and it is not improbable that they were connected with the Rai Dynasty of Sindh whose genealogical tables include two rulers named Sihra.

Early History

A tribe known as Sibi or Sibia is mentioned in the histories of Alexander’s invasion of India, but beyond a similarity of names there is nothing to show that they were connected with the modern town of Sibi. Prior to and at the time of the rise of islam, Sibi seems to have formed a portion of an extensive Hindu kingdom on the Indus, which at the time of its first contact with the Arabs was ruled over by Sihra Rai, whose capital was Alor a populous city near Bhakkar. This monarch was killed in Makran in a battle with Arabs and after the death of his successor Sahsi, the kingdom passed into the hands of rai Chach, the Brahman who ruled Sindh for forty years. Chach is said to have marched from Armabela ( apparently Bela ) through the Jhalawan country to Kandabil ( possibly the modern Gandava), and to have afterwards encamped on the banks of the river Sini or Sibi which may be identified with the Nari of the present day. He is described as having compelled the inhabitants of this part of the country to pay him a tribute of a hundred horses and a thousand Durhams of money.

First Muhammadan invasion in 711 A.D. 

 The first Muhammadan invasion under Muhammad Bin Qasim the Arab general of the Caliph Walid, took place during the reign of Dahir, the son of Chach. The seizure of an Arab ship at a Sindh and conquered the country up to and including Multan.

Second Muhammadan Invasion in 978 A.D. 

In the interval that elapsed before the next Muhammadan invasion nothing is known of the history of the district but at the beginning of  the eleventh centruy, Sibi and the neighbouring country formed part of the Ghaznivid empire under Sultan Mahmood Ghaznvi, who captured Multan in 1004 A.D.

Year 10004 A.D.

In the time of Nasiruddin Kabacha who assered his independence in Sindh during the reign of Altamash, the slave king of Dehli, Sibi is mentioned as forming one of the seven kingdoms of Sindh tributary to Multan and as being ruled by Rana Wakija son of Punnun Channun, a petty Muhammadan feudatory of Hindu descent.  

YEAR 1250 A.D.

The subsequent history is obscure but about 1250 the town of Sibi and its dependencies are said to have been held by Rai Sihra, the head of the Langah tribe of Multan who according to Tod, were Hindus by descent and a branch of the Solanki Rajputs but according to native writers a branch of the Jats. In the confusion which followed the withdrawal of Timur after the sack of Delhi, Multan became independent under the Langahs and Sibi seems to have been recognized as a dependency of that province though the actual possession appears to have alternated between the rulers of that province and those of Kandahar.

Year 1470 A.D.

In 1470 Sultan Hussain Mirza of Herat is said to have made over the territories of Shal ( Quetta) Pushang ( Pishin ) and Sibi to Amir Shujauddin Zunnun, the Arghun but according to the Ain-i-Akbari the “Siwi Fort” was conferred as a fief in 1488 on Shah Beg, the son of Shujaudin Zunnun by Jam Nizamuddin of Sindh generally known as Jam Nanda.

Arghun Dynasty 1511 A.D. 

About 1511 Shah Beg marched against Sibi to resume his fief and captured the town after a severe struggle. After rebuilding the Fort, which he strongly garrisoned, Shah Beg returned to Kandhar.

Sibi Fort
Sibi Fort
He was however compelled to retire before Baber and evacuating kandhar made his head- quarter at Shal and Sibi. In 1517 he led an expedition into Sindh and defeating Jam Feroz, the son of Jam Nanda captured and sacked Tatta in January 1519. Shah Beg died in 1522 When leading another expedition against Gujrat and was succeeded by his son Mirza Shah Husain.
Entrance Gate Fort of Sibi
Entrance Gate Fort of Sibi
In 1513 Shah Hussain bestowed the Government of Sibi on Sultan Muhammad (sometimes written Sultan Mahmud) son of Mir fazal, Kokaltash, a favorite of his father. According to Mir Masum Sultan Muhammad “took several forts which had been held by Balochis for many years. He severely twisted the ears of these vicious people of Kohistan, bringing them under subjection”. It was about this time (1543) that Humayun passed through Sibi on his retreat from India.

Mirza isa Tarkhan Year 1554 A.D.

Shah Hussain died in 1554 and after his death his territory was divided between Mirza Isa Tarkhan, who had been appointed Governor of Tatta and Sultan Muhammad, the latter retaining the territory of Bhakkar. In 1573 Sultan Muhammad tendered his allegiance to the Emperor Akber, and his territory, hitherto held by him independently, was confirmed to him as a fief.Sultan Muhammad died in the following year and was succeeded as Governor of Bhakkar by one Saiad Muhammad. At this period Sibi appears to have come into the possession of the Panri tribe of Ghurgusht Pathans or Afghans, who had first begun to acquire power on the decay of the Arghun rule.

Panri ( panni) Tribe of Sibi 

In 1576 an expedition was sent against Sibi under Saiad Abul Fazal, the son of the governor who captured the fort in spite of a valiant resistance by the Panris. Shortly afterwards the Mughal contingent was withdrawn and the Panris again took possession of the country. This led to another expedition in 1587 which was repulsed with loss and in 1595 there was a third expedition which resulted in the capture of the fort. Mir masum of Bhakkar the historian of Sindh who was then appointed as governor has left this following description of Sibi as it appeared in this time “The territory of Siwi and Ganjabah (Gundawa) is thus situated. The range of Sitpur stetching along the lands of kin, places dependent on kandhar, lies between. From this place the territory (Siwi) having assumed the shape of a complete semi-circles again approaches the banks of the river.
Panni Tribe History
Panni Tribe History
This intermediate space is all dusht (open plain) and the route leading to Kandhar rus through the midst of this dusht. The length of the territory from the river to Siwi, is one hundred kuroh (kos) and the breadth is sixty kurah. Over the greater part of this tract the samum blows for a period of four months in the year and the period during which it prevails is the hot season. In the dusht of Siwi there used to be forts and inhabited places but they are gone to ruin.”

Mughals Rule of India

In the time of Akber, Sibi was assessed to revenue as a mahal of the Bhakkar Sarkar of the Multan suba and paid 1,381,930 dirams in cash and furnished a contingent of 500 cavalries and 1500 infantry. During the reign of Jehangir and Shahjahan the province of Siwi seems to have been kept in the disturbed state of the reign of Aurangzeb “On account of the disturbed state of the frontier districts of the Multan suba and the excesses of the marauding Baloch tribes” the Shahzada Muhammad Muizzuddin grandson of the emperor was appointed as governor or nazim of the Multan suba. “At this time Sibi and its dependencies were held by the chief of the Panri tribe Mirza Khan Barozai, who had received the title of nawab and also administered the affairs of Upper Sindh.

Nawab Bakhtiar Khan Barozai in Year 1700 A.D.

His son Nawab Bakhtiar Khan Barozai who had been entrapped into opposing the nazim’s forces was killed in 1700 and “a farman of congratulation was dispatched to the Prince together with a dress of honor and a jeweled dagger for his services in rooting out the rebel Bakhtiar.”

Kalhora Dynasty of Sindh 1712 A.D.

In 1712 Yar Muhammad Kalhora of Sindh was appointed governor of Bhakkar by Muizzuddin who had succeeded to the throne of Delhi as Jehnadar Shah and received the title of nawab and afterwards that of Khuda Yar Khan Abbasi.
In 1730-1, Abdullah Khan, the Brahvi Khan of Kalat was killed while fighting with Nur Muhammad, the son of Yar Muhammad.

Nadir Shah 1739 A.D.

In 1739 the province west of the Indus were annexed to the Persian empire by Nadir Shah and Nur Muhammad was delivered over into the hands of Mohabat Khan of Kalat that he might avenge the death of his father. The Brahvi chief however declined the commission of murder and Nadir Shah compelled the Kalhora prince to cede Kachhi or Kach Gandava to the Khan as an equivalent or atonement for the blood of his father. Kachhi is accordingly always spoken of as having been acquired for Kalat by the blood of Abdullah Khan.

Durrani Dynast 1747 A.D.

After Nadir Shah’s death, the Panri seized the opportunity to again acquire Sibi and Sangan and Durranis found it convenient to confirm the Barozai chiefs in the position which they established but as Hakims or governors rather than as independent rulers. The Barozais were never able to assert their authority in Zawar (Harnai valley) or in Thal and it would appear that for purposes of revenue these two districts were worked or occasionally raided by agents from Pishin or by Durranis of Quetta.

British Arrival 1839 A.D.

The Barozais retainded their position during the ruler of the Barakzais and at the outbreak of the first Afghan war in 1839, Misri Khan Barozai, the head of Panri tribe tendered his services to Shah Shuja and was taken into British service with a number of his followers who were styled the “Baloch Levy”.

Anglo Khajjak Battle 1841

In March 1841 Mr. Rose Bell the Political agent in upper Sindh deputed one of his assistants with a detachment of troops, under the command of Colonel Wilson of the Bombay Cavalry, to collect the arrears of revenue due from Khajjaks of Sibi on behalf of Shah Shuja Durrani. The detachment was accompanied by Misri Khan and on the Khajjaks refusing to comply with the demands, attacked the town but were repulsed with heavy loss, losing fifty-three men killed and wounded and four officers including Colonel Wilson. Reinforcements from Bhag were sent up under General Brooks but before they could arrive the Khajjaks abandoned their town, the defenses of which were then demolished. The Khajjaks were permitted to return during the following year and the town was rebuilt.
From November 1841 to September 1842 an Assistant Political Officer resided at Sibi.
Anglo Khajjak battle 1841
Anglo Khajjak battle 1841

Around 1500 it was taken by Shah Beg of the Arghun Dynasty from Samma Dynasty of Sultan Of Sindh and so came under the control of Kandahar.
However, during the period of Mughal rule the territory was once again ruled from Multan.
In 1714 the territory was conquered by the Kalhoras Amirs of Sindh, but they were then displaced by the Durranis. During the short rule of the Durranis the local administrators were nominated from the Barozai Sub clan of the Panni Tribe.

Sibi Sub Division Jirga memebers
Sibi Sub Division Jirga memebers

In the 19th century it fell under Marris and Bugtis hand. To finish rebellion in the area as raised by Marri & Bugti Tribes, the British signed the treaty with Khan of Kalat in late 19th century where under the Sibi, Shalkot and Chagai territory leased out to British India.
The District of Sibi was established in 1903 during British Rule its area was larger than the current district and lay between 27°55′ and 30°38’N and 67°17′ and 69°50’E lying south of Loralai District, north of the Upper Sind Frontier District, west of Dera Ghazi Khan District and east of Kachhi, Bolan Pass and Quetta- Pishin.

Political Agent Sibi
Political Agent Sibi

The total area of the district was 11,281 square miles (29,220 km2), but this included Marri Bugti county (7,129 square miles) which not directly administered by the British, leaving 4,152 square miles (10,750 km2) that were directly administered by the British  The population according to the 1901 census of India was 74,555 or 18 persons per square mile.

Governor House Sibi
Governor House Sibi
Sibi Tehsil
Sibi Tehsil

Nawab Ghous Bakhash Barozai with District administration and Pakistan army cantt Sibi

History of Sibi district

Circles of Sibi District

History of Sibi District

The Sibi Fort was rebuild by Shah Beg Arghun mentioned in a book ” Tarkhan Nama.” The Imperial Gazetteer of India and Sibi district gazetteer also confirmed the presence of Shah Beg Arghun.

Panni Tribe Taken Control of Sibi from Arghuns
Panni Tribe Taken Control of Sibi from Arghuns


About 1511 Shah Beg marched against Sibi to resume his fief and captured the town after a severe struggle. After rebuilding the fort which he strongly garrisoned, Shah Beg returned to Kandahar. He was however compelled to retire before Babar and evacuating Kandahar made his head-quarter at Shal and Sibi. In 1517 he led an expedition into Sindh and defeating Jam Feroz, the son of Jam Nanda, captured and sacked Tatta in January 1519. Shah Beg died in 1522 when leading another expedition against Guzarat and succeed by his son Mirza Shah Hussain.

Panni Tribe of Sibi defeated Arghuns
Panni Tribe of Sibi defeated Arghuns

In 1513 Shah Hussain bestowed the Government of Sibi on Sultan Muhammad Khan son of Mir Fazal, kokaltash, a favorite of his father.  

Shah Beg Arghun
Shah Beg Arghun

 

  The Sibi district was established on 1903 it included two Tehsils Sibi and Harnai. The Sibi Tehsil consist of 6 circles. Sangan , Sibi , kurak, khajjak , Talli and Mal.

Union council Sangan

Sangan Circle of Sibi District

Sangan

The Sangan village of Tehsil and district Sibi is important for agriculture production. Ahmad shah Abdali appointed Sardar Ismail khan Panni Barozai as caretaker and tax collector in the Sangan region the 46 miles distance from Sibi city.
Sangan Circle of Sibi District
Sangan Circle of Sibi District

The Sangan Jagir

While I was making inquiry into the revenue rate prevalent in Karwan Kachhi and Khushkaba Gharmob Takri in the Sangan circle, in march last, the local baniahs stated that their debts against the Barozais and Sangachis amounted to about Rs. 19,500.
Mauza Sangan
Mauza Sangan
The Barozais and other zamindars alleged that their indebtedness was due to the facts that during the last few years their wheat crops had been poor, they cannot owing to the distance from markets and want to proper roads, obtain good prices for their surplus grain and straw they are isolated and cannot add to their income from lands by labour etc, at times they cannot get seed grain at reasonable prices the prices charged by the baniahs for the various commodities are exorbitant and the cultivators urged as an additional reason the high rates of revenue (one-fourth of the produce including the Jagirdars share) and the hak-i-topa ( proprietors dues or rent) which they are required to pay a copy of the note drawn up by me at the time ( and which was sent to the Political agent Sibi, through the Revenue Commissioner’s office) is attached as Appendix2.
A brief account of the Jagir and orders passed about it by Government in 1906.
Sangan land
Sangan land

Ahmad Shah Abdali wrote many letters to Ismail khan panni Barozai.

Ahmad shah Durrani Degree issued to ismail Khan barozai of Sangan
Ahmad shah Durrani Degree issued to ismail Khan barozai of Sangan
Translation of Parwana Issued by Ahmad Shah Durrani to Barozai
Translation of Parwana Issued by Ahmad Shah Durrani to Barozai Pannis
Sardar Taj Muhammad Barozai
Sardar Taj Muhammad Barozai
Sardar Baaz Muhamad Barozai
Sardar Baaz Muhamad Barozai

The Sangan village is 25 miles distance from Babar Kach Station.