By: Farooq Miana
Baloch people form a large portion of the whole population of Seraiki wasaib. They are found in considerable numbers in all Seraiki districts. They dwell both in cities and villages. All though some are big landlords and occupy large areas through out Seraiki Wasaib. But they no longer hold compact territories exclusively as their own. They have lost their language and speak Seraiki as a native language, they have been settled and assimilated in Seraiki culture and has little to do with Baloch tribes of Balochistan. Balochs of Seraiki wasaib can hardly be distinguished from other people of Seraiki Wasaib. One would not know about their caste unless revealed by themselves. These Balochs own no allegiance to any tribal Chief, are altogether external to political organization of the tribes of Baluchistan and don’t hold any dominant position among their neighbors which is enjoyed by the organized tribes of Dera Ghazi Khan. However Baloch tribes residing in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Rojhan still have lot of Baloch traditions and some of them still speak Balochi language.
The Balochs of Dera Ismail Khan, Bhakkar, Layyah
The Balochs started settling in Seraiki wasaib about the middle of 15th century. Prior to this they had spread as north as the Bolan, but had not yet encroached upon the Suleman range which lay east to them and which was held by the Pathans, while a Jat population occupied the valley of Indus and the country between the Suleman and the river. The area was called Makalwad but later on this term went out of usage and Daman was used which still is used for this area.
By the middle of 15th century the Brahoi, a tribe believed to be of Dravidian origin, drove the Balochs out of the fertile valley of Kelat and established supremacy over their northern tribes. These Baloch tribes moved east ward into lower Sulemans driving the Pathans before them along the range. Many of these latter took service with the Langah rulers of Multan and were granted lands along the river. About 1480 A.D Ismail Khan and Fateh Khan two sons of Malik Sohrab Khan and Ghazi Khan son of Haji Khan all Dodais of Rind extraction founded three Deras, Namely Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Fatah Khan.
The tribal name of Dodai disappeared, because leaders were of different tribe from their followers, the representatives and tribesmen of Ghazi Khan were locally called Mihrani, those of Ismail Khan as Hot and those of Fatah Khan as Kulachi.
With Ghazi Khan came the Jiskani Balochs, who occupied Cis-Indus tract above Bakkar, while with Hots came Korai. At the zenith of their power the Hot, Korai, Mirani, and Jiskani held sway over almost the whole Damaan and Thal. During the later half of 16th century Daud Khan a Jiskani and descendants of one Ghazi Khan Followers moved southwards and captured the greater part of Layyah. Emperor Akbar dispersed his tribe, but early in 17th century the independence of the Jiskani under Baloch Khan was recognized and it is from Baloch Khan that the Jiskani, Mandrani, Mamdani, Sargani, Kandani and Muliani, who still live in Bhakkar and Layyah Districts, trace their descent. In about 1750-1770 A.D Mihrani (people of Ghazi Khan) who sided with the Kalhoras or Sarais of Sindh in their struggle against Ahmed Shah Durrani, were driven out of Dera Ghazi Khan by Jiskani. (About the same time the Hots were over thrown after a desperate struggle by the Gandapur Pathans.
The Balochs of Dera Ismail Khan are scattered through out the Districts and its tehsils of Paharpur, Kulachi and Darabun, they don’t have any political or administrative unity the tribal tie is merely that of common descent and these tribes possess no corporate coherence. None of these tribes speaks Balochi language nor has any life style similarity with Baloch tribes of Balochistan. The Baloch tribes of Layyah, Bhakkar and Dera Ismail Khan have been absorbed in local culture; they intermingle and intermarry with Jats and other castes. The principal Baloch tribes of Dera Ismail Khan, Layyah and Bhakkar are Lashari, Kulachi and Jiskani, after them come the Rind, the Laghari, the Jatoi, the Korai, the Chandia, the Hot, the Gurmani, the Petafi, the Gashkori and the Mirani. The Petafis are found only in Dera Ismail Khan, they are confined to Parao area and the principal village in which they are in majority is Hazara.
(The most Balochs in Layyah and Bhakkar as Jiskan, Mamdanis are Rind)
Organized Baloch Tribes of Dera Ghazi Khan, Rojhan and Rajanpur Region
The Balochs of Dera Ghazi Khan, Rohjan and Rajanpur region are the only Seraiki Balochs which have retained distinct tribal and political organization. The Dera Ghazi Khan tribes are in the main of Rind origin. They include, beginning from south Mazari, Drishak, Gurchani, Tibbi Lund, Laghari, Khetran, Khosa, Sori Lund, Bozdar, Qasarani and Nutkani.
The Mazaris are practically found only in Rajanpur. This city is the Capital Seat of the Mazari Baloch tribe who has held this territory since 1632 A.D. Prior to this the Mazari Tribe was settled in the Bambhore Hills of present day Kahan in Balochistan. The original city of Rojhan, situated a few kilometers from the present city, was burnt by the Sikh invaders under the command of Raja Kharak Singh. The Present City was constructed during the reign of the famous Mazari Chief, Nawab Sir Imam Buksh Khan Mazari during the early and middle part of the 1800s. The word ‘rojhan’ traces its roots back to the ancient Babalonyian and Caspatic languages of the Indo-European language family, meaning the ‘City of Tents’. The City is a site to many ancient yet beautiful tombs of the Mazari Nawabs and Sardars dating as back as the 17th Century.
They came down to land towards The Drishaks are the most scattered of all the Dera Ghazi Khan their villages are surrounded by villages of Jats and other indigenous people. They own no portion of the hills and are practically confined to Dera Ghazi Khan District. Its principal sections are Kirmani, Mingwani, Gulfaz, Sargani, and. Arbani.
They own Mari and Darugal Hills, They are divided into Eleven Clans, of which chief are the Durkani, Shekhani, Lashari, Petafi, Jiskani, and Sibzani.
The Tibbi Lund
They are confined to Dera Ghazi Khan district, where they occupy small area in the midst of Gurchani country.
The Leghari Baloch tribe is one of the largest of Baloch tribes. The Leghari baloch are pure “Rind Baloch”. They are divided into four clans, the Haddiani, Aliani, Bughlani and Haibatani. Their headquarters are at Choti Zerin, where they are said to have settled after their return from accompanying with Hamayun, expelling the Ahmadanis who then held the present Laghari country.
The Legharis are also found in Dera Ismail Khan and Muzaffargarh but don’t owe alligeance to the tribe. The Talpur dynasty of Sindh belonged to this tribe and there still is a considerable population of Laghari tribe in Sindh.
The Khetran hold territory on the back of Laghari, Khosa and Lund country. Their original settlemet was at Vahoa, where many of them still live and hold land between the Qasarani and the River.
Khetrans are certainly not pure Baloch, and held by many to be Pathans, descended from Miana, brother of Tarin. Where as other think them to be a remunant of the original Jat population all of them speak Seraiki. However they confessdly resemble the Balochs in features, habits and general appearance, the name of their septs end in the Baloch patronymie termination “dni”. They are the least warlike of all the Baloch tribes of this region, capital cultivatorsa and in consequence exceedingly wealthy.
Major Pullock “It is rare to find a Khosa who has not been in prison for cattle-stealing or deserved to be and a Khosa who has not committed a murder or debauched his neighbor’s wife or destroyed his neighbor’s landmark is decidedly a creditable specimen”.
They occupy the country between the Laghari and the Qasrani, their territory being divided into northern and southern portion by the territory of Lunds In Seraiki Wasaib, outside Dera Ghazi Khan they are found in Bahawalpur. They hold extensive lands in Sindh, which were granted to them by Empror Humayun for military service. Khosas are admitted to be among the bravest of the Balochs. They are true Rind and are divided into six clans, namely Babelani, Isani, Jaggel, Jaudani, Jarwar and Mahrwani.
The Sori Lund
This is a small tribe. Their territory divides that of Khosas into to two parts and extends to the bank of River Indus. They are not pure Baloches and are divided into five clans the Hadarani, Bakrani, Zariana, Garzwani, Nuhani.
These live in scattered villages about Rajanpur and among Laghari tribe. The Buzdars are of Rind extraction and are divided into Dulani, Ghulamani, Chakrani, Sihani, Shahwani, Jalalani and Rustamani clan.
They are settled on the territory lying on either side of the boundary between Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan. The tribe is poor one and is divided into seven clans the Lashkarani, Khubdin, Budhani, Vaswani, Jarwar and Rustamani. They are of Rind origin and found in Seraiki wasaib in the area mentioned above.
This is tribe peculiar to Dera Ghazi Khan; it holds a territory stretching east ward to the Indus and between the Northern Khosa and the Qasrani. This tribe was brutally crushed out of tribal existence in early days of Ranjit Singh’s rule.
Other Less Important Baloch Tribes of Dera Ghazi Khan Include Gopang, Lashari, Gurmani, Mastoi, Hahani, Sanjraniand Ahmadani. These all lie scattered along the edge of the Indus and spoeak Seraiki and have been completely assimilated to Seraiki culture.
The Balochs of Multan and Muzaffargarh Region
Like Balochs of Dera Ismail Khan, Bakhar and Layyah, Balochs in Multan and Muzzafargarh have adopted the local culture and language and have lost their Baloch habits and characteristics long ago. The reason doubtless is that this is the centre of Seraiki power and assimilating forces here are more potent then any where else. The important Baloch tribes of this region are the Gopang, the Chandia, the Rind, the Jatoi, the Korai, the Laghari, Lashari, and the Hot, the Chandias, the Khosas and the Dasti.
The Balochs of Bahawalpur, Rahimyarkhan and Sadiqabad Region
The Balochs of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Sadiqabad have been assimilated to Seraiki culture by all means and show now resemblance with Balochs. These tribes include Gopang, the Chandias, the Khosas, the Dasti, the Lashari, the Laghari, the Jataoi and the Mazari.
The Gopnags are mostly found in Khanpur, Khosas in Allahabad and Rahimyar Khan. Dashti Balochs mostly live in Sadiqabad and Khanpur. The Jatois settled in Bahawalpur during the times of Nawab Bahawal Khan III. They showed lot of bravery during wars and thus Nawab gave away huge land to them in Uch. The Mazaris settled in Bahawalpur on the invitation of Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV and were given land and Sadiqabad. Laghari Baloch also came at the same time and received huge chunks of agricultural lands.
The Baloch Tribes of Ravi, Upper Jehlum and Chanab
The Baloch tribes of the Ravi are found in bar of the Montgomery and Jhang districts. They used to breed camels here and held little land as cultivators. They consisted mostly of Jataoi and Rind. They probably are descendants of the men who under Mir Chakkar accompanied Humayun and received a grant of Land in Montgomery in return for their service. In Jhang and Sargodha districts on the Jehlum and the right bank of Chenab, the principal tribes to be found are the Rind, the Jataoi, the Lashari and the Korai.