Jats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

In this post, I shall look at the Jat community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all of whom are Seraiki speaking. According to the 1901 Census of India, the total Jat population was 81,081, almost all of whom about 75,542 were Muslim. The Hindu and Sikh Jat recorded by the Census were all soldiers who were stationed in the province.

The term Jat was commonly used in describe any Muslim cultivator who had not identified themselves as Pathans, Baloch, Sayads, or Qureshis, and often included Awans and Rajputs. The Jats are found mainly in the Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan Division, and are all Seraiki speaking. In the districts of Lakki Marwat and Bannu, a process of assimilation by Pashtuns has been an ongoing process. Most of the Indus plain is inhabited by Jats, who are divided into a number of clans. In Lakki Marwat, and the neighbouring Isa Khel Tehsil of Punjab, most Jats belong to the Turkhel clan, many of whom prefer to call themselves Pathans. The Lakki Marwat and Bannu Jats have much in common with the Bannuchis, and with the Awans they make up the mass of the hamsayah “Hindkis” in Bannu District. The Jat are most numerous in the neighbourhood of Ghoriwal and Shamshi Khel. Every Bannuchi village has few Jat families.

In Dera Ismail Khan, the assimilation process is slower, with the Asar, Bhumla, Chadhar and Chhajra forming an important element in the Indus plains. Almost all the Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu Jats are also found in the Bhakkar, Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan and Mianwali districts of Ounjab. In the Bannu Division, there is no difference now between groups who call themselves Jat and those who are Rajput, with both groups intermarrying. However in Dera Ismail Khan Division, the Sial and Bhatti groups keep a Rajput identity and are distinct from groups that call themselves Jats.

Dera Ismail Khan

The total Jat population in the district was 61,115, all of whom were Muslim. Bellow are the main clans according 1901 Census of India:

Tribe Total
Aheer 843
Asar 1,377
Aulakh 1,887
Autrah 1,075
Bains 353
Bhumla 793
Bhatti 778
Bhutta 778
Chadhar 1,226
Chhajra 367
Chhina 1,580
Dab 103
Dhariwal 184
Dhotar 949
Ghallu 818
Gill 190
Gujjar 365
Hassam 336
Jakhar 603
Janjua 573
Joiya 670
Kalyar 918
Kanera 1.754
Khera 176
Khokhar 3,185
Kohawer 1,020
Langah 704
Langrial 222
Mallana 454
Marral 229
Noon 169
Saggu 434
Sawag 460
Sial 2,945
Sipra 2,945
Soomra 930
Thaheem 352
Turk 1,499

Bannu District

The total Jat population in the district was 13,487, all of whom were Muslim. Bellow are the main clans according 1901 Census of India:

Tribe Total
Aheer 843
Bhumla 793
Heer 169
Kanera 147
Khokhar 248
Mohana 2,945
Mona 2,945
Sanda 930
Turkhel 1,499

49 thoughts on “Jats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  1. Hi newpakhistorian,

    Is there a way I can contact you. I am trying to find out some information on a jatt clan and cannot find anything. I have been told you may help.

      1. I am looking for information on the Pakhreel Jats of Azad Kashmir and their history. I cannot find anything anywhere about them. Do you have any info. or can I find anything in the India Office Archives in London

      2. The problem with Mirpur District is that the unlike Punjab and KPK, where the British produced detailed gazetteers, J & K government which not under under direct British control, did not do any such thing. The 1901 Census of J & K which is online (http://dspace.gipe.ac.in/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10973/18852/GIPE-017292.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y) has general comments on the Jats, but no informations on the clans. I think Pakhreel is simply a way to pronounce Pakhral, or Bhakral, and I have an article on the Bhakrals(https://newpakhistorian.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/bangial-baghial-dhamial-and-hon-tribes/). Bhakrals are found both sides of the Jhelum, they make up the largest tribe in Gujar Khan, and have a large presence in Chakwal and Jhelum.

        One very good source is something called a misal haqiyat, which is a village land record. But it usually also has some decription of the zamindar clans in the village. So that’s probably the best source. There may be some Urdu publication, but they are hard to trace.

      3. Thanks for the update do you think the bhakral had a presence south of Rawalpindi in or around sargodha?

        In the misal haqiyat what should i look out for. I can get someone to give me some extracts

  2. Ignore the mention of sarghoda. I believe our origins are right near chakwal which would make the bakhral theory very feasible if not accurate.

    1. About Bhakrals, according to British Census reports they found were only in Jhelum, Chakwal and Rawalpindi. So I am not ruling out any villages in Sargodha, but not a very large presence.

      1. How does a jatt tribe have rajput origins like the bakhral? I always thought if your rajpur your rajput etc

  3. That makes sense. Sabah Mohra is really important Bhakral village, and there are several other villages such as Chomar, Chontrian, Dhok Mehdi, and Dheri Rajgan in Chakwal.

    1. Ibbetson, a famous colonial ethnographer, who the eminent modern Cambridge scholar Susan Bayly, considers him to have had “a high degree of accuracy in his observations of Punjab society … [I]n his writings we really do see the beginnings of modern, regionally based Indian anthropology. He argued that groups like the Bhakral should be seen as a tribe rather than as a caste. He believed, like Nesfield, that the society of the Northwest Frontier Province (now KPK) and Punjab Province in British India did not permit the rigid imposition of an administratively-defined caste construct. According to Ibbetson, society in Punjab was less governed by ideas of caste based on varna and instead was more open and fluid. Tribes, which he considered to be kin-based groups that dominated small areas, were the dominant feature of rural life. Caste designators, such as Jat and Rajput, were status-based titles to which any tribe that rose to social prominence could lay a claim, and which could be dismissed by their peers if they declined. That’s why in the Pothahar region, and I include Mirpur in this, Rajput and Jat status varies from village to village. For example, in Gujar Khan, the Bhakral or Pakhral are seen as Rajput, but once we cross into Jhelum District, the Bhakral are seen as Jat. One of the reasons may be in Jhelum, Jat is status is something most aspire to, as the region to home to a large Gondal community, who consider themselves to be Jat. So most tribes follow the Gondal model, while in Gujar Khan, the locally dominant tribe are the Gaharwal Janjuas, who consider themselves Rajput. So most group aspire to be Rajput. Hope this makes sense

      1. I agree to the rationale given above that Rajput and Jat status varies according to geographical areas. Thus Sandhu caste is attributed to both Jatts as well Rajputs depending on the social importance and the respect enjoyed by both the castes; e.g., areas of Sandal Bar and Sargodha, Watoo and Sandhu are considered as Jatts.

      2. Hi Munawar,

        Sorry missed your post. Just an interesting point on the Sandhu, in Gujarkhan there are five Sandhu villages, Mohra Sandhu being the most important. Alnost allways the Sandhu call themselves as Jat and never Rajput, in a region where much confusion exists

  4. Thanks for the update on this. I just found all your responses. I am looking into the Pakhral history at the moment. In google Pakistan I am find mention specifically of the Pakhreel but they seem to only mention them in Azad Kashmir. I wonder if it is just a liguistic difference. I know the the Pakhral claim Panwar Rajput origins. The panwar came from Gujarat right?
    Because I have done some DNA tests and many models are showing I have similarity to Gujarati and Dravidian people although 100’s of years have passed and I do not resemble them. So now I am looking into the pakhral it is making a little more sense to me now. I am just trying to find evidence that Pakhreel are no different. But then I havent ever come across a jatt clan which has ‘eel’ at the end. All “al”

    1. I am pretty sure that the Pakhreel is the same as Pakhral, which is also pronounced as Bakhral or Bhakral. The Panwar / Parmar actually had their kingdom in Malwa, a region in central India. Several tribes of the Pothohar claim descent from Rajah Jagdev Panwar. Although a historical figure, he has lots of myths attached to him. The only problem is that none of the myths have been coroborated, or any evidence of Panwar immigration to Punjab exists. In the Jhelum, there are several villages of Rajputs who call themselves Panwar found in the Pabbi Hills such as Dhok Chapp, Kot Dhami, Sahsral and Jandot. However most tribes claim Panwar ancestry such as the Bangial, Bhakral, Hon, Sohlan amd Narma.

    2. Dozens of Jatt clans end in al. Such as damyal matyal kalyal, kanyal, rachyal, runyal. Punyal, nathyal and many more. Pakhreel is also a Jatt clan.

      1. I think the issue was whether the Pakhreel of Mirpur are the same as the Pakhral/ Bhakral of the Pothohar region. I believe that they are one and the same. But if you have any information it would be useful

      2. It would help if you know any information. The mirpur Pakreel all come from one common forefather a few hundred years ago. So if you know anything it would help. At the moment my assumption is that this forefather was a pakhral and due to liguistic changes the work has been slightly altered

      3. Can you tell me how many Pakhreel villages they have in Mirpur. My post on the Rajputs of Rawalpindi District shows Bhakral both Jat and Rajput found through out Jhelum, Chakwal, Gujar Khan, Kahuta and Rawalpindi. They are heaviest in Chakwal and Gujar Khan, so it stands to reason there are quite a few accross the river Jhelum in Mirpur

      4. I only know one Pakhreel village in Dadyal but there maybe well be more. That village is Chattrroh. Also Bakral are recorded as Jatt in Jhelum as well.

      5. It seems Chakwal is the home base of the Pakhral/ Bakhal Jats as my post on the Jats of Rawalpindi Division shows. In Jhelum District the total Bhakral population was 2,147, of which 1,163 were in Chakwal Tehsil (nw district). These are those Bhakral who declated themselves as Jat. While about 465 declared themselves as Rajputs, almost all of whom were found in Jhelum Tehsil. In Rawalpindi there were 5,279 Bhakrals,1,657 in Rawalpindi Tehsil (including a lot of what is now Islamabad), 2,359 in Gujarkhan and 1,263 in Kahuta, all of whom declared themselves as Rajputs. Thwy are a classic Jat / Rajput tribe of the Potohar region

        I am sattisfied on the information that the Bhakral are a clan of Panwar Rajputs, and Pakhreel of Mirpur District are also Bhakral

      6. I know that the Punyal live in Mirpur and to my knowledge they have at least 2 villages in Dadyal tehsil of Mirpur namely Mohar and Sorakhi. I am also aware that some live in the village of Kathar which is also in Dadyal. I am not aware of the Punyal village names in Kotli but was told that they do hold villages in Kotli District.

      7. That is a good point and my thoughts exactly. Yal( aal) means son of and is a common ending to all our northern Jatt clans names. Punyal could therefore be the sons of Punia. I do not have much information apart from that, but all Jatts clans originated in the South and moved northwards and thus we could be Punia from Punjab.

      8. Can you tell me how many Pakhreel villages they have in Mirpur. My post on the Rajputs of Rawalpindi District shows Bhakral both Jat and Rajput found through out Jhelum, Chakwal, Gujar Khan, Kahuta and Rawalpindi. They are heaviest in Chakwal and Gujar Khan, so it stands to reason there are quite a few accross the river Jhelum in Mirpur

      9. There a loads of Phakreel/Pakhral villages around mirpur. We claim to be from one forefather who came into Kashmir from Makhyal near Rawalpindi. I believe this might actually have been in Chakwal. There is a family tree which I am trying to get full information on. But I know they are now spread all over near Magla Dam and surrounding areas.

      10. Hi

        Yes they share their villages with other jatt. From DNA ancestry, I share ancestry with Bangial, Kalyal, Nagial, Manjaal, Khabbal and others.

        So there has been a lot of intermarrying between them, certainly in Kashmir anyway.

  5. Also what is your take on the minhas claim. Because there is a lot of text which mentions Pakhral and the Minhas.

  6. Hi,
    I belong to the Pakreel jatt clan. As far as my family is concerned, before partician of south Asia, My family lived on the Indian side of Kashmir. They came to Pakistan Punjab after India annexed Kashmir. We live in the tehsil Kharian part of Punjab.

    1. According 1931 Census of India, the total Jat population was 149,073, of which Muslims were 120,083 (80%). Most of these, about 103,096 lived in Mirpur District (now split into Kotli, Mirpur and Bhimber), but Jammu District (now split into Samba and Jammu)had 9,258. Specially the area near the border with Sialkot and Gujrat had several Muslim Jat villages. I understand nearly all these moved to Pakistan at partition. Have you got any information as to where your village was.

      1. Its complicated because the Pakreel seem to be a different clan. However I don’t rule our pakhral suggestion. However, I need to get hold of another pakreel and buzz is the only one who doesnt seem to be a direct relation. I did a Y37 STR with no matches in indo-pak region.

  7. Hi I am interested in our history/origin. We come from Mirpur AJK, specifically a village called Chandral, adjoining villages are Bangyial, Thothaal, Bandral and Dhamraal. We are classed as Jat but supposedly originate from Bhatti Rajput. Is this possible or an error?

    If true why would they change from Rajput to Jat?

    1. If you read my earlier comments, in western Punjab, the boundary between Jat and Rajput is more based on status. So the Dhamial can be Jat in one region and Rajput in another, depending on land ownership, and whether they intermarry with tribes of Jat status. My article on the Kanyal Rajputs looks into this issue in detail.

      Are you Bangyal Jatt

  8. I just want to ask you do you have any information on Panjutha tribe ?
    If you have then please reply me back

  9. Hi
    Just seen this post about the Pakreel clan. They are definitely Jatt, as that is my father’s clan name. Like Buzz Lightyear ( who I suspect is related to me), our origins are from Indian administered Kashmir. Most, if not all came in to Pakistan after partician of south Asia. There is a village full of Pakreel near the town of Dinga called Amra Kalan (tehsil Kharian).
    Due to modern immigration, pakreel are found in the UK, Spain and Italy.
    In Kashmir, the Pakreel villages were called Bunnah and Compla Mora, both near a town called Noshera.
    Hope this helps.

    1. The late 19th Century British writing about the Bhakrals as they are called in Jhelum and Rawalpindi said they came orignally from the Jammu region. Noashera is in Rajouri District, so clearly in the Jammu region. My understanding is that bulk of the Bhakral are now found mainly in Chakwal, Gujarkhan and Jhelum. As I said in other posts, most in Gujarkhan call themselves Rajput, but in other two districts call themselves Jat. I also think we Bhakral in Gujrat.
      Can you tell me if there any still left in the Indian side. There are clearly Hindu Jats still left in Jammu as this article (http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/manmohan-elected-jk-jat-mahasabha-president/) shows

    2. One more article Jats in state may intensify agitation makes expressed reference to Muslim Jats in Jammu. The article says
      Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which has Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Jats. According to a rough estimate, the population of Muslim Jats is between 45,000 and 50,000.

      They reside near the Line of Control in the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. In the Mendhar Assembly segment of Poonch district, Muslim Jats are a deciding factor.

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