Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Foreign Invaders Through Afghanistan

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Greek historians of the Classical Age wrote a very curious observation about India (Pakistan). They wrote that India was a country that did not attack any other and that no other country attacked India. Indeed, the ruins of Moen jo Daro and Harappa, the two major Indus Valley Civilisation, show citadels and walls that were obviously not made to withstand attacks. They were more to keep a check on the people entering or leaving the city; perhaps with a view to prevent traders from evading payment of customs dues. It was as if our ancient ancestors had no threat of invasion. Though this remote period was separated from Greek writers by two thousand years in which much happened, the collective memory of the people of India held the word to be passed on to the Greeks.

That was our prehistory. But about 1700 BCE, came the great influx of speakers of the Aryan tongues. (Some Indian ‘scholars’ contest this invasion, asserting instead that India was the original home of this white-skinned, fair-haired, blue-eyed race whence they spread across the world. They tread on weak ground). The Aryan invasion changed everything for thereafter India lay open.

Even before Alexander brought his Macedonian, Greek, Persian and Scythian legions into this great and wonderful land, we know that Cyrus, the great Achaemenian king who ruled Persia from 550 until his death in 529 BCE had made Makran and Sindh a part of his eastern satrapy. At the same time, most of Afghanistan, modern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab were also under his control.

For the next two centuries this situation prevailed. Then Alexander dismantled the Persian empire to establish his own rule over what was once the Achaemenian Empire. But Alexander’s empire was as short-lived as he was himself. Barely had his body gone into rigor mortis that there erupted a contest that was to rage over two generations: the War of the Successors. These battles were fought to determine the worthiest successor to Alexander. Though the answer was never determined, the empire broke up between Alexander’s several generals.

Seleucus Nicator, gained control of Syria, Persia, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Meanwhile, here in India, the great Paurava was assassinated sometime about 318 BCE and, though it is moot if he had a hand in this dastardly act, Chandragupta Maurya, that brilliant man of the hour, rose to power. It was during this time that Seleucus took it into his head to emulate Alexander by invading India and claiming it as his own. He tried, was defeated by Chandragupta and had to settle on the far side of Afghanistan.

By 274 BCE, the empire had passed into the able hands of Chandragupta’s grandson Asoka who held Kabul, Kandahar and much of eastern Afghanistan also as part of his empire. But as is the wont of empires to rise and eventually decay, so too did the Mauryans fade away. Fourth generation descendents of Greek adventurers settled in Balkh (Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan) during the time of Alexander were now powerful enough under their leader Demetrius to completely subdue the Pakhtuns of eastern Afghanistan. By 184 BCE, Demetrius and his followers took control of Taxila as well. Today, we know them as the Indo or the Bactrian Greeks.

Sixteen years later, in 168 BCE, another wave of Greeks appeared on the western horizon. This time it was a descendent of Seleucus coming east to claim Alexander’s old kingdom. Demetrius was routed and what is now Pakistan changed from one set of Greek hands to another. The following fifty years were uncertain with kings changing in quick succession in Greek Pakistan. And then there came upon the scene descendents of the very people who had mocked the power of Darius, the king of Persia, in the latter years of the 6th century BCE.

Encouraged by the lose control of the Greeks on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Scythians, fair-skinned horse rider from the wind-swept grasslands of Central Asia, poured down across the fords on the Oxus River. The Greeks were defeated and ousted from Pakistan and Afghanistan to be replaced by the Scythians. The year was about 110 BCE. So great was this influx that Sindh, where the Scythians settled in vast numbers came to be known to Greek geographers as Indo-Scythia. To local writers it was Saka Dvipa – the [river] Island of the Scythians. (The river island referred to the land between the two branches of the Sindhu River south of Hyderabad).

The Scythians, once taken by the Greeks as mere barbarians, had cultivated themselves in the meantime. They copied Greek arts, culture and town planning to a tee. Indeed, Indian sources refer to the Sakas and the Yavanas (as the Greeks were known in our part of the world) as one and the same people. Under their able king Maues, they flourished in what is now Pakistan.

The death of Maues in 53 BCE set the wheel in motion once again. This time it was the Parthians who were to take over Afghanistan and Pakistan. From the south-eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, came this nation of horse-riders known for their terrifying battle tactic of riding straight within a couple of hundred metres of the opposing army. There, at full gallop, they discharged their arrows held at the ready in their bows and wheeled quickly around riding out of range before their adversaries could even react. The ‘Parthian Shot’ (from which we get our modern ‘parting shot’) was a deadly tactic.

Thus came the Parthians riding rough shod across Pakhtun lands to take over what is now Pakistan. If their kinsfolk, the Scythians, had Maues, the Parthians had Gondophares to rebuild Taxila after the devastating earthquake of 19 CE. Gondophares died in about 50 CE to leave behind a great vacuum which was filled by another Central Asiatic horde. This time it was the Kushans who, like their kinsfolk, the Scythians and the Parthians, also came from the great expanse of Central Asia.

Three centuries went by under Kushan rule when both Afghanistan and Pakistan fell under the Persian Sassanian yoke after Emperor Shahpur II defeated the Kushans in the year 355. But this was a short-lived interlude. Across the landmass of Central Asia a great horde was marching relentlessly westward. The Huns who were to terrorise Europe under Attila had another branch moving south across the Oxus.

Under Tor Aman and his son Mehr Gul (Latinised as Toramana and Mihirakula), these savages laid waste, first, Afghanistan and then nearly all of what is now Pakistan. Not a mother’s son could stand up against these unholy barbarians who killed for the mere sport of it. Not until two Rajput princes, Yasodharman and Baladitya, formed a confederacy to defeat Mehr Gul in 528.

There followed five hundred years of peace in India. The Hindu Shahiya rulers expanded their sway across the Suleman Mountains to Kabul, Kandahar and Parwan in Afghanistan. They raised magnificent buildings and ruled well. Then, in the closing years of the 10th century, came the Turks under Subuktagin and his predatory son Mahmud. Unlike the Greeks or the Scythians who gave to India fine arts, culture and town planning, these impoverished savages were only plunderers seeking wealth in the name of their newly acquired belief: Islam.

They were followed by the Ghorids and then there came the great parade of kings in a period known as the Sultanate Kingdom. In between, from 1221 until 1398, the repeated incursions of the Mongols ravaged this land as they killed, destroyed and robbed. They began under Chengez Khan to dislodge and slay the cowardly Jalaluddin Khwarazm and ended with Temur the Lame who robbed everyone alike regardless of their religion and then gloated over his ‘service’ to Islam.

The 15th century was a period, after a very, very long time, that local dynasts ruled over northwest India. We had, first, the Syeds and then the Lodhis. This, incidentally, was the first time in history that a Pakhtun dynasty was ruling in this country. Babur, the first Mughal who claimed descent from Chengez Khan and Temur, dislodged the Pakhtuns. The Mughals ruled over India for the next two hundred years with the short interlude of Sher Shah Suri’s kingdom lasting five years – one cannot even mention his worthless son. The rest is what we know the British Raj and is known history.

It is commonly believed that the Ghaznavides, Ghorids, and the Sultanate kings were all Pakhtuns. This is the greatest falsehood ever fed to us. They were not Pakhtuns; they were, one and all, Turks. The originator of this idiotic fallacy is one Abul Qasim Farishta who wrote his Tarikh e Farishta in the middle years of the 17th century during the Mughal reign. He repeatedly referred to, and erroneously of course, the Turks as Afghans. Once that happened, every ignorant body began to believe that all those so-called conquerors were indeed Afghans.

This is another discussion on the myth of the invincible Afghan. There was no such animal in history. Beginning with Cyrus the Great and right through that great parade of invaders running down to the Mughals, the Afghans/Pakhtuns/Pashtuns either meekly submitted or were beaten into the dirt by every outsider. The Afghans/Pakhtuns/Pashtuns took every invader lying down. There was never any resistance for none is read of in history. The only tales of Pakhtun/Pashtun courage in combat are what they call seena gazette – tales passed down by word of mouth. We know well enough what merit they have as history.

The only time the Afghans ever stood up to an invader was against the British forces in the First Afghan War. To hide their discomfiture upon their ignominious defeat, the Brits invented the myth of the invincible Afghan, reinforcing the belief first created by Farishta.

Ever since that time, every idiot writer pretending to be an historian has referred to Afghanistan as the Graveyard of Empires. If that were true, if the Afghans really had ever been capable of defeating an outsider, the Achaemenians, Greeks, Scythians, Parthians, Kushans, Sassanians, Turks, Mongols, Mughals et al, having been trounced in that mythical Graveyard of Empires would never have made it to India. Not only did all those outsiders make it to India, they also held Afghanistan under their yoke.

Related: Five Days in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:00 AM,

50 Comments:

At August 5, 2013 at 12:27 AM, Blogger Usman said...

Brilliant sir. Amazing lessons of history coupled at the end with heavy dose of reality and not mythology. Bravo.

 
At August 5, 2013 at 3:40 AM, Blogger Faisal said...

Boss why do I get this feeling that you speak the same language as that of Geo,funded by TATA.Who funds you?

 
At August 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salman sb. brilliant article indeed. And congratulations, finally trolls have found your blog. Only a sign of good readership.

Haroon

 
At August 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM, Blogger Faraz said...

What else do we know about the Scythians, Parthians and the Kushans? Who were these people? Why did they left their homeland of the Central Asian steppes and came down into the plains of Indus? Which tribes\ethnicities in present day Pakistan claim descent from these people, or as is the norm in our land, have they forgotten their origins and like to believe that they are descendants of Arabs?

 
At August 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article is bullshit and Pakistani propaganda at its finest.

 
At August 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bigoted article, you ignore what most serious historians say about Afghanistan. You're view is in the minority.

 
At August 5, 2013 at 4:46 PM, Anonymous Makil Karim said...

Ok this is the truth. But are you pro Afghans, pro Pakhtoons or pro Pakistan? Why bring this 'truth' up when another set of invaders (call them Russian followed by Americans or simple Taliban) is coming down from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

BTW, why do each Afghan carry a gun if they are not up to fighting for their own land.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A writer should never outstretch his rule.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 5:35 AM, Blogger Nayyar Julian said...

Are the Taliban coming from Afghanistan sort of history repeating itself in any way. I wish not.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 5:36 AM, Blogger Mohammed Hassanali said...

I am dumb struck. Need some research of my own before even have the right to comment here. May be in a few days

 
At August 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most invaders came through Afghanistan because this was the only land route to the riches of Subcontinent.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM, Anonymous Ramla said...

Brilliant research, I always enjoy your myth breaking articles, keep writing and many thanks. Let truth be told even if it is bothering for many.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 2:25 PM, Blogger Sajini Chandrasekera said...

wowwww, I learnt so much reading this. Thanks for sharing.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM, Anonymous Jay said...

You say it as it is, without mincing words. Thanks from across the border.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM, Blogger mansoor azam said...

lovely n lucid. great orchestration of words to bring out a simple fact. i am perfectly in line with this false concept of Afghan invincibility .. nothing could be far from the truth

 
At August 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. However, I think Pashtun/Pathan are mixture of some of those people mentioned--especially Turks/Huns, other central Asian, and Iranian type people like Scythians. Pashto being an Iranian language and Khan being a common Turkish/Mongol surname.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 10:35 PM, Blogger Umair Gulzar said...

Interesting! Something new to me but the question is where are your references. How you can you prove that what you are saying is actually what happened.

 
At August 7, 2013 at 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

References should be provided

 
At August 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Faraz, We are all, you, I and everyone else, the descendants of those various tribal groups that came down to the subcontinent through history.

 
At August 7, 2013 at 12:03 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

To the Anonymouses: Strangely, yesterday at the Peshawar Museum a brief history of the area caught my attention. It is official and is pasted in the porch on the right side. It is exactly what I wrote. I wonder why you have never wondered what the invincible Pakhtuns were doing when all these foreigners were ruling over you. Go read it and then expand your knowledge with great wisdom from books. Give up the internet; return to books and real knowledge.

 
At August 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Faisal, I never, never, ever watch TV so I don't know Geo. But I did not know that Tata funded the truth. News to me, mate. Don't turn blue in the face, read history. it is a great liberator.

 
At August 7, 2013 at 2:38 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

If this had supported the mythical Afghan invincibility, no one would have wanted references. How subjectivity alters our perspective!

 
At August 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

References are needed regardless of the fact whether a writing supports the Afghan invincibility or not. Like you've mentioned this Abdul Qasim Farishta (BTW I never heard about him) writing his own lies without proof. Likewise one may simply disregard your writing if there are no references or proofs.

 
At August 7, 2013 at 9:35 PM, Anonymous Kausar Bilal said...

Great record of the history of the region. So, there is no surprise we have such rich regional cuture due to our ancestors.
Maqdoor ho to khak sey puchoon keh tu ney
Wo ganjha e giran maya kia kiey?

 
At August 8, 2013 at 5:07 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Anonymous, Farishta's history is not half bad. Only he foolishly called all Turkish invaders of Afghanistan and India by the name of Afghan.

 
At August 8, 2013 at 5:09 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you, Kausar. You observe so correctly re the richness of our culture.

 
At August 9, 2013 at 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salman, why are you anti every thing?

 
At August 11, 2013 at 2:45 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Be kind, Anonymous. I cannot possibly be against EVERYTHING. The good Kamil Khan Mumtaz once called me the Iconoclast.

 
At August 18, 2013 at 9:05 PM, Anonymous Shabir Azar Ali on FB said...

Don't understand why people are fussing over this article. A little libidinal stroking never hurt anyone.

Anyways Afghans in general and Pakhtuns specifically are not a homogenous group. Within the latter group are those who share DNA haplo types with Khazars from Central Asia, in some instances Greeks, Turks and Indians.

Some one commented about relationship with Ranjit Singh and his tribe and yes fiction apart Sikhs pretty much cluster with similar haplogroups found amongst Pakhtuns.
Why argue about historical detail often falsified when your own blood line( saliva in this case) is testimony to who relates to who.

 
At August 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Shabir Azar Ali, thank you very much for bringing sense to this madness and flying spit.

 
At November 1, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Salman,

I agree that "Afghanistan proper" (eastern and southern Afghanistan, and western Pakistan, "Land of Afghans/Pashtuns") has been invaded countless times. The area has always been of strategic importance, linking greater Iran with greater India, and acting as a passage way to Central Asia. I believe this is reflected in the culture and genetics of the Pashtun people. Pashtuns are a part of West, Central, and South Asian culture, simultaneously. Nevertheless, I think your repeated references to Pashtuns are misguided. If someone were to read this, they would assume that Pashtun identity is exceedingly ancient and deep rooted. I mean, you can't seriously believe that Pashtuns existed during the time of Alexander the Great! This is just being historically inaccurate. Besides, there is no doubt that Pashtuns in isolated eyries have always been free of foreign rule. This has little to do with "Pashtun Invincibility", but is attributable to the fact that these areas are very inaccessible, and offer little to boast about for any would-be conqueror. Most Pashtun tribes can genuinely claim to be untouched by taxation and centralized authority.

Also, I find the references to blue-eyed, auburn-haired Aryans rather humorous. The notion of the fair-skinned Aryan annihilating the inferior, weak, dark-skinned aboriginal Indian, is absolute nonsense. You need to read recent scholarship on the Indus Valley civilization. There is no evidence of violence or invasion. The region declined due to natural-climatic issues, population growth, and a general shift of socio-political gravity to the Gangetic plain. If there was a movement of Vedic peoples into South Asia, it was probably by relatively peaceful migration. As regards to their physical appearance, nothing even faintly suggests that they were fair-skinned in a European sense. They probably resembled the people who still inhabit the western fringe of Pakistan today. This is supported by genetics, since no European genetic input is found in contemporary Pakistani populations, including the Kalash and Pashtuns. Genetic studies demonstrate that the Kalasha are genetically identical with Pashtuns, and Pashtuns show no evidence of European admixture. Based on genetic analyses, Pashtuns are a three-way mixture between a northwest South Asian populations like Punjabis, a West Asian population similar to ethnic groups like Georgians and Armenians, and a Central Asian population similar to Tajiks. This is what one would expect based on location.

I love your style of writing. Your an exceedingly intelligent and articulate observer, and I love your descriptive powers. Nevertheless, I have to say, you have quite a few issues with Pashtun people. Everything you write about them is tinged with barely concealed contempt. Why? As a Pashtun individual, I find this disturbing. You reserve your rationality for everyone but us.

 
At November 1, 2013 at 8:59 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Dear Anonymous of the lengthy thesis. Please go to 'About' at the top of this page and send me your phone number at the email address given thereat. We can talk. As for my anti-Pakhtun prejudice, you are being unjust.

 
At November 1, 2013 at 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your inter linking makes it so much easy to read more. Thanks for sharing the real history.

 
At November 1, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Anonymous omar said...

I always enjoy your articles and wish you would write much more and I would think a 100 times before challenging you on any point of fact, (and I do not subscribe to any "nationalist" fantasy about Aryan origins) but I do think the Aryan invasion reference may need revision. The pre-history of North India (or South India for that matter) is still a work in progress and it may be best to leave it even more vague than the way it is written above.... I know that your knowledge greatly exceeds that of most who will jump at that statement, but just a thought...

 
At November 2, 2013 at 9:08 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

The Aryans came about 1800 BCE. Point. That is fact. The Aryans massacred the aboriginal peoples. That is fiction. In 30 years of writing I have kept to this thesis in view of what history/archaeology show us.

 
At December 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,
Please get it published in the tribune paper (tribune.com.pk) . Please, I beg you. You're great for exposing these lies. Thanks

 
At January 20, 2014 at 9:44 PM, Anonymous Omar said...

I agree completely that they came around that time and that the wholesale massacres notion is likely fiction. I meant that the word "invasion" may raise images that are incorrect. The Aryan migration into India may be more accurate? just a thought.

 
At February 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Very apt. The word to actually be used is migration in place of invasion.

 
At March 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM, Anonymous Ali said...

Nice summary of the region's history. The notion of Afghanistan as the "graveyard of empires" is greatly exaggerated and, as you say, mainly a British propaganda ploy after their defeat. It is also true that the British came to romanticize Afghans in a certain way, seeing in them some of the attributes that they ascribed to themselves -- you know, honor, chivalry, courage, etc. :-).

One point I would add is that at least one of the ancient empires you mentioned had major difficulties with Afghanistan. Even though the Sassanians defeated the Kushans and installed their Kushanshahs, the Hephthalites soon came to dominate Afghanistan and gave the Sassanians a very difficult time for 150 years. One Sassanian King (Kavad I) did ally with them to gain his throne, but even he had to eventually fight them. Even after the Hephthalites were defeated by Anushirvan, they remained a menace.

Though the Hephthalites are called "white huns", it is doubtful that they were actually Huns. Most likely, they were the ancestors of modern Pashtuns and are identified by some some scholars with the Abdali (Durrani) clan. They spoke an Iranian, not Turkic, language, though in Central Asia that doesn't mean very much.

Again, thanks for the very nice article. I enjoy reading your posts.

 
At October 15, 2014 at 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the first time , I read a research article with out even single reference written subjectively. I is a fact that nobody on earth is invincible but it has to be admitted that pashtuns have survived through ages without submitting to anyone and the recent impartial history has lot of mention of the fact,

 
At October 16, 2014 at 9:37 AM, Blogger Shankara said...

1. Aryan invasion theory is flawed on many counts, out of India theory notwithstanding. Read up latest DNA studies among other facts that clearly blow the Aryan Invasion theory out of the water. You need to update yourself on latest scientific findings. Aryan invasion theory was not founded on any scientific evidence but merely on conjecture.

2. Current population of Afghans is relatively new. Mostly Turkic stock from neighbouring central Asia and ME who migrated into fertile valleys especially under pressure from Huns and later Mongols. We cannot overrule the fact that Kushans, Scythians, Parthians and hundreds of other tribes may have started settling in Afghanistan from ancient times. Early native Afghanistan known as Gandhara (Kandahar) in ancient times were Indic origin may be similar to the population of Harrapa and Mohenjodaro and may have been small in number.

3. Successive Islamic invasion completed the erasure of these Indic people who either were massacred or just migrated eastwards. Lets not forget Persians and other ME people also might have also mingled over time in Afghanistan.

4. As per natural science findings, current desolate and desert landscape was not how Afghanistan was some 2000 to 3000 years back. It was a sub tropical region mostly with abundant forest and green cover. So was the case with Punjab which was swampy and densely forested. It was the Mughals and mostly the British who destroyed the forests in Punjab for agriculture.

5. I agree with you that the invincible Afghan is a myth perpetrated by the British. No regular army can win guerrilla warfare as Shivaji Maharaj showed to the Mughals.

 
At December 20, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After very long time I found this good and informative article by Mr Rashid.. I agree Afghanistan was invaded by all the powers since it was the gateway to India till 1100 CE and by this time Afghanistan / Gandhara regions had been converted to Islam and Hindu Shahis were driven into India..Afghanistan and Pakistan society is the result of these last 1200 CE invaders..

 
At July 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM, Anonymous saadat said...

I would like to repeat Faraz's question.I would like to know the origin of different tribes specially in Punjab ie jat, gujer,rajpoot awan etc etc. can you please recommend some authentic book for that.

 
At July 18, 2016 at 5:27 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Saadat sahib, research can never be done from one authentic book. You have to scour and scour and scour dozens of books. Begin with journals of the Royal Asiatic Society.

 
At July 19, 2016 at 2:46 PM, Anonymous saadat said...

and my question remains unanswered about origin of castes ie jat,gujer..........

 
At July 19, 2016 at 6:40 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

The Jats and Gujjars are of Scythian origin. They entered the subcontinent in the 1st century BCE.

 
At July 20, 2016 at 1:39 PM, Anonymous saadat said...

Thanks Salman sb.

 
At July 21, 2016 at 8:21 PM, Blogger Sishan said...

A good summary of history that has created the current mix of peoples inhabiting northern India and Pakistan. However I think another group of people who invaded these lands has not found a mention, i.e. the Huns. They too invaded these lands at one time and made it their home. Some say the Jatts/Jaats are their descendants (?).

Another fact claimed by the Bhattis/Bhaatis which may be of relevance is that one of their ancestors, by the name Raja Gaj, a Hindu king who ruled Punjab, had invaded Afghanistan and made it a part of his kingdom. He founded the city called Gazni. His successor princes captured Sind/parts of Rajasthan and one of them called Rao Jaisal founded the city of Jaisalmer. His successors eventually came back northwards to Punjab and founded many principalities of Patiala, Nabha, Jind & Sangrur, Sirsa/Fatehabd, Faridkot etc. Successors of Raja Gaj are found in all religions today known as Bhattis, Bhatis, Sidhus and Brars. I mention this because Raja Gaj too had defeated the Afghans to establish his kingdom.

Another fact that shatters the myth of invincibility of Afghans is that Hari Singh Nalwa, a general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh too had overcome their resistance and taken the frontiers of Sikh empire beyond Khyber.

Once again many thanks for putting the history of the region of greater Punjab in a capsule form.

 
At August 1, 2016 at 3:13 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Raja Gaj escapes my notice. But thank you, sir. I now have something significant and substantial to read.

 
At January 1, 2017 at 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is generally believed that white huns were called the "white" huns due to their skin colour. However this is apparently not the case, as the various Hunnic tribes had long ago divided themselves into four groups along the cardinal points, each with a specific colour. The Northern Huns hence became the "Black" Huns, the "White" Huns were the western tribes, the "Green" or "Blue" were the southern and the "Red" Huns occupied the Eastern territories. So despite being identified as fair skinned, the name itself has less to do with physical appearance and more to do with their self-devised methods of tribal affiliation.

 

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