Kalabagh, on the bank of Indus River, was a territory ruled by the Awans for long. The tribe believed that:
Kalabagh, on the bank of Indus River, was claimed to have been a quasi-independent territory, ruled over by the Awan Chief, supposedly since the time of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. It is also claimed that this area was later taken over by the Sikhs during the early 19th century, and later, during the British Raj, it was returned to the Chief family as Kalabagh jagir.
The learned author of "Chiefs and families of note in the Delhi, Jalandhar, Peshawar and Derajat divisions of the Panjab" states that, "Kalabagh, the home for generations of the local Awan maliks, is one of the most ancient towns in this part of Panjab".
It is stated in the Imperial gazetteer of India that "Kalabagh Estate. – Estate in the District and tahsil of Mianwali, Punjab, with an area of 107 square miles. It is held by Muhammad Khan Malik Yar, the AwanMalik of Kalabagh. Over 300 years ago the Awan Maliks settled at Dhankot, a natural fastness on the Indus above Kalabgh."
Sir Ibbetson Denzil writes in "Panjab Caste," that "Their story is that they are descended from Qutb Shah of Ghazni, him-self a descendant of Ali, the son-in-law of the Islamic Prophet Mohammad, but by a wife other than the Prophet's daughter, who came from Hirat about 1035 A.D. and settled in the neighbourhood of Peshawar. Thence they spread along the Salt-range, forming independent clans by whom the Chief of Kalabagh was acknowledged as the head of the tribe. In the genealogical tree of the Kalabagh family which used to be the chief family of the tribe, in which tree their descent is traced from Qutb Shah."
He was appointed chairman Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation with the rank of a Central Minister in 1959, and subsequently Governor of West Pakistan on 12 April 1960 by Pakistan President General Ayub Khan. Both Amir Mohammad Khan and Sandhurst trained General Wajid Ali Khan Burki were instrumental in Ayub Khan's Rise to power, until today the three families retain adjoining houses in Islamabad.
His role during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 is praised as he kept the law and order, controlled the prices, trafficking of the raw material and prevented the smuggling.
He has also been described as a man of principles and traditions. He liked to remain in the national dress and his cabinet members tried to please him by doing so. He once declined to shake hands with the British Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Pakistan. Ayub Khan asked him to receive her at Airport but he didn't do that.
After a distinguished military career, Lt. Gen. Jahandad Khan served as Governor of Sind during 1984–87. In 1965–66 he was Military Secretary to the then Governor of West Pakistan, the Nawab of Kalabagh. He wrote a book, Pakistan Leadership Challenges, in which Kalabagh comes across as a sound, no-nonsense and commonsensical administrator, firmly wedded to the values and traditions of the feudal class. British assessment of Kalabagh was very similar. In his book, Jahandad hints at a somewhat sinister aspect of the Ayub regime. In 1963 the regime faced strong opposition from the Jamaat-i-Islami. Ayub himself "felt gravely threatened by Maudoodi". "Some sycophants" sought to persuade him that "the physical elimination" of the Maulana would bring peace to the country.
His son Malik Muzaffar Khan won the National Assembly seat from NW-44, Mianwali-I in the December 1970 elections. His other son Malik Allah Yar also remained the member of Majlis-e-Shoora during General Zia-ul-Haq's military regime. His grandson Malik Amad Khan won the National Assembly seat from NA-71 Mianwali-I, in the February 2008 elections as an independent candidate. His granddaughter, Sumaira Malik, is still a member of the National Assembly.