Supriya Ghosh (Editor)


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Country  Pakistan
District  Attock District
Region  Chhachh
Area  37 km²
Area code  0572
Province  Punjab
Tehsil  Hazro
Time zone  PST (UTC+5)
Local time  Monday 6:48 PM
Weather  18°C, Wind NE at 13 km/h, 38% Humidity

Ghorghushti ( غورغشتى) is one of the largest towns of Chhachh in Attock District and is on the border of North-West Punjab (Pakistan), and Hazara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The official spelling is Ghorghushti, but alternative spellings include: Ghurghushti, Ghourghushti, Ghaurghashti, Ghaur Ghushti, Ghurgushti, Ghourgashti or Ghaurghashti. In the Pukhto language it is called Ghorghushto.


Map of Ghorghushti, Pakistan

The inhabitants of Ghourghusti are predominantly Pathans and Chaachi's. They speak Hindko with some speaking Pukhto (Pushto) and follow the Pashtunwali (locally called Pathan Walgi) code of conduct.

Geography and climate

Ghorghushti lies about 4 kilometres east-north-east of Nartopa, and 6 km southwest of Qazipur, 7 km east-north-east of Hazro, and about 58 km west-north-west of Islamabad. Towns of the same name also exist in the FATA area, Swabi District and in Bunner.

Ghorghushti is the northernmost town in Attock District and in the north it borders Haripur District, in the south it borders Malak Mala village, in the west it borders Jalalia village and in the east it borders Kotkay village.

It is located at 33° 56' 41N Latitude and 72° 33' 7E Longitude. It has an altitude of 317 metres (1043 ft). The average annual rainfall in the district is 783 mm (30.83 inches).

Ghorghushti has a climate with very hot summers and very cold winters (2-14 °C). The maximum temperature reaches 40 °C. Due to the Ghazi-Barotha Canal the weather has become more humid in the northern part as compared to the southern part.

Origins and history

It is the birthplace of many Pathan warriors and one of the most famous being Nawab Najabat Khan. Najabat Khan was born in Mohalla Ishaq Zai in a house near the pond. Najabat Khan left this town to search for work in larger cities of India. He first went to Sardar Dawood Khan of Lahore to seek work who sent him to the service of Subidar Meer Minnoo of Lahore. There he made a name for himself after defeating one of the infamous giants, whom he had killed in a fight. This was an era of constant battles, and he stood out as an accomplished fighter and leader with un-matched physical abilities and strength. During one of the battles, he saved the life of Meer Minno, whilst others were fleeing the battle ground he stood firm with courage. He defeated his enemies and won many wars therefore being rewarded with a number of horses and men. A couple of years later, he left for Karnal where he fought more battles against Hill Rajas. He recalled reinforcements from Ghorghushti and built a fortin 1759 in Kunjpur. He became a Nawab after winning the respect of the Imperial leadership in Delhi. Amidst appeals from Muslim leaders like Shah Waliullah, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India to face the formidable challenge posed by the Maratha Confederacy. Ahmad Shah Abdali asked for help from his fellow Muslim Nawabs and Jagirdars against the armies of Marathas and Jats, who were killing and occupying Muslim areas following the death of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Nawab Najabat Khan joined the army of Ahmad Shah Abdali and participated in the Third Battle of Panipat, there at the hands of Marathas he was killed on 17 January 1761. His direct descendent the last Nawab of Kunjpura, Nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan, migrated to Lahore in Pakistan, and died in 1953. The Salar (Sar) Khel tribe consider themselves to be related to Nawab Najabat Khan through his elder brother Zabita Khan. Nawab Najabat Khan had a brother who remained in Ghorghushti whose descendants now live in the town. The ancestral home in Mohalla Ishaq Zai is still owned by the descendents of Nawab Najabat Khan's brother, which has attracted many well-wishers from Kunjpur, Lahore, Karachi and Kotkay.


Inayat Khel is the Khan tribe meaning it owns a majority of the land in town and has been the ruling clan before the introduction of Pakistani law. Matta Khel and Dilawar Khel are Malaks and have the same progenitor. The Kakar tribe originates from Kakaristan, an older name of Balochistan. Other tribes include: Babai or babi, Najab Khel (which descend from the Haider Khel tribe), Suleiman (Sarma) Khel, Khizar (Khadar) Zai, Kara "Khel" and Chacha Khel, Babris whose for fathers came as refugees from Sheikh Chhurr, Dalazak. The progenitor of the Sadoo Khel tribe was Asad Khan. The proginator of the Haider Khel tribe was Haider Khan. The Kara Khel "tribe" had migrated from Ghari Kara Khel, (now called Khurra Khel), hence the name Kara Khel, located in Pukhtunkhwa (NWFP) around the 1840s after the great flood which swept much of eastern Chach in 1841. Just like the people who migrated from Kashmir long ago they are made up of different castes although collectively considered a tribe. It is believed that it was severe flooding and an economic situation that led some people from their village to migrate to other villages, mainly to Ghorghushti. Another village, Allo, was also destroyed by this flood and its surviving inhabitants migrated to Shinka (where they named a Mohalla after their village namely; Allo), Asghar and a majority to Malak Mala. Babri tribe along with Sheikhrre (meaning those from Sheikh Choor or descendants of Sheikhs) settled in Ghorghushti after taking refuge here when they were driven out from a village just a few miles away in the north called Sheikh Choor. The Babris and the Sheikhrre are one of the late arrivals to settle in Ghorghushti. Some of them settled in the neighbouring village called KotKay, which along with the two Bandis and other smaller Dhoks (settlements) were part of Ghorghushti once owned by Inayat Khel tribe, which borders Ghorghushti on eastern side. There are also some families of Dalazaks in Ghorghushti. They are scattered throughout Chach, as they were expelled from their place around what is now Akora Khattak on the orders of the Mughal emperor.

The land of Ghorghushti is divided among the seven main Pathan tribes: Inayat Khel (which owns majority of the land), Asad (Sadoo) Khel, Dilawar Khel, Matta Khel, Najab Khel, Haider Khel and Suleiman Khel. The Haider Khel, Najab Khel along with Suleiman Khel had migrated from a village called Hund on the banks of river Indus. This is the town where Alexander the Great crossed the river into India. It is now a very historic town where several excavations were carried out and a material of archaeological interest was uncovered. The finds were dated back to few thousand years, which proves that there was a thriving community there at one time. Its close proximity to the River Indus makes it prone to flooding from time to time; hence the population felt the need to take abode somewhere safe from flooding.

All of these tribes, along with other non-Pathan castes, have played their part in the development and the defence of the town.

Examples are the numerous wars fought in the Chach region. It is not uncommon to find members of these tribes going to other villages to support those who were resisting invaders and to defend the region. For example, in the battle of Torbela (Tarbela) against the Sikhs, all the tribes, especially the Inayat Khels, Asad(Sadoo) Khels, Dilawar Khels, Matta Khels, Haider Khels, and other tribes fought bravely against the mighty army of Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa, after whom Haripur District is named. The Sikhs had run over the Punjab and were heading towards Afghanistan. While internally Afghanistan was very weak due to internal fighting, it was this region, Attock and Chach, which first resisted the invading army. The control of Sikhs in this region was nominal, and their war annals clearly show this. Many people were killed in these wars; some were fought within the town. During these wars those who were killed were buried quickly and as result there are many graves without names. One such example is two graves in the Asad Khel Masjid, at the bottom of Bazaar, in Mohallah Asad(Sadoo) Khel. These two graves are of two people, one from Inayat Khel tribe and one from Sadoo Khel tribe, who were assigned the task of protecting the Mohallah Sadoo Khel and Bazaar,which was a commercial hub of the town, from the invaders coming from the main road from Maskeen Abad. Their "Lashkar" (small army) fought well against the invaders but eventually the Lashkar lost to a more numerous invading army. As a result, these Mujahideen were buried in the graveyard, opposite Qatta Baaz Baba Masjid, in Maskeen Abad. The Lashkar commanders were buried in the Sadoo Khel Masjid, which are now concreted over and not visible.


Most of the tribes prefer to marry amongst themselves or from other Pathan tribes of other villages. Pathans generally marry within their own family or other members of their family. When it comes to marriage, some "khels" are very exclusive as to what tribe the marriage will take place with.

Just as the Matta Khels, Dilawar Khels and various other tribes are intertwined in the eastern part of Ghorghushti, Inayat Khels, Sadoo Khels, Suleiman Khels, Najab Khels, Kara Khels and Haider Khels are intertwined in the western and southern part of the town. Other tribes find their ways to be attached to the various tribes as well. Ghorghushti's non-pathan castes marry amongst themselves.

There are a myriad of other castes that populated over the years in the past. Because of varying circumstances and events, each caste arrived at its own respected timeframe. There are also a collection of castes who are called " Kashmiris" who have migrated from Kashmir long ago. Some Afghan refugees and people from Kohistanis have also settled in Ghorghushti in the recent times after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.


Regions of the town are referred to as mohallas, each of which is three or four streets and/or alleys; there are now 20 to 25 Mohallas in the town.

There are two villages on the outskirts of the town, Qibla Bandi and Qutb Bandi. These were remote Mohallas of Ghorghushti but over time, as the population grew, these Mohallas became separate villages. About 75% of the land of the town belongs to Inayat Khel tribe, as it is a KHAN tribe. Many settlers of the United Kingdom and the United States who had migrated from Ghorghushti many years earlier are the ones who are purchasing much of the land today. Because of this foreign investment, prices of the land of Ghorghushti have skyrocketed. These purchases are not limited to the descendants of the founding tribes, but include members of the other castes of Ghorghushti. Because of the high prices, many low and middle-class families of Ghorghushti are not able to purchase land. The prices of the developing capital city of Islamabad and the prices of land in Ghorghushti are at par or are overshadowed by Ghorghushti's high prices.

As the newly arrived tribes settled, each was allotted a Mohalla using the name of the tribe, Mohalla Kara Khel(named after the village from where this "tribe" had migrated), Mohalla Najab Khel, and Mohalla Haider Khel. These are the only four mohallas which are named after the respective tribes. All four of these Mohallas are adjoining one another on the left hand side of the road leading to Ash Muhallah Lakkar Mandi(wood market) starting with Muhallah Najab Khel and ending with Muhallah Sadoo Khel, which borders Muhallah Batooray, where the Bazaar is located. On the right hand side of the road is Muhallah Jahan banda. Each Mohalla has residents of many tribes and are not limited to members of the founding tribe's descendants.


A small number of Ghorghushtis live in a small village of the city Peshawar of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa formally known as NWFP (North West Frontier Province) called Landi Arbab (previously known as Landi Yarghajo). Nearly all of the Ghorghusht residents of the village are biological cousins and are descendants of a common ancestor. Although Ghorghushtis in the said village do not participate in local or national politics, they are a dominant caste in the area alongside Arbabs. A well known name among the residents of the village and in other suburbs of Peshawar and regional and tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa such as Khyber Agency, Bajour Agency, Mohmand Agency and some areas of FR Kohat, is Hajji Abdul Khalil who endowed a recognition to Ghorghushti people of the village through his efforts in communities and awareness and learning of religion alongside working on responsible positions for Government of Pakistan.

The population of Ghorghushti is about 30,000 to 40,000. The total town area is just under 9,100 acres (37 km2), and the town is split into two parts: Tahalqa 5,809 acres (24 km2), and Daftar 3,290 acres (13 km2). Tahalqa starts from the soil embankment called Pull (meaning bridge) to the Gandghar mountains.

There are currently about 20 to 25 Mohallas (regions) in the town, and 50 to 60 Masajid (Mosques), but the number of Mosques increases as the population grows. There is one boys high school, in Mohallah Munawwar Abad, one girls high school, a hospital, in Mohallah Sainchee Abad(bordering Malak Mala village) and five banks. The town has gas, electricity and telephone, and a Police station. The centre of the administration, Union Council, is also situated in Mohallah Munawwar Abad, next to the boys high school.

The famous Ghazi-Barotha hydroelectric canal runs through an area of Ghorghushti called Bareetian. A large area of Ghorghushti was used up in constructing the Ghazi-Barotha Canal and many families were affected. These families were compensated and allotted some land on the other side of the Embankment "Pull" towards the mountain in a new Mohallah called Feroz Banda.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were large number of people who were employed in Merchant Navy and travelled all across the world, and had settled abroad in Countries like America, Australia and China.

A large number of people from Ghorghushti are now living in Arab countries, UK, USA and other countries of Europe.

The largest Ghorghushti population in the United States is in Stockton, California a city in Northern California. Some of the earliest arrivals, mainly from Inayat Khel, Kara Khel, Sadoo Khel tribes, came in the early 1900s, possibly earlier. Later arrivals include the various Malak tribes and various members of non-Pathan castes. The agriculture of the Stockton-Sacramento Valleys is much like that of Ghorghushti. Many of the early pioneers were men who left their families back in Ghorghushti. Many of these men worked as laborers in the fields. After some time, especially during the 1940s and 1950s, whole families began arriving. There are second, third, fourth and even fifth generation Ghorghushti-wals growing up in Stockton. Many Ghorghushti-wals had arrived prior to the creation of Pakistan and even today many consider themselves Afghan, a term synonymous to Pushtun, Pukhtun or Pathan, rather than Pakistani. Like all newly arrived immigrants, Ghorghushti-wals faced many dilemmas while trying to assimilate into the American mainstream, yet at the same time trying to maintain their Ghorghushti-wal culture and Islamic faith. However, the several generations of children that have been born here have been educated at colleges and universities and today hold various positions in all fields, including medicine, teaching, lawyers, banking, and running businesses. While many newly arrived immigrants and their children face difficulties in assimilating, as well as a few younger Ghorghushti-wals getting involved in various street gangs, drugs, and arrests, overall, the Ghorghushti-wals tend to be hard workers and are on their way to be successful within a few years of their arrival.

The majority of people from Ghorghushti living in the United Kingdom reside in Birmingham, although there is a small community of them living in other cities as well i.e. Sheffield, Bradford, Cardiff, Luton, St Albans etc. Most of the Ghorghushti-wals in Birmingham are from Inayat Khel, Suleiman Khel, Kara Khel, Najab Khel, Chacha Khel, Kakar, Dillazak tribes and also non-Pathan castes such as Awan, Kumhar(Potters). The Ghorgushti community in Cardiff belong to the Malak Mala tribe Dilwarkhel. The earliest arrivals came in the 1950s but there are still fresh arrivals through marriages. Most of the older generation worked very hard in factories and foundries but they managed to give their children a better standard of life by educating them.

Notable religious scholars

There have been many prominent religious scholars emanating from Ghorghushti. The most famous of them are Shaykh-ul Hadith, Hazrat Maulana Shaykh Naseerud Din (Alayhi Rahmah) and his nephew Shaykh-ul Qur'an wal Hadith, Hazrat Maulana Shaykh Qutbuddin (Alayhi Rahmah), both belonging to the Kakar tribe. It is difficult to adequately describe in words the extent to which these two propagated knowledge as there are many thousands of graduates all over the Muslim world who were educated by these internationally renowned Muhadith. Maulana Azizuddin, son of Hazrat Maulana Shaykh Qutbuddin, was killed on 9 October 2008 by some unidentified gunmen on motorbikes in mohallah Jahan Baanda. Hazrat Shaykh ul Hadith Maulana Naseerud Din Sahib is regarded amongst one of the most respectable ranking Ulema of Deoband of all time and features in several publications for his significant contributions. Both these eminent Saints are from a long line of Islamic scholars of which it is said the first was Hazrat maulana Basharudeen Sahib (Alayhi Rahmah) who lived in Ghorghushti area about 550 years ago. Another religious family is of Hazrat Sayyed Ahmad and his nephew Hazrat Abdul Haq. They have been appointed in places like Delhi, Lucknow and South Africa. Their students have come from as far as Isfahan in Iran, Multan, Qandahar, Kabul Ghor and Ghazni in Afghanistan. Their graves are in their own private graveyard next to the Jinaza Gahh.

Other pious and famous scholars:

  • Hazrat Gharhi Baba, who came from Sarhad Province, and whose grave is in Mochi Banda
  • Hazrat Akbar Shah Ghazi Baba, whose grave is in Mohallah Ishaq Zai
  • Hazrat Mian Haleem Baba, who came from Swabi District, Sarhad Province, and whose grave is behind the Boys High School in Mohallah Walidad Banda
  • Hazrat Mian Bagga Baba, came from Kolian Shah Hussain, Gujrat District, who belong to a very noble and landlord family of the district and whose grave is in Mohallah Shera Banda situated near police check post on Lawrencepur Road.
  • Hazrat Akhunn Baba, who came from Sarhad Province, and whose grave is in Choti Mandi.
  • Maulana Hussan-Deen South-Afriki, Son of Hazrat Shaykh Maulana Qutbuddin Sahib (RA) and was a close associate of Maulana Ghulamullah Khan. He spent most of his active years in Johanesburg and Cape-Town (year of death 1983 and buried in the famous Kakar graveyard next to Jinaza Gahh )
  • Maulana Salahudeen Sahib Son of Maulana Hussan-Deen. Spent all his life in South Africa following his father's footsteps and died there in 1990.
  • Hafiz Sarwar Sahib, was given Khilafah from Hazrat Shaykh Ul Hadeeth Maulana Naseerud Din Sahib (RA).
  • References

    Ghorghushti Wikipedia

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