All Western invaders aren’t Pakhtun

Published: December 31, 2011

The writer is author of Jhelum: City of the Vitasta (Sang-e-Meel, 2005) salman.rashid@tribune.com.pk

Tor Aman and his son Mehr Gul were White Huns. The Latinised versions of their accursed names are Toramana and Mihirakula. They came from Central Asia in the 5th century CE, fully a century-and-a-half before the advent of Islam. They laid waste the country that we now call Afghanistan, where they raped, plundered and killed wantonly.

Then they entered what is now Pakistan. The great and wonderful cities of Peshawar, Swat, Pushkalavati (Charsadda) and Taxila suffered their inhumanity as few of us can imagine. In the year 516, Tor Aman died and the sceptre passed on to his son. When the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, Sung Yun, visited Punjab five years later, he found the country in the hands of a ‘cruel and vindictive’ king who visited upon the people the ‘most barbarous atrocities’.

Sung Yun does not favour us with the name of this fiend, but we know this can be none other than Mehr Gul. A hundred years later, in the 630s CE, the pious Xuanzang, another Chinese Buddhist teacher, was in our country. He left behind a rather more detailed account of the brutality of Mehr Gul. But it was the Kashmiri Pundit, Kalhana, who gave us full measure of the accursed Hun.

His Rajatrangini — or Chronicle of Kings [of Kashmir] — written circa 1160, is a most interesting, at times hyperbolic, account of 400 years of Kashmiri rule over northern Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and parts of Afghanistan. On the subject of Mehr Gul in Punjab, the pundit tells us that this killer of ‘three crores’ knew no pity either for women or children or the elderly. He killed by fire, by the sword and by drowning in the rivers. So wanton was his brutality that a dark cloud of vultures and crows followed his army in order to feed on the corpses the Huns left behind.

No one stood up to him. Not until a confederacy of Rajput princes led by Yasodharman met him in battle outside Kehror Pucca (Lodhran district). It was early in 528 that the battle took place, where the warriors of the desert met with unfamiliar Hun tactics. But they fought better and routed Mehr Gul and his savages.

Many years ago, I went to Kehror to get a feel of that far off time. In the bazaar, pausing to tell a shopkeeper why I was there, I narrated the story. His first question was if Yasodharman was a Hindu. I said he was indeed one. And Mehr Gul was a Muslim? Since we have so many Mehr and Gul Khans he must, of course, have been a Pakhtun to boot.

This ill-conceived notion is reinforced by the fact that we in the subcontinent believe all western invaders to be Pakhtuns. Mehr Gul, Mahmud Ghaznavi, Temur, Chengez Khan (he’s Khan, isn’t he?) et al are all Pakhtuns in common understanding.

I told him who Mehr Gul was and that he predated Islam by more than a century. The man was incredulous. How could this ‘Muslim name’ have been taken by a kafir, he asked indignantly. Mehr Gul means either Sun Rose or Sunflower and it comes from the Persian which was spoken long before Islam came into existence. I tried very hard to convince him that names do not have religions.

There are Arabic names from pre-Islamic history that were not discarded with the dawn of Islam. These are still in use in the Muslim world. Arabic names were all right, said the ignorant storekeeper. But Mehr Gul was a good Islamic name and a kafir could not be called by it.

In the end, he ran out of arguments to posthumously turn Mehr Gul into a Muslim Pakhtun. But he clearly thought I was a charlatan who had got the better of him because of superior oratory. His pride that this Pakhtun with an ‘Islamic name’ had been discomfited by Hindus was, however, deeply hurt.

As I was leaving, I told him to be proud that an alien savage was defeated by one who may well have been our common ancestor. This one really got the man’s goat. He drew his breath in and hissed that he, an Urdu-speaking mohajir, was a Syed by caste!

That is the favourite fiction of Muslims in the subcontinent.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2011.

Reader Comments (47)

  • Arifq
    Dec 31, 2011 - 1:35AM

    Bravo! Salman Sahib thussi great ho Sir.

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  • Cheddar Man
    Dec 31, 2011 - 1:54AM

    That is indeed the favourite fiction of Muslims in the subcontinent. Reminds me of this ‘Mangol Syed’ I had the misfortune to come across. Tried to reason with him. Sadly to no avail!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 31, 2011 - 2:11AM

    As i was leaving i told him to proud that an alien savage was defeated by one who may well
    have been our common ancestor. hahahahahah Pitnay se bach gye.

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  • Atif Ejaz
    Dec 31, 2011 - 3:08AM

    wow, wonderful

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  • Ashok
    Dec 31, 2011 - 3:29AM

    Excellent article Mr. Rashid.

    One clarification is needed from you – the name Yashodharman sounds foreign to my ears – isn’t it more likely that this Military General’s good name was Yashoda Varman? It may have been lost in translation and truncated over time to Yashodharman – but it is generally understood that the employer and protector of the sacred Rishis would be known as ‘Varmanaha‘ – which means ‘Shield‘ and was the original last name of all Kshatriyas. On the other hand, the children of the Rishis themselves, Brahmins, would all be known as ‘Sharmanaha‘ – which means teacher/scholar. As time went on, ‘Varmanaha’ became ‘Varman’ which later becomes ‘Varma’ and ‘Sharmanaha’ becomes ‘Sharman’ which later became ‘Sharma’. The suffix ‘Singh’ came much later among Kshatriyas, particularly to Rajputs and is more of a modern twist to an old common name for all Kshatriyas, which is Varman. Even Kings in Kerala today are all addressed with the original suffix ‘Varman’.

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  • Cynical
    Dec 31, 2011 - 3:46AM

    @Ali Tanoli
    You should thank god for small mercies that this this hindu ‘Yasodharman’ was not one of your ancestors.

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  • Adeel759
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:31AM

    Great Work. It is amazing how we disown our ancestorsand glorify those who came, conquered and killed countless of them. Burr Sir, coming to this Syed thing, can you please say anything about it that how Syeds grew so many in numbers in sub continent.Recommend

  • gt
    Dec 31, 2011 - 7:37AM

    @Ashok,

    YASHODHARMAN, is correct. This is not the place for a digression into “pratyaya-s’: please consult a Sanskrit grammarian for detail.

    @ Salman Saheb, for the same reasons, for parsimony, AND for Indo-Iranian etymology [N.B. Indo-Iranian], Mihirakula means : of the kula, family, of the Sun, Mihira.

    That is entirely consistent with a Central Asian name for a clan chief, NOT a labored Mehr Gul.

    It does not necessarily mean that it was his “real” name, but the designation for him, e.g. Shakyamuni.

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  • Max
    Dec 31, 2011 - 8:00AM

    How sad that an average Pakistani looks at things through the prism of the religion. At a social get-together, the discussion turned to Moghal invasion of India and I mentioned a few things that I had read in Babar Namah. My friends without hesitation started accusing me that I always find books which malign Muslim leaders. Somehow they had the feeling that Babar Namah was actually some kind of religious book written by their great King.
    My father use to say! you don’t argue with a rock. A rock is a rock and it is not going to melt down. So Mehr Gul was a Muslim even if the word “Islam was still unheard.
    I have also heard people addressing Alexander as Sikandar -Alay-Islam. Well I am not surprised and was never.

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  • RajX
    Dec 31, 2011 - 8:14AM

    Hahahaha..The authors interaction with the pathan was hilarious.and it illustrates some history which I am sure will find no place in the government text books in Pakistan schools since it doesn’t fit the current narration of history “approved” by the powers that be. No place for yashodharman in Pakistan where Mohamad bin qasim, an arab, is considered the first Pakistani.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 31, 2011 - 8:49AM

    @Ashok: ” … On the other hand, the children of the Rishis themselves, Brahmins, would all be known as ‘Sharmanaha‘ – which means teacher/scholar. … “

    Ashokji, thank you for the information.

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  • You Said It
    Dec 31, 2011 - 9:52AM

    Every pakistani and indian muslim used to be of Persian origin. Recommend

  • Zalim singh
    Dec 31, 2011 - 10:14AM

    good article sir, as always.

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  • Ishant
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:18PM

    Most of the “muslim invaders” in South Asia were neither Arab, Pashtuns or Persians, they were all Turks from Central Asia(Ghazni, Ghauri, Khilji, Mamluk, Tughlaq, Mughal, Nader Shah) etc

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  • Indian
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:27PM

    Pakistanis please note the below two revelations of the author:-
    1) Mehr Gul means either Sun Rose or Sunflower and it comes from the Persian which was spoken long before Islam came into existence.
    2) There are Arabic names from pre-Islamic history that were not discarded with the dawn of Islam.
    Summarizing it – The crucial word is pre-Islamic.. Islam does not mean ‘Arabia’ and Islam does not mean a certain name or language (= Urdu or Arabic) …

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  • Dec 31, 2011 - 12:32PM

    @Adeel759:
    Moreso, what is amazing is how easily you disown your true history and ancestry and glorify adopted identities..

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  • Ishant
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:35PM

    @Ashok

    No, his name was Yashodharman, he was from Malwa region(Central India),

    Unlike Turkey, Indonesia etc, Muslims in South Asia generally have Arab and Persian names, names do not have religions, they are part of a culture, the so called “Muslim culture” in South Asia is actually, Arab-Persian culture, which made inbroad coz of the Turkic invaders from Central Asia, who were Persianate in culture.

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  • Sanna
    Dec 31, 2011 - 1:57PM

    Excellent! Thank you for sharing this!

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  • Farhan Shah
    Dec 31, 2011 - 2:41PM

    Dear Sir
    I have written two articles in this newspaper on how our history is distorted. I am so glad there are others who shed light on this topic which i believe is one of the biggest problems confronting us as a country and as a nation. No wonder we are so paranoid and think the entire world is out there to get us. Thank you for this article.Recommend

  • Mahesh Rai
    Dec 31, 2011 - 3:15PM

    To complicate matters further for Mr Rashid’s bazaari interlocutor in Kehror, Mehr Gul was a Sun-worshipper and an ardent devotee of Shiva — so, in terms of modern categorisations, he could be labelled a ‘Hindu’.
    There is a stone inscription in Gwalior (yes, the Huna kingdom extended all the way to central India) dating from the early 6th century CE which begins “Ôm! May the Sun protect you, who is victorious…” and goes on to hail the reigns of Toramana and Mihirakula (Mehr Gul):
    “There was a ruler of the earth, of great merit, who was renowned by the name of the glorious Tôramâna; by whom, through his heroism that was specially characterised by truthfulness, the earth was governed with justice. Of him, the fame of whose family has risen high, the son is he, of unequalled prowess, the lord of the earth, who is renowned under the name of Mihirakula, and who, himself unbroken, broke the power of Pasupati.”
    So lesson no. 2: don’t believe all that you hear or read about men (and women) who wield power, past and present, even if it’s written in stone.

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  • Temur
    Dec 31, 2011 - 4:53PM

    @ Ishant…Most of the first names in Tukey are of Arabic or Persian origin, they just sometimes pronounce them differently. The same situation is in Pakistan, most of the first names are of Arabic or Persian origin but the surnames are local. Only Muhajirs, who came here form India after partition, have Arabic surnames.

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  • Homa
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:16PM

    @Ashok: Yashodharman is a sanskrit compound, an amalgam of yash (glory, fame) and dharma, so it would mean “one who is illustrious in dharma,” or “one who lives dharma and is thus worthy of fame” — a plausible and suitable name for a prince in ancient/pre- islamic india.

    Voices like mr Khalid Ahmed and mr Salman Rashid must be heard in pakisan so that the ignorance and falsehood can be removed for a new country to be built.

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  • Khan Bhai
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:30PM

    Salman Sahib, Its wonderful you are taking on such an important subject. In Pakistan today, we have come to believe that our history started in 1947 and Arabian Islam is guiding Pakistan. Truth is we have nothing in common with our Arab counterparts. Our Islam is different than theirs. We have a strong indigenous Sufi tradition. Most Pakistanis are, in fact, following Sufi Islam and calling themselves Sunnis. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs have a common history as we all shared this land and its something we need to confront. I dont want National Geographic or BBC writing our history. We should take the lead and figure it out before others do it for us with wrong impressions.

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  • Max
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:35PM

    @Farhan Shah:
    I read one of your article and somehow missed the other one.I was actually quite impressed and saw a ray of hope for better tomorrow. Keep up the good work young-man. You are the future as we are the dwindling lights of the morning (Zahir Kasmiri).
    Talking of distortion of history or facts is not something new. We have done it over and again and for centuries. We have portrayed war lords as peacemakers, agents of change, messengers of peace and harmony. Be they Babar or his descendants or invaders entering through the seaports of Arabian Sea or other plunderers coming from the northwest. We have galvanized their name by naming our naval ships, companies at the military institutions and schools, named roads after them. Regrettably! I call it rape rather molestation of history.. .Just think of some recent developments.
    Iqbal’s nonsensical poetry is portrayed as a dream and a miracle. The fact is it proved to be a nightmare for rest of us and on both sides of the divide. Just imagine how many people were dislocated, murdered including infants, how many women were violated, and for what? It was the humanity that was at loss then and is at loss now. Just think of people who think OBL, Mullah Omar, the Egyptian doctor, or Talibans ot Al Quida cohorts as their heroes. Is this not bizarre? Hero for what! for murdering people or for pushing us to the dark ages?
    We need to come to senses and think as rational human-beings.
    Again Keep up the good work and I wish you, Mr. Salman Rashid, the readers, and Pakistan a very happy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 31, 2011 - 5:59PM

    @ cynical
    We came to south asia in around five to six hundred years ago so i respect Mr Dherman.
    @ Author,
    Mr Sulman most of educated and travelers peoples knows this truth that name doenot mean
    what reliegen he or she is belong like Arabs name are still the same what they had before the
    arrival of islam and second thing is there are christians and jews even and there are small
    groups in arab countries they have same names what we have and be clear that in pakistan christian peoples and even some hindus names are also like ours. so its not a Ajooba.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 31, 2011 - 6:42PM

    @Adeel 789..
    In indo pak there are peoples have first or last name SYED because of respect to ahle baith.

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  • ibad khan
    Dec 31, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Dear Author
    Firstly we pukhtuns are one of the most ancient tribes. we predate prophet abraham, being a pukhtun has nothing to do with Islam. There are many hindu, sikh and christian pukhtuns. if you look at the etymology of pukhtuns were turkic people. Which refers to the people hailing from the khanate, mongolia present day afghanistan pakistan, turkey, nasri tribe in syria jordan egypt and other parts of the arab world. A common misconception is that all pukhtuns are afghans. Which is not true. Some are afghans, some are hindkowans some are seriaki etc etc. However we are ethinicaly A Turkic people presenday the most pure turkic people are Kazak’s. Are ancestors were people like Ottomans, Gengis khan, ghauri and ghanaiv, moghuls, shersha suri, etc etc. The word pukhtun came into being during the 17th century, when the hindus started refering to the turkic rulers and invaders as pathans, pukhtun is a word adopted into pushtu from the orginal word used by hindus to describe us which was pathan.( more accurately the word which was used by people of the subcontient to describe western people) We are not invaders because the truest orgins of Pukhuns are the prestn day tribal belt and the region what you call Khyber pukhtunkwa.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 31, 2011 - 6:52PM

    @Raj X
    History of pakistan starts from Mohammad Bin Qasim and end at Osama Bin Laden.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 31, 2011 - 7:59PM

    @Mahesh Rai,
    Now History class getting more classical and intresting hahahahahhahah

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  • Mir Agha
    Dec 31, 2011 - 9:38PM

    You could’ve told him that the Rajputs of that area converted to Islam. Descendants of Porus, yasodharman etc…

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  • Cynical
    Dec 31, 2011 - 11:20PM

    @Khan Bhai

    I agree with your views except that bit about ‘National geography and BBC’.

    Actually the outsiders (mostly western historians) have fared much better when it comes to writing history of this sub-continent.
    Most of the history writing in the sub-continent is dazed with rabid nationalism.
    There is no critical scrutiny, there is either idolatry or denigration. There is lack of informed and documented criticism.Worst still some of our historians are either absolutely dishonest or simply opportunistic.
    There are off course some notable exceptions to this general trend and more importantly there are signs of change for the better.

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  • Cynical
    Dec 31, 2011 - 11:41PM

    @Max

    I have always read your comments with interest and respected it even when (may be very few)
    didn’t agree in part or whole.
    But this one would rank as one of your very best, what passion!!!!

    Wish you and all the readers and ET a very happy new year.

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  • Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    Dec 31, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Thank you for spreading awareness about ancient history.

    I respect your sentiments. However, I wish to point a few things which are most interesting here.

    According to Kalhana, both Toramana & Mihirakul were Kashmiri kings of kashmiri origin.

    Moreover, Mihirakul preceded Toramana. Toraman is said to have lived around 1st century BC according to Kalhana, while Mihirakul is suppossed to have lived in the 7th century BC.

    If Mihirakul had lived in the 6th century, why would Kalhana not put him with the other Kashmiri kings of the 6th century AD that he mentions ?

    Indeed a lot of reconstructed ancient history of the Indian subcontinent is based on flimsy grounds. Let us as fellow inheritors of our ancient heritage, make sincere efforts to bring out a correct picture of our ancient past & not merely depend on westerners for investigations into our own past.

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  • Faisal
    Jan 1, 2012 - 3:17AM

    @Ibad Khan

    “Ottomans, Gengis khan, ghauri and ghanaiv, moghuls” are NOT the ancestors of Pashtuns, they are TURKS and MONGOLS, who speak Turkic and Mongolian languages unlike Pashtuns who speak Pashto(an Indo-Iranian language), they are completely different from Pashtuns…please read the history of these dynasties, for example in 16th century, when Mughals came from Uzbekistan and invaded Afghanistan, their invasion was resisted by the Pashto speaking Pashtuns that means they are not the same people, Pashtuns have never identified themselves with the Mughals…Turks and Mongols have never been called “Pathan” by Hindus/Indians, they have always been mentioned by their original name i.e Turks and Mongols…whereas Pashtuns are mentioned even in the ancient Indian texts like “Mahabharata”

    You are correct to say that Pashtuns are originally from Af-Pak region and are not outsiders or invaders for Pakistan, but that also means that they are not the offspring of Turks or Mongols.

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  • Javid Akthar
    Jan 1, 2012 - 7:57AM

    @ibad khan

    With due respect, Paktuns are not a turkic people. Pakhto is classified by linguists as a Eastern Iranian language. Which in turn is part of the Indo-Iranian family of languages. Scholars have known this for over 200 years. Geneticists have studied the gene sequences of the populations of the Indian subcontinent and Paktuns are genetically closest to Iranian populations but are also closely related to many North Indian populations.

    Some Paktuns may have some turkic or mongol genes. Imran Khan is well known for his mongoloid eyes. The Mongols are infamous for their killing and raping. After all Genghis Khan said “The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.”

    Some Paktun think they are one of the lost tribes of Israel.This is also disproved by the scholars. Sadly too many Pakistanis have constructed fraudulent ancestries.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Jan 1, 2012 - 10:45AM

    @Ali Tanoli: “… We came to south asia in around five to six hundred years ago so i respect Mr Dherman. …. “

    Migrants, such as yourself, have settled in large numbers in Kashmir over the centuries, and now illegally stake a claim to Kashmir in the name of Islam. How can we part with land that is ours by history and Vedic tradition ?

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  • Indian
    Jan 1, 2012 - 11:47AM

    @Mir Agha:
    Correction… Forcibly converted…

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 1, 2012 - 9:35PM

    @Arijit sherma,
    sharma ji what about more than thousand years of islamic history is not conversion took place please man there are butt and shiekh and many more who converted to islam… i respect hindus brahmins also and kashmir is also there too as much ours..

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  • Anonymous
    Jan 2, 2012 - 8:19AM

    @Max:
    It is pleasing to read such sensible comments. I haven’t read Iqbal but enjoyed your comment about his nonsensical poetry. He is considered almost like …. So any thing against him will be blasphemy.

    It was good article and very good discussion

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 2, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @Max
    i am not agreed with u allama iqbal is great personallity of sub continent and what was going on with muslim he reallized and was watching once the great ruller of india and then became
    beggers bybritish accupiers.Recommend

  • Jan 2, 2012 - 7:55PM

    MAX,You write well,with convincing,logic,facts to back up,above all you are passionate and believe in your rationality,I’m sure your thinking is refined by largely by your exposure to other civilization,mine too.I,for ,one do not upset myself due to the collective agnorance and poor information,one can only feel sorry for people who some how believe Alexander or Chengeez Khan are some how followers of Islam.Writing accurate history was never our strong trait,at best it was part myth,part,chauvinistic,mostly hear say, rarely backed by scholarly painstacking work.So how do we fix our miscoception,we don’t,those who like enlightenment,will seek it on their own,rest are condemned for life,honestly ,they do not mis out much,has any one feel sorry for themself that thay are idiot,stupid,if so,you would have seen mass suicide,I seen no one looking for rope because they are stupid,yes for lack money,failure in love even failure in exams,or some one hurt their feeling.So my advise to you, what the great one said,2600 years ago,’strive to do your very best’,and closed his eys said nothing more for ever again.I say one more thing,before I wish happy new year,”pursuit of knowedge and reedmation is personnel,no one can bat for you.You try hard to knock sense on few,it goes over the head,right after your comment read for enlightment,mr Ali Tanoli.Get my drift?Happy days,here again.Rejoice.Thank you.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 2, 2012 - 9:23PM

    @Hariharmani,
    U too brother happy new year…

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  • NAVEED HAZARA
    Jan 2, 2012 - 9:55PM

    Dear Writer,

    Please read the history in detail and write the coloumns in his original shape not biased. As far as Turkic people particularly hazaras and turkmen etc is concerned, their ancesteral land is Afghanistan whose old name was Ghurjistan and Khurasan but it was named as Afghanistan during the rule of crule ruler Ameer Abdur Rehman. As far as Pakhtuns in concerned, u can not distort the history, the history tells that they came from Midle East and they r not the original people of Afghanistan rather they are the invaders. u can not find the history of Pashtun in Afghanistan before Ahmed Shah Baba which is passed 4/5 centuries. Changez Khan is one of the tribe of Turkic bcz Turkic people has mamoth populationo in the world, he had invaded Afghanistan and The turkic Hazaras fought with them in the hisorical valley of Bamyan where Changez Khan lossed his grandson in the Bamyan fighting. Please write the things with wide-vision not be baised.

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  • Kalim
    Jan 3, 2012 - 6:53AM

    @Temur – Just one correction, many Muhajirs that came after partition were also Pathans with sur name as ‘Khan’ as the Pathans that had migrated to India from Afghanistan for business reasons decided to migrate back to Pakistan after independence.

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  • bmniac
    Jan 5, 2012 - 5:40PM

    Ashok
    Sharman is added to a Brahmins surname, not just rishis children. Most Brahmins in ancient times were not rishis The name of the ancestral rishi will be in the gothra name the Brahmins have such as Atreya, Bhargava, Kaushik etc . Upadhyaya, Acharya, Vajapeyi, Chaturvedi and such are really titles When a Brahmin does his religious rituals he identifies himself as a sharman.
    Though Varma or Varman is a kshatriya name esp in Kerala, Varma is used by other upper castes tradionally for example the Kayasthas
    As for Yashodharman the name is right and certainly should not sound foreign
    to one familiar with Indian history, traditions and Sanskrit.
    That said, Mr Rashid has excelled himself in this piece with good scholarship so lightly carried!

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  • Saharanpuri
    Jan 8, 2012 - 2:01PM

    Anoother superb article.Wonderful to know that Pakistan contains such sane liberal voices as well.But are the confined to English media only is there a a Mard a Momin ready to espouse these facts in Urdu press also.Wonder what will be the reaction in the Urdu press?

    Hopefully Pakistan young generation specially belonging to poor section has not been brainwashed into accepting Arab ancestrory trash.

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  • Jan 15, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Myth making about events or persons is one of the greatest handicaps the Pakistani nation suffer from, not that other nations too, are immune from it. Prof Oak, claiming that not only the building but the very name Taj Mahal had Hindi origin. It would be practically impossible to critically analyse “Balle” so called Poet of the East in the society we have become. The claim that the concept of mard e momin invented by POEast as someting unique, exhibits only poor scholarship.

    Germany having been defeated in WW1 was recuperating. The character of Ubermensch as portrayed by Nitsche, caught the fancy of POEast. For a downtrodden people who had suffered humiliation at the hands of colonialists, the phantasy of a glorius future under the flag of Islam, as dreamt of by Jamal uddin Afghani became a fast selling idea. Iqbal owned it. The green flag would fly from the strands of Nile to the dunes of Kashghar, he roared.

    One may have dreams but lets not forget what the word reality means. The English were more than happy to award a title of Sir to him. Arabification (a better term probably would be Sandification and much later Saudisation) started by Pra Ballle. It has mesmerised later day evangelists such as Zaid Hamid(Lal Topiwala). For obvious reasons Iqbal enjoys great popularity among the beardos. We are all Arabs!!!!!!

    Have the Arabs ever respected any other folk? Except of course the Westerners, from whom they can buy guns.

    It is time we looked more deeply into the myths created by Iqbal and his ilk. The illusionary world does not exist. It never existed.

    Hopefully, with the rise of literacy all over the globe may contribute to better the level of critical rational thinking. As they say lets not uncork the champagne bottle too early.

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