Early history of Niazi tribe

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Early history of Niazi tribe, Khan Barmazid
Published in Khyber.ORG on Wednesday, March 4 2015 (http://www.khyber.org)


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Early history of Niazi tribe

Khan Barmazid

Publishing Date: Wednesday, March 4 2015

The exact details about the origin of the Niazis, like other Pashtun tribes, is unknown. But according to traditional accounts 'Niazaey' was one of the three sons of Lodaey son of Shah Hussain Ghauri and Bibi Mato. The descendants of Niazaey made Shilghar, a district in Ghazni , to be their abode. They rendered their military services to Sultans of Ghazni and occasionally rebelled against them. In 1221 A.D, Niazi along with other Afghans joined the forces of Jalaluddin Khwarzimi and the combined forces of Turks and Afghans inflicted a first major defeat on Mongols. In late 14th century Amir Timur recruited Niazis for his Indian expedition, who were led by their chief Malik Habib Niazi. Niazis were displaced from Shilghar by Ghilzais in 15th century.  They migrated southwards and settled first in Tank district, and then spread to Thal and Isa Khel.

In 1452 A.D, Sultan Bahlul Lodi sent letters to all the Pashtun tribes along the indus, including Niazis, summoning them for help against Sharqi Sultans of Jaunpur and promising them lands and riches in India as reward. Large numbers of Niazis migrated to India and were recruited in the army of Lodis. They did not attain important positions and ranks during Lodi period but came to prominence under Sher Shah Suri. Haibat Khan Niazi and his brother Isa Khan Niazi were powerful nobles of Sher Shah Suri.

In 1505 A.D, when Mughal Badshah Babur passed through Lakki, he found the Niazi Afghans to be its inhabitants. He mentions the presence of Isa Khel Niazis in the area, which prove that Isa Khels are not the descendants of Isa Khan Niazi, the nobleman of Sher Shah Suri. Sher Shah Suri was supported by a very large number of Niazis under Haibat Khan. Haibat Khan Niazi was appointed the governor of Punjab in 1541. Acting on the orders of Sher Shah, Haibat Khan conquered Kashmir, Multan and Sindh. He restored peace and stability to Multan which was ravaged by Balochs, this earned him the highest rank of 'Azam Humayun' , the permission to use scarlet colored royal tent, and a contingent of 40,000 soldiers.

Sher Shah's successor Islam Shah was distrustful of his father's nobles and started hunting them down. Haibat Khan Naizi and his brother Isa Khan Niazi rebelled against Islam Shah.  Niazis decided to overthrew Suri dyansty and to install themselves on Delhi throne. But they were defeated by the forces of Islam Shah in a number of battles. Haibat Khan and his family were killed in Kashmir.

In late 16th century, Niazis were ousted from Lakki area by Marwat Afghans. Hayat-i-Afghani by Muhammad Hayat Khan Kathar wrongly asserts that Niazis came into possession of Isa Khel (Mianwali) after they were defeated by Marwats. According to Ain-i-Akbari, written in 1588, Niazis were not only in possession of Mianwali but also Khushab in 16th century.

After the fall of Afghans in India, Niazis entered into the service of Mughals. Many of the Niazis attained high ranking mansabs in Mughal nobility,. Muhammad Khan Niazi and his son Ahmad Khan Niazi were prominent chiefs of Niazis in the service of Mughals. In 18th century, Niazis supported Ahmad Shah Abdali, and they took part in the battle of Panipat under their chief Khan Zaman.

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Early history of Niazi tribe, Khan Barmazid
Published in Khyber.ORG on Wednesday, March 4 2015 (http://www.khyber.org)