Zulfiqar Khosa (ZK), that is! It was reported ZK is claiming his great-grandfather was the founder of the new Dera Ghazi Khan.
It’s Time To Rewrite History
By Tariq Saeed Birmani
Dawn, March 14, 2010
THE district administration has declared 2010 a year for the completion of hundred years of establishment of new Dera Ghazi Khan and announced holding of ceremonies through out the year. In this regard, the first ceremony held on Feb 23 was presided over by the senior adviser to Punjab chief minister and the tribal elder of the Khosa tribe, Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Zulfiqar Khosa said the written history of Dera Ghazi Khan was incomplete as it skipped the name of his grand-grand father Mubarik Khan Khosa, the founder of new Dera Ghazi Khan.
He further claimed that his forefathers had never taken any benefit from the then British rulers.
His claim, which has initiated a debate in the intellectual circles of Dera Ghazi Khan, needs to be thoroughly investigated by researchers and historians. The official and non-official historical record of old and new Dera Ghazi Khan however hardly seconds the claim made by the Khosa tribal elder.
Dera Ghazi Khan was founded by Haji Khan Dodai Meerani Baloch after the name of his son Ghazi Khan in the 15th century.
It was because of the keen interest of the Meerani rulers in the development of agriculture that farmers of suburban areas of the old city would grow flowers which gave the city the name of “Dera Phulein Da Sehra”.
Major Herbert B. Edwards, in the official record compiled in “A Year on The Punjab Frontier in 1848-49“, had written to his resident on May 2, 1848, that Khosa elder Kaura Khan Khosa and his son Hyder Khan had captured the city by force for their British allies, and in that battle at least 70 Legharis, who were defending the city, were killed.
The city was handed over to the British forces, and Khosa chiefs were honoured for this service. Letters were sent by both Maharajah and the resident, thanking Kaura Khan and his son. They were also conferred upon the title of “Auli Ja”.
Lord Dalhousie had not only confirmed jageer of Rs1,000 a year for Kaura Khan, but also extended it for lifetime to his courageous son. Kaura Khan was also given pension of Rs1,200 a year and a garden for his family.
It is vital to mention that later the Legharis led by Jalal Khan had also joined the British rulers.
By the end of the 19th century, the mighty River Indus had gradually started eroding surroundings of the city and the British administration decided to establish new Dera Ghazi Khan, some 16kms in the west of the old city near a tomb of Ghazi Khan Meerani, who died in 1497. The designer-cum-planner of the city was district engineer Bhagwandas Ahuja who was later rewarded by the British government.
The construction work of the new city had probably been initiated in 1885 because the first Christian cemetery was established in that year as part of the new Dera Ghazi Khan city.
The old city was completely inundated in 1909 while the construction work started in the last decade of the 19th century was almost completed in 1914. The district jail and the Baloch Levy Lines were built in 1910.
The district administration should constitute a committee comprising historians and researchers to compile an authentic and comprehensive history of Dera Ghazi Khan which would be a great service to the young generation of the area.
Issuance of an official handout in which the claim was depicted as an authentic account is nothing more than twisting the history.
Reading these and ALL other historical accounts of the period, you will see that in fact this account is correct and puts to shame Mr ZK’s claim “that his forefathers had never taken any benefit from the then British rulers.” In fact, at another time a special provision was made by the British for the Khosa Sardar alone because he had no control over the Khosa tribesmen and they wanted him to get more power so he could control his tribe [Damn, I forgot which book I read it in but will post the exact words when I come across it again].
[Ah…Found it! It is on page 152 of ‘Final Report on the First Regular Settlement of the Dera Ghazi Khan District‘ (1876). It states:
Thirdly. — Under the peculiar circumstances of the case, the Lieutenant Govenor was willing that the Tumandars ( excepting the Kasrani Tumandar ) should be empowered to collect all or a portion of their assignments in kind, provided —
(1). That no power of collecting in kind be wanted in any village wherein the custom of taking in kind is not now in existence, except in the case of the Khosa village of Batil, where it is proposed to revive the power of collecting a portion of the revenue in kind, in order to strengthen the hands of the chief whose head-quarters are in that village, and who, for want of such a power, is unable to control his clan.]
For completeness, below are scans of pages 22, 30, 66, 67, 151 and 152. Page 22 once again confirms how Khosas helped British capture DG Khan; Page 30 tells us how Kaura Khan Khosa lost his wife; Page 66 gives us an interesting description of Khosas; Page 151 also lists the regular payments each Tumandar received from the British.
The other claim by ZK about his great-grandfather having founded the New Dera Ghazi Khan is so preposterous that it really needs no checking. British rule was in full swing and they were in full control of the area at the time of the founding of the New Dera Ghazi Khan so the authors conclusions about who built it can only be challenged by a deranged mind. It should also be noted that by this time almost all Baloch Sardars — including their rival Leghari whom they fought against to get DG Khan for the British — were in the pocket of the British — in fact they were all ‘loyal subjects’, receiving pension from them.
As to how much the British were in control can be gauged from the fact that even today Tuman Leghari (which Zulfiqar Khosa calls home along with Farooq Leghari) is officially known as Fort Munro after General Munro and the lake there is called Dames Lake after M. Longworth Dames. On the highest peak you will find houses (including the DC House) all having been built by the British (and of course a Christian cemetery from those days, little of which is left as all marble from the graves has been plundered. The houses there too were in excellent, original condition till Farooq Leghari thought “development”)
The real reason this bit by Mr Khosa got my interest was his protestations from a few weeks back. I had planned to do a post but never got to it. I had put up a comment elsewhere and it is quoted below verbatim:
I found Zulfiqar Khosa’s protestations a bit funny:
UK HC refuses visa to Zulfiqar Khosa
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also phoned the British high commissioner and his secretary wrote a letter to the UK HC in this regard. Zulfiqar Khosa also sent a letter to the British high commissioner and expressed his surprise over the UK official’s refusal to issue him a visa.
He said: “I was shocked to know the reasons of the refusal of visa to me.” He appealed to the British high commissioner to issue him a visa. In his appeal, he introduced his family and said he was the 21st head of a Baloch tribe, which has a history of over 7,000 years.
He said he and his son owned vast agriculture and commercial properties in Dera Ghazi Khan and Fort Munro. “I have remained member of assemblies for nine times and also the governor of the Punjab,” he said. “My one son was a former chief minister of the Punjab and now his is a provincial minister, while another son, Saifuddin Khosa, is a member of the National Assembly. I am working as a senior adviser to the Punjab chief minister”.
He informed the British high commissioner that he had also provided a notification about his appointment as senior adviser, bank statement, monthly income and information about his host in the UK. However, he said, “I fail to understand what evidence I should submit for proving my social and economic status in Pakistan.”
“Oh, Masa Please!!!”
P.S. I wish I could get a hand on “vast agriculture and commercial properties”, “bank statement, monthly income” that he provided to the British HC. I would like to compare it to what he listed as his assets with the election commission…
What a joker!