Wednesday, 28 December 2016

QK archives: Text of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2009

This was part of the 2009 agreement negotiated between the Tehrik-e-Taliban of Swat, Pakistan and the Awami National Party as ratified by the Pakistan National Assembly.

The regulations were passed by the Pakistan National Assembly

Text of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2009

Following is the text of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2009:

To provide for Nifaz-e-Nizam-e-Sharia’h through Courts in the provincially Administered Tribal Areas for the North-West Frontier Province, except the Tribal Areas adjoining Mansehra district and the former State of Amb in the Hazara division.

It is expedient to provide for Nifaz-e-Nizam-e-Sharia’h through courts in the Provincial Administered Tribal Areas of the North-West Frontier Province except the Tribal areas adjoining Mansehra district and the former State of Amb;

Clause (3) of Article 247 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides that no Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) or a Provincial Assembly Shall apply to a provincially Administered Tirbal Areas, or any part thereof, unless the governor of the province in which the Tribal Areas is situated, with the approval of the President, so directs, and in giving such direction with respect to any law, the Governor may direct that the law shall, in its application to a Tribal Area, or to a specified part thereof, have effect subject to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in the direction;

Clause (4) of Article 247 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides that the governor of a province, with the prior approval of the President may, with respect to any matter within the legislative competence of the Provincial Assembly, make regulations for the peace and good governance of Provincially Administered Tribal Areas or any part thereof;

In exercise of the powers aforesaid, the North-West Frontier Province governor, with the approval of the president, is pleased to make the following Regulation:

1: Short title, extent and commencement:

(1) This Regulation may be called the Sharia Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, 2009.

(2) It shall extend to the provincially Administered Tribal Areas of the North-West Frontier Province, except the Tribal Areas adjoining Mansehra district and the former State of Amb, hereinafter referred to as the said area.

(3) It shall come into force at once.


(4) In this Regulation, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(a) “Court” means the court of competent jurisdiction established and designated as such under this Regulation, and includes a court of appeal or, as the case may be, a court of revision;

(b) “Dar-ul-Dar-ul-Qaza” means the final appellate or revisional court, in the said area, designated as such, under this Regulation in pursuance of clause (2) of Article 183 of the Constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan;

(c) “Dar-ul-Qaza” means appellate or revisional Court constituted by Governor of North West Frontier Province in the said area, under clause (4) of the Article 198 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;

(d) “Government” means the Government of the NWFP;

(e) “Paragraph” means a paragraph of this regulation; “recognised institution” means the Shariah Academy established under International Islamic University Ordinance, 1985 (XXX of 1985) or any institution imparting training in Uloom-e-Shariah and recognised as such by government;

(f) “Prescribed’ means prescribed by rules made under this Regulation;

(g) “Qazi” means a duly appointed judicial officer as specified and designated in column (3) of Schedule II;

(h) “Recognised institution” means the Shariah Academy established under International Islamic University Ordinance, 1985 (XXX of 1985) or any institution imparting training in Uloom-e-Shariah and recognised as such by government;

(i) “Schedule” means a Schedule to this Regulation;

(j) “Sharia’h” means the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the holy Quran and Sunnah, Ijma and Qias.


In the application to the personal law of any Muslim sect, the expression “the holy Quran and Sunnah” shall mean the Quran and Sunnah-e-Nabvi (PBUH) as interpreted by that sect.

(1) All other expressions, not expressly defined in this Regulations, shall have the same meanings as assinged to them in any other law for the time being in force in the said area.

(2) All other expressions, not expressly defined in this Regulation, shall have the same meanings as assigned to them in any other law for the time being in force in the said area.

(3) Application of certain laws. (1) The laws specified in column (2) of Schedule-I, as in force in the NWFP immediately before the commencement of this Regulation, and so far as may be, all rules, notifications and orders made or issued there under, shall apply to the said area.

(4) All the laws applicable to the said area, including the laws mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) shall so apply subject to such exceptions and modifications as specified in this Regulation.

4: Certain laws to cease to operate:

If, immediately before the commencement of this Regulation, there was in force in the said area any law, instrument, custom or usage having the force of law not corresponding to the Injunctions of Quran Majeed and Sunnah or provisions of any of the laws applied to the said area by this Regulation, such law, instruments, custom or usage, as the case may be, shall upon such commencement, cease to have effect in the said area.

5: Courts:

Besides, Dar-ul-Dar-ul-Qaza and Dar-ul- Qaza, there shall be following courts of competent jurisdiction, in the said area:

(a) Court of Zilla Qazi;

(b) Court of Izafi Zilla Qazi;

(c) Court of Aa’la Illaqa Qazi;

(d) Court of Illaqa Qazi; and

(e) Court of Executive Magistrate.

6: Qazis and their powers and functions:

(1) Any person to be appointed as Illaqa Qazi in the said area shall be a person who is a duly appointed judicial officer in the North-west Frontier Province and preference shall be given to those judicial officers who have completed Shariah course from a recognised institution.

(2) In relation to proceedings and conducting the criminal or cases, all powers, functions and duties conferred, assigned or imposed on Judicial officers in the North-West Frontier Province under any law for the time being in force shall, subject to application of such law in the said area and established principles of Sharia’h, be exercised, performed or discharged by them as designated in column of Schedule-II.

(3) Subject to the general supervision of the principal seat of Dar-ul-Qaza, a Zilla qazi shall supervise the work of subordinate courts and, through the District Police Officer concerned, the process serving staff, with in the local limits of his jurisdiction.

7: Executive Magistrate:

(1) In each district or protected area, there shall be a District. Magistrate, Additional District Magistrates, Sub Divisional Magistrates and other Executive Magistrates as the Government may deem necessary to appoint.

(2) The District Magistrate and all other Executive Magistrates shall discharge their functions, responsibilities and exercise their powers according to the established principles of Shariah and other laws for the time being in force in the said area.

(3) Keeping peace, maintaining order, enforcing the executive authority of the Government and “Sadd-e-Zara-e-Jinayat” shall be the duty, responsibility and power of the District Magistrate. For this purpose he may take action against an individual under the established principles of Shariah.

(4) The cases included in Schedule III to this Regulation shall be exclusively triable by Executive Magistrates.

EXPLANATION: The expression “Sadd-e-Zara-e-Jinayat” means and includes all actions and steps taken under the Shariah laws and any other law in force for the time being for the control of crimes.

8: Submission of Challan to Qazi or Executive Magistrate:

It shall be the duty of every officer-in-charge of a police station to ensure that complete challan in each criminal case is submitted to the concerned Court with in fourteen days from the date of lodging the first information report, except in a case in which the concerned Qazi or Executive Magistrate has granted special extension of time for a specified period for reasons to be recorded:

Provided that if any officer-in- charge of police station or investigation officer fails to submit complete challan within specified period, the Qazi or Executive Magistrate concerned shall refer the matter to competent authority for disciplinary action against the police officer responsible for such delay and necessary disciplinary action shall be taken against him forthwith and shall be duly communicated to the referring Qazi or Executive Magistrate.

(2) The officer-in-charge of a police station shall submit a copy of the first information report to concerned Qazi or Executive Magistrate within twenty four hours of its lodging, and inform the concerned Qazi and Executive Magistrate, from time to time, about the position and further progress of investigation of the case.

9: Proceedings to be in accordance with Shariah:

(1) A Qazi or Executive Magistrate shall seek guidance from Quran Majeed, Sunna-e-Nabvi (PBUH), Ijma and Qiyas for the purposes of procedure and proceedings for conduct and resolution of cases and shall decide the same in accordance with Shariah. While expounding and interpreting the Quran Majeed and Sunna-e-Nabvi (PBUH) the Qazi and Executive Magistrate shall follow the established principles of exposition and interpretation of Quran Majeed and Sunna-e-Nabvi (PBUH) and, for this purpose, shall also consider the expositions and opinions of recognised Fuqaha of Islam.

(2) No court shall entertain a suit unless the plaintiff or, as the case may be, the complainant verifies that copies of the plaint along with supporting documents have been sent, through registered post with acknowledge due to all defendants, except in case of a suit for perpetual injunction accompanied by an application for temporary injunction.

(3) The pleadings shall be accompanied by copies of all relevant documents and affidavits of all the unofficial witnesses duly attested by an oath commissioner. The affidavits so submitted shall be treated as examination-in-chief of such witness:

Provided that if, after submission of pleadings, in the opinion of court, any new issue arises, party to proceedings may be allowed to submit afresh copies of relevant documents and affidavits of unofficial witness attested in the manner aforesaid, for arriving at just conclusion of case.

(4) In all cases of civil nature written statement shall be submitted within seven days and where the defendant fails to do so his defence shall be struck off:

Provided that the court may extend time for filing of written statement in extraordinary circumstances for an additional period of seven days. The time so allowed shall’ not be extended further on any ground whatsoever.

(5) After completion of evidence, the court shall ask the parties to argue, either verbally or in writing, on the adjourned date and, if either of the party fails to do so on the date so, fixed, the court shall pronounce judgment on merits without any further adjournment for arguments:

Provided that it shall be the duty of the court to make list of relevant reported judgments, referred to by any party as precedent, which shall form part of judicial record.

(6) No adjournment shall be granted to either party in any civil or criminal proceedings, except where the court is satisfied that adjournment is unavoidable. In such case the requesting party shall deposit the costs in court, which shall not be less than two thousand rupees.

10: Observance of time schedule:

(1) A period of not more than six months for disposal of a civil case, and a period of not more than four months for disposal of a criminal case, shall be standard time schedule excluding the time spent for proceedings.

(2) A Qazi shall finalize a case within the time schedule prescribed under sub-paragraph (1) and, in case of any delay in disposal of any case beyond such schedule, shall report the cause and reasons of such delay to the Zilla Qazi, or, as the case may be, to the presiding officer of the principal seat of Dar-ul-Qaza, and shall act on the directions issued by such court in this behalf.

(3) An Executive Magistrate shall also finalize a case within the time schedule prescribed under sub-paragraph (1) and, in case of any delay in disposal of any case beyond such schedule, shall report the case and reasons of such delay to the District Magistrate and shall act on the directions issued by him in this behalf.

(4) If the Zilla Qazi or, as the case may be, the presiding officer of the principal seat of Dar-ul-Qaza in relation to proceedings in the court of Qazi, upon examination of causes of delay, is of the opinion that the delay has been’ caused due to the delaying tactics of a party, it shall impose a cost to be recovered from the defaulter party and direct the court concerned to dispose of the case within an extended period of not more than one month.

(5) If the District Magistrate, in relation to proceedings in the court of Executive Magistrate, upon examination of causes of delay, is of the opinion that the delay has been caused due to the delaying tactics of a party, it shall impose*a cost to be recovered from the defaulter party and direct the court concerned to dispose of the case within an extended period of not more than one month.

(6) If in the opinion of Zilla Qazi or, as .the case may be, of the presiding officer of the principal seat of the Dar-ul-Qaza, the Qazi or Executive Magistrate, dealing with the case or proceedings is responsible for delay in its disposal, the Zilla Qazi or, as the case may be, the presiding officer of the principal seat of Dar-ul-Qaza may

(a) in the case of Qazi, deliver upon him a letter of displeasure. If a Qazi is served with three letters of displeasure in a year, then the Zilla Qazi or as the case may be, presiding officer of the principal seat of Dar-ul-Qaza, after providing him an opportunity of being heard, may make an entry in his service record; and

(b) in the case of Executive Magistrate, inform the District Magistrate about such delay and recommend for disciplinary action, provided in clause (a) and the District Magistrate shall act on the recommendations accordingly.

(7) In criminal cases, the Investigating Officer shall prepare copies of the case file in triplicate, in addition to judicial file, so that the trial court may retain the judicial file for regular trial, and the remaining two files, may be sent to the court concerned when requisitioned.

(8) An appeal or revision under this Regulation shall be filed within thirty days from the date of the decision in the respective case, after sending its copies, through registered post with acknowledge due,to the opposite part, and the appellate or revisional court shall decide the same within thirty days, without remanding it on any ground whatsoever:

Provided that such court shall have the power to rectify any illegality or irregularity of omission.

(9) Any decree shall be executed either by the court, which passed it, or by the court it is sent for execution, within two months.

11: Establishment of courts:

(1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Regulation, Government shall take necessary steps to establish as many courts as may be necessary to ensure expeditious dispensation of justice with in prescribed time schedule.

(2) Where the number of pending case^ at. a time exceeds more than one hundred and fifty in a court of Zilla Qazi, District Magistrate, or, as the case may be , Izafi Zilla Qazi, or exceeds more than two hundred cases in a court of Aa’la Ilaqa Qazi, Executive Magistrate, or, as the case may be, Illaqa Qazi, it shall be necessary for the Government to establish a new court and provide it all related facilities to ensure dispensation of justice within prescribed time schedule.

12: Appeal and revision:

Subject to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, appeal or revision against the orders, judgment or decrees of the Dar-ul Qaza shall lie to the Dar-ul-Dar-ul-Qaza established for the purposes of this Regulation.

13: Power to appoint musleh:

(1) Any civil or criminal case, subject to mutual consent of the parties, may be. referred by a court to Musleh or, as the case may be, musleheen before recording of evidence, either on the agreement of the parties regarding the names of such musleh or musleheen, or in case of their disagreement, to such musleh or musleheen whose names appear on the list maintained by the court for such purpose:

Provided that the cases falling within the purview of Hudood laws and cases by or against the Federal Government or Provincial Government or any statutory body or persons under legal disabilities shall not be referred for sul’h.

(2) The musleheen shall record their opinion with regard to a dispute referred to them with reasons thereof.

(3) Where a musleh or, as the case may be, musleheen, to whom a dispute has been referred for resolution, either fail or refuse to resolve it, or the Court is of the opinion that unnecessary delay has been caused, without sufficient reason, in resolving it, the Court, may, on the application of a party or suo ‘moto, for reasons to be recorded, withdraw the order of such reference and, after such withdrawal, it shall resolve the dispute in accordance with Sharia’h as if it were not referred for sul’h:

Provided that, in no circumstances a case shall remain with a musleh or, as the case may be, musleheen for a period of more than ^.fifteen days, but the court may, in extraordinary circumstances, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the time for fifteen days and, on the expiry of the aforesaid period, it shall stand withdrawn to the court for further proceedings.

(4) The Musleh or, as the case may be, the musleheen, appointed for such resolution of the dispute, after hearing the parties and their witnesses, if any, perusing the relevant document, if any, and inspecting the spot, if need be, shall form opinion about resolution of the dispute, with reasons therefor, and submit a report of their opinion to the concerned court without delay:

Provided that in case the opinion is not unanimous, the opinion of the majority members and the opinion of each dissenting member, separately or jointly, with reasons thereof shall be so submitted.

(5) The Court shall, if it is satisfied that the opinion in a case referred to for sul’h under sub-paragraph (1) is in accordance with Sharia’h, make it the rule of the Court, and shall announce it as such, but, if the court comes to the conclusion that the opinion is not in accordance with Sharia’h, it shall declare the opinion, for reasons to be recorded, as null and void and shall start its proceedings for decision of such dispute in accordance with Sharia’h as if it were not referred for sul’h.

(6) The court shall, before proceeding further, provide an opportunity to the parties to submit objections, if any, to such report, and, if any, objections are so made, the court shall, after hearing the parties, decide about the correctness or otherwise of the objections.

(7) The court shall, keeping in view the actual expenses incurred by the musleh or musleheen, on travelling to, and stay at, the place other than the place of his or, as the case may be, their residence, and the time spent, in dealing with the case, in particular circumstances of each case, fix the remuneration of such musleh or musleheen, to be paid by each party in such proportion as may be determined by the court.

14: Conduct of Judicial Officers and Executive Magistrates:

(1) The conduct and character of each Judicial Officer and Executive Magistrate shall be in accordance with the Islamic principles.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force/ all cases, suits, inquires, matters and proceedings in courts, pertaining to the said area, shall be decided by the courts concerned in accordance with Sharia’h: Provided that cases of non-Muslims in matters of adoption, divorce, dower, inheritance, marriage, usages and wills shall be conducted and decided in accordance with their respective personal laws.

(3) Government may, from time to time, take such measures for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), as it may deem necessary.

15: Aid and assistance to courts:

(1) All executive authorities in the said area, including members of law enforcing agencies and members of other service’s of Pakistan, shall act in aid and assistance of the courts, and shall implement their judicial decisions and orders.

(2) The Government may, where necessary, issue such directions to any law enforcing agency as are necessary in relation to service of court processes on the parties, witnesses or any other person, and, for any general or specific purposes, in order to ensure the conduct of such law enforcing agency in aid and assistance of the courts.

16: Language of the Court and its record:

All the processes and proceedings of the court, including the pleadings, evidence, arguments, orders and judgments shall be recorded and conducted in Urdu, Pushto or in English and the record of the Court shall also be maintained in the said language.

17: Power to make rules:

The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Regulation.

18: Regulation to override other laws:

The provisions of this Regulation shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force in the said area.

19: Repeal:

(1) The Provincially Administered Tribal Areas Shari Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, 1999 (NWFP Reg. I of 1999), and rules made there under are hereby repealed.

(2) The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance, 2001 (XXXVII of 2001), applied to the said area vide Home and Tribal Affairs Department’s Notification No. 1/93-SOS^I.I (HD)/2001, dated the 27th April 2002, is hereby repealed.

(3) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Regulation under sub-paragraph (1), or cessation of any law, instrument, custom or usage under paragraph 4, the repeal or cessation, as the case may be, shall not

(a) revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal or cessation takes effect;

(b) affect the previous operation of the law, instrument, custom or usage or anything duly done or suffered there under;

(c) affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under the law, instrument, custom or usage;

(d) affect any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against the law, instrument, custom or usage; of”

(e) affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation,, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment; and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed, as if the law, instrument, custom or usage had not been repealed or ceased to have effect, as the case may be.

(See Paragraph 3 (1)

S.N. Nomenclature of laws (1) (2)

1. The West Pakistan Historical Mosques and Shrines Fund Cess Ordinance, 1960 (W.P.Ord.y of 1960).

2. The Family Courts Act, 1964 (W.P.Act XXXV of 1964).

3. The Pakistan Arms Ordinance,1965 (W.P.Ord.XX of 1965).

4. The Law Reforms Ordinance, 1972 (Ord.XII of 1972).

5. The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1976, (XV of 1976).

6. The Law Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 1976 (Ord. XXI of 1976).

7. The North-West Frontier Province Suppression of Crimes .Ordinance, 1978 (NWFP Ord. Ill of 1978).

8. The North-West Frontier Province Prevention of Gambling Ordinance, 1978 (N.W.F.P. Ord. V of 1978)

9. The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance, 1980 (Ord. X of 1980).

10. The Offences Against Properties (Enforcement of -Hudood) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1980 (Ord. XIX of 1980).

11. The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) (Amendment) Ordinance,.1980 (Ord. XX of 1980).

12. The Offence, of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) (Amendment) Ordinance 1980 (XXI of 1980).

13. The Ehtram-e-Ramzan Ordinance, 1981 (Ord. XXIII of 1981).

14. The Offences Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1982 (Ord. II of 1982).

15. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance, 1983 (Ord.VII of 1983).

16. The Zakat and Ushr (Second Amendment) Ordinance 1983 (Ord. X of 1983).

17. The Zakat and Ushr (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 1983 (Ord. XXVI of 1983).

18. The Anti-Islamic Activities of Qadianis Group, Lahore Group and Ahmadis (Prohibition and Punishment) Ordinance, 1984 (Ord. XX of 1984.

19. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance, 1984 (Ord. XLVI of 1984).

20. The North-West Frontier Province (Enforcement of Certain Provisions of Laws) Act, 1989 (NWFP Act II of 1980).

21. The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1989 (IV of 1990).

22. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Act, 19991 (XXIII of 1991).

23. The Enforcement of Sharia’h Act, 1991 (X of 1991).

24. The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal¦ Act, 1992 (I of 1992).

25. The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1992 (VI of 1992).

26. The NWFP Shari Act, 2003 (NWFP Act No II of 2003).

27. The NWFP Waqf Ordinance, 1979 (Ord. I of 1979).

28. The NWFP Consumer Protection Act, 1997 (Act VI of 1997).

29. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 (Act XXXIV of 1997).

30. The Civil Law (Reforms) Act, 1994 (Act XIV of 1994).

31. The Fatal Accident Act, 1855 (Act XIII of 1855).

32. The Partition Act, 1893 (Act IV of 1893).

33. The Antiquities Act, 1975 (Act VII of 1976).

34. The Essential Article (Control). Act, 1958).

35. The North-West Frontier Province Orphanages (Supervision and Control) Act, 1976 (Act XIV of 1976).

36. The West Pakistan Suppression of Prostitution Ordinance, 1961 (Ord. II of 1961).

37. The Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act, 1977 (XXIX of 1977).

38. The West Pakistan Regulation and Control of Loud Speaker and Sound Amplifiers Ordinance, 1965 (Ord. II of 1965).

39. The Prevention of Gambling Act, 1977 (Act XXVIII of 1977).

40. The Indecent Advertisement Prohibition Act, 1963 (Act XII of 1963).

41. The Travel Agencies Act, 197 6 (Act XXX of 1976).

42. The Employment of Children Act, 1991 (Act V of 1991).

43. The North-West Frontier Province Registration and Functions of Private Educational Institutions (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord XLVI of 2002).

44. The NWFP the Punjab Minor Canals (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. LVIII of 2002).

45. The NWFP Local Government (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Act X of 2005).

46. The NWFP Housing Authority Act, 2005 (Act XI of 2005).

47. The NWFP Consumers Protection (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Act II of 2005).

48. The NWFP Local Government (Second Amendment) Act, 2006 (Act II of 2006).

49. The NWFP Societies Registration (Amendment) Act, 2006 (Act III of 2006).

50. The NWFP Prohibition of Kite Flying Activities Act, 2006 (Act IV of 2006).

51. The NWFP Interest of Personal Loans Prevention Act, 2007.

52. The NWFP Agriculture and Livestock Produce Markets Act, 2007.

53. The North-West Frontier Province Forest Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XIX of 2002).

54. The Anti-Terrorism (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 1999 (Ord. XIII of 1999).

55. The Anti-Terrorism (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 1999 (Ord. XX of 1999).

56. The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000 (Ord. XXII of 2000).

57. The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance, 2000 (Ord. XXIX of 2000) .

58. The National Highway Safety Ordinance, 2000 (Ord. XL of 2000).

59. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance, 2000 (Ord. XXI of 2001).

60. The Patents Ordinance, 2000 (Ord. LXI of 2001).

61. The Control of Narcotic Substances (Amendment) Ordinance, 2000 (Ord. LXVI of 2000).

62. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance, 2001 (Ord. XXI of 2001).

63. The Arms Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, .2001 (Ord. LXVI of 2001).

64. The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XXXIV of 2002).

65. The General Clauses (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XXXIII of 2002).

66. The Representation of People (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XXVIII of 2002).

67. The Representation of People (Amendment)’ Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XXXVI of 2002).

68. The Representation of People (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XLV of 2002).

69. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XXV of 2002).

70. The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance, 2 002 (Ord. XXXVIII of 2002).

71. The National Commission for Human Development Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. No. XXIX of 2002).

72. The Pakistan. Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. No. XIII of 2002).

73. The Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance, 2002 (LIX of 2002).

74. The Probation of Offenders*. (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (LXVI of 2002).

75. The Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. LXXIV of 2002) .

76. The Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XCVI of 2 002).

77. The Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XCVII of 2002).

78. The Press, Newspaper, News Agencies and Book Registration Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XCVIII of 2002).

79. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (Control and Prevention) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. CI of 2002).

80. The Drugs (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002 (Ord. XXVIII of 2002).

81. The Local Government, Election Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002.

82. The Political Parties Order, 2002 (C.E.O. 18 of 2002).

83. The Political Parties (Amendment) Order, 2002 (C.E.O. .20 of 2002).

84. The Police. (Amendment) Order, 2002 (C.E.O. 36 of 2002).

85. The Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 (Ord. V of 2003.).

86. The Political Parties (Amendment) Act, 2004 (Act III of 2004).

87. The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2004 (Act VIII of 2004).

88. The Defamation (Amendment) Act, 2004 (Act IX of 2004).

89. The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Act, 2004 (Act X of 2004).

90. The Illegal Dispossession Act, 2005 (Act XI of 2005).

91. The Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) (Amendment) Act, 2006.

92. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Act, 2007 (II of 2007).

93. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance, 2008.

94. The Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997 (XXV of 1997) .


(See paragraphs 2 (1) (g) , 6(2)]

S.NO. Designation of judges and Judicial Officers in the NWFP except PATA

Designation of judges and Judicial Officers in the PATA

1 2 3

1. District and Sessions Judge – Zilla Qazi

2. Additional District and. Sessions Judge – Izafi Zilla Qazi

3. Senior Civil Judge/Judicial – Aa’la Illaqa Qazi

30 of Criminal Procedure Code,1898 (Act V of 1898) Aa’la Illaqa Qazi

4. Civil Judge/Judicial Magistrate Illaqa Qazi


(See paragraph 7(4)]

S. No. Description of Offences

1. All offences under Pakistan Penal Code punishable with imprisonment up to three years with or without fine.

2. All” offences punishable under Local and Special Laws punishable up to three years with or without fine.

3. Cases for prevention of breach of peace and public nuisances under the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

4. Cases pertaining to deviations of licences and permits under relevant laws applicable to the said area. app

Friday, 23 December 2016

The Nightmare in Balochistan

By @FlyingNazgul
Originally posted here

First, this post will be a bit disjointed and messy: it takes too much time to write well and I’ll otherwise keep procrastinating. I I am writing for people with relatively decent understanding of Balochistan and I want to answer questions directly – no pointless waffling, I hope.

Second, I do not know everything. This explanation is the best I have. I have followed Balochistan very closely since 2013 and talked to bureaucrats and police officers stationed there for over three years, so I know quite a lot. But I do not have the same about of detail on the politicians or the military – but their actions and interactions with the bureaucracy and police reveal enough, I think.


This is what is happening in Balochistan (casualties):

2013: 1315
2014: 479
2015: 186
2016 (so far): 686

After the nightmare that began under Musharraf, things started improving in 2014, were much improved in 2015, and have yet against started deteriorating. What’s happening?

India and Afghanistan

While India and Afghanistan are certainly up to no good (abstracting from the details of the involvement), over this period, we would expect things to start heating up in 2016 (after the deterioration of ties with India). However, that is very recent (Uri was in September). Also, most the casualties come from religiously affiliated groups’ attacks and not the nationalists that India openly supports (which doesn’t mean no possibility of support for the others). This is something hard to measure, but not something I would deem to utmost significance right now in terms of the recent deterioration in the law and order situation.

Justice Isa 

Qazi Esa’s report has clearly accepted foreign interference’s possibility, however, they’re clear that the facilitators and terrorists are Pakistani. Hence, our automatic blaming on Afghanistan and India is stupid and counter-productive if it’s hasty and if it detracts us from the real issue at home – the enemy exploits our issues. Nevertheless, when looking at the deterioration, this would be an understandable cause (more effort by enemies means more attacks slip through the net regardless of our efforts), but for now, I’d say it’s a smaller issue.


Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri 

PML-N and National Party have been in power since 2013, with the middle class, mild-mannered Abdul Malik Baloch as Chief Minister until December 2015, and the powerful tribal chief Sanaullah Zehri in power since then. Leadership styles matter and a lot of executive power that should lie with the IGP lies with the Chief Secretary or the Chief Minister. The Inspector General of Police, Balochistan does not have the authority to suspend a DSP – the Chief Secretary does. The IGP does not have the power to appoint the DIG (CCPO) Quetta. The power legally does not lie with him. Secondly, it matters how much political interference there is. If illegal Afghans are part of the problem, are MPAs and MNAs protecting them? If some madrassas are up to no good, is the government backing the police to go after them? Is the police being provided with the resources that are possible within the budgetary limits?

Abdul Malik Baloch was relatively timid: he didn’t want to annoy any politician nor bureaucrat. He’d give an order in a meeting to the Chief Secretary at the request of the IGP, the Chief Secretary would ignore it, he’d be reminded and that was that. If the PAS cadre wants to put protection of its power over the province, Malik was okay with that. Politicians attending law and order meeting with the police and military are supporting illegal Afghans, Malik was okay with it.

Nevertheless, he was a relatively humble person. He was happy to go visit the lowly IGP himself and thank him. He was polite. He was not a control freak. He let the IGP do mostly as he wanted: the police didn’t get the complete support it needed, but Malik didn’t try and wring his officer’s neck every day. Having your boss breathe down your neck all the time is not the environment you want to be working in. When the situation became a bit tough in Quetta after serious attacks on Hazara in 2013-2015, he was strong enough and he cared enough to admonish his IGP.

Zehri is a much more powerful and crueller person. He is more used to power and he’s more used to cruelty and loss. He’s not crazy. He’ll keep his CS and IGP happy, even though neither were his choices (Malik didn’t get that luxury either). He’s a bit too uninvolved in such matters and certainly not interested in any reform. He’s the status-quo.


The police officers in Balochistan are stuck there: they were sent on Iftikhar Chaudhry’s orders, but have had a hard time returning because no-one wants to go. GoP has shown very little interest in the matter as usual. Mostly only a few of the worst and weakest officers get sent. One example, Hussain Habib, a PSP officer in Punjab, refused to go to Balochistan in contravention of establishment division orders. However, he just got promoted by the central selection board a couple of days ago. If bad behaviour gets you promotions, why bother?

Why Was 2015 Better?

I think 3 things: (i) some change in army thinking, (ii) an honest competent IGP and (iii) a mostly non-interfering CM.

Why did the Army change? Two simultaneous attacks on Quetta airbases (Samungli and Khalid) started the process (even though the simultaneous attacks were very successfully thwarted by by LEAs – no LEA death, all terrorists killed). However, APS really changed all. Not every terrorist was now an enemy, but the more annoying ones who didn’t listen and felt like being too independent were dealt with mercilessly.

IGP Amlish, unlike most officers, was not focused on making money, and pushed the gov’t, army and his own officers to take on terrorists. You’d be surprised to find how much this matters: the police itself is often afraid of taking on these elements, such as raiding a madrassa that may be helping terrorists. There’s no issue from the CS, CM, military – just the police not being brave enough. Are you working on making the CM, CC, CS happy and making money or focusing on improving the police? Are you request the CM for money for yourself or for the police: money for police martyrs or police lines or money for your fort of a residence? (For example, the work on IGP’s residence destroyed in 2013 when Sukhera was IGP, and his wife was inside the house, started under Sukhera and he got a lot of money allotted but it nearly halted under Amlish, because he didn’t bother asking for funds. Sukhera did, Mehboob did, and under Mehboob the house is now done). Are you up at night at midnight and afterwards making sure that the patrols and raids are going as planned? Your officers know you care and they make a greater effort – otherwise, what happens in these cases? Nothing. Lethargy. Even when there is no danger to your life, government officers will tend to do nothing, but when you could die doing this work, why would you go the extra mile if your seniors don’t care? A good IGP, CS, Home Sec, CM make this happen.

In addition, Amlish acted against corruption wherever it happened. Nobody in Pakistan really wants to touch the powerful – DMG/PAS officers will protect their own and PSP officers will protect theirs. You get ostracized if you act against you own. Hence, when an inquiry is ordered, you absolve the accused, because after all, tomorrow that guy may be in a powerful position and in Pakistan, you won’t get even your deserved right without help. Hence, a few inquiries were held against PSP officers, including the brother of a Joint Chief and reports sent to establishment division for action against them. Punitive action shouldn’t remain just for the lower cadres, the rankers. If an SHO is minting money, so is the ASP/SDPO supervising his work.

Finally, I had heros. Everyone is Pakistan compromises a bit. Amlish took no action against the military officers involved in ‘inappropriate’ actions. He will certainly have made other mistakes too. No one is perfect.

PTC Quetta Attack

My understanding is that PTC martyrs were recruited in 2015. They’d been through the long process, and were now finally getting trained. It was one big step towards becoming a police constable – tough duty, low pay, lots of bravery. IGP Ahsan Mehboob asked the CM for a boundary wall. PTC Quetta certainly needed it irrespective of its utility in stopping this attack. However, the IGP and IGFC need to answer this: why, with prior intel and a high alert throughout city, was just one person guarding PTC? When there’s a high alert: patrols have been increased, Special Branch officials are roaming the streets, then your failure is galling. In addition, if your complaint is lack of personnel (which is unreasonable in this context), then you had hundreds of trained constables sitting inside doing nothing – why could no moron say hey, there is a terrorism alert, if we don’t have enough people, let’s give a few of these trained constables weapons from the PTC armoury for protection of the school. There were options, none were utilized by the police.

There was no money for the PTC boundary wall, but many crores were found to rebuild the new IGP House (after its destruction in 2013). This is the police force whose IGP (in 2013) was complaining that his men do not even have enough weapons to fight terrorists. CS and IGP are both more focused on making money, so such stuff gets neglected with daily dinner parties and counting your daily cut. At least Mushtaq Sukhera, however vile he may be, got stuff done. CS Chatta, who hates politicians, had Ahsan Mehboob appointed when there were better options: Hussain Ashgar, Dr Mujeeb among other capable officers. When the criteria for selection is friendship and subservience to politicians and the place of work is Balochistan, then why bother working hard?

The head of PTC was a retired military officer, who moved to the police based on the military quota, but had been passed off for promotion, hence didn’t really care at all about his job. Incompetent people doing what they do best.

The Army

This is where the real power lies. This is the province where the real Chief Minister is the Corps Commander, where CM Malik would jump up to greet the Corps Commander, and he’d essentially be the chief guest. Everyone knows there where the real power lies. If a drug trafficker is caught, and the army or military agencies want him released, he’s released. If they want some terrorists or criminals not to be touched, they won’t be touched. And may the Almighty help the one who even mistakenly touch the army supported crooks.

FC doesn’t coordinate well with the police. There’s the typical army arrogance. The IGFC is a Major General, legally a BPS-21 officer, equivalent to a normal IGP (though the current IGP is a BPS-22 officer, equivalent to a Lieutenant-General) yet will not hold a meeting with the IGP as an equivalently ranked officer, the IGFC has to lead. I’ve seen an IGFC get annoyed because the IGP sat in a more senior position during a ceremony. The IGFC will rarely, if ever, be present during press conferences with the CM and IGP. Instead, a Brigadier, an officer of BPS-20, a DIG, will be present. Recently, it’s been seen that the Corps Commander will lead meetings together with the CM, sitting at the head of the table, symbolically showing us what the real power structure is.

I have an interesting anecdote, but I have it from the aggrieved party so I had no idea at all how true it is: the disgraced recent IGFC Ejaz Shahid says that he was overlooked for promotion to Lt-Gen and acted against on corruption charges because at one FC organized ceremony the Governor spoke and the CC Janjua wasn’t invited to speak. Take this as you wish.


Obviously, many other issues, many touched upon by Qazi Isa are important, but remain untreated.

Friday, 16 December 2016

QK Archives: APS two years on

By Zalan Khan
Originally published by THE NEWS
31 December 2014
My friend was grief-stricken when we spoke, "We are now used to seeing death, but this was savagery we have not seen before”. The 21st century in particular and the last four decades in general have been unkind to the people of Peshawar.

The once quiet little town, which largely escaped the violence of Partition, is a place that you could once drive through from one end to the other in thirty minutes. It was the birthplace of many famous Bollywood stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, squash stars like Jansher Khan and has been home to both local Hindko speakers to Pashto speakers from nearby villages.

The city has hosted six major waves of refugees, first from Afghanistan in the early 1980s with people fleeing the Russian occupation and the ensuing fighting. The second and third wave were people escaping the factional fighting between the ‘victorious’ warriors over Kabul and then again by those escaping the rule of the Taliban.

Today, hundreds of families from Peshawar grieve the loss of over 140 young children murdered so brutally at the Army Public School. As one scans TV, social media and newspapers, a recurring theme seems to be that this event is an aberration and that somehow this will become a turning point for Pakistan. This argument assumes that there was something especially inhuman about the targeting of children. This reaction is understandable, but it avoids looking at what we can learn from other countries like Russia.

The facts tell another story. While much is made of the Afghan Taliban’s condemnation of the attack on APS, in their country last month 45 people were killed (many children) and over 60 others were injured following a suicide attack in the Paktika province. In another attack almost 300 young school-going girls were by poisoned along with their teachers. Like most of these attacks, the perpetrators did not hide their role and used the pretext that it was against westerners whom they find guilty of implementing an ‘intellectual and cultural invasion’.

Closer to home, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2010, a tiny village in Lakki Marwat experienced devastation when a car bomb exploded at a local volleyball tournament, killing 128 – mostly young boys. The numbers lost were so high in proportion to the small village’s population that visitors even now notice the absence of children on the streets.

Over 3000 people have been killed in Peshawar at the hands of terror attacks over the last eight years. There was the bombing of the Meena Bazaar in which 107 innocent women, men, women and children were killed. Then there was the attack on the All Saints Church in which over 127 people were killed of which at least 37 were young children. So when we express our horror at this recent attack, we are confusing ourselves into thinking this attack was an aberration and not a logical escalation of a brutal trend. As we have become desensitised to attacks, the attackers have used more brutal means to send a message.

As far as this event being a turning point, this is more a natural human instinct – to seek solace in hoping that things will change and our own innate desire to seek to make sense out. For some others, crises like these provide opportunity to raise their own profile and ingratiate themselves with new organisations and individuals.

Perhaps recent history has warning signs for us. This refers to Russia’s Beslan attack ten years back, a little town in the south of Russia, where there was a brutal attack by Chechen and Ingush extremists and in the course of events 334 perished, including 186 children.

The aftermath of that attack is informative. There was little attempt to change the state’s approach towards a peaceful resolution of the Chechen issue or changing the state’s approach to the Caucasus region. Instead the president (former intelligence chief Vladimir Putin), in a move backed by widespread public support, lifted the ban on the death penalty and made arrest and imprisonment laws more severe. These moves were in turn followed by an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment and Russian nationalism. These laws and this sentiment helped secure Putin’s position. Over time the increased state repression changed its focus to a new set of enemies – political opponents and the media.

Many of these events have now been mirrored in Pakistan. Executions have already started and depicted with much fanfare by the media. We have the push towards military courts over pushing for rapid reform of the judicial services. We have also seen the familiar attempts at scape-goating neighbours for what are home-grown problems.

So the truth is something simpler. Tragedies that evoke national sympathy are often used as a pretext to secure political power and erode civil liberties. Once eroded, those same laws and sentiments are used against ‘others’, whether that means refugees in Pakistan like the Afghans or the over three million internally displaced people. Or whether it is the media and political opponents that the state has been looking to silence.

So perhaps this is a turning point for some people, but December 16 will forever be a pivotal time for the 200-odd families whose lives have been changed for now and forever.

It will likely remain to be seen as an aberration and not an extension of a pattern, thereby comforting us falsely that what happened till now did not cross any ‘red lines’. In fact those lines were crossed a long time ago. We have only just noticed.

The writer is the founder of the website:

Twitter: @qisskhwani

Monday, 12 December 2016

QK Archives: Afghanistan: Risky royal option

Afghanistan: Risky royal option

Originally published by THE Nation 31 October 2000 Nawa-e-Waqt group

Brigadier (Retd) A.R. Siddiqi

About the risks involved for Pakistan in supporting the return of ex-King Zahir Shah to Afghanistan, as the supreme peace maker, at least two cases could be recalled to prove the royal antipathy towards Pakistan. That is besides the active support of the King and his court for the creation of the separate state of Pushtoonistan, outside Pakistan, as an extension of Afghanistan.
Case one: In a rare interview (perhaps the only one over to a Pakistani editor) Soviet Scholar and historian Professor Yu V. Gankosaky, DSC, told me: "In December 1971, General Sardar Abdul Wali Khan, Commander of the Central Corps based in Kabul suggested an invasion of Peshawar. King Zahir Shah, though not enthusiastic about General Wali's invasion plan did not oppose it either.
'At this stage the Soviet Union intervened and succeeded in forestalling the anticipated move.'
"That put the relations between the King and the army under strain and marked the beginning of the crisis that was eventually to lead to the overthrow of the King and the end of kingship in Afghanistan in July 1973.
'Sardar Mohammad Daud was supported by the army largely for his pro-Pakhtoonistan posture.'
That was in December 1982 while Professor Gankovsky had been to Pakistan for an international seminar on the strategy for peace and security in South Asia. The seminar was organised by the Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies. On his way back to Moscow, the Professor routed through Karachi and called on me at my office for a lively exchange of views.
Case two: On June 13, 1948, Marshal Shah Wali Khan, the Afghan envoy to Pakistan at a party in his honour in Karachi by the Aligarh Old Boys' Association categorically declared 'our government has already stated, and I, as the representative of Afghanistan, declare that Afghanistan has no claims on frontier territory and even if there were any, they have been given up in favour of Pakistan. Anything contrary to this which may have appeared in the press in the past or may appear in the future should not be given credence at all and should be considered just a canard.'

About the same time, the official Farsi daily, Anis, supported by Kabul radio, demanded that the territory between the Durand Line and the Indus river should be amalgamated with Afghanistan. However, a statement supporting the views expressed by his Ambassador was soon issued by the consular of the Afghan Embassy in Karachi. This led to an unusual situation in which Kabul radio challenged the authority of the Afghan envoy to speak for his own government. These contradictions not only created an awkward position for the envoy, but also proved to be detrimental to Pak-Afghan relations.
In July 1949, the Afghan Parliament declared that "it does not recognise the imaginary Durand or any similar line". Kabul radio and the Afghan press intensified their propaganda, inciting the tribesmen living on the Pakistan side of the Durand Line to revolt in the name of 'Pakhtoonistan'.

If our past record be of any guidance, it had been one of varying (often conflicting) choices and wide fluctuations in dealing with the Afghan factions. The Wahabi-Hanafi (mainly the former under Hikmatyar) elements dominated the actual war years (1979-89): the Rabbani-Dostum (Northern Alliance) combine cosied up to Islamabad (1990-94) and the Taliban won our full support from 1994 all the way down the road until the (re) emergence of the Royal option. A royal delegation led by Mr. Hedayat Amir Arsala had been here to discuss the pros and cons of the Royal Option or the Royal mess.
Lately, even on the eve of the visit of a high-powered Afghan delegation in Islamabad, the ex-King's son-in-law in a press statement from Rome – 'warned' Pakistan against trying to play the 'king maker's role' in Afghanistan'.
'Nobody has the right to interfere in our Afghan policy'. It is the 'job' of the Afghan people and 'only the Afghan people' to 'determine' the future government of Afghanistan. 'Pushtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmans, Hazaras, Nooristanis and other 'constitute' the Afghan people,' he said.

So this is how the King's men pay Pakistan back in their own coin – (the worthless Afghani) its gratuitous support to the fugitive King as the last hope for whatever is left of Afghanistan as an organic whole – as a country and a nation. What then must we do to salvage the oneness of Afghanistan without savaging our own territorial integrity and national interests?
President Musharraf has, time and again, warned against the dangers and non-viability of an 'imposed set up' in Afghanistan. He views such a dispensation as 'un-workable' and one that could not last. It is to be clearly understood that an outside imposition would include and involve Pakistan as much as any another power. In their prevailing over-wrought mood the Taliban leadership could hardly be expected to treat Pakistan, more or less, if not as much of a foreign government as any other. Pakistan would, therefore, be well advised to discreetly distance itself from the Taliban government – at least for the time being.
If the past nearly two decades – 1979 to-date–be any guide, Afghanistan has cost Pakistan more than it has profited or helped it. Since our very emergence, our closest Islamic neighbour has been one of our major security concerns, next only to our surgical twin, India. That, however, is history with little relevance for a short comment reflecting on the need of the hour.
Our concern with shape of things to come in Afghanistan, mainly the demographic pattern of its government and the nature of its relationship with Pakistan, is absolutely natural. That such a government, if and when it is formed, would be 'broad based', moderate and stable would not only be to the unquestioned advantage of Afghanistan itself, but also to the great relief of its close neighbours – especially Pakistan.

For Pakistan has not only been just a neighbour like Iran, China and the trans-Oxus republics, but also it is the one and the only active partner in adversity through the decade-long Soviet invasion and occupation and thereafter until now. Pakistan shared with Afghanistan the costs of its horrific civil war to incur the odium of a proto-terrorist state. It can ill-afford to allow history to repeat itself at the cost of its internal security – even perhaps its' very existence as a civilised country in tune with times.
The President, General Musharraf's one constant concern and call remains for the establishment of an ethnically-balanced, popular and Pakistan-friendly government in Kabul. This is how it must be; for anything else would, inevitably suck Pakistan once again into the Afghan imbroglio even against the best of our efforts and will.

Pak-Afghan long and porous border, shared ethnic stocks, and religious bonds combine to form not only a geopolitical conundrum but also an all-pervasive predicament. To handle this effectively a judicious mix of a carefully measured aloofness and a thoughtfully calibrated concern in our dealings with the post-Taliban Afghanistan, would be essential.
For now, regardless of our deep concern with any future set up in Kabul, might it not be wiser to desist from talking about the kind of set up we would like to (and should) have in Kabul. Wouldn't that really amount to be perceived as interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan? None would be better-placed than Pakistan to realise the utter futility of such a manoeuvre and the risk and the cost attached to it.

What is to be clearly realised is the apparent futility of worrying, hoping or striving too much for the establishment of a broad-based, Pakistan-friendly government in Kabul. Where is the guarantee that a Pakistan-friendly government to begin with, might not over time turn into an unfriendly government and vice verse? Wouldn't just one example of the Rabbani government – a portage of Pakistan under the Peshawar Agreement of April 1992 – turning hostile – be enough to serve the points?
E-mail queries and comments to:

Friday, 2 December 2016

A guide to Takhtbhai

A guide to Takhtbhai
History of the site
This study describes only a small portion of the ancient route followed by kings, invaders, traders and merchants since remote antiquity. Roads and communication system under a competent administration and management play a vital role in the socio-economic development of a country.

"The famous ruins of Takht-i-Bahi are situated on the crest and northern slope of a detached spur rising abruptly from the plain some nine miles north of Hoti Mardan in the North West Frontier Province, that is to say in the heart of the Yusufzai country, itself, roughly speaking, the centre of the ancient territory of Gan- dhara. Their romantic situation, high on the precipitous hill, with its magnificent views of the fertile plains below and the encircling mountains, together with their comparative accessibility have made the ruins a familiar and favourite spot with the Europeans of the neighborhood, while the extraordinary extent and relatively good preservation of the ruins themselves are sufficient to explain the interest that has long been taken in them by archaeologists, an interest which has been widened by the fact that many of the best pieces of Gandhara sculpture now to be found in the museums of Europe were originally recovered at this site", writes Dr. D.B. Spooner, Curator, Peshawar Museum and excavator of the Buddhist Monastery of Takht-i-Bahi in

"Of the many Buddhist sites in Gandhara none is better known than that of Takht-i-Bahi and no spot has been the object of so many excavations both irregular and systematic than this isolated ruin", writes Mr. Hargreaves, Curator, and Peshawar Museum who excavated this site in 1910-11.

"Today probably the best known monument in the Peshawar [now Mardan] district is the Buddhist monastery of Takht-i-Bahi on a rocky ridge about 10 miles north-east of Mardan. It stands 500 feet above the plain and is approached by a steep and winding path, but the visitor is repaid for his climb by the architectural diversity of the ruins and by their romantic mountain setting", remarks Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Archaeological Adviser to the Government of Pakistan in 1949.

The history of the Buddhist monastery of Takht-i-Bahi is shrouded in darkness. Even the famous Chinese pilgrims, Fa-hien, Song-yun and Hiuen Tsang do not make a mention of it. Either the site was abandoned before their arrival or they had no knowledge of it. Prof. Foucher's conclusion was that the Chinese pilgrims did not mention it whatever the reason might be. Another view is that the barbaric Huns from Central Asia destroyed it. Their king Mihiragula, the Hun is charged with the destruction of sixteen hundred stupas and monasteries of Gandhara and slaying two thirds of its inhabitants. Hiuen Tsang mentions that there were about one thousand monasteries in Gandhara and the country was without a king. The greater parts of them were deserted and in ruins but fifteen of them were inhabited which were described by him. There were about hundred Brahmanical temples also in Gandhara at the time of the pilgrim's visit. There were constant invasions of the Sassanian kings of Iran on this part after AS. 200. They are also considered to be responsible for weakening the hold of Buddhism as they were fire worshippers and the later Kushana kings had accepted their overlord ship. In many of the Gandhara sculptures of the later period, the Sassanian influence can be seen in the form of Persepolitan pilasters and fire altars. Not a complete historical inscription was found at the site, which could throw light on the monastery except the Gondophares inscription from Shahbaz Garha village, which is believed to have originally come from Takht-i-Bahi.

After Kanishka's death, the later Kushana kings did not show that much patronage to the monasteries. Thus the monks descended to earn their livelihood which made the monasteries desolate. Their roofs collapsed, rooms hurried under heap of earth and shrubs grew over them. The few colossal walls survived even against the onslaughts of winds rains and thunders.

General Court, the French Officer of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was the first to mention this site in 1836 who had found also the Asokan Rock Edicts at Shah-baz Garha in the same year. He writes, "To the north east of Hashtnagar is the mountain of Behhi, standing alone on a vast plain, and close to it are the ruins of an ancient castle, which is attributed to Raja Vara and which, according to the traditions of the inhabitants, was the dwelling of the ancient sovereigns of this country". But General Abbot writing in 1854, on the Indian side of the Indus, where he derived all his information from Indians, states that "at Nogran in Yusufzai, near Ranida-Gat, is the stable of Raja Varat". Dr. H.W. Bellow, Assistant Surgeon, Corps of Guides at Mardan who visited the site in 1864 writes, "These ruins are very extensive, and still in very good preservation. They occupy the crest and northern slope of the Takht-i- Bahi hill, a spur which, projecting westward from the Pajah ridge, traverses the plain for several miles, and separates the valley of Lundkhwar from that of Su-dhum.

The ruins occupy the western end of this ridge, which is a bare ledge of grey mica and quartz schist, about three hundred feet above the plain, and cover about a mile of surface along a central crest between terminal eminences on the east and west. On these are the boundary buildings, of the city, the rest are on the intervening crest, and the ridges sloping down from it to the plain on the north. The hollows between these ridges are the natural drains of the hill".

He described all the structural remains with great care, which were visible and identified some of them correctly. As the ruins were not fully and systematically excavated, there-fore he could not identify some of them and called as the remains of a big city as they were lying spread on the mountain. The Hindus at that time believed that the ruins were formerly the residence of Raja Bharat and the Pandu kings of the Epic Age.

Then the site was excavated by Sergeant Wilcher in 1871 with a company of Sappers and Miners. He also could not give a satisfactory explanation regarding the true nature of the ruins.

Sir Alexander Cunningham who had visited the site for the second time in 1873 writes that Hiuen Tsang mentions the story of Rishi Ekasringa. He was a holy man who lost his divine powers through the seductive arts of a courtesan, who actually persuaded him to carry her on his shoulders through the town. Asoka the Mauryan emperor had built a stupa on the spot where the Rishi Ekasringa had formerly lived. He further writes, "The monument of the Rishi Ekasringa with its neighbouring monastery I would identify with the great stupa of Sahri Bahlol, which was opened by Dr. Bellew, and the monastery attached to it. As nothing is said about any monuments on the high hill itself, I conclude that the Buddhist establishments on Takht-i-Bahi had already been abandoned before the time of Hwen-Thsang's visit". Prof. Foucher and Colonel Dean locate the scene of Rishi Ekasringa in the Malakand Agency at the site of Butan, "The Idols" which lies about 41 miles to the north-west of Palai and circ. half a mile to the east of the point where the side valley crossed by the Shahkot Pass debouches.

"The hill of Takht-i-Bahi forms three sides of an oblong square, of which the north face is open, and the south is formed by the highest ridge of the hill, which is very nearly straight.

About halfway between the two long ridges, which form the east and west sides of the square, there is shorter ridge or spur, which runs almost directly north from the crest of the hill. The ruins of Bahi occupy this centre spur and two other shorter spurs to the east of it, as well as the main ridge, including the highest peak at the south-west corner of the square, to which alone the name of Takht or "seat" properly belongs.

The religious buildings which are by far the most interesting portion of the ruins are nearly all confined to the three shorter spurs or ridges, the mass of the buildings along apparently private dwellings, from one to three and even four storeys in height".

The name of Raja Vara was supplied to Sir Alexander Cunningham also by the local people who first visited Navagram and Shahbaz Garha in the Yusufzai country before 1849. The Hindus used to call these ruins as those of Raja Virat in his time because the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were brought during the British campaigns to this side of the Indus by the Hindu soldiers. He thinks that before this the people knew only Raja Vara, which he linked with the famous Aornos of Alexander the Great and Po-lu-sha (Shahbaz Garha) of Hiuen Tsan. Sir Aurel Stein identified Aornos with the rock of Pirsar near Unra on the bank of the river Indus.

"The name of Bahi or Bahai which means a reservoir or baori has been applied to the hill on account of its possession of two small artificial tanks. One of these on the very crest of the hill is about 8 feet square and regularly built, but it is now nearly filled with debris. The other is a few yards below the crest on its northern face at the western end of the city. It is about 14 feet square and 20 feet deep, and is excavated out of the solid rock".

Both of these tanks have been mentioned by Sir Alexander Cunningham and Dr. Bellew in their reports more than a hundred years ago. Whatever may be the nomenclature but it is a fact that Takht-i-Bahi has the most beautiful and complete Buddhist monastery to this side of the Indus on the hills.

A report published in 1883 says, "General Cunningham discovered Jamalgiri in 1848. Lieutenant (now Sir Harry) Lumsden dug at Kharkai about 1850-51 at the request of the Commissioner of Peshawar, Colonel Mackeson. Lieutenants Lumsden and Stokes partially explored Jamalgiri and Takht-i-Bahi in 1852. Dr. Bellow partially excavated Sahri Bahlol about 1865. General Maclagan sent Sappers to the Takht-i-Bahi in 1869-70, and a large number of sculptures were deposited in the Lahore Museum, Dr. Leitner in 1870 procured some sculptures from the Takht-i-Bahi through men of the Guides. Colonel Hastings (then Assistant Commissioner) in 1871-72 directed digging by Sappers in the Sudam Valley. Lieutenant Crompton, R.E., about 1872, directed explorations by Sappers at Takht-i-Bahi and Jamalgiri. A Colonel from Peshawar is said by the natives to have removed 12 camel-loads of sculptures from Jamalgiri before 1873. Jamalgiri was partially excavated in January 1873, by General Cunningham. Jamalgiri was extensively excavated by Sappers under Lieutenant Crompton, R.E., in 1873. Sahri Bahlol was partially excavated by General Cunningham in 1873. Sappers under Lieutenant Macgregor and Grant were at work at Kharkai in 1874. Sappers under Lieutenant Grant worked at Sawal Dheyr in 1874".

Dr. D.B. Spooner, Curator, Peshawar Museum and Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India, Frontier Circle, was the first to excavate the monastery scientifically in January 1907 in accordance with the recommendations made by Sir John Marshall, Director General of Archaeology in India. He again continued the work in 1908-11. Later Mr. H. Hargreaves, Curator, Peshawar Museum excavated the site in 1910-11. He again resumed the work in 1912-13. Side by side with the excavations, the conservation of the site was also started systematically from 1907 to 1929 and a large number of sculptures were recovered each year in clearing operations. Necessary repairs were also carried out at several places and the famous Court of Three Stupas was rooted over.

The excavations have not been able to build up the chronological history of the site as they were conducted on different occasions. However, it is possible to build up a probable chronology on the basis of the structural remains and the general layout of the site. The following chronology is made by making on-the- spot study of the structures and their inter-relations.

First Period

It starts from the first century B.C. to second century AJ». The earliest phase belongs to the time of Gondophares, the Parthian ruler whose inscription was supposed to have come from Takht-i- Bahi. It includes the reign of Kanishka also who belonged to the line of the Great Kushana dynasty, which had earlier migrated from the province of Kansu in the northwest of damp. In this period we include the structures of the Court of Many Stupas, the Monastery and its kitchen and refectory.

Second Period

It starts from the third century to fourth century AD. Which covers the reign of the Later Kushana rulers. Kanishka III and Vasudeva II were the important rulers of this line. The former king had issued two types of coins i.e. Shiva and bull on the reverse and the king standing on the obverse and the other had the goddess Ardochso seated on the reverse. The second type was common in Gandhara. Kashmir was included in his territory but probably Mathura was not. He is assigned a period of thirty years. Vasudeva II succeeded him who was probably his son and ruled for about twenty years. Much of the areas in the Punjab and Sistan were out of his control. In this period we place the Main Stupa and the Assembly Hall.

Third Period

It starts from the fourth century to fifth century AD. and covers the reign of the Kidar. Kushana rulers. The founder of this dynasty was Kidar, a chief who was originally a vassal of the Sassanian emperor Shahpur II. He consolidated his power in Gandhara, Punjab and Kashmir and ruled with the help of governors. Finally they were swept away by the Huns, a barbaric race from Central Asia in the fifth century A.D. We include the Court of Three Stupas in this period.

Fourth Period

It starts from the sixth century to seventh century AD. and covers the post Hun period. We place in this period the Low Level Cham- bers and its Open Courtyard in the west.

The most important portion of the ruins, which extend altogether for something like a mile east and west along the summit, is the monastic complex situated on a ridge to the north, somewhat lower than the crest of the hill itself and towards the eastern end of the whole site. From the precipitous sides of this smaller ridge massive walls still rise in places, to a height of nearly 50 feet, enclosing the summit, which appears to have been artificially leveled within this enclosure and laid out in its present series of quadrangles terraced one above the another.

We leave the vehicle down below the hill and start walking on the plain a few hundred yards. Then we climb the hill about 500 feet above the plain to reach the ruins. Although we arrive a bit tired, we are rewarded when we find ourselves among the beautiful structures of the monastery. The group of buildings includes 1) The Court of Many Stupas. 3) The Monastery. 3) The Main Stupa. 4) The Assembly Hall. 5) The Low-Level Chambers. 6) The Courtyard. 7) The Court of Three Stupas. 8) The Wall of Colossi and ") The Secular Buildings.

The main entrance to the monastic enclosure is on the south and a passage leads north to the western end of the rectangular courtyard of the Court of Many Stupas, which appears to have been on the same level.

Another entrance to the monastic complex was probably on the extreme south behind the hills because the famous village of Sahri Bahlol is at a distance of 2i miles situated on an extensive mound which was surrounded by a dozen other small ruins. The foundation walls of the settlement revealed that it was a strongly walled and fortified town and its surrounding ruins had yielded a large number of Gandhara sculptures in the past. The townsmen of Sahri Bahlol could easily bring food and offerings to the monks, nuns and students of Takht-i-Bahi by taking a direct route on the plain upto the southern foot of the hill and after ascending and descending it, could reach the monastery. The Buddhist pilgrims who came from the direction of Peshawar, Charsadda, Hund. Shahbaz Garha and Sahri Bahlol used this entrance to the Monastery while on their way to Uddiyana (The Garden) i.e. Swat. The present access to the Monastery was used by the pilgrims from Bajaur, Dir, Chitral, Swat and Malakand who entered the plains of the Mardan district on their onward journey to Taxila and other important cities of Gandhara.


Having advanced, then, from the entrance gate to the western end of the courtyard of the Court of Many Stupas, the visitor would have turned to the right and east to enter the court itself, which as can be seen by the plan, is a mass of little stupas surrounded on three sides by lofty chapels, and bisected from north to south by a paved passage running between little stupas and miniature shrines and connecting courts of the Monastery and the Main Stupa both of which lie at higher levels than the Court of Many Stupas itself. The monastic quadrangle proper is approached by a short flight of five steps and the Main Stupa by a loftier one of 15. The Court of Many Stupas is 116 feet long from east to west and 50 feet broad from north to south and contains as many as 35 votive stupas. They were dedicated by the pilgrims who came to this sacred place. All of them stand on the square plinths with the exception of the two, which have circular podiums. They are surrounded in the east, north and south by lofty walls of 25 to 30 feet in height retaining 30 tall chapels of various sizes, which face the court. The roofs of all these chapels have collapsed due to the ravages of time. Probably they contained the same type of domes that can be seen in the chapels of the Main Stupa. Seven of these domes on the northern side of the quadrangle were restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. They give us a picture of how they looked in their original form. Images of the Buddha were enshrined in them. Dr. Bellew and Sergeant Wilcher discovered statues of gigantic size in this area. In 1864 Bellew mentions that he found fragments of plaster figures which ''must have belonged to statues of gigantic size. A hand, a foot, and portion of the head, in this composition, were fully four times the natural size". These huge figures", he adds, "probably occupied positions outside the stupa court", for their fragments are only found outside its limits. Here also the same colossal fragments were exhumed by Sergeant Wilcher in 1871. This part of the ruins was not completely cleared, as the mass of debris was from 10 to 12 feet deep. But the fronts of the chapels were opened out, and all the remains of buildings in the middle of the court were cleared and exposed to view in 1872—73 at the time of Sir Alexander Cunningham's visit to the site.

The votive stupas in the quadrangle were embellished with stucco plaster, decorative and narrative relief’s each surmounted by a cornice and separated by Corinthian pilaster. Due to natural calamities the ornamentation of these stupas has completely vanished. If we visit the Court of Three Stupas we can realise the architectural and sculptural ornamentation with traces of colour on stucco in their original form, which does not exist now. This will give us some idea about the original condition of the Court of Many Stupas hundreds of years ago. This courtyard was covered with debris and all the votive stupas were concealed in earth. They became visible when the earth was removed from the quadrangle. One of the two stupas here has a circular and the other an octagonal plinth.

The latter contained eight niches on each side with ogee arches for holding sculptures. In the eastern half of the court there was a raised podium measuring 30x20' which was ascended by a flight of five steps on the western side. General Cunningham, before the excavation, had assu- med that it might have contained a large stupa with two smaller ones at each end. Thus this court presents a confused picture of stupas erected in different periods and also of the walled chapels, which do not give a symmetrical look.


The monastery is in the north of the Court of Many Stupas and can be approached by a short flight of five steps. The work began here in 1907-08 with the clearance of the monastic quadrangle under the supervision of the Public Works Department. The debris and rubbish had collected here in some places to a depth of 8 or 9 feet and the walls of the monk's cubicles were in many instances quite concealed, while practically no trace remained of the square building in the midst of the courtyard. The difference in the appearance of this quadrangle after the clearance was remarkable. One might say that the quadrangle, once lost, is now recovered.

As was expected, however, the work in this portion of the site did not yield much in the line of sculptural remains. A number of pieces were found nevertheless, but for the most part in a very fragmentary condition because the monastic quadrangle is naturally not the portion of a convent in which sculptural finds are to be expected. However a beautiful emaciated Siddhartha in parts seated in meditation with the story of the two merchants at the pedestal was recovered from the monastery; and is on display in the Peshawar Museum.

The monastic quadrangle is 62 feet square inside with 15 cells arranged on three sides for the accommodation of the monks. The two comer cells in the north and south are somewhat longer than the others. Each cell contains a ventilator and from one to three inches inside to keep oil lamps, books and other articles of the monks. In the southeast quarter of the square there is a tank for water which Alexander Cunningham thought was probably filled by drainage from the roots of the cells. It is possible that the monks used to bring water in the pots from the spring down below to fill this tank. Near the middle of the blank wall on the eastern side there is a door leading into a small court 20 feet square, which was the kitchen of the monastery. To the north this has two doors, one leading to the upper storey of the monastery by a flight of nine steps and the other to the outside of the building. To the east there are two more openings. To the south there is a single door leading into a court 32 feet by 30 which was the refectory attached to the kitchen.

Sir Alexander Cunningham writes, "The size of this monastery is small, but I have little doubt that it originally consisted of two storeys, as would appear to have been the case with most of the dwelling houses. Hwen-Thsang’s also describes the Sangharamas as having pavilions of two or three storeys at the four corners. They were built, he says, with extraordinary art, the windows and partition walls were painted in different colours, and their beams and architraves were ornamented with fine sculptures. If this monastery was two-storeys in height, it would have held 30 monks, a number which would have found ample sitting room in the large closed court, 50 feet square, to the west of the monastery. Indeed, 1 look upon the size of the court as affording a very good indication of the number of monks for whose use it was intended, and therefore also of the size of the monastery.

"In this south-east corner of the court of colossi or Vihar Court (The Court of Many Stupas) a few steps lead up to a private passage, on one side of which there are two rooms or cells. These may per- haps have been solitary cells for the punishment of refractory monks, but I think it more probable that they were the cells of two of the chief monks of the fraternity, he adds.

He concludes, "The whole number of persons in this monastery would therefore have been either 33 or 34. I conclude that the two separate cells had upper storeys; but I suppose that the Abbot and senior monk may have been allowed two rooms each".


Ascending 15 steps to the south, one enters the court of the Main Stupa and finds oneself in front of a square platform originally approached by a few steps now quite ruined. This is obviously the basement of the stupa itself, but long continued and irresponsible treasure seeking has resulted in its complete destruction. Round this courtyard on three sides rise a number of chapels, originally five on a side. It is obvious from the structures of these buildings as Prof. Alfred Foucher, the French archaeologist, points out, that as first planned they were separated one from another by a considerable space, which, at a later date when the court became crowded with images, were built up into miniature shrines completely closing the court on the three sides. By great good fortune it is precisely here that the only superstructures extant in the whole site are to be found (with the exception of the vaulted passages underground to the west of the Court of Many Stupas), but even here only two of the chapels retained their original roofing while a third had the lower of its two domes and the collar partly preserved.

Sir Alexander Cunningham visited the Main Stupa- of Takht-i-Bahi in 1872-73 and describes it in this way.

"The stupa stands in the midst of an oblong court 561/2 by 451/2 feet. The basement of the stupa is a square of 201/2 feet, diminishing in three stages to 151/2 feet, at a height of 81/2 feet from the ground. The middle stage is only 9 inches in height, but the lower stage is 3 feet 4 inches high with 6 pilasters on the side, and the upper stage is 3 feet high with 10 pilasters on the side, and the upper stage is 3 feet, 4 inches high with 6 pilasters on the side. To the north immediately in front of the entrance to the court there is a flight of steps leading to the top of the basement, to enable the pious to per- ambulate the stupa itself. The actual body of the stupa could not therefore have been more than 12 feet in diameter and about 20 feet in height, or with its basement not more than 30 feet.

"The chapels surrounding the stupa are separate buildings, each 8 feet square externally, with the side towards the court open. On the two longer sides the spaces between the chapels, 2 feet, 10 inches broad, were originally open, but these were soon utilized by building a cross wall in the middle of each opening, thus forming a number of smaller chapels open to wards the court. I gather from this arrangement that all the large chapels must have been the gifts of different individuals, and that the smaller ones were an ingenious after-thought, each of which would have better suited the slender means of less wealthy persons.

"The side walls of the chapels were 1 foot, 71/2 inches thick, leaving one opening of 4 feet, 10 inches, and a depth of 5 feet, 6 inches for the interior room. The end of each side wall towards the court was faced with a pilaster crowned by a rich Corinthian capital of acanthus leaves. Each chapel was covered with a high dome of overlapping stones, springing from a circle of broad projecting stones at the level of the pilaster capital. Each dome was 21/4 feet thick at the spring. No example now remains of the mode of covering the opening between the pilasters. I judge, however, from a comparison of the representations of chapels in the sculptures with the few pieces of stone beams now lying about, and with the appearances of the broken domes, that some of them were covered by a horizontal architrave, and others by a trefoil-overlapping arch. Externally the dome was much flattened at top, and on the top of it was raised a second smaller dome, resting on a low cylindrical neck. But one of the middle chapels, which is still standing, although much injured, is differently finished, the upper dome having a gable end with a small trefoil opening, the whole being capped with a mushroom pinnacle.

"The smaller chapels were covered with semi-domes like niches, the opening to the front having a flat or Egyptian shaped head, of which one example still remains at Takht-i-Bahi. These Egyptian openings are represented in many of the sculptures. Alternating with circular openings, just as in the present instance. In some of the sculptures the interior of the semi- dome is shown as panelled.

"These Egyptian-shaped heads would appear to have been forced upon the builders by the converging capitals of the pilasters between which they were placed.

"The purpose for which these chapels were intended may be gathered from their sculptured representations, as well as from the remains of statues and sculptures which have been found lying in front of them. From these sources we learn that all the larger chapels must have contained single figures of Buddha, either sitting or standing, and either alone or accompanied by two or more auditors. Many of them were dedicated to the memory of holy men, or of powerful kings, whose statues were enshrined in them, as I have already shown in the case of the Rishi Ekasringa, which I have quoted from Hwen-Thsang. No statues were found in situ at Takht-i-Bahi, either by Dr. Bellew or by Sergeant Wilcher, nor did I find any in situ at Jamal-garhi, but at Sahri Bahlol I discovered a row of upright statues, at nearly equal distances apart along the base of a wall, which once formed the basement of a line of chapels. In this instance the statues, though not actually in situ, were within 1 or 2 feet of their original positions, having apparently been pushed for- ward by the falling inwards of the chapel walls. The side walls of chapels and probably also the blank spaces in the back walls were ornamented with alto-relievo sculptures displaying various memorable scenes in the life of Buddha. These slabs were usually fixed to the walls by large iron nails driven through some sunken portion of the sculpture.

"The smaller chapels would have contained smaller statues of Buddha, or of saints or of kings, or perhaps larger scenes in alto-relievo. The pilasters also which divided the chapels were frequently sculptured, as we learn by numerous miniature examples.

"The chapels as well as the principal statues would also appear to have been gilded, as they are even now in Burma. This was perhaps nearly always (he case with the pilaster statues, although it is possible that some may have been simply coloured red. I have always found fragments of gold leaf in company with the broken plaster statues. Two of the alto-relievos and one of the pilaster capitals found at Jamal-garhi still retain numerous patches of thick gilding".

Sir Mortimer Wheeler writes, "The site has produced fragmentary sculptures in stone and stucco to an extent that indicates considerable wealth and elaboration, but most remarkable feature is the design and arrangement of the range of small shrines which surrounds the main stupa-court. These shrines, containing images and votive stupas, stood upon a continuous sculptured podium and were crowned alternately with stupa-like finials and with gabled chaityas, forming an ensemble without known parallel".


Outside the monastery on the -west there is a long narrow passage, only 5 feet in width and 50 in length. It separates the monastery from a large courtyard, which is 50 feet square inside. It has only one enhance in the south and is surrounded by lofty walls, 30 feet high. There are no traces of any other openings in the walls nor of any seats or smaller buildings on the ground inside. The outer walls of this courtyard rise directly from the hill side on the north and west but the accumulated debris of several centuries have gra- dually forced them out which resulted into the collapse of the middle portion of the wall on the west. Sergeant Wilcher in 1871 had presumed that this high-walled quadrangle was "a place of cremation or sepulture". Prom its size as he justly argues, "it could not have been roofed by any means at the disposal of the people". The only break in the interior of the walls is where a few recesses for the small native diva or oil-lamps have been constructed. Sir Alexander Cunningham after giving convincing arguments has correctly identified this courtyard as the place set apart for general meetings of the Fraternity. The assembled monks used to sit here on the ground, each on his own mat, or on a small stool brought from their cells. Monthly meetings of the monks were held in this Assembly Hall for the purpose of reading the Buddhist scriptures. Here the Dharma and Vinaya were recited by the Abbot while the assembled monks responded Sadhu. The small holes in the walls for oil-lamps would/ only show that some meetings were also held at night. Extraordinary meetings could be convened at any time, as when circumstances called for the censure or expul- sion of a brother, either for serious neglect or willful violation of the religious rules. Thus it was an Assembly Hall where all the important issues related to the Sangha (Monastic Order) were resolved with the general consensus of the monks.


To the south of the Assembly Hall are the Low- Level Chambers. The coloration of this portion of the site and excavation of 1910-11 by Mr. Hargreaves proved that the so-called "underground" chambers were not so in reality. They were "low-level" chambers and not truly sub-terranean. The removal of the debris brought to light a large courtyard. 111’ by 40’, to which two arched doorways on the west, gave access. These chambers constructed later than the retaining wall of the Court of Many Stupas are built against, but not bonded with that wall. Their roof, consisting of corbelled arches 14' high and covered with a thick layer of earth, is level with the Court of Many Stupas. The entrances to the chambers were the two doorways leading from the newly excavated courtyard on the west, and the entrance from the stairs on the south, which leads to the central passage.

On either side of the central passage to which the south doorway gave access are five cells, those on the east being considerably larger than those on the west, the former ranging in size from 8' 4" by 15' 2" to 8' 6" by 13' 3"; the latter from 11' 6" by 8' 6" to 8' 6" square. Their height is in reality 14'; and 9' of debris was removed from the inside of the chambers. A few fragmentary sculptures were also found but all appeared to have come from other parts of the site. Only two of these doorways to the cells, one on either side of the central passage/are in perfect repair, the one to the west is bordered with straight sides and flat stone lintel, the other to the east arched in true Gandhara style. The cells on the east are exceedingly dark because they were built against the retaining wall. The only light reaching them is a few stray beams, which find their way through the now open doorways on the west and south. Those on the west having either doors or windows, could, however, have been used as living rooms. A few corroded copper coins (one, in poor condition, of Apollodotus), the few fragments of sculpture and some pieces of broken black pottery inscribed in Kharoshthi were found in the debris. These cells were used as places for meditation and retirement and not granaries as presumed by some excavators in the past. The inscribed fragment of black pottery, apparently part of a large jar which must have held grain was recovered from this place. It contained on its outer face seven inscribed aksharas the characters each about 5/8" in height. These were read by Dr. Vogel, Curator, and Peshawar Museum, as Samghe chadudise ka ....... "To the (Buddhist) Community of the four quarters..." The epigraph, therefore, very closely resembles the votive inscriptions on the jars, which were found at Charsadda in 1903. It was on the basis of this inscription, which led them to conclude that these Low-Level Chambers were the granaries of the monastery. They were actually places of extreme meditation, asceticism and seclusion isolated from the monastery where the monks could meditate with full concentration in these chambers. When they wanted to relax, they could come out of them and sit, walk and enjoy the sunshine in the open courtyard in the west.


Its eastern halt is 77' 6" long, western half 100', and breadth 50' 6". It is bounded on the north partly by a wall of a double storeyed building and partly by another wall rising abrutly from the hill side; on the east by the western back wall of the Low-Level Chambers, on the south by the retaining wall of the Court of Three Stupas and on the west by a massive wall rising from the hill side above the nullah which is revetted from inside with an average breadth of 11' to strengthen it. It was an ideal place for the monks of the Low-Level Chambers for relaxation and sun battling.


To the south of the Low-Level Chambers lies the Court of Three Stupas. It is bounded on the north by the high retaining wall, which forms the southern boundary of the courtyard lying to the west of the Low-Level Chambers. To the west is a damaged revetment while on the east are two structures forming the western boundary of the passage lying between the Main Stupa Court and the one under discussion. On the south lies the open passage and a high wall, 40' long. The greatest length of the courtyard is 70', its greatest width 47' 8". Beneath the courtyard in a westerly direction runs the covered stair-case. An arched gateway in the southern wall gives access to the court, the level of which is reached by descending a flight of six steps. On the north side and almost immediately opposite these steps traces of three others were found, so that, in all probability, there formerly existed a way from the courtyard to the root of the Low-Level Chambers, over the root, now destroyed, of the little room, which lies between them.

It was a great surprise at the time this part of the site was cleared, that directly over the roof of this stair-case two small stupas, 4' 6" square were dis- covered. They were interesting for their preservation and elaborate decoration. They were ornamented in stucco with two friezes each surmounted by a cornice. The one to the west was well preserved and the lower frieze showed four panels separated by Indo-Corinthian dwarf pilasters with acanthus capitals. In each panel was a seated Buddha figure, either in the attitude of meditation (dhyana-mudra) or with the right hand raised in the attitude of imparting protection (abhaya-mudra). The upper frieze was more varied and showed five standing figures between elaborate double superposed pilasters, namely a lower short square-shafted Indo-Corinthian pilasters, the acanthus capital of which supported a similar circular-or octagonal-shafted pilaster. Each figure stood as if under the flat roof of a vihara whose sloping sides sprang from the base of the upper pilaster. Three of the figures had lost the ushmsha (a protuberance on the head), but all undoubtedly represented the Buddha in various mudras, with right hand upraised (abhaya mudra), with right hand extended to the ground palm outward (varada-mudra) and with the right hand concealed in the robe (sanghati).

The spring of the dome was also preserved and showed the familiar motif of sitting Buddha figures in the attitude of meditation, separated by pilasters. Many of the figures had pre- served their original red colouring and were as perfect as if they had but yesterday left the craftsman's hand. On the south face of the stupa on the mouldings of the upper frieze was a stucco relief unfortunately much damaged. Traces of eight figures were remaining one on the left was an adoring male figure.

The stupa to the east was similar, but here sitting figures predominated and the superposed pilasters' showed variation, the lower ones had circular, the upper suqare shafts.

The greater part of the western half of the court was occupied by a large stupa, 21' square, larger, therefore, than the Main Stupa at this site. The base is almost complete; but the frieze, except on the south, is entirely destroyed. Here, to a height of 4', the lowest terrace still exists. It is of the usual type-a low plinth with crouching lions supporting a cornice with plain mouldings above which is a series of nine panels separated by Indo-Corinthian pilasters, the whole surmounted by a modillion cornice. The ornamentation is entirely in stucco and, with one exception, each panel contained a well modelled figure of the Buddha seated in the attitude of meditation (dhyana-mudra). The ex- ception was the central panel which showed a variation entirely novel, for instead of a Buddha figure or legendary scene we had here what has been generally accepted as a representation of Kubera, the god of wealth and his consort Hariti, the goddess of fertility. These figures in stucco .do not exist today, but Mr. Hargreaves in 1910-11 had described them with great accuracy when they were in situ. I reproduce photo- graph No. 20 of that time. He writes, "They are shown seated in European fashion side by side, on a low throne, the female to the proper left. The right hand of the god rests on his thigh, while the left grasps a money bag, the left elbow resting in a natural and familiar attitude on the right shoulder of his consort who bears in both hands a cornucopiae by her left side. The god is clad in a short garment terminating just above the bare knees. Over this is a sleeveless robe which covering the upper part of the body and held at the waist by a girdle, falls as a second and shorter skirt almost to the edge of the under vestment. The arms are bare save at the shoulders where short frilled sleeves of some undergarment are seen under the edge of the uppermost robe. On each wrist is a bracelet and round the neck a jeweled torque, the upper garment being caught near the right breast by a large circular brooch-like ornament. The hair is elaborately treated showing below a fillet a ring of spiral curls covering the forehead, while above is a Krobulos- like top-knot. The feet are clad in buskins reaching to the middle of the calf.

The right foot appears to have rested on a footstool, the left, slightly raised, resting against the front of the throne. The face is turned towards the female who is clothed in well-draped garments falling to the feet. A short tight-fitting bodice terminating just below the well-developed breasts covers the upper part of the body. The gracefully curled hair is dressed high above the forehead and shows in front a circular star-like ornament. The cornucopias is held on her left, the lower and which rests in the lap being grasped by the right hand, the left hand supporting it near the breast. Indications of a nimbus round the head of the female figure still exist and apparently the head of Kubera was similarly adorned.

"As to the identification of this figure as Kubera, there can be little doubt; for the money-bag is obviously the attribute of the god of wealth. His consort, be she called Hariti or not, is undoubtedly a goddess of fertility".

The excavations of 1910-11 revealed that this large stupa was robbed long ago by the treasure hunters, as it did not yield any of relics, which it once contained.


To the south of the Court of Three Stupas is a wall 17' 8" in height, which extends from the arched doorway some 40' to the west. The purpose of this wall has always been a matter of conjecture, as it was improbable that the courtyard was roofed. The existence of the large stupa within a structure which, when surmounted by its pinnacle of umbrellas, must have been of considerable height precludes such a possibility. The discovery, however, at the base of this wall of a low platform, 4' 6" wide, on which were found in situ and almost intact, six pairs of feet, the remains of as many colossal standing Buddha figures, leaves no doubt but that it was the wall which supported both the figures themselves and the pent roof which, projecting to the edge of the platform, sheltered them from the effects of the weather. Each foot is 2' in length and between the separate pairs of feet were found two small stucco Buddha figures. Portions of the drapery and limbs of these six colossi were found in the debris and also the greater portion of two heads in good con- dition. From chin to forehead these measure 2' 2", so that, if anything like classical standards had been maintained, the complete statues could not have been less than 20' high; but if the purpose of the wall has been correctly interpreted, they cannot have been more than 16'. In the case of most of the colossi of this period, there is a tendency to coarseness in the modelling of the face; but here, perhaps, less than usual, while the naturalistic treatment of the hair is particularly graceful and pleasing.

The sculptural finds included several Buddha statuettes, all of good type, the majority representing the Buddha seated in the preaching attitude (dharma-chakra-mudra) and the pedestals showing a Buddha, Bodhisattva or object of worship with kneeling adorers on either side. Of interesting fragments the most notice- able were a number of elephant brackets. In one case the elephant was six-tusked, in the others garlands adorned their massive forheads, while a well-carved full-blown lotus flower was held in the extended trunk.


Sir Alexander Cunningham in his late visit to the ruins of Takht-i-Bahi in January 1873 had studied these buildings carefully on the spot. He recorded their condition, made their measurements, plans and sketches. About the secular buildings, he writes, "The great number of private dwellings, which are still standing on the hill of Takht-i-Bahi, show that the place must once have been of some consequence. Most of the houses are two-storeyd, the access to the upper storey being invariably on the outside. In some cases the steps were mere projecting stones inserted at intervals in the outside wall; but in most instances there was a substantial flight of steps, supported on a pointed arch of overlapping stones. In one case I found a much more elaborate stair-case, which occupied three sides of a room upwards of 10 feet square. But under each flight there was the same pointed arch as in the smaller stair-cases.

"Most of the private houses which I saw consisted of two rooms, from 10 to 12 feet square, placed one above the other. But Dr. Bellew, who has several times visited these ruins when they were in a more perfect condition, states that "in positions where there is a sufficiency of level surface they are in the form of quadrangles, with rooms along each side opening into a central courtyard". At present we see only bare walls, but, as we learn from Hwen-Thsang, the private dwellings of the people were ornamented inside, and were covered with a plain coat of plaster outside. In accordance with this description. Dr. Bellew notices that "over all was applied a thick coating of coarse gravelly mortar, patches of which still cling 10 the walls in many places". This fact I observed myself, and I find also that it did not escape the notice of Sergeant Wilcher.

"The walls of the houses are built of uneven blocks of stone, very carefully laid so as to present a tolerably smooth surface outwards, the interstices of each course being filled up with thin flat pieces to bring them to a level. Dr. Bellew remarks that "no mortar seems to have been used to bind them together; "but Sergeant Wilcher, who excavated the ruins, describes the walls as "built of stones quarried on the spot, small wedges or slips of similar material being inserted to ensure accurate fitting, which is further provided for by the pouring in of a kind of liquid mud". It seems most probable, therefore, that a thin mud mortar was used, at least in some buildings, to fill up the interstices inside the walls, while the exterior was invariably covered with a coating of lime mortar mixed with sand.

"The doors of the private dwellings were generally low, many of them being only U feet in height. The rooms would therefore have been very dark; but the use of windows, which are also noticed by Hwen- Thsang, would appear to have been very general. Some- times these were placed just over the door, but more usually in the opposite wall just under the roof. In the latter case, the sill or lower edge was bevelled from the outside downwards, so as to distribute the light over the room. A specimen of this kind will be seen in the plan and section of the single chapel to the west of the stupa. In the winter I suppose that these small window were covered with a sheet of thin paper to keep out the wind, in the same way that the large openings of wooden trellis-work are now covered in Kashmir for the same purpose''.


Sergeant Wilcher in 1871 had excavated and cleared enough parts of the monastery and found the sculptures in large numbers lying as they had fallen in the passage that connects the Monastery with the Main Stupa as well as at the flight of steps leading up to the latter. This was attested by the excavations of 1907-08 conducted by Dr. Spooner. Stone fragments alone numbering 472 specimens and some dozen larger sculptures were also found. Spooner classified his findings as archaic elements in Gandhara art which were pre- viously known to Indian art before the appearance of the Gandhara school, whether of indigenous or of foreign origin. To the second category, belonged stone sculptures which chiefly revealed foreign elements for the first time in Gandhara art. The third category of sculptures contained the stories from the life of the Buddha. The fourth category-contained fragments that appeared to have been related more directly devotional cult of Buddhism. These sculptures can be termed as a devotional type. This category included the Buddha and the Bodhisattva figures as well. Then there were such sculptures, which did not fall into the above categories.

The majority of the stucco fragments were the heads and a few legendary scenes, which formed part of the stucco ornamentation on some of the votive stupas in the court. Dr. Spooner writes ... "al- though I believe this is almost the first time that such scenes have been found in stucco in this Province". A single head in one of the stuccos reminds us of Mara's host in the temptation scene of the Buddha. He has an ugly face like a demon having a broad nose and high eye-brows.

The archaic elements in Gandhara art was a small collection. Some halt dozen lion's heads of varying degrees of excellence were also found. There were graceful floral patterns and clumsy elephants.

There were fragments of modillion cornices, showing the newly introduced brackets with Corinthian capitals. The triangular stone panels consisted of marine monsters. One of them had the body and head of a man, the forelegs and feet of a bull, wings and a long serpentine tail with well-defined spots. There were Erotes bearing a long garland on their shoulders.

Among the legendary scenes the important sculptures included; the Buddha's First Sermon at Benares, the so-called Turning the Wheel of the Law, the Buddha's death or the mahaparinirvana, the Presentation of the Four Bowls to the Buddha, the Great Renunciation, the White Dog which barked at the Buddha, the Buddha in the Fire Temple, the Emaciated Siddhartha, the Naga Raja Kalika and his spouse Nagi Suvarnapr- abhasa, and finally the Approach to the Bodhi Tree and Panchasikha's Visit to the Buddha.

The individual images of the Buddha, Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara (either seated or standing) with their small heads detached from the body were also recovered in stone and stucco during the excavations of 1907-08.

An unfinished seated Buddha in stone was found which gives us a clue that the stone sculptures were carved at the site to embellish the stupas and chapels of the monastery.

Takht-i-Bahi has yielded a large number of sculptures in which the "birth, childhood, youth, old age end death of Gandhara art is visible. They reveal Persian, Greek, Scythian, and Parthian. Roman, Indian and indigenous styles in it.

Prof. A.H. Dani concludes, "This does not make Gandhara art foreign. It must be regarded as the creation of the people of Gandhara. It was indeed their national art during the Kushana period".

The Buddhist schools of Indian art did not produce as' many individual images of the Buddha, Maitreya, and other Bodhisattvas as Gandhara had made. It was the personality of the Buddha, which inspired the sculptors of this region to carve him abundantly in stone. Thus the Peshawar Valley conquered the whole of Asia spiritually and artistically. The credit goes to the Mahayana monks, nuns and sculptors of this region.

Prof. R.C. Majumdar writes....”outside India the Gandhara School achieved a grand success by becoming the parent of the Buddhist art of Eastern or Chinese Turkistan, Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan".