Monday, 10 April 2017

The Durand Line argument – Legal ramifications

The Durand Line argument – Legal ramifications
Authored by – Afzal Khan Shinwari, LLB (London), MBA (LUMS)

Since the recent comment by an Afghan MP with regards to the Durand line, the age old issue has once again become a topic of hot debate. I am going to share my thoughts with regards to the legal position of the Durand line, and invite genuine counter arguments with respect to its legal grounds (and no rhetoric or political point scoring), to help point in the right direction.

FIRST ARGUMENT: 'Pakistan not a successor state' but a 'clean state'.

Under the British 'Indian independence order 1947', Pakistan succeeded to all rights and obligations of British India. Article 62 of the Vienna convention on the law of treaties says:

'...whenever a new country is carved out of an existing colonial dominion, all int'l agreements & undertakings .... would be transferred to the new independent national government'.

The Vienna convention also goes on to say that a state is a successor state if it:

'...has replaced another state on the occurrence of a succession of states'.

Article 11 of the convention goes on that:

'a succession of states does not as such affect (a) a boundary established by a treaty or (b) obligations & rights established by a treaty & relating to the regime of a boundary'.

Furthermore under the International Court of Justice (the ICJ) dictum of 'uti possidetis juris' Afghanistan is legally prohibited to unilaterally change its border. This dictum was upheld in particular to 'transform former admin borders created along the colonial period into international frontiers'.

Additionally, this also finds baseless the argument that due to Pakistan's violation of the border in the 1950s the Durand line agreement was found in breach, and therefore no longer valid. As such, the Durand line had become a dejure international boundary upon succession of the Pakistani state as a former colony (as discussed above) for all purposes of International Law.

SECOND ARGUMENT: the Durand agreement was time bound to a 100 years.

There is no clause within the whole actual agreement that mentions a time line. Neither is this agreement similar to the convention for extension of Hong Kong territory, expressly or impliedly.

THIRD ARGUMENT: the Durand agreement was a personal agreement between Amir Abdur Rehman and the British.

The Amir derived legitimacy as the head of the state of Afghanistan through tribal consensus through the traditional jirga institution. Further, the agreement was presented by the Amir at a darbar of reportedly over 400 tribal chiefs. Why would he require the need for that if it were a personal agreement? Alternatively, if he had been acting in his personal capacity, then by that grounds all agreements made by the Saudi Kingdom also personal between the house of Saud and the International community?
The Amir then goes on in his memoirs to say that 'it was necessary to mark out the boundaries between my dominions and those of my neighbours, for the safety & protection of my kingdom'. This also removes doubts of any possibility of duress in the agreement.


FOURTH ARGUMENT: The Agreement was not a bilateral treaty.

This argument is closely related to the third argument above, and is countered based on the same grounds given for the third argument. Additionally, the agreement was acknowledged by the Amir’s son during his dealings with the British, until his death in 1919. The 3rd Anglo-Afghan war broke out in 1919, which ended with the Rawalpindi (1919) and Kabul (or Anglo-Afghan) (1921) treaties. Article 5 of the Rawalpindi treaty said that 'the Afghan government accept the indo-Afghan frontier accepted by the late amir [under the Durand line Agreement]'. This position was further referred to in the Kabul treaty and in future correspondence between the Afghan and British Indian dominions. A point of note here is that the Afghan government did dispute some territories, including parts of mohmand & waziristan agencies, and some adjoining parts of Baluchistan, but never mentioned rescinding the whole agreement. The first time that happened was in 1947, and in the 1949 loyal Jirga held by Afghanistan.

FIFTH ARGUMENT: The Durand Agreement never a boundary treaty but treaty for easement rights.

Again, the whole document has no mention of establishing easement rights. Article 4 of the agreement said 'the need for demarcation along the frontier to be carried out by respective British and Afghan Commissioners'. Likewise article 6 clearly talks about 'demarcating the boundary line'. From the whole text of the agreement, it can be clearly seen that the objective was to define the boundaries between the states. The easement was therefore a non-treaty right.

Furthermore, easement rights were meant to be exercisable only by the tribes affected by the boundary and not by other citizens of Afghanistan or British India, thus preserving the nature of the line as a boundary.

SIXTH ARGUMENT: 'the Sphere of Influence' argument

A popular argument put forth is that the British meant the boundary only to limit their ‘sphere of influence’ in Afghanistan. If that had been the case, then why had the British not mentioned including a ‘second boundary’ for that of India (which would effectively define the buffer area that the British purportedly wanted to influence)?

Articles 2 and 3 of the Durand line agreement clearly lay down the 'no interference' policy across the boundary, which is clearly in line with practice of border control. No text within the doc can be found with regards to ‘spheres of influences’ to be maintained by both sides. Notwithstanding and alternatively, even if it were implied, The 1947 act and the Vienna conventions grant the Durand line an international boundary status for all purposes of international law.

The above analysis is notwithstanding the genuine rights of the tribes to move freely across the border, albeit regulated, given the security concerns of both states. Genuine legal arguments invited.

Monday, 3 April 2017

QK archives: Maulana Sufi Mohammad is an unusual prisoner

• Maulana Sufi Mohammad is an unusual prisoner
QK archives: circa 2002/03
Rahimullah Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Maulana Sufi Mohammad is an unusual prisoner. He refuses to eat food provided by the authorities in the Central Prison, Dera Ismail Khan. He also turned down requests from his followers and well-wishers to submit an application to the courts for his release on bail.

Inmates who spent time in the same prison said the old man cooked his own food in his cramped cell in the sprawling jail. Supporters, mostly madrassa students in the city, bring him bread and water from outside.

The founder of the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-i-Mohammadi (TNSM) has spent about two years behind the bars. He might spend several more years in jail if he continues to ridicule the existing courts as "kufri" (un-Islamic) courts.

The Maulana was arrested when he crossed over to Pakistan from neighbouring Afghanistan where he had gone as the commander of several thousand TNSM fighters wanting to fight alongside the Taliban against the invading US-led forces. The quick US military victory and the fall of the Taliban regime in November 2001 prompted the Maulana and his followers to escape to Pakistan. Several hundred TNSM members are still being held in official and private Afghan prisons.

The 85 or so TNSM activists who were arrested along with Maulana Sufi Mohammad have all been released. All of them, including the Maulana, were tried and sentenced under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), which is applicable in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan. This was obviously done to facilitate a quick trial and award them heavy punishment.

Except the Maulana, the other TNSM prisoners including his son, Zia, filed appeals against their sentences, got relief from the courts and won their freedom. The Maulana had been sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment by the tribal political administration under the FCR. The home department reduced his sentence by half when Javed Ibrahim Paracha, a former PML-N MNA from Kohat, filed an appeal on his behalf.

Paracha and other well-wishers of Maulana Sufi Mohammad now want to take the case to the courts to challenge his continued imprisonment and seek his release. But the Maulana has refused to sign any document that would take his case to courts that he considers "kufri." Paracha, who spent 29 days in the same prison cell with the Maulana, said he failed to persuade him to approach the courts. "He has termed the allegations against him as false and is unwilling to appear in any Pakistan court. He doesn't recognize the Pakistani courts because he considers them un-Islamic," Paracha explained.

Paracha, president, All Pakistan Prisoners Relief Committee, pointed out that Maulana Sufi Mohammad has consistently rejected any deal with the government that would facilitate his release. Hopes for his release were raised after the Islamist MMA swept the October 2002 elections and formed the government in the NWFP. A few MMA leaders reportedly met him or sent messages to him in jail. But nothing came out of this exercise and the ageing Maulana is still languishing in the prison.

The Maulana's critics believe that he wants to remain imprisoned to avoid confrontation with families of TNSM members and sympathizers who were killed or captured or went missing in Afghanistan. The critics felt the Maulana's life would be in danger once he is out of prison.

However, Paracha and TNSM leaders such as Maulana Mohammad Alam reject this theory and term it misleading. They maintain that none of the families that lost a member in Afghanistan has expressed any hostility towards Maulana Sufi Mohammad. According to Paracha, the Maulana showed him documents that had been signed by every Afghanistan-bound TNSM member and in which each of them declared that Maulana Sufi Mohammad would not be responsible if they were killed or captured. Each document, said Paracha, was signed by four witnesses to make them authentic. If true, it explained the Maulana's shrewdness even if he outwardly appears very simple and naïve.

The Maulana, who hails from Maidan area of Lower Dir district, has had his way in the past. He has led a sustained campaign for enforcement of Shariat in the old Malakand division. In 1995, his movement turned violent once TNSM workers occupied the Saidu Sharif airport, blocked roads in Swat and made judges and other government officials hostage. The mercurial Maulana also forced senior government functionaries to remove pictures, including those of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, from places where he held negotiations with authorities on the plea that photographs are un-Islamic.

Though the TNSM has now been banned and its support base has shrunk, Maulana Sufi Mohammad is not ready to give up his struggle. Against heavy odds, this unusual prisoner might prevail and walk out of the jail as a free man without completing his sentence.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

QK Archives: Gomal Zam dam


The dam remains incomplete..

Gomal Zam Dam: A multipurpose project


Col Muhammad Safir Tarar
Updated on 11/5/2001 12:00:46 PM

Water is a precious resource of life on our planet.

The ancient civilisations flourished on banks of watercourses and disappeared when the rivers change their courses.

Water always played a vital role in the rise and fall of civilisations.

Mankind always made efforts to develop water storages in its endeavours to save civilisations.

Technology enables us to build water storages so as to defend the civilised human life against the odds of drought and flood-like natural calamities.

Additionally, hydroelectric power is generated benefiting from the resource to march forward on the road to development, progress and prosperity.

However, in order to, befittingly, use technology in the service of mankind, a nation needs to have a clear vision and understanding of its priorities, otherwise, wealth of all kind, goes waste in aimless efforts and time goes waste in dwelling on hotchpotch matters.

Is this not an irony that a country like ours, blessed with the wealth of five major rivers is a prey of drought for last two years and the available additional water is being allowed to go waste into the sea? Pakistan is primarily an agriculture-based country.

For agro-development and to meet food requirements of the fast increasing population, water reservoirs are dire need of the nation, to adequately manage timely irrigation supplies to meet requirements of the summer and the winter crops.

But the fact is that no new dam has been built for water storage during last 25 years after the completion of Tarbela Dam project.

This serious folly of the past devoid the people of bringing lakhs of acres of fertile land under cultivation and the country of giving boost to economy and attaining food produce matching the national needs.

Pakistan has the potential of irrigating lakhs of acres of land.

The biggest barricade in this way is the in-effective control over river waters.

The fast increasing population and rapid water reservoirs capacity depletion are fast pushing our country towards the fold of water-short countries.

In presence of this state, construction of new reservoirs has become inevitable.

The present government, alive to the sensitive nature of prevailing conditions and keeping in view national water and power needs and requirement, accorded approval to the gigantic "National Water Resource Development Programme, Vision 2025", presented by WAPDA.

President General Pervez Musharraf performed the groundbreaking ceremonies of a number of projects aimed at developing the country's resources, betterment of national economy and poverty alleviation during August this year.

Gomal Zam Dam is among these projects and its groundbreaking ceremony was performed by the President on August 22, 2001.

Seeing commencement of work on Gomal Zam Dam Project and its entering into construction stage is a pleasant experience.

It manifests a ray of hope and a better future.

Had the dam been undertaken a few years ago there would have been lush green fields instead of barren land tracts in the area today.

The need for storing floodwaters of Gomal River had been observed as early as 1880 at the time of first settlement of Dera Ismail Khan by the British administration.

Gul Kach, a site on Gomal River above its confluence with Zhob River was pointed out as the likely site for the construction of a high dam.

After independence investigations were started at site.

In 1951-52, a flood control-cum-irrigation scheme was proposed for Gomal Zam.

The scheme included a 250 feet high concrete dam at Gul Kach with a diversion weir at Murtaza.

The feasibility of Gomal Zam Dam project was first prepared by Messrs Energoprojekt, a Yugoslavian firm during May 1963, invited by WAPDA.

The project, which involved the construction of a 500 feet high dam to conserve flows of Gomal River for irrigation of about 100,000 acres in D.I.Khan district and generation of 127 mw of hydel power, was approved by the government of Pakistan during August 1963 at a cost of Rs. 200 million.

The activities for construction of infrastructure like access roads, colonies, etc, was started during early 1964.

However, due to the Indo-Pak war of 1965, field activities were stopped.

Since the end of 1965, the project remained at a virtual standstill and only limited maintenance and upkeep of the completed preliminary works was continued.

The Gomal Zam Dam Project was reactivated in early 1983 from a dormant stage of about 18 years when the project was taken up for an exhaustive review by Messrs Coyne et Bellier of France.

The consultants studied all the previous reports, data on hydrology and geology, made preliminary tests and observations at site, and submitted their final report on the engineering studies in October 1983.

After some additional investigations at site, the consultants prepared feasibility report including design of dam, powerhouse and other appurtenant structures during May 1990.

The updated feasibility study of the irrigation system and pre-feasibility of a hydropower plant at the toe of the dam was prepared by Messrs Coyne et Bellier in 1995.

WAPDA gave the Gomal Zam Dam project final shape based on the previous activities, as a fast track project in its National Water Resource Development Programme, Vision 2025.

The project envisages construction of 436 feet high and 492 feet long Roller Compact Concrete Gravity Dam which will create a reservoir with gross storage capacity of 1.14 Million Acre Feet of water.

The project has a spillway on the middle part of the dam for the disposal of floodwater, with a maximum discharge capacity of 153,000 cusecs.

At the toe of the dam, a small hydropower plant with the installed capacity of 17.4 mw would be installed.

The irrigation system of the Gomal Zam Dam Project envisage 63 kilometer long main canal with 848 Cusecs capacity, 203 kilometers of branch distribution canals and a 460 feet long barrage at Kot Murtaza.

The estimated cost of the Gomal Zam Dam Project, as per April 2001 prices, is US$ 136.2 million.

This investment will accrue the benefits of flood control, water for 163,086 acres of land and 90.9 gegawatt hours of hydro-electric energy, security to farmers as a result of reliable water supply, employment opportunities in the industry and commerce resulting from the processing form production, improved standard of living resulting from increased and more varied food production, balanced diet by providing opportunity to produce fruits, vegetables and other protein foods and water for domestic use.

The completion of project will bring tremendous benefits to the land and people of the area in terms of economic as social benefits.

Since this project is situated in a backward area of NWFP, the opportunities created by this project during and after the construction will provide far reaching socio-economic benefits.

The greatest advantage that will accrue to this backward area will be the development of means of communication to substantially add to the accessibility.

The environmental impacts of the project will be marginal.

Action to undertake land acquisition in the command area for barrage, main and branch canals in Tank and Kulachi tehsils of Tank district and Dera Ismail Khan district from project funds has already been initiated by the provincial government as per prevailing procedures and rates and Land Acquisition Collector has been appointed by the Revenue Department of NWFP.

Gomal Zam Dam Project has been designed to build a carry over type reservoir to store water during high flow years and utilise the same during low flow years based on the observance of inflows during drought period.

The live water storage capacity of the reservoir will be 8,92,000 acre feet.

The project has been designed to provide irrigation water to all the landowners on the basis of existing water rights.

The project area, considered for irrigation from Gomal Zam, consists of the areas where Gomal waters are or were used by farmers having water rights on it.

All villages having perennial rights are located in Tank district while those having flood rights belong to the three tehsils i.e.

Tank, Kulachi and D.

I.

Khan.

The map of perennial and flood water rights for the area was prepared by Messrs Energoprojekt in 1963 and the same is being implemented now.

Gomal Zam Dam Project, is planned to be constructed on turn key basis, hence for proper round-the-clock supervision and surveillance of construction work to be carried out in three shifts, each of eight hours, provision of 146 technical staff has been kept in the PC-1 proforma.

The project has already been approved by CDWP and ECNEC on August 2 and August 31 this year, respectively.

Preparatory works implementation has been awarded to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and construction work on main dam and irrigation system will soon commence.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Gor Khuttree -- marking 2000 years of history

Grave danger
Gor Khuttree -- marking 2000 years of history

By Dr Ali Jan
Gor Khuttree literally means the 'Warriors Grave', although there are no traces of any grave here. It is perhaps the oldest citadel in the ancient city of Peshawar. A recent UNESCO sponsored archaeological excavation at the site has established the city's historic profile which dates back to pre-Christian period of more than two millennia making Peshawar one of the world's oldest living cities.
It remained an important place for travellers for thousands of years. Buddha's alms or begging bowl was displayed here at one time. After the decline of Buddhism in the region following the invasion by Huns and Sassanians, it became a bastion for Hindu worship. Mughal Emperor Babar in the beginning of his memoir, Babarnama, recorded: "On Friday, the 1st Sefer in the year 932, when the sun was in Sagitarius (1525 AD, November 17th), I set out on my march to invade Hindustan." On reaching Peshawar, Babar with his usual curiosity visited Gor Khuttree and wrote, "There are nowhere in the whole world such narrow and dark hermit's cells as at this place. After entering the doorway and descending one or two stairs, you must lie down, and proceed crawling along, stretched at full length. You cannot enter without a light. The quantities of hair (cut off by pilgrims as offerings), both of head and beard, that are lying scattered about, and in the vicinity of the place are immense."
The present buildings built at the site mostly date back to Mughal, Sikh and the British period. Lying at the crossroads of the old trade-route, Gor Khuttree became a major caravanserai in Mughal times and mainly served as a stopping place for travellers coming from other parts of the world. It was converted into a fortified compound and two grand entrances were built on its eastern and western ends. The gates were kept locked at night to provide safety and shelter to the camel caravans laden with merchandise. A mosque was also built here by Jahan Ara Begum, daughter of Emperor Shahjahan.

During the early Sikh rule, around 1823, the mosque was destroyed and replaced by a temple to Gorakhnath in the south of the courtyard. Later Gor Khuttree became the residence of their Italian mercenary general, Paolo de Avitabile who also built a pavilion over its western gate. A rare pen and ink sketch of him dated February 1844 (originally done by 'C.G' in Calcutta) has recently been discovered in the dusty store-godown of Peshawar museum.
Avitabile was from Agerola, on the famous Salentine peninsula between Naples and Amalfi in Italy. The town square of San Lazzaro in Naples is named after him. He was a mercenary in the true sense who had also served in Napoleon's army. He ruled Peshawar from 1838-1842 with an iron hand. The local inhabitants of Peshawar used to call him 'Abu Tabilah'. When the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment passed through Peshawar on August 21, 1842 they were hosted by him. The service digest of the British regiment records: "The officers were entertained hospitably by the governor of the city, the Italian General Avitabile who had been recruited by Ranjit Singh to train his army and had stayed on to serve his son. They were impressed by the evidence of his methods of maintaining law and order. At each corner of the city there was a large gallows on which malefactors were hanging." (Service Record, the 31st Regt, 1842)
In 1842 Avitabile returned home to Italy laden with wealth and honours, and proceeded to procure for himself a large castle-like mansion, a magnificent funeral chapel in the local cathedral. People also credit him with having created a new breed of cattle by importing some Jersey cows from Britain, on his way home from Peshawar in 1842, and crossing them with the local variety; the result is supposed to produce a fine local cheese. He soon came to occupy the same funeral chapel that he had bought when he married his 12-year-old Italian niece who it is said poisoned him to death in 1850.
Yet long after his departure from Peshawar and this life some of his past subjects from this region were still searching for him. Sir Richard Francis Burton, the legendary explorer, linguist and translator of Arabian Nights etc (who also became the first Englishman to perform the ritual of Haj in the guise of a Pathan in 1853) records meeting a group of plain folks from the Punjab Frontier in Arabia "...who had walked from Meccah to Cairo in search of 'Abu Tabilah,' (Avitabile), whom report had led to the banks of the Nile." Burton noted: "Some were young, others had white beards -- all were weary and wayworn; but the saddest sight was an old woman, so decrepit that she could scarcely walk. The poor fellows were travelling on foot, carrying their wallets, with a few pence in their pockets, utterly ignorant of route and road, and actually determined in this plight to make Lahore by Baghdad, Bushir, and Karachi. Such -- so incredible -- is Indian improvidence!" (Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah -- 1855)
During the Anglo-Sikh wars (1849) George Lawrence, the British representative and his family took refuge here for sometime. In the following years its eastern end became the City Mission House. The Illustrated London News (ILN) in an 1860 issue printed an image entitled 'Illumination And Fireworks At Peshawar' depicting a grand Viceregal procession of elephants passing through the old city towards the western (tahsil) gate of Gor Khuttree. The illustration was done on the occasion of the grand durbar of February 29 1860 when the Governor General and Viceroy of India held a reception of the principal chiefs of the various Pathan hill tribes who had assembled to pay homage to the representative of Queen Victoria. According to the ILN: "...the occasion was celebrated by illuminations and a display of fireworks of both of which natives are exceedingly fond; and they produce the finest fireworks by the simplest means. A little earthen dish, like a flat cup, is used, filled with oil, and with a piece of cotton-wick is put in it. These lamps are provided in great numbers, and are placed in rows along the tops of houses, and upon the cornices of the shops, over and under windows, around arches, and, in fact, wherever one of these tiny lamps can be placed. The effect is picturesque in the extreme. Everywhere the natives are sitting, perfectly still and quiet, in long rows, behind the lights, waiting silently to see the Lord Sahib pass by." (Illustrated London News, 1860)
In March 1869 Amir Shere Ali, the King of Afghanistan resided in the house which stood on the south-eastern corner of Gor Khuttree at the invitation of the missionary clergy. In the latter half of the nineteenth century it became the residence of the lady missionaries connected with the Church of England Zenana (female) Missionary Society.

Dr. Arthur Lankester opened the medical mission work in Peshawar at this site. It began on January 12, 1898, when a man from Ghazni in Afghanistan, some two hundred miles beyond the frontier, walked into the courtyard and asked for treatment. The hospital carried on until 1904 when it was shifted to much larger premises outside the walled city at the Mission Hospital, Dabgari Gardens.
An English archaeologist Gertrude Bell, mostly renowned for her findings in Iraq, visited Gor Khuttree in 1903 and wrote in her diary: "22 Jan -- We went to the Tahsil where there is a suite of empty rooms where the Amir's envoys are lodged, with a zenana for their women. The Tahsildar is an agreeable Persian speaking man. From the roof we had a wonderful view over the rabbit warren of mud coloured Peshawar and away across a plain set with trees to the hills of the Forbidden Land." (Diary of Gertrude Bell, 1903)
In 1912 a Fire Brigade Station was built on the premises. Two red antique fire engines are parked under the former municipal shed at Gor Khuttree. They are well-preserved and the name of the Merry Weather London Company that manufactured them in the early 1900s is still visible. During the British-era, Gor Khuttree also functioned as a Tahsil or District Police Superintendent's headquarter.
Recently an archaeological museum has been built on the south-eastern side where the original grand residence known as 'Serai-du-dar' ('The Jun of the Two Gates') had perhaps once stood. Objects recovered from excavations at Gor Khuttree are displayed here. It has an interesting ethnological gallery upstairs as well. The curator, Ihsanullah Khan, is a knowledgeable young man who gave me a splendid guided tour of the place.

Peshawar has a rich history which is gradually disappearing brick by brick. In the north of the compound is an appalling new construction -- a 'Marriage Hall' -- built in 1980s despite much public opposition, which is unfortunately a big blot on the otherwise charming ancient heritage site of Gor Khuttree.

QK Archives Ethnobotanical Studies of some Useful Shrubs and Trees of District Buner,



Ethnobotanical Studies of some Useful Shrubs and Trees of District Buner, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan

Mohammad Hamayun

Address for correspondence:
Ethnobotany Project, WWF-Pakistan

34 D/2 Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Road, University Town, Peshawar


E-Mail M. Hamayun: smh_khan@hotmail.com
Abstract

The present study was carried out to assess and document ethnobotanical knowledge of shrubs and trees of District Buner as the area has diverse flora and high ethnobotanical potential. It was found that 94 different plant species are used for medicinal, timber, fuel wood, fodder, ornamental, agricultural tools, Thatching, fencing, naming (folk lore) and fruit yielding purposes.

Bulk of plant species show multiple uses like Juglans regia wood is used for making furniture, gun woody parts, carving and as fuel. Root bark (Dandasa) is used for cleaning and sparkling teeth. Leaves are used by womenfolk for coloring lips (make-up). Nuts are edible and are traded to other parts of the country. The fruits are aphrodisiac and also used as dye. Decoction of leaves is given in eczema and intestinal worms. Used in naming i.e. Ghuz.

Several species like Abies pindrow, Berberis lycium, Juglans regia, Skimmia laureola, Daphne oleoides and Pistacea integrima are under severe pressure from local population and require protection and conservation strategies.

Key words:Ethnobotany; Medicinal shrubs; Medicinal trees; Buner.

Introduction to the Area

Buner is located in the north of NWFP, bordering upper Swat on the north, Malakand Agency on the west, Mardan District on the south and Hazara Division on the east. Buner is a Sanskrit word which means forest, which seems to be true because Buner is rich in forestry.

Buner with an area of 1760 square kilometers lies between 34°-9' and 34°-43' N latitudes and 72°-10' and 72°-47' E longitudes. The climate of Buner district is moderate. During summer season, the climate is hot in the lower Buner (Ambela) but pleasant in the upper parts (Gadezai and Gokand). The summer season is short and mild. During this season the temperature seldom rises above 40° C. The winter season is very cool and extends from November to February. Rains and snow occur during this season. People migrate from upper parts due to severe cold and remain in the lower part of the district till the melting of snow.

Ethnobotany in Pakistan

Ethnobotany includes all sorts of relationships between people and plants. The definition of ethnobotany can be sum up in four words i.e. People, Plants, Interactions, Uses.The term ethnobotany was for the first time used by John Harshberger in 1896. In the last 100 years, the science of ethnobotany has progressed and the trend is shifting from mere documentation process to a more practical one which emphasize on conservation and sustainable use of plant resources.

In Pakistan, ethnobotany is introduced quite recently. Only a few projects have been launched for documentation as well as sustainable use of plant resources despite of the fact that Pakistan presents very rich and diverse flora due to her diverse climatic, soil conditions and multiple ecological regions. Pakistan has four phytogeographical regions, the uniregionals, consisting of Irano-Turanian (46%), Sino-Himalayan (10%), Saharo-Sindian (9.5%), and Indian element (4.5%).The country has about 6,000 species of wild plants of which about 400 to 600 are considered to be medicinally important.

The northern areas of Pakistan with unique biodiversity due to the presence of Himalayas, Karakorums and Hindu-kush mountain ranges are under tremendous pressure from locals because of illicit cutting of valuable plants, poor collection and storage methods of medicinal plants, smuggling of timber wood, over grazing, corrupt forest officials, illiterate population with no sense or lust for conservation and above all passive and non practical policies of Government as well as NGO,sworking in the area.

Materials and Methods

The project area was visited several times for collection of data during the year 2001. The plants were collected, pressed and later on identified. Questionnaires were adopted for documenting ethnobotanical knowledge of the area. The data obtained was cross checked with available literature.

Results

The ethnobotany of 94 species of shrubs and trees were documented during the present investigation. The results follow:

Botanical Name:Abies pindrow Royle

Family:Pinaceae

Local Name:Achar

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Trunk, Branches

Folk use:The plant is used for timber, making furniture, beams for bridges and roofs and fuel wood in the area.

Botanical Name:Acacia catechu L.

Family:Mimosaceae

Local Name:Zunda

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves

Folk use:Wood is used locally for making agricultural tools and fuel wood. The leaves are used as fodder.

Botanical Name:Acacia modesta Wall.

Family:Mimosaceae

Local Name:Phalosa

Habit: Tree

Part Used:Leaves, Gums

Folk Use: Leaves are used as fodder. Gum is tonic, stimulant. Kand (A mixture of Gum+ Desi ghee+ Poppy seeds+ Almond) is fed to women after child birth.

Botanical Name:Acacia nilotica (L) Delile

Family:Mimosaceae

Local Name:Kikhar

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Gum

Folk Use:The wood is hard and durable and used for house construction, agricultural tools and asfuel wood. Leaves are used as fodder for goats while Gum is used as tonic, also for curing diarrhea, dysentery and diabetes.

Botanical Name:Acer cappadocicum Gled.

Family:Aceraceae

Local Name:Chinaranga

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood

Folk use:The plant is used for fuel wood and ornamental purposes.

Botanical Name:Aesculus indica (Wall. ex. Cambl.) Hk.f.

Family:Hippocastinaceae

Local Name:Jawaz

Habit:Tree

Part Used:wood, Leaves and Fruit

Folk Use:Wood is used as timber, furniture, agricultural tools and house hold utensils. Leaves as fodder for goats while fruits serve for treating colic in horses.

Botanical Name:Ailanthus altissima (Mill) Swingle

Family:Simarubaceae

Local Name:Bakhyana

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Bark, Gum resin

Folk Use:wood is used for construction, low class furniture and as a fuel wood. Leaves are used as fodder for goats and sheep. Bark is anthelminthic. Bark juice is mixed for curing dysentery and diarrhea. Gum resin mixed with milk is valuable remedy for dysentery.

Botanical Name:Alnus nitida (Spach.) Endl.

Family:Betulaceae

Local Name:Geiray

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood

Folk use:wood is used for fuel wood purposes and agricultural tools. The plant is good soil binder and prevent soil erosion.

Botanical Name:Bauhinia variegata L.

Family:Caesalpinaceae

Local Name:Kulyar

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Bark, Flowering buds

Folk Use:Wood is used as timber and fuel wood. Bark is tonic, anthelminthic, astringent. Also useful in skin disease and leprosy. Flowering buds are used as vegetable.

Botanical Name:Berberis lycium Royle

Family:Berberidaceae

Local Name:Ziar Largay

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Leaves, Fruits, Bark

Folk Use:Leaves decoction is useful in dysentery and sore throat. Fruits are edible. Root and stem bark is tonic, cathartic and diuretic. Decoction is useful in dyspepsia, jaundice and other liver disorders. Also used as hedge plant.

Botanical Name:a. Betula jaequimontii Spach.

b. Betula utilis D. Don

Family:Betulaceae

Local Name:Barg

Habit:Tree

Part Used:wood and branches

Folk use:Wood is used for making agricultural tools, utensils and fences. Branches are used as fuel wood.

Botanical Name:Calotropis procera (Wild) R. Br.

Family:Asclepiadaceae

Local Name:Spalmay

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Whole plant, Latex

Folk Use:All parts are used for making paste, which along with raw sugar is applied over the dog bitten wounds. The dry leaves are smoked for curing asthma and cough; large doses are poisonous for human beings. The latex is commonly used for ringworm and skin diseases.

Botanical Name:Cannabis sativa L.

Family:Canabidaceae

Local Name:Bhang

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Leaves, Flowering tops, whole plant, Seeds

Folk Use:Leaves are used as green manure. Paste is made from fresh leaves which in anti-lice.

Flowering tops are sedative, anodyne and narcotic. “TANDAI” a cold drink is prepared from its leaves and resinous deposits which give sedation and produce a pleasant excitement. Charas or hashish is also prepared from it which is used with in the country as well as exported abroad.

Plant is used for fuel wood purposes.

Seeds are used as feed for poultry and pigeons. In some cases oil is also extracted from seeds.

Botanical Name:Cedrella serrata Royle

Family:Meliaceae

Local Name:Meem

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Bark, Leaves

Folk Use:Stem and root bark is specialized for curing round worms while leaves decoction is excellent hair wash. The juice is administrated in diabetes and it also produces body coldness.

Botanical Name:Celtis caucasica L.

Family:Ulmaceae

Local Name:Tagha

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Fruits

Folk Use:wood is used for making agricultural tools and for fuel purposes. Leaves are used as fodder while fruit is edible and applied in colic, amenorrhea and allergy.

Botanical Name:Cotoneaster nummularia Fish & Mey.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Kharawa

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Whole plant

Folk Use:Stem and branches are used for making walking sticks, agricultural tools and fences around the fields.

Botanical Name:Crataegus oxycantha Jacq.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Tampasa

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Whole plant, Fruits

Folk Use:Leaves used as fodder, wood for fuel requirements. Fruits are edible.

Botanical Name:Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.

Family:Cuscutaceae

Local Name:Maraz Bootay

Habit:Parasitic climber

Part Used:whole plant

Folk Use:Its infusion is anti-lice and used for washing sores.

Botanical Name:Daphne oleoides Schreb.

Family:Thymelaeaceae

Local Name:Kutilal

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:wood, Fruits

Folk Use:Fuel wood. Fruit is edible. Its poultice is used for rheumatism.

Botanical Name:Debregeasia saeneb (Forssk) Hepper & Wood.

Family:Urticaceae

Local Name:Ajlai

Habit:A water course shrub

Part Used:Branches, wood and fruits

Folk Use:Fruits are edible and also used as flavoring agent. The stem yield excellent fiber. It is used as fuel wood. Branches are used in thatching. The powder made up of aerial parts is mixed with mustard oil and used as antifungal for curing skin rashes, dermatitis and eczema. It is also used as hedge plant.

Botanical Name:Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb,) Nees

Family:Poaceae

Local Name:Bans

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Leaves, Branches, Stem

Folk Use:Leaves are given to horses for curing cough and cold. Branches are used as building material, for making ladder, thatching huts, carts and pipes. The splits stem is woven into baskets and mats.

Botanical Name:Desmodium tiliafolium D. Don

Family:Papilionaceae

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Leaves, Branches

Folk Use:Leaves serve as fodder for goats while branches are used for fuel purpose.

Botanical Name:Dodonaea viscosa (L.) Jacq.

Family:Sapindaceae

Local Name:Ghwaraskay

Habit:A shrubby plant of exposed dry habitat.

Part Used:Leaves, seeds, wood

Local Uses:Astringent, ant rheumatic, aromatic, ornamental and hedge plant. It is used in swelling, burns, thatching and fencing. Its shoots are tied to make brooms.

Botanical Name:Diospyus lotus L.

Family:Ebenaceae

Local Name:Tor Amlook

Habit:A wild medium sized tree

Part Used:Fruit, wood, leaves

Local Uses:The wood is used in furniture and as fuel wood. Fruits are edible which are carminative, purgative and causes flatulence, leaves serve as fodder.

Botanical Name:Diospyrus kaki L.

Family:Ebenaceae

Local Name:Ziar Amlok

Habit:Grafted in the local Dyospyrus lotus

Part Used:Fruits, wood

Local Uses:It is very common commercial fruit tree. It is used in dry and fresh form and is very delicious. It is laxative. The wood is utilized as fuel.

Botanical Name:Ehretia obtusifolia Hochst. ex. DC.

Family:Boraginaceae

Local Name:Ghada Bootay

Habit:A medium sized shrub

Part Used:Leaves, branches

Local Uses:Fodder for cattle, fuel wood.

Botanical Name: a. Elaegnus parviflora Wall. ex Royle

b. E. umbellate Thumb.

Family:Elagnaceae

Local Name: Ghanum Ranga

Habit: Shrub

Part Used:Wood, Fruits

Local Uses:Fuel wood. Fruits are edible and cardiac stimulant.

Botanical Name: Ephedra gerardiana Wall. ex Stapf

Family:Ephedraceae

Local Name: Asmani Bootai

Habit: Shrub

Part Used:Fruit and Leaves

Local Uses:The plant is used for curing asthematic bronchitis and rheumatism. The tincture of Ephedra is a cardiac circulatory stimulant.

Botanical Name:Eruca sativa L.

Family:Brasicaceae

Local Name:Jammama

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Leaves, Seeds

Folk Use:Leaves used as vegetable. Seeds are used for extraction of oil, which is hair tonic, antidandruff and used to cure ring worms.

Botanical Name:Eryngium biebersteinianum Nervski ex Bobrov

Family:Apiaceae

Local Name:Ali Kanda

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Shoots

Folk Use:Used as fodder for cattle and goats. Shoots are also stimulant and carminative.

Botanical Name:Ficus carica Forssk.

Family:Moraceae

Local Name:Enzar

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Fruit, Latex

Folk Use:wood is used for fuel purpose. Leaves are fodder for goats. Fruits are edible and laxative while latex soothes the bee sting by simply rubbing on the skin. Some time its is used for naming a person ( Enzar Gul meaning F. carica flower).

Botanical Name:Ficus racemosa L.

Family:Moraceae

Local Name:Oormal

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Latex, Fruits

Folk Use:Fuel wood. Leaves infusion is astringent .Useful mouthwash for spongy gums. Stem latex is applied in piles and diarrhea. Fruits are edible, astringent, stomachache and carminative.

Botanical Name:Ficus religiosa Roxb.

Family:Moraceae

Local Name:Peepal

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Bark, Fruits

Folk Use:Low cost fuel wood. Bark decoction is given in gonorrhea and scabies while fruit are edible and laxative.

Botanical Name:Grewia optiva Drum. Ex Burret.

Family:Tiliaceae

Local Name:Pastawoonay

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Leaves, Bark of branches

Folk Use:Leaves are used as fodder. Bark from branches are used for fiber and making ropes.

Botanical Name:Gymnosporia royleana Wall. ex Lawson.

Family:Celastraceae

Local Name:Soor Azghay

Habit:A spiny shrub of foothills

Part Used:Whole plant

Folk Use:Young shoots are taken by goat as fodder. Hedge plant and fuel wood.

Botanical Name:Indigofera heterantha Wall. ex. Brand.

Family:Papilionaceae

Local Name:Kainta

Habit:A medium sized shrub of exposed habitat.

Part Used:Shoots, branches

Local Uses:Shoots serve as fodder for goats. Young branches are twisted into ropes, also tied to make brooms for cleaning roofs and lawns. Fuel wood, for thatching and fencing, wood ash is used for making snuff, honey bee species. Name of place i.e. Ghoreja.

Botanical Name:Jasminum humile L.

Family:Oleaceae

Local Name:Zair Rambail Chambail/Yasmin

Habit:Wild ornamental climbing shrub

Part Used:Flowers, whole plant

Local Uses:Ornamental. Root decoction is used for curing ringworms.

Botanical Name:Juglans regia L.

Family:Juglandaceae

Local Name:Ghuz

Habit:A wild/cultivated large deciduous tree

Part Used:Nuts, bark, leaves, and wood

Local Uses:It is used in standard furniture, also used for carving. Bark (Dandasa) is used for cleaning and sparkling teeth. Leaves are also used as lips make-up. Nuts can infect throat due to its oily nature. It has warm nature and can cause jaundice. It is also used as a dye. Used in naming i.e., Ghuz. Decoction of leaves is given in eczema and intestinal worms.

Botanical Name: Justicia adhatoda L.

Synonym:Adhatoda vasica Nees.

Family:Acanthaceae

Local Name: Baikar

Habit:Non palatable shrub

Part Used: Root and leaves

Local Uses: Roots are used in rheumatism, pneumonia and cough. Leaves are applied to reduce swelling. The decoction of leaves is antispasmodic, expectorant, abortifacient and also used for curing dysentery in cattle. It is also used in scabbies and other skin disorders. Used in snakebites, eye and ear ailments. Antiseptic and insect repellent. Honey Bee species.

Botanical Name:Luffa aegyptiaca Mill.

Synonym:L. cylindrica Roem.

Family:Cucurbitaceae

Local Name:Torai

Habit:A cultivated climbing vegetable

Part Used:Fruits

Folk Use:Fruits are used as vegetable, good for stomach and ulcer problems. Dried fruit case is used for cleaning utensils.

Botanical Name:Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) Muell.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Local Name:Kambeela

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Wood

Folk Use:Used as fuel wood.

Botanical Name:Malus pumila Mill.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Manra

Habit:A cultivated fruit tree with many varieties

Part Used:Fruit, flowers, wood

Folk Use:Valuable commercial fruit, purgative, source of iron, expectorant, used in jams, jellies, marmalades and good for heart. Wood is hard and is used for agricultural tools, branches serves as fuel wood.

Botanical Name:Melia azedarach L.

Family:Meliaceae

Local Name:Shundai

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Fruit, Bark

Folk Use:Timber wood, used for making furniture and building materials. Medicinally used for curing fever. Leaves are used as fodder for goats and are carminative. Fruits are eaten by Nightingales in winter, also grind and fed to the goats. Bark is anthelmintic and poisonous with bitter taste.

Botanical Name:Morus alba L.

Family:Moraceae

Local Name:Spin Toot

Habit:A cultivated or wild deciduous tree

Part Used:Fruits, leaves, branches, trunk

Folk Use:Fruits are eaten both fresh and dry. They are laxative, purgative. Leaves are emollient, used for cleaning throat, cooling agent, anthelmintic and astringent. Baskets are also made from the flexible branches. Wood is used in furniture. Leaves were once used in rearing silkworms. Leaves are eaten by goats and sheep. Planted as shade tree.

Botanical Name:Morus nigra L.

Family: Moraceae

Local Name:Tor Toot

Habit:A cultivated or wild deciduous tree

Part Used:Leaves, fruits, branches, wood

Folk Use:Fruits are eaten however they are laxative, leaves are emollient, used for cleaning throat, cooling agent, anthelmintic and astringent. Baskets are made of flexible branches. Wood is used in making furniture. Shade tree, fuelwood, leaves are fodder for sheep and goats.

Botanical Name:Myrsine africana L.

Family:Myrsinaceae

Local Name:Maru Rang

Habit:A medium sized shrub

Part Used:Leaves, fruits

Folk Use:Used for fragrance in tea. Used as spices, carminative, appetizer, flavoring agent, digestive. Fruits are edible, develop taste.

Botanical Name:Nerium indicum Mill.

Family:Apocyanaceae

Local Name:Gundary

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Whole plant

Folk Use:Ornamental but poisonous. The leaves decoction in the form of paste is applied externally on the skin to prevent skin diseases.

Botanical Name:Olea ferruginea Royle

Family:Oleaceae

Local Name:khoona

Habit:Medium sized tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Bark

Folk Use:Wood is very hard and used for making sticks, agricultural tools and for construction. Also used as fuel wood. Leaves are used as fodder and leaves decoction is also used for toothache, gonorrhea while bark is used in curing fever.

Botanical Name:Opuntia dilleni Haw.

Family:Cactaceae

Local Name:Zuqam

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Phylloclades, Fruits

Folk Use:Phylloclades poultice is used for extracting guinea worms. Fruits are edible, demulcent and expectorant. The ripe fruits juice is useful remedy for asthma and whooping cough

Botanical Name:Otostegia limbata (Benth.) Boiss.

Family:Lamiaceae

Local Name:Spin Azghay, Pishkanr

Habit:A small sized shrub

Part Used:Leaves

Folk Use:Used in gum diseases and curing of wounds.

Botanical Name:Parratiopsisjaequimontiana Dene

Family:Hemmameledaceae

Local Name:Beerunj

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Leaves, Branches

Folk Use:Wood is used for making agricultural tools, utensils and sticks. Leaves are fodder while branches serve as fuel wood.

Botanical Name:Picea smithiana (Wall.) Boiss.

Family:Pinaceae

Local Name:Mangazaey

Habit:Characteristic conifer of moist temperate forest

Part Used:Whole tree.

Folk Use:Timber wood used in bridges, building houses, fuelwood. Leaves are used to keep fruits in crates.

Botanical Name:Pinus roxburghii Sargent.

Family: Pinaceae

Local Name:Nakhtar

Habit:A characteristic tree of subtropical pine forests

Part Used:Whole tree

Folk Use:Timber wood, fuelwood, used for making furniture, cones are used for burning and decoration purposes. It yields edible seeds. Needles are used for sheltering and for keeping fruits in crates.Resin of bark, locally known as "Jaula", is stimulant used in ulcer, snake bites, scorpion stings, skin diseases and blood purifier. Saw dust is used by barbars to warm water, it is also used for cleaning utensils. It's name "Nakhtar" is termed for a tall person.

Botanical Name:Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jackson

Family:Pinaceae

Local Name:Peeuch

Habit:A characteristic tall tree of moist temperate habitats

Part Used:Whole tree

folk Use:Valuable timber wood, used for house building, making furniture, used in match industry, making bridges and beams. Cones are used as ornamental.

Botanical Name:Pistacea integrima J. L. Stewart ex Brandis

Family:Anacardiaceae

Local Name:Shnai

Habit:Tree

Part Used:wood, Leaves, Fruit

Folk Use:Wood yield timber which is used for making furniture. Leaves serve fodder for cattle .Tonic, antiseptic. Fruits and galls extract is given in jaundice. Also used for curing chronic wounds.

Botanical Name:Platanus orientalis L.

Family:Plantanaceae

Local Name:Chinar

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Bark

Folk Use:wood yield timber, fuel wood. Bark is useful remedy in diarrhea and dysentery.

Botanical Name:a. Populus caspica Bornm.

b. Populus ciliata Wall.

Family:Salicaceae

Local Name:a. Sufaida, Spari dar

b. Zangali Sufaida

Habit:Tall cultivated tree especially on roadsides

Part Used:Leaves, wood

Folk Use: Used as fuel wood, ornamental, shade tree, used for making shelters for tobacco drying. Leaves serve as fodder for goats and sheep.

Botanical Name:Prunus domestica L.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Alucha

Habit:A medium sized cultivated fruit tree with many varieties

Part Used:Fruit, wood, leaves

Folk Use:Commercial fruit is used in jams and jellies. It is laxative, flavoring agent. Fruit pulp is used in chutneys. Wood is used for burning. Leaves are used as fresh fodder. It is honeybee species.

Botanical Name:Prunus armeniaca L.

Family: Rosaceae

Local Name:Varieties: Khubani, Zardaloo and Asharay

Habit:A cultivated fruit tree with many varieties

Part Used:Fruits, wood, leaves, seeds

Folk Use:Fruits and seeds are eaten both fresh and dry. It is laxative, gum is obtained, fuel wood and honeybee species. Leaves serve as fresh fodder.

Botanical Name:Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.

Family: Rosaceae

Local Name:Shaftalu

Habit:A small sized wild/cultivated fruit tree with many varieties

Part Used:Fruit, leaves and wood

Folk Use:Fruits edible, fuel wood, leaves serve as fodder.

Botanical Name:Punica granatum L.

Family:Punicaceae

Local Name:Ananghorai

Habit:A wild/cultivated fruit yielding small bush like tree

Part Used:Fruit, bark, leaves

Folk Use:Leaves are used in skin diseases, dysentery. Fruit is astringent, cooling, blood purifier. Fruit pericarp is used for whooping cough, it is laxative. Seeds are dried and known as "anardana" which are condiments and used as spices. Bark of stem and root is anthelmintic, mouthwasher, antipyretic and expectorant. Used in naming i.e., Anar Gul (Flower of pomegranate).

Botanical Name:Pyrus pashia Ham ex. D.Don.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Tangai

Habit:A wild fruit tree

Part Used:Fruits, wood

Folk Use:Fruits are edible, astringent, febrifuge, sedative and laxative. Fuel wood. It serves as rootstock for grafting apple and pear. Honey bee species.

Botanical Name:Pyrus communis L.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Nashpati

Habit:Cultivated tree with many varieties

Part Used:Fruits, wood

Folk Use:Fruits are edible and have a commercial value. Wood is used for burning purposes. Honey bee species.

Botanical Name:Quercus floribunda Lindley ex A. Camus

Synonym:Q. dilatata Lindley ex Royle.

Family:Fagaceae

Local Name:Tor Banj

Habit:A slow growing tree

Part Used:Wood and nuts

Folk Use:Fuel wood species. Seeds are edible, astringent and diuretic, used in diarrhea, indigestion and asthma. Children play marbles with seeds. Due to its toughness, the wood is used in agricultural tools, handles of plough, axes, gun buts, and walking sticks. Children use seed cups as playing tops.

Botanical Name:Quercus baloot Griffith

Synonym:Q. ilex L.

Family: Fagaceae

Local Name:Tor Banj

Habit:A slow growing tree

Part Used:Wood

Folk Use:Timber, fuel wood, Wood is also used for making agricultural tools specially ploughs and handles.

Botanical Name:Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus

Synonym:Q. incana Roxb.

Family: Fagaceae

Local Name:Spin Banj

Habit:A slow growing tree

Part Used:Wood

Folk Use:Timber, fuel wood, used for making agricultural tools specially ploughs and handles.

Botanical Name:Rhododendron arborium Smith

Family:Ericaceae

Local Name:Namair

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Wood, Flowers

Folk Use:Fuel wood. Flowers are ornamental and are sold in the market. Flower petals are tonic and are eaten by local people.

Botanical Name:Ricinus communis L.

Family:Euphorbiaceae

Local Name:Arund, Harhanda

Habit:A perennial herbaceous shrub

Part Used:Leaves, seeds, oil

Folk Use:Leaves are emetic, narcotic, poisonous and purgative. Poultice is applied to swellings. Castor oil is purgative, oil is given in constipation before and after child birth to mother. Seeds are sedative.

Botanical Name:Robinia pseudacacia L.

Family:Papilionaceae

Local Name:Kikar

Habit:A cultivated tree

Part Used:Flowers, wood

Folk Use:It is introduced and cultivated for stopping erosion and fuel wood. Leaves serve as fodder for goats, also used in fencing and hedges, honeybee species.

Botanical Name:Rosa moschata J.Herm.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Zangaley Gulab

Habit:Climbing shrub of hilly areas

Part Used:Flowers, branches

Folk Use:Ornamental, aromatic, used in fencing and hedges, Honey bee species. Used in naming i.e., Gulab Khan.

Botanical Name:Rosa serica Lindley.

Family:Rosaceae

Local Name:Zangali Gulab

Habit:Climbing to prostrate shrub

Part Used:Flowers, branches

Folk Use:Used for curing piles, ornamental, cultivated at the edge of fields as fencing and hedge plant, honeybee species.

Botanical Name:Rosa webbiana Wall. Ex Royle

Family: Rosaceae

Local Name:Palwari

Habit:Climbing to prostrate shrub.

Part Used:Flowers, branches.

Folk Use:Ornamental, cultivated at the edge of fields as fencing and hedge plant, honeybee species.

Botanical Name:Rubus ellipticus Smith

Family: Rosaceae

Local Name:Sra Karwara, Bagana

Habit:A climbing shrub

Part Used:Fruits and leaves

Folk Use:Leaves serve as fodder for goats, hedge plant.

Botanical Name:Rubus fruticosus Hk.f.

Family: Rosaceae

Local Name:Karwara

Habit:A prostate to climbing shrub

Part Used:Fruits, leaves and shoots

Folk Use:Leaves are used for diarrhoea, cough, fever, used as diuretic, carminative and fodder for goat. Fruits are edible and used in jams and jelleys. Hedge plant.

Botanical Name:Rubus ulmifolius Schott.

Family: Rosaceae

Local Name:Goorag

Habit:A prostrate to climbing shrub

Part Used:Fruits, leaves

Folk Use:Leaves are used as fodder for cattle.Fruits are edible and are used as carminative. Hedge plant.

Botanical Name:Salix babylonica L.

Family:Salicaceae

Local Name:Wala

Habit:Deciduous tree along watercourses

Part Used:Whole tree

Folk Use:Fuel wood, small sticks are cut and used in weaving cloth and "Azarband"(the woollen belt for Shalwar) at homes, used in making cricket bats and light furniture, ornamental, mud supporter and prevent erosion. There is an interpreting Pushto sentence: "Da-Waley (streams)-Waley (Willow tree)-Waley(why)-Waley(hitting)" means "why are you hitting willows of the stream?"

Botanical Name:Salix tetrasperma Roxb.

Family: Salicaceae

Local Name:Wala

Habit:A deciduous tree along water courses

Part Used:Whole tree

Folk Use:Fuel wood, planted along water courses to prevent soil erosion, mud supporter, used in making cricket bats and light furniture.

Botanical Name:Skimmia laureola (DC.) Sieb. & Zucc. Ex Walp.

Family:Rutaceae

Local Name:Nazar Panra

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Leaves

Folk Use:Used in curing small pox. It is believed that smoke from leaves purify air and repel evils.

Botanical Name:Tylophora hersuta L.

Family:Asclepiadaceae

Local Name:Gilo

Habit:Climber

Part Used:Root, Leaves

Folk Use:Root and leaves decoction is used for jaundice. The dried leaves are emetic, diaphoretic and blood purifier. Along with opium it is used in asthma and whooping cough.

Botanical Name:Viburnum cotinifolium D. Don

Family:Caprifoliaceae

Local Name:Zangali Chamyarai

Habit:Tree

Part Used:Fruits, branches

Local Uses:The fruits are edible, branches serve as fuel wood.

Botanical Name:Viburnum foetens (D.Don) Wall. ex DC.

Family:Caprifoliaceae

Local Name:Ghar Meva

Habit:Shrub of exposed habitat in temperate forests

Part Used:Fruits, branches

Local Uses:The fruits are edible, branches serve as fuelwood.

\otanical Name:Vitex negundo L.

Family:Verbinaceae

Local Name:Marvandaey

Habit:A medium sized shrub of water courses and graveyards

Part Used:Leaves, roots and branches

Local Uses:Fresh roots are used as bandage to relieve pain of chest and back, branches are used as toothbrush (Miswak), leaves are aromatic, febrifuge, diuretic and anthelmintic. Leaves are smoked to relieve headache. Flowers are astringent and tonic. Non-palatable, used for making shelters for tobacco seedlings.

Botanical Name:Vitis jacquemontii R. Parker

Family:Vitaceae

Local Name:Gedar Kwar

Habit:A perennial wild climber, sometimes covering whole tree

Part Used:Fruit

Local Uses:Wild edible grapes, laxative

Botanical Name: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal.

Family:Solanaceae

Local Name: Kutilal

Habit:Shrub

Part Used: Leaves fruits and roots

Local Uses:Leaves and roots are used as poultice to swellings, ulcers and carbuncles. The fruit is diuretic. The root is an aphrodisiac tonic, diuretic, narcotic and used in rheumatism.

Botanical Name:Woodfordia fruiticosa (L) Kurz

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Wood

Folk Use:Used as fuel wood species.

Botanical Name: Xanthium strumarium Linn.

Family:Asteraceae

Local Name:Ghut Ghiskay

Habit:Shrub

Part Used:Leaves

Folk Use: Leaves decoction is recommended in long-standing malarial fever.

Botanical Name:Zanthoxylum armatum DC.

Family:Asteraceae

Local Name:Dambara

Habit:A medium sized spiny shrub

Part Used:Bark, fruit, stem, seeds

Folk Use:Fruit is used as stomachache, carminative, used in toothache. Seeds are used as condiment, flavoring agent, tonic, aromatic, used in fever, cholera, increases saliva secretion, used in chutney and increases cow milk. Young shoots are useful in gum diseases, also used as toothbrushes. Stem and branches are used to make dreadful sticks (Dambaray sotay) to kill snakes and keeps the dogs away.

Botanical Name: Zizyphus jujuba Mill.

Family:Rhamnaceae

Local Name: Baira

Habit:Tree

Part Used: Wood, leaves, roots, bark, fruits

Folk Use:Fuel wood. Fodder for goats. Edible, bloods purifier and cure indigestion. Fruit decoction is excellent hair wash and also used for bronchitis. Bark macerated in milk is given along with honey in diarrhea and dysentery. It is a major ingredient of “Joshanda” which is used for cough and cold.

Botanical Name: Zizypus numularia (Burm. f.) Wight & Arn.

Family:Rhamnaceae

Local Name: Kurkanda

Habit:Shurb

Part Used:Roots, fruits, branches and leaves

Folk Use: Fuel wood. Fodder for goats. Edible and laxative with sour taste. Also used as hedge plant. Branches are also used for fencing. Leaves are used in scabbies and boils.

Botanical Name: Zizyphus oxyphyla Edgew.

Family:Rhamnaceae

Local Name: Elanai

Habit:Shurb

Part Used:Roots, fruits

Folk Use: Roots are used in curing jaundice. Fruits are edible and used in gas trouble.

Botanical Name:Zizyphus sativa Gaertn.

Family: Rhamnaceae

Local Name:Markhanaey.

Habit:Spiny medium sized tree

Part Used:Fruits, branches

Folk Use:Fruits are edible, used as astringent, cooling. Fuelwood, used in fencing and hedges, leaves fresh fodder for goats. Honeybee species.

Discussion

Plants provide us ready made food, medicines for ailment, fodder and forage for our domestic animals, fuel wood for burning, flowers for aesthetics and celebration, raw materials for many industries, timber for construction and many more useful items. Humans are using these natural resources in some parts of the globe very ruthlessly and one such area is the Hindu- Kush, Himalayas region. The natural resources in the Hindu Kush - Himalayas is deteriorating more rapidly than many other global regions, but had received little attention internationally than other ecosystem. However, it is now time to realize that the traditional knowledge and management system are as important as the need to introduce modern innovative approaches to sustainable development and management of natural resources in order to sustain the livelihood of traditional societies in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region (ICIMOD 193).



People use plants in many ways such as medicinal, timber wood, fuel wood, food, fodder etc (Hussain and Khaliq, 1996). So there is a great impact of human life on local vegetation as well as local vegetation influence human life (Delcourt, et al. 1986).

The people of Buner are mostly rural and illiterate. They cut forest and sell it as timber and fuel wood. They also use valuable timber wood for fuel wood requirements. The ever increasing population requires more food and as a result forests were burnt, cleared and replace with cultivations. In Buner, forests of Abies pindrow Royle, Acacia modesta Wall., Aescules indica Wall ex.Cambl., Cedrus deodara, Dodonea viscosa (L.) Jacq., Juglans regia L., Pinus roxburghii Sergent, Pinus wallichiana A.B. Jackson, Quercus dialatata Lindley and Quercus incana Roxb., have been destroyed at alarming rate.

References

Aumeeruddy, Y. 1996. Ethnobotany, linkages with conservation and development. Proceedings of first training work shop on “Ethnobotany and its application to conservation” NARC, Islamabad. Pp: 152-157.

Delcourt, P. A., H. r. Delcourt, P. A. Cridlebaugh and J. Chapman. 1986. Holocene ethnobotanical and paleoecological record of human impact on vegetation in the Little Tennessee river Valley, Tennessee, USA. Quaternary research (NewYork) 25 (3): 330

Hamayun, M., A, Khan and M. A. Khan. 2003. Common medicinal folk recipes of District Buner, NWFP, Pakistan. Journal of ethnobotanical leaflets, SIUC, USA.

Hamayun, M., M. A. Khan and S. Begum. 2003. Marketing of medicinal plants of Utror-GabralValleys, Swat, Pakistan. Journal of ethnobotanical leaflets, SIUC, USA.

Hassan, N. 1980. Dir-Swat relations. M.A.ThesisPakistanStudyCenter, Univ. of Peshawar. P. 22.

Haq, I. 1983. Medicinalplants. HamdardFoundation Press, Pakistan.

Hussain, F. and A. Khaliq. 1996. Ethnobotanical studies on some plants of dabargai Hills Swat. Proceedings of first training work shop on “Ethnobotany and its application to conservation” NARC, Islamabad. Pp: 207-215

Khan, A. 2001. M.Phil thesis on Ethno botanical potential, Phytosociology and Conservation status of MountElum, buner, Pakistan.

Khan, A. A., R. A. Rajput and U. Khalid. 1996. Plants in co existence with man and wild life of Deosai, Himalayas. Proceedings of first training workshop on “ethnobotany and its application to conservation”, national herbarium, PARC, Islamabad. Pp. 26-42

Pei, S.J. 1992. Mountain culture and forest resource management of Himalayas. In: D. W. Tiwari, “Himalayan Ecosystem”, Intel. Book Distr., Dehra Dun, India.

Shinwari, M. I. and M. A. Khan. 1999. Folk use of medicinal herbs of Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 69 (2000). 45-56.

Shinwari, Z. K., A. A. Khan and T. Nakaike. 2003. Book on Medicinal and other useful plants of District Swat, Pakistan.

Shinwari, Z. K., S.S.Gilani, M. Kohjoma and T. Nakaike.2000. Status of Medicinal Plants In Pakistani Hindukush Himalayas. Proceedings of Nepal- Japan Joint Symposium, 2000.

Williams, J. T. and Z. Ahmad. 1999. Priorities for medicinal plant research and development in Pakistan.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

QK Archives: Smashing statues, erasing history

Saturday, March 03, 2001 published by The Nation Pakistan

Smashing statues, erasing history
Husain Haqqani
Afghanistan's Taliban regime is facing international condemnation once again, this time for its decision to smash all statues in the country. Afghanistan was once part of the ancient Kushan empire. It is the site of historic Buddhist remains, some of which are two thousand years old. In fact, the world's tallest Buddha image is located in Afghanistan. Two soaring statues of the Buddha in Bamiyan were hewn from 125 and 174 feet high solid cliffs, most probably by bare hands and primitive construction tools. These statues are fascinating remains of a civilisation devoted to the Buddha and are no longer the object of anyone's worship. To almost everyone else in the world, except the Taliban, these statues represent history.
The Taliban, however, see the destruction of statues as enforcement of the Islamic injunction against idols or human likenesses of divinity. Indiscriminate as they are in imposing their beliefs, the Taliban seem unable to make the distinction between "Aasaar" (historic remains) and "Asnaam" (idols to which unbelievers pray), even though such a distinction can be clearly found in the Holy Quran. They have refused to respect the historic, cultural or archaeological significance of statues from Afghnaistan's pre-Islamic past.
Reuters reported Taliban Information and Culture Minister Mullah Qudratullah Jamal as saying, "All statues will be destroyed." He also said, "Whatever means of destruction are needed to demolish the statues will be used.'' The official Bakhtar news agency quoted Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil as telling U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan Francesc Vendrell, "The abandoned relics are not our pride. Destroying them would not mean that the freedom of the minorities would cease.'' Vendrell had arrived in Kabul with an appeal from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to save the historic statues. The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news service quoted Jamal as saying statues had been destroyed at museums in Kabul, the southern city of Ghazni, the western city of Herat and at Farm Hadda near the main eastern town of Jalalabad.
Russia, Germany, India and Pakistan have condemned the destruction and appealed to the Taliban to think again. Buddhist countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka also have expressed alarm at the Taliban's focus on eradicating reminders of the centuries before Islam when Afghanistan was a centre of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage. But the Taliban are unlikely to be moved by international concerns about protecting humanity's historic and cultural heritage. What might appeal to them is an Islamic argument against erasing remains of past civilisations.
Egyptian Muslim intellectual Fahmi Howeidy has pointed out that the Taliban edict runs contrary to Islam. "Islam respects other cultures even if they include rituals that are against Islamic law,'' he says. I will go one step further than Howeidy. Relics of the past are mentioned in the Quran distinctly, with the injunction that lessons be learnt from them. In Sura Aal-e-Imran (translated as 'The family of Imran' by Marmaduke Pickthall), ayat 137 reads : "Systems have passed away before you. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who did deny (the messengers)" (Quran 3: 137). How would believers be able to travel to the land of Afghanistan and see the consequence of disbelief of an earlier civilisation if the Taliban erase all signs of that civilisation? Further, in Sura Al-Rum ('The Romans') ayat 42 it is explicitly stated: " Say (O Muhammad, to the disbelievers), travel in the land, and see the nature of the consequence for those who were before you! Most of them were idolaters" (Quran 30: 42). It is perhaps for this reason that most scholars in the Ummah did not advocate destruction of ancient remains, including statues.
Had the Taliban's narrower interpretation regarding destruction of idols been implemented by earlier generations of Muslims, the sphinx in Egypt and the archaeological sites of Babylon and Mesopotamia, among others, would not have survived to this day. Quite clearly, early Muslim conquerors distinguished between "Aasaar" (relics and historic remains), which they spared and "Asnaam" (idols), which they destroyed. In a modern, tolerant, inter-dependent world it is unfortunate that the Taliban have opted for an interpretation of Islam that was not the norm in earlier times.
The destruction of artefacts has inflicted new damage to the Taliban's already-poor ties with most countries. The Taliban are already heavily criticized for their restrictions on women and for their poor human rights record. The three states recognising their regime-- Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia-are seen by other nations as being under obligation to influence Taliban policy.
It is apparent to all but the most na‹ve that Pakistan should not risk tension with the entire world in return for friendship with the Taliban. This is especially so in view of our continuing hostility with India. Pakistan's armed forces, above all, must be concerned at what is happening to the country's international image on account of the Taliban's attitude. Pakistan's traditional friend Iran is among the states concerned about the Taliban's whimsical and often narrow-minded decisions. As a result, Pakistan is losing the strategic depth it secured from a friendly Iran, while Afghanistan remains unsettled. If the influence over the Taliban is to cause Iran-Pakistan relations to deteriorate, then ties with the Taliban (rather than Iran) must be reviewed. In any case, the Taliban have consistently proven to be a liability rather than an asset for Pakistan.
Everyone in the world believes that Pakistan is responsible for encouraging the Taliban, official protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. By recognising the Taliban government before any other country, Pakistan made it clear where it stood in relation to this group from another century. Although they control much of Afghan territory, the Taliban have failed to secure international recognition and remain a pariah to most of the world. One need not be a foreign policy expert to understand that losing the friendship of states which are part of the international community to please a pariah can only damage Pakistan's credibility.
It is a positive sign that Pakistan has refused to act as an apologist for the Taliban on their statue-smashing policy. Their rise is attributed by most of the world to Pakistani support, or at least acquiescence. Their brutal regime would not be able to survive if Pakistan joined the rest of the world in pressuring them into accepting the basic norms of civilisation and of Islam as practised by the overwhelming majority of the Ummah. The unenlightened sectarian interpretation of Islam being offered by the Taliban is creating problems for Muslims the world over. The Iranian revolution has settled down and even at its height, revolutionary fervour in Iran did not lend itself to such universal condemnation as is being faced by the Taliban. Another Islamist regime, that in Sudan, has conducted itself by-and-large in accordance with international norms. Western criticism of its conduct can be rebutted with some validity as reflections of prejudice. But the same cannot be said of the Taliban. Their behaviour, in many instances, is violent. They have failed to establish the concept of due process of law even under Islamic rules. Their attitude to women and modern communication technology will set Afghanistan back even further than this tribal backwater has always been. The Taliban must reverse their decision on historic remains and relics. If they do not, the world will be justified in thinking ignorance, rather than pursuit of Islamic learning, is the Taliban's motivation.

Friday, 10 March 2017

I am Hazara

By Hania Hussain
Published 2013

Almost always, the first question that people ask me is, “Are you Chinese?” I answer “No, of course I am not Chinese, I am as Pakistani as they come.” The second question is inevitable: “If I am not Chinese, then why do I look like one? Where in Pakistan do people look so oriental?” I tell them I am from Quetta. At this point they assume that I am either Baloch or Pathan, albeit an odd looking one. But I am not. I am Hazara.

The name Hazara was first recorded in the Baburnama, the memoirs of the Mughal Emperor Babur.. The word referred to the people living in what was then called the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan. These people are thought to be descended from the Mongols; especially the conquering Changez Khan and his army, part of which settled in Bamiyan (Afghanistan) in the 13th century, along with their Persian wives. This origin is also evident in the name ‘Hazara’; the name is taken from the Persian word ‘hazaar’ (thousand), which may be a translation for the Mongol word ming, a military unit of 1000 soldiers in Changez Khan’s time.

In the nineteenth century, many Hazaras fled ethnic persecution in Afghanistan, migrating to and settling in neighboring countries such as Iran and pre-Partition India. In today’s Pakistan, the majority of the Hazara population (approximately 0.3 million) lives in Quetta, having established businesses and households there. However, small communities of Hazara people can be found in other cities of Pakistan such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad and Lahore.

In Pakistan today, a lot of Hazaras are also called ‘Changezi’ or are thought to be part of the Changezi tribe. The term stuck in the military when Air Marshal (rtd) S. Ali Changezi decided to embrace his ethnicity while serving the PAF. Throughout his career, my father has been called Changezi by his colleagues, even though this name doesn’t appear in any of his official documents. The Hazaras also divide themselves into different sub- tribes based on territories and names of their leaders. For example, my mother is Daizangi while my father is Jaghori. My brother and I are also, therefore, Jaghori Hazaras.

The Hazaras strongly identify as Pakistanis. Several famous Hazaras include General Mohammad Musa ( Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army, Governor General of West Pakistan 1967-69, Governor of Balochistan Province 1985-91), Syed Ibrar Hussain Shah (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) who won the boxing bronze medal for Pakistan in the 1988 Olympics, Senator Haji Syed Hussain and his son Syed Abbas Hussain (parliamentarian 2008-2013).

Within Quetta, Hazaras are well known for their obsession with cleanliness–people jokingly blame them for the city’s water shortages.. They are friendly and eager to learn about other cultures. They are also peaceful and progressive. This is evident from the fact that each successive generation of Hazaras is better educated, more qualified and thirsty for more knowledge than their forebears. Education is recognized as the key to a better, more enlightened life. Hazara elders realize the need for an educated youth, and encourage them to work hard at gaining a good education and marketable skills. Through sheer hard work and the encouragement and support of his parents, LUMS alum Karrar Hussain Jaffar made it to Harvard. In his native Marriabad, , Karrar is a role model for scores of children who also want to shine.

Hazaras are also passionate about sports.. Members of the community have represented Pakistan at the international level in a variety of sports including karate, boxing, hockey and football. They have won many medals on behalf of Pakistan Hazara women have also participated in national and international sporting events. Suhaila, a 17-year-old Pakistani Hazara, is a black-belt martial arts champion who has won 34 gold medals in national and international matches so far.

Unfortunately, in recent years, target killings in Balochistan have forced many Hazaras to seek asylum in Australia, Canada and Europe. Many members of the community including the boxer Syed Ibrar Hussain have been victims of terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, Hazara youth continue to feel a strong sense of being Pakistani as they march on to win laurels outside their native country, never giving up on achieving their dream of a better and more prosperous life.

Monday, 6 March 2017

QK archives: Who are the Pakhtuns?

Who are the Pakhtuns?
Rahimullah Yusufzai

Date unknown

The unending debate on the origins of the Pakhtuns is as inconclusive and divisive as it ever was. The issue crops up at literary and political gatherings and is even discussed by village folks in their hujras. In fact, it is a fascinating topic with everyone from the layman to the scholar having a definite viewpoint as to the beginnings of this enigmatic and much misunderstood race.

The issue was debated once more but never concluded at the launch of Brigadier (Retd) Haroon Rashid's book, "History of the Pathans, Vol 1, The Sarabani Pathans," in Peshawar some time back. As usual, there were advocates of theories ranging from Pakhtuns having an Aryan, Jewish, Arab or mixed origin. None was convincing enough to carry the day. Disagreement was in the air the moment commentators started analyzing the voluminous book. Notoriously known for their disunity, the Pakhtuns have been unable even to agree on their origins.

NWFP Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah summed up the proceedings when he noted that the origin of the Pakhtuns was shrouded in mystery. Referring to the different theories in vogue, he reminded that author Naimatullah Harawi considered the Pakhtuns to be of Jewish extraction, the British felt they had mixed origin while Pakhtun writers thought their race was Aryan. He opined that DNA tests could help solve the riddle. Earlier, physician Dr Sher Mohammad Khan had strongly advocated DNA tests to establish the truth.

Scholars having failed to agree on the Pakhtun origins, it is certainly time to request scientists to do the job. It is possible that some people may not even accept the DNA findings if their own theories are demolished as a consequence of this exercise. However, most Pakhtuns would accept the DNA tests if their origins were conclusively established. Knowing a definite answer rather than subscribing to widely different theories would certainly be more appealing. This would also bring to an end the twisting and fascinating debate on the Pakhtun roots.

It may not matter much to other races as to how and where did they first originate. But it matters a lot to the Pakhtuns, who are obsessed about their glorious past and extremely proud of their code of honour and way of life. Many Pakhtuns believe they have inherited their chivalry and courage from the great Muslim general Khalid bin Walid, who earned the title Saifullah ("Sword of Allah") from Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) on account of his exceptional bravery. They would be glad if it was established that they were somehow related to Khalid bin Walid through their putative ancestor Qais Abdur Rashid. This would also strengthen the theory that the Pakhtuns had an Arab origin.

The theory about the Aryan roots of the Pakhtuns is also popular. In particular, the Pakhtuns in Afghanistan advanced this argument and named a number of their institutions including the national airline as Aryana. The rise of Adolf Hitler's Germany also prompted many Afghan scholars to link the Afghans to the Aryans. Hitler's fall surely dampened most Afghans but the Aryan theory refused to go away.

The Jewish theory has been around for ages. Each and every Pakhtun is opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, more so of Bait al-Maqdas, the third holiest Islamic city after Makkah and Madina. As such, most Pakhtuns don't like the Jewish connection. They are shy of conceding that their ancestors could be Jews. But there is no way one's past could be deleted from history. So it pops up again, gaining currency or losing relevance depending on the circumstances. However, some Pakhtuns don't mind being bracketed with the Jews. They would like to believe that the Pakhtuns are the lost tribe of the Jews, a theory that has found many supporters, including noted scholars, in Israel and some Western countries. In fact, a small number of Pakhtuns drew satisfaction from the fact that the Jewish state of Israel had time and again proved its military superiority over a host of Arab countries in its neighbourhood. For them it is affirmation of their own bravery as well as glorious past.

A strong case could be made for making use of the research done by Jewish scholars worldwide to trace the lost 13th tribe of the Jews because it could throw light on the origin of the Pakhtuns. There should be no harm in undertaking collaborative studies between Pakhtun and Jewish scholars to find out the truth. A Canadian film crew made a documentary some time back on the similarities between Jews and Pakhtuns and filmed glimpses of Pakhtun culture that resembled the Jewish way of life. The team also interviewed Pakhtun scholars in the NWFP and Afghan writers in Afghanistan as part of its project concerning the theory that Pakhtuns could be the lost tribe of the Jews.

Imagination can fly wild while discussing different theories concerning the origins of the Pakhtuns. British authors, mostly military men who served in the Pakhtun areas during the colonial period, reported these theories and added to the confusion. Some of them, such as Sir Winston Churchill, made slanderous and derogatory remarks against the Pakhtuns. Their ire was understandable because Pakhtun warriors resisted British rule and inflicted great losses on the imperial army. Other British writers reluctantly conceded the courage and chivalry of the Pakhtuns and described them as their most formidable foes. Books by Pakhtun writers Roshan Khan, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Qazi Attaullah and Pareshan Khattak about their own race also suffer from deficiencies. A definitive account of the Pakhtuns is yet to be written. Until then, we would have to live with the mystery of the Pakhtun origin.