Gujar tribe in Pakistan
Gujar tribe in Pakistan, The Gujars are the oldest tribe of Pakistan. There are differences of opinion about their origin (for detail see Chapter two). Many writers recognized them as Gurjara who came to India with the Huns and settled in Punjab and Rajputana. After the decline of the White Huns they established Gurjara state in Rajputana.Sinee at that time Buddhism was the dominant religion, therefore, they accepted it. On Buddhism ‘s decline the Hindus once again established their dominance over India. The Hindu Rajput Rajas got dominance in the Punjab and made the Budh Gujars the victims of their tyranny. Because of the Rajputs oppression they migrated to Hazara, Dir and Swat around 9th century A.D. Afterwards these people Were continuously overpowered by the other tribes.
History of Gujar Tribe
The Gujars had come to Hazara earlier then other tribes. They were the sole occupants of Hazara before the advent of the Muslims. The Muslims made them their subjects when they reached the soil of Hazara. The Afghan tribes one after another came to Hazara and deprived the Gujars of their possessions. The Dilazaks were the first people who disturbed their peaceful life. On the Gujar’s compliant the Mughal emperor Jahangir expelled them from Hazara. During the reign of Aurangzeb Alamgir the Gujars lived a peaceful life. On Alamgir’s coming to Hassan Abdal a Gujar namely Daulat Baig welcomed him and got the title of Muqaddam from him. In Hazara Jagal Gujars of Haripur and the Khatana Gujars of Kot Najibullah Whom Daulat Gujar belonged, were the only powerful and well to do families of the Gujars.
When a widespread revolt started in the Frontier many tribes crossed the Indus and captured the lands of the Gujars. In Mansehra the Swatis under Syed Jalal Baba captured the fertile lands and forests and pushed the Gujars to poorer lands on the hilltops where there was no fertility of land.. Thus gradually the other tribes got dominance over them. This is why the Gujars perforce remained the herdsmen.
When Syed Ahmad Shaheed selected the soil of Hazara for his freedom movement against the Sikhs, the Gujars were powerless then because the other tribes had got the dominance over them. Nevertheless, they served Syed Ahmad whenever the need arose. The Gujar not only guided the to sit on Mujahidin Passages to present them milk and curd. The Gujars not only guided the Mujahidin but also cleaned snow covered routes. They proved themselves as a good hosts as well. Some people accuse them that it was they who helped the Sikhs come over from Dadar and on to Syed Ahmad at Balakot. But the Gujar reject this blame having said that there is no proof of the Gujars treachery. They further say the crime of one man cannot be attributed to the whole tribe.
At the advent of Sikhs the Gujars were living on mountains height, in valleys and plains. But after the establishment of the British rule their condition became more critical and many people were deprived of their lands. They started living as tenants of the local Khans whose tyranny made them lower creature. They worked under duress for the Khans day and night. Thus they became an ineffective group of the area. It was in 1950 when their life changed and they gained occupancy rights of land due to late Abdul Qayum Khan’s land reforms. The force labour did not finish unless Z.A. Bhutto’s era came. For the first time in the election of 1970 their candidate Sardar Abd-ur-Rehman contested the election. It was Bhutto’s era which created in them political awareness. Thus the Gujars appeared on political scene and in 1985′s election Sardar Mohammad Yousaf Contested P.F. 45 and won it. Now he is the member of National Assembly from N.A. 14. the Gujars have changed themselves and are no longer an oppressed people of a lower status. They have been raised from the abysmal depth of debasement.