اردو(Urdu) English(English) عربي(Arabic) پښتو(Pashto) سنڌي(Sindhi) বাংলা(Bengali) Türkçe(Turkish) Русский(Russian) हिन्दी(Hindi) 中国人(Chinese) Deutsch(German)
Monday, July 22, 2024 04:02
Question of Palestine Eternal Wisdom: Iqbal Building Futures: Empowering Pakistan's Youth for Tomorrow Tourism: An Essential Element for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Connecting Youth to Global Opportunities Algorithms: The Silent Architects of Warfare Pakistani Youth: The Driving Force for National Progress Investing in Future Generations: Pakistan Army Lost Voices: The Systematic Marginalization of Indian Muslims Parallel Struggles: Examining the Palestinian and Kashmiri Quests for Self-determination Emergence of BJP as a Hindutva Force The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Transforming Pakistan Building Sustainable Cities: Urban Search and Rescue Preparedness Simulation Exercise In the Pursuit of Happiness: Understanding Hedonia, Eudemonia, and Naikan COAS’ U.S. Visit: Strengthening Ties and Fostering Collaboration A Biological Marvel of Human Heart Educational Empowerment: FC Balochistan (North) Initiates Literacy Program for Soldiers Digital Pakistan Journey: Pioneering Towards a Connected Future Driving Digital Transformation: Pakistan CJCSC Calls on His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussain During His Visit to Jordan COAS' Peshawar Visit Highlights Security, Socioeconomic Development and National Unity Unity in Diversity: COAS Joins Christmas Celebrations with Christian Community in Rawalpindi Chief of the Naval Staff Attends Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Bangkok Strengthening Bonds and Elevating Collaboration: Combat Commander Turkish Air Force Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Closing Ceremony of Multinational Special Forces Exercise Fajar Al Sharq-V Strengthens Counterterrorism Collaboration Off the Beaten Track: Exploring Jiwani's Coastal Marvels and Heritage Special Investment Facilitation Council: A Game Changer for the Economy of Pakistan Rising Stars: Pakistan’s Youth Shines Bright in 2023 Indian Supreme Court’s Decision and the International Law Challenges to Justice: The Indian Supreme Court’s Fallacy in IIOJK Belt and Road Initiative: Strengthening Global Ties with Unhindered Trade and Connectivity The Media Matrix: Unraveling How Technology Shapes Our Perception Decoding Human Interaction: The Comprehensive Guide to Reading Body Language The Magic of Moscow On the Same Wavelength: Suno FM's Impact on Community Empowerment, Diversity, and Social Progress in Pakistan The Journey of SAIL: A Beacon of Hope for Autism in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan National Youth Convention 2024: COAS Stresses Youth's Vital Role, Urges Unity, and National Strength Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Calls on COAS COAS Attends Inauguration Ceremony of the Second Chapter of NASTP Silicon PAF's Induction and Operationalization Ceremony Showcases Technological Advancements and Operational Excellence COAS Witnesses Firing of Different Air Defense Weapon Systems During Exercise Al-Bayza-III, 2024 COAS Visits POF Wah, Highlights Importance of Indigenous Defense Industry Exercise Sea Guard-24: Strengthening Maritime Security Al-Noor Special Children School and College Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023 in Multan Garrison Exercise BARRACUDA-XII: Strengthening Global Cooperation for Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection Pakistan-Qatar Joint Aerial Exercise "Zilzal-II" Held in Qatar March 23, 1940: Charting the Course for Pakistan's Future Peshawar’s Namak Mandi: A Gemstone Heaven Genocide in Palestine Rising Cities, Shrinking Spaces: Tackling Overpopulation and Urbanization in Pakistan Impact of Pakistan Resolution Day on National Identity Building Leaders: Jinnah and Iqbal's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Youth National Parks–Natural Assets India's New Playbook for Extraterritorial Assassination of Opponents The Legacy of Khan Brothers in Pakistan Armed Forces (Part II) Beyond the Battlefield: AIMH’s Quest for Military History Preservation The Siege of 634 A.D. (Part II) SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part II) A New Dawn in Pakistan's Agriculture The Crowdsourcing Practices The Last Post: Eulogy of a Hero Securing Tomorrow’s Food: Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture in Pakistan The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: A Beacon of Pak-China Friendship and Prosperity Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and COAS Visit Muzaffarabad CJCSC Calls on Minister of Defense, KSA 7th International PATS Exercise-2024 Held at NCTC, Pabbi CNS Visits Coastal Belt of Sindh and Coastal Areas of Balochistan to Oversee the Conduct of Exercise Seaspark-2024 Keel Laying Ceremony of the Second HANGOR Class Submarine Held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Chinese Ambassador Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Navy Demonstrates Combat Readiness with Live Missile Firing Exercise in the North Arabian Sea PAF's Jf-17 Thunder Block-III Fighter Jet Participates in World Defense Air Show-2024 A Day of Celebration and Global Solidarity: Pakistan Day Parade 2024 Gaza: A Tragedy Beyond Words Better Late than Never... Escalating Tensions: India's Violations of the Indus Waters Treaty Preserving Pakistan Pakistan Day Parade-2024: A Celebration of National Unity and Strength Demolition of Muslim Properties in India: A Weapon of Choice and State Policy Sustainable Energy Transition: Strategies for Pakistan’s Shift towards Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency The Impact of Climate Change on Global Health: Building Resilient Health Systems SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part III) Emerging from the Depths: The Pakistan Army Dedicated to Promoting Tolerance and Diversity: Pakistan Army, in Collaboration with the University of Peshawar, Hosts a Successful Grand Peace Fair Pak-Saudi On Job Training 2024 CJCSC Addresses SCO Military Medical Seminar 2024 on Challenges in Military Medicines Loyalty, Honor, Duty: The Pivotal Role of Pakistan Armed Forces in Upholding Peace and Security From Darkness to Light–One Year On: Contemplating May 9, 2023 to May 9, 2024 Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors Global Perspectives on Content Regulation: Examining Network Enforcement Act and Disinformation Laws The Issue of Palestine: A Historical, Religious, and Humanitarian Perspective Modi’s Guarantee and Hindutva Incorporated Divide and Conquer: The Dangerous Surge of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Indian Politics India's Hybrid Warfare in Kashmir India: Where the Price of Protest is Death! Pakistani Peacekeepers and the International Peacekeeping Day Empowering Pakistan: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Energy Autarky Overpopulation: Navigating Challenges and Charting Solutions for Pakistan Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Friendship: Dawn of a New Era SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part IV) A Tale of Two Sultans: Brigadier Sultan Ahmed, SJ & Bar (Part II) In the Footsteps of Valor: A Journey through Peshawar Garrison Pakistan Military Academy Passing Out Parade-2024 CGS Turkish Armed Forces Calls on COAS Green Pakistan Initiative Conference Highlights National Commitment to Agricultural Innovation and Economic Growth Commander Turkish Land Forces Calls on COAS Minister of Foreign Affairs, KSA, Calls on COAS Assistant Minister of Defense, KSA, Calls on COAS PAF Academy Asghar Khan Hosts Prestigious Graduation Ceremony for Aviation Cadets Faculty and Students from Muzaffargarh Government Post Graduate College Visit Multan Garrison SIFC's First Year: Transforming Pakistan's Investment Landscape SIFC’s First Birthday SIFC Building an Investor SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part V) : Driving Growth in Industry, Tourism, and Privatization SIFC and Pakistan’s Economic Landscape: A Year in Review Chinas Transition from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 Social Media in Pakistan: Balancing Risks and Governance for National Security Indian Ambitious “Make in India” Approach for Defense Production: An Appraisal India s Bold Shift: Extraterritorial Killings and Regional Instability as the New Normal Charting a Path Towards Water Sustainability: Pakistan Comparative Analysis of IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ Harboring Opportunities: The Socioeconomic Benefits of Gwadar Port Development for Pakistan and the Region From Gridlock to Green Lanes: OLMRTS Drive Progress Evolution of Multan: A Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future Empowering Tomorrow Embracing Tradition: Welcoming the 17th Entry to Military College Sui Balochistan Champions of the Desert: Balochistan Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Girls Cadet College Turbat Hosts First Passing-out Parade Secretary General of Defense and National Armaments, Italy, Calls on CJCSC U.S. CENTCOM Commander Calls on COAS Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on COAS Turkish Foreign Minister Visits COAS COAS and CGS UK Army’s Address at 6th Pakistan-UK Regional Stabilization Conference GHQ Investiture Ceremony Held at General Headquarters COAS Extends Condolence to Iran Following Helicopter Crash That Claimed Top Officials CNS visits PLA (Navy) Headquarters China CNS Attends 19th Western Pacific Naval Symposium CNS Attends the Launching Ceremony of 1st HANGOR Class Submarine CAS Calls on General Secretary of MOD and Commander of Iraqi Air Force Commander Southern Command and 2 Corps Visits Khairpur Tamewali Pakistan-U.S. Navy Bilateral Exercise Inspired Union 2024 Pakistan Navy's Humanitarian Mission in Balochistan's Flood-ravaged Villages The Heat is On: How Pakistan is Battling the Dire Consequences of Climate Change Solid Waste Management in Pakistan: Promotion of Sustainable Circular Economy Revolutionizing Flood Risk Management in Pakistan: Harnessing the Power of River Indus Assumptions Vs. Realities: Demystifying Pakistan‘s Defense Budget Unresolved Turmoil, The Gaza Conflict and Israel‘s Strategic Quagmire Post Shangri-La Dialogue: Prospects for Regional Security and Stability Optimizing the Benefits of CPEC 2.0 Sagadat Nurmagambetov: An Example of Persistence, Courage, and Selfless Devotion to the Motherland From Digital Resistance to Pro-Palestinian Encampment SIFC: Catalyst for Foreign Investment Driving Pakistan‘s Economic Transformation Charting a Green Future: How SIFC is Leading Pakistan‘s Green Revolution Digital Terrorism: Implications for Pakistan‘s National Security and Policy Tich‘ Cowan – The Fighting Admiral Leepa Valley: Where Nature Meets Patriotism RUMANZA: Transforming Pakistan‘s Golfing Landscape with World-Class Excellence Inside Okara Garrison: Students Witness Pakistan Army‘s Training and Tradition Prime Minister Pays Tribute at Sepoy Haroon William‘s Funeral Service CJCSC Visits Turkiye Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on CJCSC COAS Visits the LOC in the Haji Pir Sector Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy Calls on CNS Royal Saudi Naval Forces Delegation Visits Pakistan CAS Visits Command and Staff College Quetta Commander Multan Corps Reviews Troops’ Watermanship Training in Okara Rescue at Sea: Pakistan Navy Saves 8 Iranian Fishermen Amid Vessel Fire

Hilal English

The Legacy of Khan Brothers in Pakistan Armed Forces (Part I)

February 2024

Amid the Indo-Pakistan War of 1948, a period when Pakistan was still in its early stages, the remarkable contributions of Air Marshal Asghar Khan's family stood out. The nation owes immense gratitude to the entire family for their exceptional efforts during this critical period.

A midst the many tales of valor within the Pakistani Armed Forces, the Khan Brothers and Alam Brothers shine as exemplary figures. Their unwavering dedication and exceptional service have elevated them to the status of the most revered families in Pakistan.
Both families shared a poignant similarity—they left behind their homes and possessions in India to embrace Pakistan as their new homeland. Personally acquainted with both families, I am honored to recount the extraordinary legacy of the Khan Brothers through this discourse.
Despite Air Marshal Asghar Khan's father and two brothers choosing to stay in India after the Partition, their commitment and sacrifices remain unparalleled. Amidst their father's presence in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), three of the brothers fearlessly spearheaded attacks during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1948. Their bravery played a pivotal role in the liberation of Azad Kashmir and the northern areas. Through this narrative, I aim to immerse readers in their awe-inspiring stories of unwavering service and sacrifice.
Their unwavering devotion, dedication, and patriotism shine through the remarkable commitment of the family members. Among the nine brothers, an incredible eight proudly served in the Pakistan Armed Forces. At the same time, each of the three sisters married army officers, a testament to their deep-rooted connection and commitment to serving their nation.
Family Ancestry and Heritage
Ancestral heritage often weaves a compelling narrative for families, and a rich marshal ancestry suggests a lineage steeped in history, valor, and possibly military distinction. It signifies a legacy of strength, leadership, and perhaps a tradition of service to their community or nation. This heritage could echo tales of battlefield bravery, strategic prowess, or contributions to shaping societies. Such ancestral roots often instill a sense of pride, responsibility, and a desire to uphold the honor and values passed down through generations.

General Sardar Sumandar Khan, Air Marshal Asghar Khan's paternal uncle, held a distinguished role as the commander of the Maharaja of Kashmir's Army. His leadership garnered deep respect from all those under his command, particularly for the camaraderie instilled within the first Kashmir Regiment during his tenure.

History vividly illustrates how heritage resonates proudly across generations, exemplified by the lineage of Air Marshal Asghar Khan. His roots trace back to a long line of martial tradition stemming from the resilient Malikdin Khel Afridi clan of the Tirah Valley. Renowned for their steadfast defense of their territories, his clan stood resilient against formidable forces, including the British Empire, displaying an indomitable spirit.
It's crucial to introduce readers to the backdrop of his family's migration to Kashmir and to delve into Kashmir's historical and geographical landscape during the turn of the century. This context enriches the narrative and offers insights into the intricate tapestry of the region's history and its impact on Asghar Khan's familial journey.
Sardar Samad Khan Afridi: Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s Grandfather
Maharaja Ranjit Singh's dominion extended over Punjab, including Shimla, the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, and the North West Frontier, encompassing the Khyber Pass and reaching nearly Kabul. To secure his safety, Ranjit Singh, mistrusting the Sikh Rajwaras, employed two distinct groups of fighters as his bodyguards.
One of these groups comprised a Dogra force commanded by Gulab Singh. The other was a Pakhtoon group, primarily composed of Afridis, known for their military prowess in the Khyber Pass area. Sardar Asad Khan led this group, accompanied by his son, Sardar Samad Khan, Air Marshal Asghar Khan's grandfather. Both groups served Ranjit Singh faithfully. Over time, the commanders, Gulab Singh and Sardar Samad Khan Afridi, developed a close friendship.
Following Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, internal strife among Sikh warlords erupted, leaving no roles for these two forces. Consequently, both groups withdrew to their respective regions.
Subsequently, in 1846, Gulab Singh acquired the state of Jammu and Kashmir through a purchase amounting to three million Rupees (the sum varies in different accounts). Facing resistance from Dogra warlords, Gulab Singh sought the assistance of his Afridi ally, Sardar Samad Khan. Answering the call, Sardar Samad Khan arrived with a sizable force of Afridis, accompanied by their families. He was allocated a vast area known as Hai Hama, approximately three miles north of Kupwara, where the families settled. The men from the Afridi group actively joined forces in various expeditions to subdue the Dogra warlords and quell insurgencies, including in Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar.
It's worth noting that Air Marshal Asghar Khan's paternal grandmother hailed from Yasin. Sardar Samad Khan eventually settled in Battal-Ballian, near Udhampur in the Jammu Province of Kashmir State, where he resided until his passing in 1900.
Sumandar Khan: Air Marshal Asghar Khan's Paternal Uncle
General Sardar Sumandar Khan, Air Marshal Asghar Khan's paternal uncle, held a distinguished role as the commander of the Maharaja of Kashmir's Army. His leadership garnered deep respect from all those under his command, particularly for the camaraderie instilled within the first Kashmir Regiment during his tenure. Notably, the regiment's creation of a remarkable hockey ground at Bunji, situated about 25 km from Gilgit along a steep hillside, is a testament to their dedicated hard work under his guidance.
Post-military service, General Sumandar Khan remained dedicated to assisting the Muslim community. Elected as the President of Anjuman-e-Islamia, Jammu, he initiated significant contributions, notably establishing a girls' high school at Mohalla Dalpattian within a spacious old building. His efforts extended to securing a portion of Jammu Fort from the Maharaja for the boys' school, facilitating extensive repairs and renovations that transformed the site into the esteemed Islamia High School, equipped with ample playgrounds and facilities.
Known for his kindness, General Sumandar Khan's doors were always open to anyone in need within the Mohalla. A mark of his influence was the profound respect the Maharaja of Kashmir accorded to him, who consistently stood in reverence whenever General Sumandar Khan visited his Durbar.
Despite not having children of his own, he provided nurturing guidance and unwavering care to the children of his youngest brother, Rahmatullah Khan.
Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan: The Father of Khan Brothers
Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan was the youngest of the four sons of Sardar Samad Khan Afridi. He was born at Battal-Ballian, a rural suburb of Udhampur town north of Jammu, where his father, Sardar Samad Khan Afridi, had been awarded a hereditary jagir (estate). Brigadier Rahmatullah’s early upbringing and education took place in Battal-Ballian.
He was granted a direct commission in the State Armed Forces in December 1902. He participated in WWI 1914 in East Africa as the Adjutant (rank of a Captain) of the 2nd Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. He took part in the Battles of Tanga (November 1914) and Jassin (January 1915) against the German colonial forces commanded by Major General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck. 
He rejoined Jammu and Kashmir Forces (1922-25) and later became Director of Military Training (1925-28). He was promoted to Colonel in 1928 and appointed General Staff Officer of Jammu and Kashmir Forces. He was promoted to Brigadier in September 1932 and appointed Brigade Commander. He was granted hereditary jagirs in Kashmir, consisting of villages in the Kashmir valley, Achabal in Anantnag Tehsil, and Tehsil Rahyar. 
After partition, turmoil gripped Jammu, especially targeting Muslims. Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan made a crucial decision, sending his wife, three daughters, youngest son, niece, nephew, and two other relatives to Risalpur under Wing Commander M. Asghar Khan, commanding the RPAF Flying School. 
Meanwhile, the movement to integrate Kashmir into Pakistan began in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), led by his son, Major (later Brigadier) Aslam Khan. By October 1947, his eldest son, Major Nasrullah Khan, a Brigade Major, staged a rebellion against the Kashmir state, seizing control of his Brigade.
Amidst all these events in the newly formed Pakistan, Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan faced arrest by Shaikh Abdullah, and he was imprisoned in Hari Parbat Fort. He was later released and confined to his Bagh-e-Mehtab farm.
After the Indo-Pakistan War in 1948, the Pakistani and Indian governments arranged for the exchange and repatriation of prisoners of War. Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan was exchanged for two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilots. Upon arriving in Pakistan via an IAF Dakota, he was warmly received by his son, Wing Commander Asghar Khan, and taken to Risalpur for rest and care. Subsequently, all his sons collectively purchased a house in Abbottabad, establishing the paternal home for the Khan family. There, amidst a welcoming atmosphere, Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan fostered a warm and inviting environment, embracing his children, extended family, and in-laws. This became a home for the family, especially summers, that brought the entire family to reunite in their Abbottabad home.
He remained in Abbottabad until his passing in June 1966, finding his final resting place in the family graveyard near Ilyasi Masjid, Nawanshahr, close to Abbottabad.
Brigadier Rehmatullah Khan’s family consisted of nine sons and daughters, as follows: 
1.   Aysha Bibi (passed away at the age of twelve due to ill health).
2.  Colonel Nasrullah Khan was active in Azad Kashmir in the Poonch and Mirpur sectors.
3.  Brigadier Mohammad Aslam Khan is the liberator of areas of GB that constitute the Northern Areas of Pakistan. 
4.   Air Marshal Mohammad Asghar Khan was the first Pakistani Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
5.  Major Mohammad Anwar Khan, Pakistan Army, took part in the Indo-Pakistan 1948 and set up PIA Shaver Poultry Farms after retirement.
6.  Pilot Officer (PO) Mohammad Asaf Khan was the first Pakistani officer to die in a PAF plane crash. 
7. Commander Mohammad Afzal Khan, Pakistan Navy, and philanthropist.
8.  Salma Rahmat, wife of Colonel Ghulam Hyder (who arrested the Governor of Gilgit in 1947).
9.  Squadron Leader Mohammad Khalid Khan died in a PAF aircraft accident in 1958.
10. Mohammad Tariq Khan, an influential local philanthropist.
11. Shamim Rahmat, wife of Colonel Aleem Afridi (one of the armed forces leaders to protest against the Yahya Khan regime following the fall of Dacca).
12. Zarina Rahmat, wife of Air Marshal Ayaz Ahmed, is also Pakistan's Ambassador to Syria.
13. Mr. Farooq Rehmatullah is the Chairman and Managing Director of Shell Pakistan Ltd. and Director General (DG) of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Colonel Nasrullah Khan and His Role in Poonch Sector, 1947-1948
He was the eldest son and elder brother of Air Marshal Asghar Khan, almost 20 years his senior. His services will be forever remembered for the liberation of more significant areas of Azad Kashmir in the Mirpur and Poonch areas.  
Colonel Nasrullah Khan was a Brigade Major at Rajauri (Kashmir) in the Poonch Sector in October 1947. Due to disturbances, he was given command of the 2nd Kashmir Battalion. Upon taking over the command, he was ordered to advance and capture different objectives, which included small and medium-sized towns. His leading elements were initially offered resistance near Gulpur, contiguous to old Mirpur. However, he regrouped and marshaled resources and re-launched his battalion, leading to the capture of Palandri, Kotli, Rawalakot, and the surrounding areas of Poonch. Mujahids from his force were later moved to Siraan (Hatian Bala) to raise 1 Azad Kashmir Battalion.  
He was tasked to assist in putting an end to the ongoing massacre of the Muslims in Jhanghar, Naushera, and Khuarata areas. Colonel Nasrullah Khan was deputed on October 26, 1947, to take three Muslim Companies of 2nd Kashmir Rifles and break the Dogra ring around these locations. He operated with these companies on the night of October 26-27, 1947. He initiated by attacking the Gurkha Garrison, which eleven companies were defending. He managed to wipe them out of the Garrison. After that, he sent one company under Captain Rehmatullah toward Khuarata and Drahal Fort, where the Muslims were being massacred mercilessly. With his remaining force, he advanced toward Thorochi Fort on October 27, 1947. At this point, the two Gurkha companies defending this position ran away. Thorochi Fort was captured on the night of October 27-28; this was followed by the capture of Dudial near Mirpur Chansk and put to an end. After consolidating his positions, he then marched onto Kotli. He surrounded the Dogra Garrison for about a month, causing a huge number of casualties to the Indians at the Sharda post, which was heavily defended. Having secured the area up to this point, he captured all the remaining commanding features. For his amazing achievements and gallantry, he was awarded the Fakhar-e-Kashmir.

The writer is a military historian and biographer. 
E-mail: [email protected]