Map of Pakistan showing district-wise demographic distribution of Awan population.
Map of Pakistan showing district-wise demographic distribution of Awan population.

Awan (Urdu: اعوان) is a tribe living predominantly in the northern, central, and western parts of Pakistani Punjab, with significant numbers also present in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, and to a lesser extent in Sindh and Pakistani Balochistan.[1]

History

Jamal J. Elias notes that the Awans believe themselves to be of Arab origin, descended from Ali ibn Abu Talib and that the claim of Arab descent gives them "high status in the Indian Muslim environment".[2]

Christophe Jaffrelot says:

The Awan deserve close attention, because of their historical importance and, above all, because they settled in the west, right up to the edge of Baluchi and Pashtun territory. Legend has it that their origins go back to Imam Ali and his second wife, Hanafiya. Historians describe them as valiant warriors and farmers who imposed their supremacy on the Janjua in part of the Salt Range and established large colonies all along the Indus to Sind, and a densely populated center not far from Lahore.[3]

People of the Awan community have a strong presence in the Pakistani Army[4] and a notable martial tradition.[5] They were listed as an "agricultural tribe" by the British Raj in 1925, a term that was then synonymous with classification as a "martial race".[6]

Genetic studies on Awan

Centre for Human Genetics of Edith Cowan University, Australia, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Pakistan and Institute of General Genetics of Russian Academy of Science, Russia conducted different genetic studies on Awan and its neighbouring tribes, namely Khattar and Rajput, which concluded that Awans are genetically isolated due to inbreeding, and out of 99 different alleles, 28 alleles are shared by all three communities.[7]

Department of Genetics of Hazara University, Pakistan conducted a dental morphology and DNA analysis of major tribes in Northern Pakistan which recorded that haplogroup T1[8] (originated in Israel[9]) is only found in Awans,[10][11]

Department of Genetics of Hazara University, Pakistan, Department of Anthropology of University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA and Center for Human Genetics of Hazara University, Pakistan conducted different studies in which hypervariable segment I (HVSI) from mtDNA was analyzed to establish the genetic lineage of the populations living in Northern Pakistan. A three-cytosine deletion (CCC) at position 16191-16193 was clearly observed in the ethnic Awan population.[12]

Notable people

Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, former Nawab of Kalabagh, Chief of the Awan tribe, Governor of West Pakistan from 1960 to 1966
Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, former Nawab of Kalabagh, Chief of the Awan tribe, Governor of West Pakistan from 1960 to 1966
Air Marshal Nur Khan, Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, 1965–69, Governor of West Pakistan, 1969–70
Air Marshal Nur Khan, Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, 1965–69, Governor of West Pakistan, 1969–70

See also

References

  1. ^ Douie, J. 2003. The Panjab, North West Frontier Province and Kashmir. Asian Educational Services, p.105.
  2. ^ J. Elias, Jamal (1998). Death Before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu. University of California Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-52021-242-8.
  3. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2004). A History of Pakistan and Its Origins (Reprinted ed.). Anthem Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-84331-149-2.
  4. ^ Jones, Philip Edward (2003). The Pakistan People's Party: Rise to Power. Oxford University Press. p. 61. ISBN 0195799666. This [Awan] tribe is perhaps the most heavily recruited tribe in the [Pakistan] Army.
  5. ^ Ali, Imran (1998). Punjab under Imperialism, 1885–1947. Princeton University Press. p. 114. ISBN 1400859581.
  6. ^ Mazumder, Rajit K. (2003). The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab. Orient Longman. p. 105. ISBN 9788178240596.
  7. ^ W. Wang; S. G. Sullivan; S. Ahmed; D. Chandler; L. A. Zhivotovsky; A. H. Bittles (2000). "A genome-based study of consanguinity in three co-resident endogamous Pakistan communities". Annals of Human Genetics. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 64 (Pt 1): 41–49. doi:10.1046/j.1469-1809.2000.6410041.x. PMID 11246460. S2CID 21493970. There was a reduction in heterozygosity and high average inbreeding effects (FIS and/or HS), particularly in the Awan, indicating genetic isolation and a high cumulative level of autozygosity.
  8. ^ Mendez, F. L.; Karafet, T. M.; Krahn, T.; Ostrer, H.; Soodyall, H.; Hammer, M. F. (2011). "Haplogroup T1 origin". Human Biology. 83 (1): 39–53. doi:10.3378/027.083.0103. PMID 21453003. S2CID 207611348.
  9. ^ "Haplogroup T1 origin".
  10. ^ "page numbers 92-93 of this report not page numbers of pdf" (PDF).
  11. ^ Nazia (2014). "GENETIC ANALYSES OF THE MAJOR TRIBES OF ABBOTTABAD AND MANSEHRA DISTRICTS THROUGH DENTAL MORPHOLOGY AND DNA ANALYSES" (PDF). Department of Genetics Hazara University Mansehra: 92.
  12. ^ N. Akbar; H. Ahmad; M.S. Nadeem; B.E. Hemphill; K. Muhammad; W. Ahmad; M. Ilyas (24 June 2016). "HVSI polymorphism indicates multiple origins of mtDNA in the Hazarewal population of Northern Pakistan" (PDF). Genetics and Molecular Research. 15 (2). doi:10.4238/gmr.15027167. PMID 27420957. Retrieved 28 November 2020. A three-cytosine deletion (CCC) at position 16191-16193 observed in the ethnic Awan population residing in Mansehra.
  13. ^ Khan, Jahan Dad (2001). Pakistan Leadership Challenges. Oxford University Press. p. 72. ISBN 0195795873.
  14. ^ Khan, Roedad (1999). The American Papers: Secret and Confidential India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Documents, 1965-1973. Oxford University Press. p. 265. ISBN 0195791908.
  15. ^ Sultan, Ather; Sultan, Atiyab (17 May 2020). "CHESS:The Wrath of Khan". Dawn. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  16. ^ Kamal, Daud (2008). Flower on a Grave: Poems from Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195474978.
  17. ^ Frembgen, Jürgen Wasim (2006). The Friends of God: Sufi Saints in Islam, Popular Poster Art from Pakistan. Oxford University Press. p. 103. ISBN 0195470060. ... Sultan Bahu (d. 1691) whose real name was Sultan Muhammad. Born into an Awan Family in Shorkot (District Jhang), ...
  18. ^ Warraich, Suhail (10 December 2017). "A Barelvi revival?". The News International. Islamabad. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Hazrat Ameer Muhammad Akram (RA)". Silsala Naqshbandia Owaisia. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  20. ^ Ustad-e-Punjab (teacher of Punjab), in Urdu Language, by Maulana Majeed Sohadravi, Darussalam Pakistan/Muslim Publication, Lahore. page 41
  21. ^ Web Team, WION (8 July 2021). "Pakistan mourns the loss of legendary Indian star Dilip Kumar, prayers offered outside ancestral home". WION. New Delhi, India. Retrieved 13 July 2021.

Further reading