The Shinwari (Pashto: شينواري) is an ethnic Pashtun tribe of Afghanistan. Among the greatest poets of the Pashto language in the 20th century was the late Ameer Hamza Shinwari, also known as "Hamza Baba".

Illustration of a Shinwari Pashtun tribal chief, Azad Khan, 1878
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Mohmand, Durrani, Yusufzai

The Shinwari tribe are descended from the Kasi Pashtun tribe settled in the southern districts of Nangarhar Province, in Haska Meyna, Achin, Rodat, Bati Kot, Kot, Chaprahar, Shinwar, Dor Baba and Nazian districts. A major portion of the tribe is centered in Jalalabad and Parwan province of Afghanistan. These Shinwaris are mostly traders and businessmen. There are more than 3,000 Shinwaris settled in the Alizai village, 15 km away from Kohat. Mirdad Khel, a sub-tribe of the Shinwaris, migrated to Swat Valley during the 1750s and settled there. Among them one of the notable Shinwaris is Senator Abdul Rahim Mirdad Khel. In Afghanistan, the Shinwari are also located in Kunar. Reporting from 2010 states that there are around 400,000 Shinwari in Afghanistan.[1]


The Shinwari tribe is settled in the southern districts of Nangarhar Province, in Haska Meyna, Achin, Rodat, Bati Kot, Kot, Chaprahar, Shinwar, Dor Baba and Nazian districts. A major portion of this tribe is also settled between Landi Kotal (Pakistan) and Jalalabad (Afghanistan), as well as in Parwan province of Afghanistan where they are concentrated in Shinwari, Ghorband, and Jabalussaraj districts. These Shinwaris are mostly traders and businessmen. There is also a significant minority of the tribe settled in Kohat and Hangu (Jangal Khel, Haji Abad, Mohallah Sangirh), Pakistan, a settlement 60 km south of Peshawar. In Afghanistan, the Shinwari are also located in Kunar, Bajaur Agency and Lower Dir. At Lower Dir, Munjai village contains a huge population of the Shinwari tribe, which had migrated from Afghanistan to Chamrakand (Mohmand Agency and Bajaur Agency) in the 1890s, and settled in the fertile land of Munjai village in Lower Dir. Reporting from 2010 states that there are around 400,000 Shinwari in Afghanistan.[1] The Shinwaris reside in hilly areas with narrow valleys such as in the Khyber Agency where mountain ranges meet there: Lacha Gar, Karagah Ghar, Surghar, Tor Ghar Morgah, and Kalauch. The famous Khyber Pass, at 1,180 meters (3,870 ft.) ASL, is the gateway to Afghanistan through the Kuh-e Sefid range.[2]

The Khyber Agency has two major rivers. The Bara River in the southern Khajuri Plain provides for relatively arable farm land. The Kabul River forms the northern boundary, separating Khyber from Mohmand Agency. Another river in the agency is the Chora, which flows east-northeast on the north side of the Surghar range. Valleys: Maidan, Rujgal, Bara, Bazaar, Choora, Wachpal and Tirah.[3][4][5]

Khyber Agency experiences hot temperatures during the summer season, May through August. Maximum temperatures may reach 104 degrees, while the lower average 79 degrees. During the cooler months of November through April, however, average high temperatures reach 64 degrees and lows dip to around 39 degrees. Average annual rainfall over the Khyber Agency is 15 to 16 inches[6]

The elders of the Shinwari tribe in Nangarhar signed a pact, uniting against the Taliban. They promised that anyone supporting the Taliban, would be punished with fines and expulsion. This pact, which per The Times "appears to be the first" incident of an entire tribe declaring war against the Taliban, has invited comparison with the Sunni Awakening of 2006, which tipped the balance of power in Iraq against the Sunni insurgency. The pact also had economic implications that America offered over in development funding. Further, reports suggested the Shinwari were against Taliban interference with their traditional smuggling routes across the Pakistani border.[7]

The security situation in Haska Mena district is getting worse daily due to the increased number of Taliban insurgents operating in Naria Aubo Village, Papen Village, Dara Village, Aughuz Village and other remote villages in the district, In December 2014, Most of the Taliban insurgents have changed from Taliban to ISIL-KP carrying out insurgent activities under the direct order of Abdul Khaliq, Who is the head of Taliban in Haska Mena. Several people were killed and injured during the insurgency in Haska Mena district, The most common are:[8]


British assessment (1885)

In 1885, a British author described the Shinwari ("Shanwari" in his text):

The Shanwari inhabit a portion of the Khaibar mountains, some of the eastern valleys of the Safed Koh, and are also found on the borders of Bajaur. They have five sections - Mandizai/Manduzai, Abdul Rahim, Sangu, Sipai, and Ali Sher. They have been continuously predatory since the British approached their borders. They are the most industrious carriers between Peshawur and the other marts on the way to Kabul, using mules and camels for carriage. They are brave, hospitable, stalwart and hardworking. They are well-educated people[9]

Feuds and alliances

The Shinwari tribe has been known to form alliances with the Mohmands, the Safis, and the Afridis. [10]

However, some sources indicate that the Mohmand tribe is frequently in a state of conflict with the Shinwari tribe.[11]

The Shinwari tribe has historically feuded with the Khogyani tribe, which is a Karlani sub-tribe. There are some historical inter-tribal feuds over land.[12]

Role in the Khost Rebellion

Main article: Khost rebellion (1924–1925)

During the Khost rebellion, the Shinwari aligned themselves with the Afghan Government and helped quell the revolt.

Role in 1929 Afghan Civil War

Main article: Reforms of Amanullah Khan and civil war

During the late 1928 riots, the Shinwari tribe were the first to openly rebel against king Amanullah Khan's imposition of various new laws, including the requirement to wear European dress, the rule that required them to send a quota of their daughters to Kabul for education and the impositions of taxes (they had never previously paid tax). The Shinwaris attacked Jalalabad, cutting off its water supply and closing the Kabul–Peshawar road. Amanullah responded by using his fledgling Air Force, including Soviet pilots, to bomb the Shinwaris. The use of foreign "infidels" to subjugate Muslims roused other tribes to revolt and the country descended into what would become the 1929 Afghan Civil War.


The Shinwaris are derived from the Kasi tribe, and are further distributed into sub-tribes:[13]

Tribe Clans of Tribe Subclans of Tribe division of Tribe Section of Subdivision Minor Fractions Other Fractions;
Shinwari Mandizai / Manduzai Hamza khel,

ilyas khel, Hasan khel

[Ahmed Khel][Maghdud khel] [Daulat khel]

[kotwal] [kuki khel] [Musi khel] [Umar khel] [Da Oghaz khel] [Mahmud Khel]


Haska Meyna District

Ali Sher Khel Adal khel, Ash khel [Khuga khel] [Mirdad khel] [Utar khel]

]Piro khel] [Piset khel] [Shekmal khel]

Sangu Khel Ghani khel [Haider khel] [kachkal khel] [Khani khel]

[Karmu khel] [Mirjan khel] [Mai khel] [Soulor ptar] [Mullagoris

Sephai [Rahimdad khel] [Haider khel]

[Suliman khel] [Babar khel] [Shabul khel]

[Aka nmasi] [Ata nmasi] [Mama khel]

[Aka khel] [Fatima nmasi] [Nimidar khel] [Mamai khel] [Lala nmasi] [ya khel]

Achin District      
Soonkhel(found in nazyan)            
Bu Saeed            
Haji [Shibli Khel] [Abdur Rahim Khel]          
[Mehmood Khel] Shinwaris of Dir Lower, Ancestry of Malak Mehmood Jan Shinwari/Fahm Jan Malak   district(dir lower)]    
other Shinwaris            

Notable Shinwari

See also


  1. ^ a b "Afghan Shinwari elders vow to support Hamid Karzai in exchange for US cash". The Times (UK). January 29, 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Filkins, Dexter (28 January 2010). "Afghan Tribe, Vowing to Fight Taliban, to Get U.S. Aid in Return -". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  8. ^ Walsh, Nick Paton (6 April 2015). "ISIS steps up recruitment in Taliban territory". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  9. ^ Edward Balfour. The cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia: commercial, industrial and scientific, products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures, Volume 2. Publisher B. Quaritch, 1885.
  10. ^ Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans, Government of India Press, New Delhi, 1958
  11. ^ Ahmed, Akbar S., Social and Economic Change in the Tribal Areas, 1972-1976, Oxford University Press, London, UK, 1977.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Shinwari tribe, Center for Culture and Conflict Studies, US Naval Postgraduate School.
  14. ^ a b OARDEC (1 October 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Ghalib, Haji" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2008.
  15. ^ "Usman Khan Shinwari - Pakistan Cricket Team - Official Cricket Profiles - PCB". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Usman Khan Shinwari destroys Sri Lanka top order". Retrieved 29 October 2017.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11.