Andar (Pashtun tribe)

The Andar are a Ghilji Pashtun sub-tribe. The Andar occupy nearly the whole of the extensive district of Shalgar south of Ghazni [1] The Andar had been known for their skill and usage of large karez (underground irrigation systems). More concentrated in Ghazni Province, they have also a significant presence in Paktia. During the 19th century they joined in the Ghilji revolt and many were summarily sent into internal exile. Somewhat inexplicably, they allied themselves for a time with the Harakat-i Islami, originally a Shia faction, during the anti-Soviet campaign.[2] In fact, there were two Mujaheddin parties named Harakat-i Islami Afghanistan, while one was a Shi'ite faction, the other and far more significant party was originally a 'united front' of mainly Hezb-i Islami and Jamiat-i Islami, that collapsed after only a few months, leaving behind a significant party that was in many ways a precursor to the present day Taliban movement. A majority of the Andar tribe were affiliated with this 'Harakt-i Islami' and it is notable that the leader of this united front and later party, Mawlawi Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi was Andar by tribe. Similarly, the senior Mawlawi Mansoor was Andar too. Mansoor's son Saifurrahman Mansoor was later an important figure and military leader in the Taliban movement.

Andars living in the Andar District of Ghazni Province (Afghanistan) and surrounding areas consist of five main clans: Jalalzai, Lakankhel, Brahimzai, Bazikhel and Peerkhail. The Andar were organized by an elder referred to as Khanay Baba around early 19th century and started an armed conquest of reclaiming the present Paktia and Ghazni areas from the Hazara ethnic group. This also coincided with the Afghan British wars and when Amir Abdul Rahman reached a compromise with the British, he further supported Andar (and other supporting Pashtoon tribes) to reclaim the Daya, Malistan and Ajiristan districts from Hazaras. During this era, a military commander known as Sepah Salar (highest military rank in the then army) Sher Ahmad Khan was notable for leading many years of successful conquests.

In the meantime, Andars were actively participating in the ongoing war against the British. Famous among the Andar military leaders in the war against the British were Mullah Mushk-e Alam in Ghazni area and Haji Abdul Razaq in Wazeeristan. Both men are still remembered as great leaders to this day.


  1. H.A. Rose, p. 244
  2. Gilles Dorronsoro, Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. 167


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