Chhachi (Pashtun tribe)

The Chhachi Pashtuns consist of a variety of Pashtun clans inhabiting the region of Chhachh in the northern half of the Punjab province of Pakistan, which is home of a large community of Pashtuns.[1]

Major tribes

According to the 1901 Census of India, these were the main sub-divisions of the Pathans in Attock District.[2]

Tribe Attock Tehsil Pindigheb Tehsil Fateh Jang Tehsil Talagang Tehsil Total
Adal Khel 1240 1240
Akhund Khel 722 722
Alizai 4,415 4,415
Babar 615 615
Babi 581 581
Barakzai 578 578
Dilazak 1,070 3 43 1,116.
Jamal Khel 579 579
Lodhi 727 1 5 733
Piru Khel 594 594
Saddo Khel 801 801
Sagri Khattak 4,759 4,759
Tareen 658 658

History and origin

The Attock Pathans (Hindko speakers) and Pashtuns (Pashto speakers) are found in two parts of the tehsil, those of Sarwala, and those of Chhachh. The Chhach Pathans have very little in common with the Sagri, as they are separated by the Kala Chita mountains, and a solid territory of Awan and Khattar villages. The Chach are a Hindko speaking community, and have much in common with the Pashtun tribes settled in the neighbouring Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[3]

The largest clan are the Alizai, who include the Tahirkheli, one of three mains septs of the Alizai. The Tahirkheli inhabit villages along the Haro river. The other tribe along the Haro are the Saddozai, and both they and the Alizai, are branches of the durrani tribe. Together with the Manduri and Barahzai, who are also found in numbers in the district, they are all sections of the great Yousafzai tribe. By far the greater proportion of the Attock Pathans are Yousafzai, allied to the Yousafzai of Swabi and Mardan districts.There are also Pashtuns belonging to Barakzai tribe.

The Attock District Gazeteer gaves the following description regarding Pathan settlement in the district.

The connection of Pathans with the tahsil is not very ancient. The earliest comers may have been the Lodhis, who are a section of the Ghilzai nation, and accompanied Mahmud Ghaznavi as mercenaries on his invasions of India. Their numbers are inconsiderable. Next after a long interval came the Dilazak who were gradually driven from the Safed Koh by the Yousafzai.About the end of the 16th Century they crossed the river, and found the Chhachh, then a swamp being slowly recovered from the Indus, in possession of the Gujars. Apparently they never settled down and in consequence of the turmoil caused by their constant attempt to recover Mardan illaqa of Peshawar from the Yousafzais, were finally deported by Jahangir and scattered over the India Peninsula.[4]
The great Pathan invasion of the Chhachh took place much latter. About the end of the 17th Century the Khattaks, pushing up from Kohat at the south,began to press on the flanks of the Yousafzai between Attock and Peshawer of which they had been put in charge. At the same time too the Gujars of Hazara has summoned the Yousafzais across the river to help against the Tareen, a tribe of original Pashtuns of Jewish and Arab origin, who had fallen on the Haripur plain. Later in the middle of the 18th Century the Piro Khels who are Afridis and Pathans proper, came with Nadir Shah perhaps from Persia, and remained behind when he returned.By the end of the 18th Century Dilazaks, Tareens, Yousafzais and Afridis had settled down in the Tahsil, with the Yousafzai numerically immensely superior. Since then no immigration has taken place. The chief accretion to Pathan strength has been that of the Akhund Khel. Akhund is the title given to any chief of special sanctity, and Akhundzada is the title of his descendents. Many Akhund Khel are Syed by origin, perform no priestly functions, and live like ordinary Pathans. The Tahirkheli Pathans who inhabit the north-east of the Tahsil below the main wall of the Gandgarh Hills and along the line of the Haro by tradition and sentiment have little to with Attock. They live or own land in the Hazara District, and many are Jagirdars [5]


The Chhachh ilaqa{area } is almost entirely held by the Pathans (Hindkowans-Non-Pashtuns), as is the Nala estates, along the Haro river valley. The Chhachh Pathans were the earliest group of Attock who start emigrating to Europe and North America. There are now large communities of Chhachh Pathan settled in British cities, such as Bradford and Manchester, Also there are sizeable communities of Chachhies in California and North Carolina states of The United States of America. .[6]

See also

∗Tareen Pathan


  1. A Gazetteer of Attock District Part A 1929 page 89
  2. Gazatteer of Attock District 1906 Part B Table 15
  3. A Gazetteer of Attock District 1929 Part A page 91
  4. "A Gazetteer of Attock District 1929 Part A page 91
  5. "A Gazatteer of Attock District 1929 Part A page 92
  6. Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani Families in Britain by Alison Shaw Routledge ISBN 90-5823-075-9
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