Khalil (Pashtun tribe)

The Khalil (Pashto: خليل) is a Pashtun tribe son of Ghoryakhel primarily living in Pakistan with some members in Nangarhar, Herat, Ghazni, Qandahar of Afghanistan and in the Peshawar valley. To the west and south-west of Daudzai lie the settlements of the Khalils. GhoryaKhel settled around Peshawar and the dividing center between the Khalil and Mohmand area is the first village after the Bara stream to the Eastwords claimed both by the Khalil and Mohmand tribe is Sheikhan. Ghoryakhel had four sons Daulatyar tribe, Khalil, Chamkani tribe, Zeerani and Daulatyar tribe had two sons Mohmand, Daudazai. There are eight main sub-divisions in the Khalil tribe.,



The Khalils originally lived in central Afghanistan Ghor, and in the Qalat-i-Ghilzai Zabul, and Ghazni. Khalil Mattezai still living on the basin of the Tarnak River north of Ghazni. After the Mongols invaded the region in the 13th century, the Khalils, along with the Mohmands who were also formerly settled in central Afghanistan, were driven out.The Khalils first migrated northeastwards to Kabul and then to Nangrahar further eastwards along the Kabul River. The Khalils came in 1530-1535 from Nangrahar to their present settlement in the Peshawar valley according to the Babur history book Baburnama.[1]

A section of Khalil tribe to the north-west, known as the Garhis, was originally the joint property of the Khalil and Daudzai tribes. It was subsequently given as seri to Mians from whom the Khalil Arbab purchased it and latter they are the owners. Different Governments (Mughals and the British, etc.) in the past bestowed the title of Arbabi on some powerful individuals of some tribes for siding with them in different wars and conflicts with the other non complying tribes and people, mainly Pukhtoons, in different times. they would also be given certain responsibilities/services which they would render on behalf of the governments of the time.

The Khalils and their ally the Afridis were first mentioned in the memoirs of Mughal Emperor Babur, as violent tribes in need of subduing.[13] The Khalils first came to Peshawar in 1530-1535 and fought with Dilazak Pashtun tribe and now they controlled west side of Peshawar close to Khyber Pass, which has historically served as a corridor connecting the Indian subcontinent with Afghanistan and Central Asia. Its strategic value was not lost on the Mughals, to whom the Khalils were implacably hostile.[14] Over the course of Mughal rule, Emperors Akbar and Jahangir both dispatched punitive expeditions to suppress the Khalils, to little success.[15]

The Khalils and Mohmands once destroyed two large Mughal armies of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1672 in a surprise attack between Peshawar and Kabul, and in the winter of 1673 in an ambush in the mountain passes.[16] The emperor himself had to lead an army into the mountains to suffocate the revolt and liberate the mountain passes, and even then another large army was "badly mauled" in Bajaur.[17] Allegedly, only five Mughals made it out of the battle alive.

In 1897 suddenly Khalils rose, captured all the posts in the Khyber held by their own countrymen, and attacked on forts close to Peshawar Valley. In the February 1908 the restiveness of the Mulagori tribe again made a British expedition necessary, but the campaign was speedily ended, though in the following April they had again to proceed against the Mohmands, the situation being complicated by an incursion from Afghanistan.


Since 16th century, most Khalils are residing in the west and south west of Peshawar Valley. The head of the Khalil tribe was Arbab Jehangir Khan Khalil (Late) and now his son Arbab Alamgir Khan Khalil and also Haji Auranzeb Khan Astanzai he was not the head of whole khalil tribe, but he had truly represented the tribe of Shahi Bala, Shahi Payan, Hajizai Kundi Muhammad Shah, Sardar Garhi, Tehkal bala, Tehkal payan, Palosi, Regi, Patwar, Mulazai, Lakarai, Abdara, Sufaid Dheri, Pawaka, Nawan Kali Payan (Naodeh Payan), Nawan Kali Bala (Naodeh Bala), Peshta Khara, Landi akhone ahmad, sango, sarband, Achini bala, Achini payan, Garhi Sikandar Khan are also the major residing areas of Khalils. The geographical location of Khalil is 20 kilo metre by 15 kilo metre. There are two big sub sections one is Malik and second is Arbab. Khalil Mattezai tribe area end at Budnai.

Islamia College University

Notable individuals of the Arbab, such as Arbab Ghulam Haider Khan helped Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan founder of the Islamia College University in Peshawar. reputedly, Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan traveled to Peshawar for studies and as there were no hostels available at that time, he decided to live in a mosque. In 1911, after completing his education and holding various government posts, he came back to Tehkal and asked the Maliks and Arbabs to sell the land which is now the site of Peshawar University to build the college there.

Notable Khalils Squash World Champion

Hashim Khan - Squash

Roshan Khan - Squash

Mohibullah Khan - Squash

Jahangir Khan - Squash

Jansher Khan - Squash

Carla Khan - Squash (Grand Daughter of Azam Khan)

Sufaid Sung

Arbabs residing in Landi Arbab are known as Momand tribe. Arbabs residing in Tehkal are known as Khalil tribe and the Khalil Arbab belong to the Mitta khel sub-section of Ishakzai . The Mitta khel hold their ancestral property, including the Garhis, revenue free on payment of only one quarter of the assessments. The sub divisions of the Khalil tribe living in village Sufaid Sung are:


  1. Tate, George Passman. The Kingdom of Afghanistan: A Historical Sketch, 1911. Page 14.
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