Nasher (Kharoti clan)

House of Nasher
Country Afghanistan
Parent house Kharoti
Founded 977 / 1709
Current head Mohammad Faraidoon Nasher

The Nashir (Dari: الناشر, Persian: الناشر, Arabic: الناشر) are a noble Afghan family and Khans of the Pashtun Kharoti (Ghilji) tribe.[1] The family is originally from Qarabagh, Ghazni but founded modern day Kunduz in the early 20th century and lived there until the end of the Barakzai dynasty in the late 20th century. Members of the family now live in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

Origins and history

Fighting between Mahmud of Ghazni and Abu 'Ali Simjuri
early 19th century Khan in war regalia.

The Nasher are often linked to the ancient Ghaznavid dynasty.[2][3][4][5][6] The Ghaznavids (Persian: غزنویان) were a Turko-Persian dynasty of mamluk origin who carved out an empire, at their greatest extent ruling large parts of Persia, much of Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186 A.D.[7][8] When the Ghaznavid dynasty was defeated in 1148 by the Ghurids, the Ghaznavid Sultans continued to live in Ghazni, later known as the Nasher.[2][3][4] However, there is no evidence of a continued lineage to the Nasher. The earliest certain mention of the Nasher was in 1120 A.H (1709 A.D.),[6][9][10][11][12] when Ghilji Pashtun tribesmen under Khan Nasher successfully overthrew Safavid rule to establish the Ghilji Hotaki dynasty, which controlled Afghanistan from 1719-1729 A.D. and much of Persia from 1722-1729 until Nadir Shah of Persia seized power in the Battle of Damghan.

The Nasher then lived as (often still referred to as Ghaznavid[5][6][9][10][13]) Khans of the Kharoti (Pashto: خروټی), a Pashtun tribe of Ghilji origin with an estimated population of about 5.5 million, making it one of the largest, if not the largest tribe in Afghanistan, with significant territory throughout eastern and south-eastern Afghanistan: Ghazni, Zabul, Paktia, Khost, Logar, Wardak, Kabul and Nangarhar.[14][15]

In the 19th century

Nasher Khan, ca. 1880
Alam Khan Nasher, during the Second Anglo–Afghan War, 1879
Sher Khan Nasher, Loe Khan, ca. 1910

After the great Ghilji rebellion in 1885-1886, led by Alam Khan Nasher, the Nasher family was exiled by the ruling Barakzai King Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in order to weaken his nemesis.[16] Sher Khan Nasher, Khan of the Kharoti soon became governor of the Kunduz district launched an industrialisation campaign, founding the Spinzar Company, with major urban development and construction programmes.[17][18] Economic development transformed Kunduz into a thriving city with new residential housing, schools, and hospitals for the factory workers.[19] Sher Khan Nasher also implemented Qizel Qala harbour that was later named Sher Khan Bandar in his honour.[20] As his power grew and he eventually controlled the whole north of Afghanistan, the throne was within his reach, which is why there are theories that he was poisoned by the Barakzai king.[21] Several schools were named after him,[22][23][24] with many high-profile graduates, such as Hekmatyar,[25][26] Farhad Darya Nasher,[23] Dr. Saddrudin Sahar[27] and Suleman Kakar[28] Muhammad Nasher Khan was the governor of Badakshan in the 1930s.

In modern history

Sher Khan's nephew and stepson Ghulam Sarwar Nasher developed Spinzar further, employing over 20,000 people and maintaining construction companies, a porcelain factory and hotels in Kunduz and throughout Afghanistan.[29] Long before he became a radical, Nashir sent fellow Kharoti Hekmatyar to Kabul's famed Mahtab Qala military academy in 1968, as he considered him to be a promising young man.[22][30] After he was expelled from the Mahtab Qala, Nasher imprisoned him briefly for toying with Communist ideology. On a hunting trip, Nasher discovered ancient artefacts and invited Princeton-archaeologist Daniel Schlumberger with his team to examine Ai-Khanoum.[31] It was soon found to be the historical Alexandria on the Oxus, also possibly later named اروکرتیه or Eucratidia), one of the primary cities of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom.

The current governor of the Kunduz district is Nizamuddin Nasher Khan, considered to be the "last scion of a legendary Afghan dynasty" still living in Kunduz,[29][32] as members of the family are now mostly living in England, Germany, and the United States.

The most populer Afghan singer, Farhad Darya Nasher, is a grandson of Sher Khan.[23][33]

Cities and places named after the Nasher


  2. 1 2 Meher, Jagmohan: Afghanistan: Dynamics of Survival, p. 29, at Google Books
  3. 1 2 International Business Publiction: Afghanistan. Country Studiy Guidy, Volume 1, Strategic Information and Developments, p. 66, at Google Books
  4. 1 2
  5. 1 2
  6. 1 2 3
  7. C.E. Bosworth, "Ghaznavids" in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition 2006
  8. C.E. Bosworth, "Ghaznavids", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition; Brill, Leiden; 2006/2007
  9. 1 2
  10. 1 2
  12. Runion, Meredith L.: The History of Afghanistan, p. 63, at Google Books
  14. Personalities: An Examination of the Tribes and the Significant People of a Traditional Pashtun Province - Timothy S. Timmons and Rashid Hassanpoor (2007)
  16. The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers, p. 42, at Google Books Peter Tomsen, PublicAffairs, 2011
  17. Wörmer, Nils (2012). "The Networks of Kunduz: A History of Conflict and Their Actors, from 1992 to 2001" (PDF). Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. Afghanistan Analysts Network. p. 8
  18. Grötzbach, Erwin: Afghanistan, eine geographische Landeskunde, Darmstadt 1990, p. 263
  19. Emadi, Hafizullah: Dynamics of Political Development in Afghanistan. The British, Russian, and American Invasions, p. 60, at Google Books
  20. Tanwir, Halim: AFGHANISTAN: History, Diplomacy and Journalism Volume 1, p. 253, at Google Books
  21. del Castill, Graciana: Guilty Party: The International Community in Afghanistan, p. 58, at Google Books
  22. 1 2 Roy, O.; Sfeir, A.; King, J (eds.): The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism, p. 130, at Google Books
  23. 1 2 3
  26. Kakar, H.M.: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982, p. 307
  29. 1 2 Reuter, Christoph: Power Plays in Afghanistan: Laying the Groundwork for Civil War, 49/2011 (Dec. 5, 2011) of DER SPIEGEL
  30. Killing the Cranes: A Reporter's Journey through Three Decades of War in ...von Edward Girardet, p. 183, at Google Books
  31. Bernard, Paul (2001). Aï Khanoum en Afghanistan hier (1964-1978) et aujourd'hui. p. 971.

Further reading

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