The Sulaimankhel (Pashto: سلیمانی سليمان خېل), or Suleiman Khel, are a Pashtun sub-tribe of the Ghilji tribe of Bettani confederation of Pashtuns. In the early 20th century, the tribe was recognised as generally pastoral.[1]

In 1924, the Sulaimankhel joined in the Khost Rebellion initiated by the Mangal tribe.[2]

The Sulaimankhel are one of the largest Ghilji Pashtun subtribes. Population of this tribe primarily lies in Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to Gulab Mangal, former governor of Paktika Province, the Sulaimankhel provided the majority of recruits for the Taliban in the province.[3] As a result, the level of Anti-Coalition Militia activities remain high in areas dominated by Sulaimankhel.[3] The bias of some sub-tribes toward the Taliban in part may be explained by their proximity to the Pakistan border and the influx of insurgents and the radical politics.[3] People of the tribe are ferocious and very fierce. They have been allied with the Hotaki in the past, and their traditional rivals include the Kharoti.[4] Principal sub-divisions of the Sulaimankhel include the Khazarkhel, Alizai, Sulemanzai, and Jalalzai. Other sub-divisions include the Alikhel, the Nizamkhel, and the Shakhel. The Alikhel sub-tribe, which primarily lives in the northwest of Paktika, has been more cooperative with the central government and coalition forces.[3] The Nizamkhel and Shakhel also remain more supportive of the government, which may be explained in part by their rivalry with the Jalalzai.[3] Sulaimankhel tribesmen are known as warriors and have been major contributors to the mujahideen during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. New official Sulaimankhel Tribal Council licensed and registered with The Afghanistan Ministry of Justice and The Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs has been established in Kabul Afghanistan. Ayoub Khalikyar Sulaimankhel is the president of Sulaimankhel Tribal Council of Afghanistan.


Meat is the common part of their diet which they usually have it with 'Sharwa' which is soup. It’s a rich and hearty soup made with meat and potatoes. They generally serve the sharwa in a large communal bowl. Everyone rips their nan (Afghan bread) into small pieces, throws it into the shorwa and enjoys the soup using their hand.


Tribe strictly follows its practice of Pashtunwali. It's a pre-Islamic tradition,also known for being the strongest tribesmen,dating back to Alexander's defeat of the Persian Empire in 330 BC,possibly survived in the form of traditional dances, while literary styles and music. Sulaimankhel tribe follows the principles of Pushtunwali tradition rigidly. Tribe have frequent blood feuds. Most of the population still lacks proper education which results in a high illiteracy.[5]

Notable people


  1. Imperial gazetteer of India: provincial series. Supt. of Govt. Print. 1908. pp. 33–. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  2. Frank Clements (2003). Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 148–. ISBN 978-1-85109-402-8. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Paktika Province: Provincial Overview" (PDF). Program for Culture and Conflict Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, United States Navy. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 June 2010. a publication of the United States Government in the public domain
  4. US Department of State Gardez Provincial Reconstruction Team Political Officer Reporting, 2004.
  5. 2007 Afghanistan CIA World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency
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