The Tareen (or Tarin) (Pashto: ترین) are a tribe of Western Afghans.[1][2]

History and origins

Tareen was supposed to be a son of one Qais or Abdal Rashid, the so-called 'common ancestor' of all Pashtuns but there is no formal evidence any such person ever existed.[3] They are of indigenous Indo-European origins, like all Pashtuns/Afghans.[4]

Early military role

Historically, little is known or heard of them prior to the invasions of India by the Ghorid sultan and invader Muhammad Ghori in the late 12th century.[5]


By the 15th or 16th century, by and large the various sections of the Tareen tribe had settled in the areas they still inhabit in the modern day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, indeed some of them assimilating into earlier cultures and/or ethnic groups in these areas.[6]

Sher Shah Suri and Mughal era

Sher Shah Suri brought Tareen Pashtun tribes from Pashtun areas and got them settled in different parts of central and northern India, including what today is Pakistan. Tareens were also settled in a significant number in Bihar, a state in India, as it was the headquarters of Sher Shah Suri. Significant number of Tareens settled in Bhagalpur, a city in Bihar. Among their earlier known chiefs in Bhagalpur was Alaf Khan, a Mansabdar of rank Chahr Hazari (Four thousand) who lived in the time of Akbar the Great.[7]

Later on, during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658) a group of Tarins/Tareens from Tarin Kowt immigrated to the present-day NWFP (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) where their descendants still live.[8]

Ahmad Shah Abdali era

In the mid 18th century, during the invasions of northwestern India, including the modern day Pakistan, by Ahmad Shah Abdali, the ruler of Durrani Empire c. 1750s–60s, a contingent of Tareens came into prominence for the role they played at the Third Battle of Panipat, January 1761, against the Maratha Empire.[5] This little community belonging chiefly to the Batezai section of the Tor Tareen/Tarin, thereafter gained wide renown as their chiefs were appointed as governors and administrators of the lower Hazara plains, as well as the neighbouring Chach area of Attock in Northern Punjab.[9]

Sikh era

During Sikh rule in the Punjab (c 1820–1849) and encroachments into tribal area, the various Tareen clans and septs resisted occupation and consequently suffered heavy indemnities.[10]

British India era

Later on, at the British annexation of the Punjab (29 March 1849 onwards), most of the Tareens within British territory or along its borders initially resisted the new invaders[11] but later reconciled themselves to this dispensation and gradually found service with the British Raj,[12] chiefly in the military and civil administration,[13] and some of their elders and notables from their communities in Baluchistan, the Frontier and the Punjab, rose to considerable prominence between the 1850s to 1947.[14]

Descent of the Abdali/Durrani from Tareen

The Pashtuns believe that they are descended from the common ancestor Qais Abdur Rashid.[15] In the case of the Tareen, they believe they are descended from his first son, Sarban, his son Sharkhbun, and his son Tareen, the founder of the tribe. Tareen had a number of sons, who correspond with the major divisions of the tribe.[16] One was named Bor Tareen, later renamed Abdali, who is the legendary founder of the Durrani tribe.[17] Thus, the Abdali/Durrani are in effect descended from the elder Tareen lineage.[18]

Family tree of Tareen tribe

Branches or septs of the Tarin/Tareen tribe

According to Neamet Ullah's History of the Afghans, Tarin/Tareen had three sons:

Toor Tareen

Toor Tareens are divided into the following principal sections:

Bor Tareen or Abdal Tareen

The Bor or Abdali Tareens inhabit Afghanistan comprise chiefly of these sections:

The Bor/Abdali Tareens came to be known as 'Durranis' after Ahmad Shah Abdali became Emir of Afghanistan, and gradually this term superseded their original name.[22]

Tareen Residences

Earlier Tareens mostly used to live in Tarin Kowt in the Urzgan and surrounding areas, although they are widespread now and are mostly present in Pakistan.

In Afghanistan they mainly live in Loy Kandahar (Greater Kandahar and Tarin Kowt areas) while in Pakistan they reside in Baluchistan and the North-West Frontier provinces as well as in smaller numbers in Punjab and Sindh, as well as in some parts of India. (Further details are given below under 'Places')


The principal languages of Tareens are Pashto and Hindko.[23] Formerly, Persian was also used as the formal language for official records and correspondence; and until the late 19th-century tombstones were also inscribed in Persian. The Pashto dialect of the Tareen tribes in Pishin, Quetta, Gulistan and Dukki (Distt. Loralai)in Baluchistan is just like the language spoken in other Pashtun areas.[24] Those who have settled away from Pishin generally speak local languages (such as Multani/Seraiki in Multan, Hindko in Hazara, Urdu in Bhopal, Sindhi in Sind, Punjabi in Punjab), although some few of these populations still retain Pashto too, and are bilingual in that respect.[25]


In Afghanistan

Tareens are found in Kandahar, Urzgan , Karabagh, Ghazni, Laghman, Parwan and Helmand in Afghanistan. While most numerous in the Kandahar area, they also hold considerable influence in Urzgan, where the important provincial capital town is Tarin Kowt ('Fortress of the Tareen'). In Afghanistan the largest number of Tareens are from the Bor (or Abdal) Tareen section (i.e. now mostly known as 'Durranis') and after them come the Tor Tareens.

Kandahar is one of the largest of the thirty four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in Southern Afghanistan, between Helmand, Oruzgun, Zabul provinces, and bordering Balochistan, Pakistan. History shows that many Afghan rulers were from Kandahar, such as Ahmed Shah Durrani, Abdur Rahman Khan, Nadir Khan, Zahir Shah, Hamid Karzai etc. Kandahar province is made up of 17 districts, and each district has its own chief. The main inhabitants of Kandahar province are Pashtuns. The population of Kandahar province is 990,200. The main Pashtun tribes of Kandahar province are Bor or Abdal Tareen (including Achakzai, Barakzai, Mohammadzai, Popalzai, Alikozai, Ishaqzai, Alizai, Noorzai), Tor Tareen (including Nurzai, Saggi), Barech, Kiral, Ghilzai and others. There are also Hazara, Tajik, Brahui and Balochi non-Pashtuns living in Kandahar.

In Baluchistan Province (Pakistan)

Balochistan province in Pakistan has a Baluch ethnic majority population as well as a sizeable Pushtun/Pukhtun minority, which dominates the districts of Quetta, Pishin, Qilla Abdullah, Harnai, Loralai, Dukki, Ziarat, Usta Mohammad, and some other places. The Tareens are quite numerous here and, in fact, their largest population outside Kandahar area of Afghanistan is found here, in the localities listed below.

Quetta District

Quetta is a district of Balochistan province of Pakistan. Quetta then part of Durrani Empire, was captured in the Second Afghan War (1878–80) by the British troops. The area was originally inhabited by the Kansi tribe. With the arrival of British troops, the doors of development were opened in this area and very soon people saw roads, train and schools here. In April 1883 it was combined with Pishin into a single administrative unit but once again in 1975, Quetta and Pishin were made separate districts. The population of Quetta district was estimated to be over 850,000 in 2005. A large number of Pakhtoons comprising the Kasi, Kakar and Tareen (including Achakzai) dwell here, along with other races such as the Baloch .

Mastung District

Mastung is located in the northwest of Baluchistan province, Pakistan. Prior to 1991 Mastung was a part of Kalat district but was later separated and made a new district for administrative purposes.In 2005 the population of Mastung district was estimated to be approx 180,349. The population mostly being Muslims by religion and Baloch by ethnicity.

Pishin District

There are three main tribes living in Pishin district such as Tareen (including Achakzai), Kakar and Syed. The Tareens of Pishin are of the Tor Tareen section, and the major subtribes of Tor Tareen in Pishin are Malikyar, Batezai, Noorzai, Alizai(Ali), Malizai, Hekalzai, Khudaidadzai, Khanzai, Kamalzai, Umerzai, Sheikhalzai and Sopanzai etc,.

Qilla Abdullah District

Prior to 1975 Qilla Abdulla was part of Pishin district from which it was separated for administrative reasons. The major tribes of Qilla Abdullah are the Achakzai, Tareen, Kakar, Syed, Noorzai (Abdal Tareen/Durrani) etc. In district Qilla Abdullah there is a sept of Tareens named Segi, who belong to the Tor Tareen section.

Loralai District

Loralai district was created in October, 1903, with Loralai town as the district headquarters. The vast majority of the population of Loralai district is Pashtun, and the major tribes are the Kakar, Nasir, Khilji/Ghilzai, Tareen and Luni. The Spin Tareen section of the tribe generally resides in Ismail Shahr near Dukki Killi and Tor Tareen in Duki Killi.

Ziarat District

Ziarat is a new district created in July, 1986. The district has only one Sub-Division (Ziarat) and one Tehsil (Ziarat). Ziarat town is headquarters of the district. The Khilafat Hills, where it is located, are the highest range in Baluchistan, with an altitude of 11,400 feet in Ziarat district. Ziarat has some of the oldest Juniper forests in the world. A tourist destination, the economy of the district also benefits from orchards of apples and cherries. The Ziarat district has the highest Human Development Index of all districts in the province. The Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life in the Government Residency in Ziarat.[26] The population of Ziarat district was estimated to be over 100,000 in 2005.[27] The major tribes of Ziarat are Pashtun tribes such as Tareen, Kakar, Dummar, and Dotani. The language of the district is Pashto.

Harnai District

The name Harnai refers to an influential Hindu personality, Harnam Das, supposed founder of Harnai town, the capital of Harnai District. The town is quite close to Loralai, Ziarat, Sibi and Quetta. Harnai is surrounded by imposing hills on all sides. The encircling hill ranges have the resounding names of 'Khalifat' and 'Zarghun'. Harnai proper has a population of about 200,000. The majority of the population of Harnai are Tareens and they mostly speak a unique dialect, or language, 'Tareeno', which is quite different from the Pushto spoken in other parts of Baluchistan and NWFP provinces, and is probably a mixture of Pushto, Hindi and other languages developed as a 'lingua franca' sometime during the 18th and 19th centuries, when a variety of people of different ethnic origins lived here. There seems to be no earlier historical record or trace of it.

Tareens in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa/NWFP (Pakistan)

The Tareens are settled in sizable numbers in the Haripur and Abbottabad areas of the Hazara region of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa since c. the 17th or 18th century. They have produced many prominent people in diverse fields and are an enterprising group.[28][29] The Tareens here mostly belong to the Tor, Batezai section proper of the tribe although some Spin Tareens and other, mixed-blood groups, also live here.[28] There are also some few scattered Tareens in Mardan, Kheshgi (Nowshera), Swat, Swabi, Peshawar, D.I. Khan etc. The Tareens in Hazara area are now almost totally integrated into the Hindki/Hazarawal population and, despite some of them speaking a little Pushto, they are ethnically more akin to their North Punjabi neighbors in Attock and Rawalpindi districts.[30]

Tareens in Pakistani Punjab

In the areas now comprising Pakistani Punjab, Tareens are found in some numbers in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Lodhran, Attock (Chach area), Multan, Faisalabad, Mianwali, Khushab and Sargodha districts, although there are small, scattered populations to be found elsewhere too.

Tareens in India and Bangladesh

Small populations of the Tareen tribe settled in India at various times from the 12th to the 17th centuries. These are mostly found in and around Bhopal and several towns and cities in UP specially in Sarai Tareen (Sambhal).[22][28] According to the Bangladesh official report, some few families of this tribe are also settled in the Tangail district, near Dhaka, since medieval times.[31]

Notable Tareens/Tarins[32]

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.


  1. Sir Olaf Caroe, "The Pathans 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957". Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-577221-0. Page 521.
  2. Nawab Muhammad Hyat Khan,CSI, "Hayat i Afghani" (Orig. in Persian 1865) trans. by H.B Priestley, Bengal Civil Service. "Afghanistan and its Inhabitants", 1874; Reprint Lahore: Sang i Meel Press, 1981. ISBN 969-35-0886-6. Page 3 and 16.
  3. Dr SB Panni
  4. Prof Dr AH Dani, 'Tribes of NWFP and Kashmir' Paper, later pub in QAU Journal of Central and South Asian Studies, Islamabad, No 27 Vol 13, 1984; and Peter Mayne 'The Narrow Smile: An Account of the Pathans' London, 1954
  5. 1 2 Panni
  6. R.T.I. Ridgeway, "The Pathans", Orig. 1911, reprint Peshawar, 1983
  7. Mir Ali Wardi Khan, Mansabdar aha Behar o Bengal, 1724; trans Urdu 1921; and also Col CHH Cardew, Bhaugalpore: A Short History Calcutta, 1894
  8. See Dr SB Panni 'Tareekh i Hazara' and also Hazara District Gazetteer of 1883 and 1907
  9. Panni, and 1883 Gazetteer
  10. Hazara Gazetteer 1883 and 1907 and Rawalpindi Gazetteer 1890
  11. Hazara District Gazetteer, 1907; and Attock District Gazetteer, 1892
  12. Hazara Gazetteer, aa
  13. As above
  14. James W Spain, The Pathan Borderland (1964) and Panni, Tarikh e Hazara, aa
  15. Olaf Caroe, 'The Pathans', 1957, np
  16. Ghulam Rasul Haider 'The Pashtuns- A monograph on tribal claims of their origins'. Peshawar" University of Peshawar Press, 1988, pp 11-13
  17. Haider, 14
  18. Haider, 13
  19. 1 2 3 "History Of The Afghans: Translated from the Persian of Neamet Ullah, by Bernhard Dorn". Book The Third. Page 42.
  20. Elphinstone, II. p. 162.
  21. Maj RTI Ridgway, The Pathans pub Lahore, 1911, pp 124-25
  22. 1 2 Nawab Muhammad Hyat Khan, "Hayat i Afghan" (Orig. in Persian 1865) trans. by H.B Priestley "Afghanistan and its Inhabitants", 1874; Reprint Lahore: Sang i Meel Press, 1981
  23. Ridgway, 1911
  24. Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans, 1957
  25. Hayat Khan, aa
  26. Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, Karachi: Oxford UP, 1993 ed
  27. Baluchistan Local Census 2005
  28. 1 2 3 Dr S.B. Panni, "Tarikh i Hazara", 2nd ed Peshawar, 1969, pp. 270–275
  29. For notice of some of these, please see List of Notable Tareens/Tarins above
  30. Dr Akbar S Ahmad, 'Report on the Hazara' pub by the DC's Office Abbottabad Hazara District, 1964.
  31. Bangladesh District Report and Tables: Tangail Govt of Bangladesh 2011
  32. Only Tarins/Tareens proper are listed here, not any of the Abdalis or other tribes descended from the Tarins/Tareens
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.