Babrra massacre

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Babrra massacre
د بابړې خونړۍ پېښه
Locator map Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg
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Babrra ground
Babrra ground (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
LocationBabrra ground, Hashtnagar region, Charsadda District, North-West Frontier Province (present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Pakistan
Coordinates 34°08′35″N71°43′39″E / 34.14306°N 71.72750°E / 34.14306; 71.72750 Coordinates: 34°08′35″N71°43′39″E / 34.14306°N 71.72750°E / 34.14306; 71.72750
DateAugust 12, 1948;70 years ago (1948-08-12)
Target Pashtun supporters of the nonviolent Khudai Khidmatgar movement
Attack type
Mass murder, mass shooting, drowning
DeathsAbout 600
Non-fatal injuries
More than 1000
Perpetrators Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri, police and paramilitary forces of Pakistan

The Babrra massacre (Pashto : د بابړې خونړۍ پېښه; or Babara massacre) was a mass shooting in which about 600 unarmed Pashtuns, who were supporters of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement, were killed and more were injured on Babrra ground in the Hashtnagar region in Charsadda District, North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Pakistan. The massacre took place on 12 August 1948, on the order of the Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province, Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri. [1] [2]

Pashtuns ethnic group belonging to Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Pashtuns, historically known as ethnic Afghans and Pathans, are an Iranian ethnic group who mainly live in Pakistan and Afghanistan in South-Central Asia. They speak the Pashto language and adhere to Pashtunwali, which is a traditional set of ethics guiding individual and communal conduct. The ethnogenesis of the Pashtun ethnic group is unclear but historians have come across references to various ancient peoples called Pakthas (Pactyans) between the 2nd and the 1st millennium BC, who may be their early ancestors. Their history is mostly spread amongst the present-day countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, centred on their traditional seat of power in that region.

Khudai Khidmatgar Pashtun non-violent movement against the British Empire

Khudai Khidmatgar was a Pashtun non-violent movement against the British Empire by the Pashtun people of the North-West Frontier Province of British India.

Hashtnagar human settlement in Pakistan

Hashtnagar [هشتنګر] is one of the two constituent parts of Charsadda District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, The name Hashtnagar is derived from Sanskrit अष्टनगरम् aṣṭanagaram, n., "The eight towns" from Sanskrit aṣṭa, num. card., "Eight" and नगर nagara, n., "settlement, locality, town". The descriptive later being influenced by the Pashto asht, num., "eight". The etymology "Eight Towns", refers to the eight major settlements situated in this region. These are:



The Khudai Khidmatgar movement was a nonviolent movement initially focused on reform to the status of the Pashtuns before the British, and later focused on independence for a united India. Until 1930, the Pashtuns were not very involved in politics, but afterwards they became more important and supported the movement. In 1937, the movement won the elections for the North-West Frontier Province (present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and won an absolute majority in 1946. [2] Before the Babrra massacre, the elected provincial government of Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan (Dr. Khan Sahib) in the North-West Frontier Province was terminated by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan. A Muslim League leader, Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri, was appointed as the new Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province on 23 August 1947. The new provincial government imprisoned the Khudai Khidmatgar movement's leader Bacha Khan, as well as the deposed Chief Minister Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan, and some other notable figures of the region. In July 1948, the British governor of the North-West Frontier Province, Ambrose Flux Dundas, enforced an ordinance which authorized the provincial government to detain anyone and confiscate their property without giving a reason. [3] [4]

Nonviolent resistance Practice of achieving goals through nonviolent methods

Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals such as social change through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, satyagraha, or other methods, while being nonviolent. This type of action highlights the desires of an individual or group that feels that something needs to change to improve the current condition of the resisting person or group.

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

North-West Frontier Province (1901–2010) former name of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, British India and Pakistan

The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) was a province of British India and subsequently of Pakistan. It was established in 1901 and was known by this name until 2010. The area became Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 19 April 2010 when the Eighteenth Amendment was signed by President Asif Ali Zardari.

On 12 August 1948, activists of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement protested against the arrest of their leaders and the new ordinance enforced by the government. The unarmed protesters marched peacefully from Charsadda to Babrra ground. However, when they reached Babrra ground, Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri ordered the police and militia forces to open fire on the protesters. They were killed in hundreds. Many dead bodies and some of the injured people were thrown into the Kabul River by the police and militia. Some of the injured drowned in the river. When the police and militia left, the bodies were recovered from the river by their loved ones and taken to Charsadda Bazar, although some dead bodies could never be recovered. About 600 or more Pashtuns were killed in the massacre, while more than a thousand of them were injured. [2] [5]

Charsadda District Headquarter / City in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Charsadda is a town and headquarters of Charsadda District, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Located in the Valley of Peshawar, Charsadda lies about 29 kilometres (18 mi) from the provincial capital of Peshawar at an altitude of 276 metres (906 ft). The total area of Charsadda District measures about 996 square Km. The district is geographically organized into two primary parts: Hashtnagar and Do Aaba. The city hosts the ruins of what was once the ancient Gandharan capital city of Pushkalavati, and home of the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police is responsible for law enforcement and policing in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

The paramilitary forces of Pakistan consist of various uniformed organisations largely equipped with light infantry weapons and charged with a range of internal and external duties.


In mid-September 1948, the central government of Pakistan banned the Khudai Khidmatgar movement and many of its supporters were arrested. The provincial government destroyed the center of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement at Sardaryab, Charsadda District. [1]

Sardaryab is a local tourist and picnic spot near Peshawar, Pakistan. It is situated in the Charsadda District and located on the banks of the Kabul River some 20 kilometres north on Peshawar Road. It is a popular site for tourists from Peshawar and Charsadda, especially famous for fresh fish eating.

In September 1948, Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri, during his speech at the Provincial Assembly, said: “I had imposed Section 144 at Babrra. When the people did not disperse, the shots were fired at them. They were lucky that the police’s ammunition ran out; otherwise, not a single soul would have survived.” Then referring to four members of the opposition in the provincial assembly who were members of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement, he continued: “If they were killed, the government would not have cared.” [5]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Provincial Assembly of a Province in Pakistan

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is the unicameral legislative body of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. It was established under Article 106 of the Constitution of the Pakistan. The assembly has 124 elected members, 99 regular seats, 22 seats reserved for women and 3 seats for Non-Muslims.

In July 1950, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, President of the Awami League, said at a large gathering in Dhaka, East Bengal (present-day Bangladesh): “The barbarous massacre of the Red Shirts (Khudai Khidmatgars) committed at Charsadda in 1948 surpassed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre committed by the British in 1919.” [5]

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy Prime Minister of Pakistan

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was a Bengali politician and a lawyer who served as the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan, appointed in this capacity on 12 September 1956 until resigning on 17 October 1957.

All Pakistan Awami Muslim League is a Pakistani political party founded by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy in February 1950. Pir of Manki Sharif and Khan Ghulam Mohammad Khan from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) joined it soon afterwards.

Dhaka Capital city in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

Dhaka, formerly known as Dacca, is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. It is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world, with a population of 18.89 million people in the Greater Dhaka Area. Dhaka is the economic, political and cultural center of Bangladesh. It is one of the major cities of South Asia, the largest city in Eastern South Asia and among the Bay of Bengal countries; and one of the largest cities among OIC countries. As part of the Bengal plain, the city is bounded by the Buriganga River, Turag River, Dhaleshwari River and Shitalakshya River. The city is located in an eponymous district and division.

Commemorative day

The massacre is commemorated every year by the Pashtun community on 12 August. [6]

See also

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  1. 1 2 M. Rafique Afzal (1 April 2002). Pakistan: History and Politics, 1947–1971. p. 38 OUP Pakistan. ISBN   0-19-579634-9.
  2. 1 2 3 "70 years after Babrra massacre, victims' families demand justice, as deaths of 600 Khudai Khidmatgars remain buried in history - Firstpost". Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  3. نن بابړه کې د وژل شوؤ سوؤنو پښتنو ورځ نمانځل کیږي - VoA
  4. زه بابړه یم - Noor ul Bashar Naveed
  5. 1 2 3 12 August 1948: Remembering Pakistan's forgotten massacre at Babrra. The Nation.
  6. "Unforgettable: Babra massacre remembered across K-P". The Express Tribune. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2018.

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