This article needs additional citations for verification . (September 2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Regions with significant populations|
|South Waziristan Mehsud division, Tank, D.I.Khan, Karachi and UAE.|
|Islam 99%, Sunni|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Mahsud or Mehsud (Pashto : محسود), also spelled Maseed (Pashto : ماسيد), is a Karlani Pashtun tribe inhabiting mostly the South Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. A minor number of Maseed lineages are settled in the Logar Province of Afghanistan, especially in Charkh District, Baraki barak and Muhammad Agha, but also in Wardak, Ghazni and Kunduz Provinces. The Maseeds inhabit the center and north of South Waziristan valley, surrounded on three sides by the Darweshkhel Wazirs, and being shut off by the Bettanis on the east from the Derajat and Bannu districts. Two Pashtun tribes, the Ahmadzai Wazirs and the Maseeds, inhabit and dominate South Waziristan. Within the heart of Maseed territory in South Waziristan lies the influential Ormur (Burki) tribe's stronghold of Kaniguram. The Ormurs are considered by other tribes of South Waziristan to be close brethren of the Maseeds due to marital and other ties and the fact that the Ormurs have lived in and controlled Kaniguram for over a thousand years.[ citation needed ] There are also some Maseeds living in the UAE, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The Maseeds usually pronounce their name Māsīd. They are divided into three great clans or subtribes, namely Alizai, Bahlolzai, and Shamankhel. Maseeds usually call these Drei Māsīd, meaning the "Three Maseeds"(DREZE). Each tribe has his own Khan. In the words of Sir Olaf Caroe, who acted as the former governor of the British Indian Frontier, "The Maseed tribe are a people who can never even think of submitting to a foreign power." From 1860 to 1937, the English forces repeatedly attacked Maseed positions, but never got a foothold in the area.[ citation needed ]
The Maseeds originally lived in the centre of waziristan area of FATA. In the later 14th century, they migrated eastwards, and fell into dispute with the Bannuchi and Khattak tribes settled in the Shawal area. The Maseeds and the Wazirs succeeded to defeat the Khattaks and pushed them northeastwards towards Bannu and Kohat. Eventually, the Mahsuds settled at the center of Waziristan, in the Makeen, Kaniguram and Lada area.
During the British colonial period, the Maseeds were invaded several times by the British Empire, in 1860, 1881, 1894–95, 1900–01, 1919–20 and in 1925's Pink's War.
The Maseed tribe inhabits a large portion of the center of Waziristan, which is drained by the Tank Zam and Shahur Rivers. The Maseed territory is a rough triangle between Jandola, the hills north of Razmak, and from Shuidar to Janimela, north of Wana. No portion of their territory touches the "settled" districts, and the tribe is surrounded on the north and west by the Wazirs, on the east by the Bhittanis, and on the south by the Wazirs and Shranis.
With the exception of a few Shabi Khel in the Bannu District, some land near Gumal in the Tank Tehsil, and the colonies at Chark and elsewhere in the Logar Valley in Afghanistan, none of the Maseed own land outside of South Waziristan Agency. To escape the severe cold in the higher hills during the winter, a large number move down to the lower valleys but always keep within the Maseed territorial limits. Many of these people live in caves or tents.
"South Waziristan is mountainous with several high peaks; Pirghal, for example, being 11,600 feet. The Gomal is the main river, in addition to which there are many hill torrents, which…remain dry for most of the year."
The mountains and valleys geographically isolate the Maseed from large scale movements of invaders and provide excellent opportunities to conduct effective ambushes on enemies.
The cave villages along the Shahur River near Barwand and along the Split Toi provide excellent hiding places and defensive positions.
It is a tribal society having its own subculture. Nearly all Mehsud follow Islamic traditions, celebrate the same holidays, dress the same, consume the same food, listen to the same music and are multi-lingual to a certain extent.In the southern and eastern region, the Mehsud live in accordance with the Pashtun culture and are usually bilingual in maseedwola also known as maseedo.
Many Maseed inhabit in the lower valleys during the winter. They return to family compounds at higher elevations during the summer.
Valleys: Wacha Khwara, Ladha, Baddar, Darra Algad, Khaisara, Mastang, Shaktu, Sheranna, Split Toi, Tak Zam
Mountains: Kundeygaar, Pre Ghal, Spin Ghar, Spinkamar
Rivers: Tak Zam, Gomal, Shahur, Shinkai Toi, Baddar Toi, Split Toi, Lower Khaisara Toi, Tauda China, Kundygar, Osspass, Karrama, Torwam, Thangi Parkhai
The climate in the region is hot in summer, with high temperatures around 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and cool in winter, with low temperatures around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. There is modest rainfall in July and August and in January and February.
On many occasions the Afghan throne was saved with the help of the Maseed (like general Ramzan Khan Maseed Shamankhel, Shabaram Khan Machikhel, Bakhan Maseed, Mosa Khan Maseed, Miajee Maseed, Jagar Maseed etc.), Burki/Baraki, and Wazirs from Waziristan, Pakistan.[ citation needed ] Of those who fought during this time, most came back to their homeland, but those who stayed were given high ranks of office, such as Faiz Muhammad Maseed, who was appointed as an interior minister during the Reign of Daud Khan in the 1970s. Today the majority of Maseeds are still in Logar Province, with the title of Waziri, but by caste, they are Maseeds. The majority of these are with a sub-caste of Malik Denai, Dramankel, Faridi, Shamirai شمیرائی, Shabi khel, etc. When the Soviet–Afghan War started, some of these families came back to Waziristan but could not stay there, so they moved to cities like Peshawar and Karachi. Some of them stayed in waziristan and D.I. Khan. The Maseed helped to defeat the British invading troops and saved Afghanistan, they contributed a lot because Afghanistan was nearly in the hands of British.
John Ayde described the Maseeds:
They are poor but brave… and although turbulent and difficult to deal with, still have a great love of their country and cherish their independence, possessing qualities that we admire ourselves, and which deserve consideration and respect.
Maseed are very good marksmen and have the reputation of trustworthiness. Maseed is the most independent of all the tribes. Even their own maliks have a very limited control over them. However, Maseed have been increasingly integrated within Pakistani society since independence.
Sir Olaf Caroe in his book published just after partition of the British India about Mahsuds
They hold aloof, and are continually engaged in aggressive warfare against their Wazir cousins, at whose expense they have encroached to acquire new lands. And to those who know both tribes, they present a different appearance. Pass along a road which is being used by babirs, or caravans, of these tribes- men, and it is not so hard to distinguish one from the other, not by his dress, for that is much the same, but by something indefinable in his air and carriage. The nearest I can get to it is to liken the Mahsud to a wolf, the Wazir to a panther. Both are splendid creatures; the panther is slier, sleeker and has more grace, the wolf-pack is more purposeful, more united and more dangerous.
The Saintly Poet of the East (Dr. Allama Iqbal) has also prayed for the dominant tribes of Waziristan
Sher Shah Suri has so well said:
The distinction of tribes is the cause of all ruin.
Waziris and Mahsuds are names dearest to heart;
Alas! They feel no pride in being Afghans.
The Muslims of the mountains are divided into thousand tribes,
And every tribe has its own idol.
The same sanctuary is filled with Lat and Manat;
May God grant you power to break them all.
In 1850, Lewat's tribesmen the Great Baromi's (Shabi Khel) defeated 3,000 British troops with only 300 fighters, using guerrilla tactics by attacking the British in the Valley of Bobar (Waziristan) from all sides with outdated rifles and swords. This attack demoralized the British and made them fearful of the Maseeds. Survivors of this attack reported that the sight of the Maseed tribesmen charging at them (with loud roars and wearing long hair and beards like Lions) affected them mentally.[ citation needed ]
In 1860, three thousand Maseed tribesmen attacked the British regiment base in Tank (present South Waziristan). The British struggled to defeat them.[ citation needed ]
In 1897, Mujahed tribesmen again stood up against the British all the way from Quetta kakar, and the British experienced difficulty when engaging them. It was during this time that the name of Mulla Powinda [Jagar Draman Khil][Miajee] [Laly Malik Denai] [Mulla ShaSaleem kaka] emerged. Powindah comes from the Pashto language, meaning "nomad".
Day after day, Mulla Powinda grew more popular and famous.and his right hand mulla shasaleem kaka machikhel popular of all wazir, Maseed trib. He emerged as a legendary figure among the people of the region and beyond. There was even a time the British considered him to be the sole leader of the Waziristan country. His followers would sporadically kill individual British officers. However, the British were not able to capture the attackers, who would return to their mountain hideouts. All attempts to stop these attacks were unsuccessful.[ citation needed ]
In 1907, the Wazir and Maseed tribesmen were blocked from entry into any government-controlled territory. Economic sanctions were imposed, blocking even basic amenities, such as food and medicine. The British commander of that time blockaded the areas of Makin and Kaniguram. Various areas were searched to arrest Mulla Powinda without success. The British thought that the tribesmen were receiving weapons by sea, from the coast of Balochistan and responded by creating check posts, but no weapons were confiscated.
Mulla Powindah died in 1913. It could be said that he was the crownless emperor of one of the most fearsome of the Pashtun Tribes, the Maseeds. Upon his death, his son Shah Fazal Din was given leadership and his son-in-law, Mulla Abdul Hakeem kakar, was appointed his adviser. They have good relations with Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan.
When World War I started in 1915, the British were concerned that they would be engaged in battle on more than one front. This was a threat to their safety and economy, so they decided to close those fronts of lesser significance. They abandoned their ‘Forward Policy’ for the time being and sent a message of friendship and peace to the tribes. The tribes did not trust the British, and rejected these peace proposals. Instead, the Maseed assembled a militia to attack the British.
By this time, the British had established an air force in the subcontinent, which was used to harass the tribesmen, and as a result the tribe's hatred of the British increased. As a result of their suffering they were bent upon taking revenge, and hence their morale increased. A series of attacks were made by the Maseeds, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. The attack on the Marhatta Regiment resulted in the deaths of hundreds of sepoys and five British Officers. In the attack on the Punjab Regiment, the Maseed warriors slaughtered everyone. The aerial bombardments had inflicted significant losses on the tribesmen, but they were content that they were also doing well and had killed around 250 of the enemy forces.
After the end of World War I, the British returned to Waziristan. This time, they built roads and forts throughout the land. The sophistication and constant patrols of the British Air Force helped create a secure atmosphere for their ground troops. With this sense of security, the British Army constructed a road from Jandola to Ladha. At Razmak, they constructed a cantonment for their army officers and soldiers.
By 1922-23, all the British forces had moved from Wana to Razmak. They had constructed an airport there and instead of flying all the way from India, their aircraft would fly from Razmak Airport and bomb the countryside. Because of this, the countryside of Makin was totally devastated. The Maseed deemed it appropriate at this time to agree to a ceasefire because this new British tactic was inflicting widespread losses on their side. The ceasefire, they imagined, would also enable them to devise a strategy for countering the latest British advances.
In 1925, the Royal Air Force successfully put down a Maseed rebellion by strafing the tribes' mountain strongholds. The action, which came to be known as Pink's War led to the tribal leaders seeking peace terms.
In 1927 Ghazi Ramadan Khan Mahsud attacked Wana camp with a huge lashkar (tribal militia). The result was a big loss for the British army. In 1928 Ghazi Ramadan Khan Mahsud re-assembled his lashkar again for his next attack, on Sararogha Fort. This time he attacked with a powerful force, killed all of the defending soldiers (numbering 300) and took hold of the Fort.[ citation needed ]
Immediately after Pakistan came into existence, Maseeds raised a tribal militia under Gaideen Khan Abdullai which entered Kashmir to help the newly created state Pakistan to capture Kashmir. They quickly reached Baramulla town, instead of pressing on to the capital, Srinagar, to seize Kashmir completely.
A large number of tribals from Pakistan attacked Kashmir under the code name "Operation Gulmarg" to seize Kashmir. The invading tribals started moving along Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad-Baramulla Road on 22 October 1947 with Muzaffarabad fell on 24 October 1947. They reached and captured Baramulla on 25 October.
Pir Roshan is the first person who founded the Pashto alphabet. He was born in Kanygram of Waziristan. The Roshani Ghorzang was one of the great revolutions in the land of Pshtonkhwa. Mula Shasleem kaka, Mula Pawenda Maseed and Haji Mirza Ali Khan Fight several years for the unity of both side Pashtons.
Maseed have a Maseed Jarga for large problems. The Jarga is a tribal assembly of elders which takes decisions by consensus, particularly among the Pashtun people.
Attan, is the famous dance of Maseed tribe. Dhol is also widely used in Waziristan.
Waziristan is a mountainous region covering the districts of North Waziristan and South Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Waziristan covers some 11,585 square kilometres (4,500 sq mi). The area is populated by ethnic Pashtuns. It is named after the Wazir tribe. The language spoken in the valley is Pashto, predominantly the Waziristani dialect. The region forms the southern part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which is now part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
North Waziristan District is a district in Bannu Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. It is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering 4,707 square kilometres (1,817 sq mi). The capital city of North Waziristan is Miranshah.
Wāṇa or Wanna is the largest town of South Waziristan Agency in Pakistan. It is the summer headquarters for the Agency's administration, Tank located in the neighbouring Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province being the winter headquarters.
Aḥmadzai is a Sunni Muslim Pashtun tribe found in South Waziristan and Bannu District in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. They are a clan of the larger Wazir tribe.
South Waziristan District is a district in Dera Ismail Khan Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the southern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, that covers some 11,585 km2 (4,473 mi²). Waziristan comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi River to the north and the Gomal River to the south. The region was an independent tribal territory from 1893, remaining outside of British-ruled empire and Afghanistan. Tribal raiding into British-ruled territory was a constant problem for the British, requiring frequent punitive expeditions between 1860 and 1945. Troops of the British Raj coined a name for this region "Hell's Door Knocker" in recognition of the fearsome reputation of the local fighters and inhospitable terrain. The capital city of South Waziristan is Wanna. South Waziristan is divided into the three administrative subdivisions of Ladha, Sarwakai, and Wanna. These three subdivisions are further divided into eight Tehsils: Ladha, Makin, Sararogha, Sarwakai, Tiarza, Wanna, Barmal, and Toi Khula.
Mirzali Khan Wazir, commonly known as Faqir Ipi, was a Pashtun tribal leader from Waziristan in today's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Mulla Powinda or Mullah Powindah, born Mohiuddin Maseed (1863–1913), was a religious leader and militant in the Pashtun tribe of the Mahsuds, based in Waziristan. He was from Marobi Shabikhel, a village in the present-day Makin Subdivision of South Waziristan, Pakistan. He led a long-standing guerrilla insurgency against the British forces in the late 19th century.
The Wazirs or Waziris are a Karlani Pashtun tribe found mainly in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region of North waziristan, South Waziristan and Bannu[(Ahmadzai Wazir and Utmanzai wazir ]. The Utmanzai are settled in the North Waziristan Agency and the Ahmadzai are in the South Waziristan Agency and Bannu domel. Those subgroups are in turn divided further, for example into Utmanzai tribes such as the Baka Khel and Jani Khel. The Wazirs speak the Waziristani dialect of Pashto.
Ormuri also known as Baraki, Ormur, Ormui or Bargista is an Eastern Iranian language spoken in South-east Afghanistan and Waziristan. It is primarily spoken by the Burki people in the town of Kaniguram in South Waziristan and Logar, Afghanistan. The language belongs to the Eastern-Iranian language group. The extremely small number of speakers makes Ormuri an endangered language that is considered to be in a "threatened" state.
Razmak is one of the three subdivisions of North Waziristan District in Pakistan, the other two being Mirali and Miranshah. The inhabitants are almost exclusively Pashtuns.
The Waziristan campaign 1936–1939 comprised a number of operations conducted in Waziristan by British and Indian forces against the fiercely independent tribesmen that inhabited this region. These operations were conducted in 1936–1939, when operations were undertaken against followers of the Pashtun nationalist Mirzali Khan, also known by the British as the "Faqir of Ipi", a religious and political agitator who was spreading anti-British sentiment in the region and undermining the prestige of the Indian government in Waziristan at the time.
Sāfī is a major branch of the greater Ghurghakhti Pashtun tribe. The Safi tribe comprises a majority in the Pech Valley of Kunar and are present in significant numbers in Parwan Province, Kapisa Province, Kabul Province, Laghman Province, Nuristan Province and the whole of Kunar Province. A reasonable majority also resides in different urban and rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshehra, Swabi. A large number also settled in Rawalpindi, Tarnol, Karachi, Lahore, Multan. They are also present in large number in Mohmand, Bajaur Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and in Zhob District, Balochistan, Pakistan.
Kānīgūram is a town in South Waziristan, Pakistan about 10 km south of the town of Ladha. Located within the heart of Mahsud land in Waziristan, Kaniguram is the principal place associated with the Ormur or Burki tribe. It was the hometown of the sixteenth-century Pashtun revolutionary leader and warrior-poet Bayazid Pir Roshan, who wrote the first known book of Pashto language.
The Ormur, also called Burki or Baraki, are an Eastern Iranic people mainly living in Baraki Barak, Logar, Afghanistan and in Kaniguram, South Waziristan.
Bahlolzai is Pashtun tribe in Pakistan. Bahlolzai is considered a clan of the Mahsud tribe. They live in Mahsud area in south Waziristan.
Ladha or Lada is a town in South Waziristan, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located between Wanna and Razmak. Just north of Ladha is the town of Makin while 10 km to the south of Ladha is the village of Kaniguram, the historical homeland of the 16th-century revolutionary leader Bayazid Pir Roshan.
Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen or Manzoor Pashtun is a Pashtun human rights activist who has spent years lobbying to draw attention to the plight of the Pashtun people, especially those from Waziristan and other parts of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan. He is the chairman of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.
The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, or the Pashtun Protection Movement, is a social movement for Pashtun human rights based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Formerly called the Mahsud TahafuzMovement, it was founded in May 2014 by eight students at Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan as an initiative for removing landmines from Waziristan and other parts of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas, affected by the war in North-West Pakistan.
Alamzaib Khan Mahsud, also spelled Alamzeb Mehsud, is a human rights activist from Ladha in South Waziristan, Pakistan. He is one of the founding members of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, and is instrumental in gathering data on forced disappearances and victims of landmines in the Pashtun tribal districts.
The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) has held public gatherings and marches in Bajaur, Quetta, Wanna, Peshawar, Lahore, Swat, Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan, Swabi, Bannu, Cologne, Tank, Khaisor, Bamyan, Miramshah, Loralai, Charsadda, Zhob, Chaman, and Bara.