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Afridi

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AFRIDI, the most powerful of the Pathan tribes which hold the mountainous borderland of the N.W. Frontier Provinces, India, though less numerous than the Wazirs. They occupy the eastern spurs of the Safed Koh. Through the north of these runs the Khyber pass, and their centre is the great upland country called Tirah, 6,000 or 7,000f t. above sea-level, of which the Orakzais hold the southern half. The Afridi borders are the Peshawar district on the east and north, the Mohmands on the north, the Shinwaris on the west, and the Orakzai and Bangash on the south, including the valleys of Bara and Bazar. The origin of the Afridis is unknown. They have a curiously Jewish cast of features, but have been supposed to be the Aparytai of Herodotus, though for over 2,000 years their history is untraceable. It is, however, certain that about the 15th century they ousted the Tirahis, doubtless absorbing some of their elements, but their conquests were encroached upon by their neighbours, and it was not until Jahangir's reign that they retook half of Tirah from the Orakzai. Under Akbar they embraced the Roshania heresy, but after its suppression they enlisted freely in the Mughal armies and were subsidized to keep open the Khyber pass. But they failed to defend it against Nadir Shah, and were content to levy toll on such trade as filtered through it during the Ab dali and Sikh regimes. On the British annexation their independence was re spected, in spite of their appeal to the Indian government to take Tirah, and they were subsidized to protect trading caravans travelling through the Khyber, but their internal feuds rendered it un safe. In 1897 the Afridis enrolled in the Khyber militia made a gallant defence of Landi Kotal, but eventually sur rendered. The defection of one of their most turbulent clans the Zakka Khel soon involved the whole tribe and the Orakzai as well. This necessitated a regular invasion of Tirah under Sir Wil liam Lockhart, and after much hard fighting every part of the country was traversed and surveyed, all the disaffected sections of the tribes being punished, the Zakka Khel being the last to submit. In 1908 an expedition had again to be launched against the Jawakki Khel. The Afridis are intensely democratic, the heads of clans having little authority, so that raiders cannot be brought to book or tribal engagements enforced. Though brave and hardy the tribe is reputed cruel and untrustworthy, but it has furnished many good soldiers in the Indian army.

Military Operations.—There have been several British expe ditions against the separate clans : (I) Expedition against the Kohat Pass Afridis under Sir Colin Campbell in 185o. The British connection with the Adam Khel Afridis commenced immediately after the annexation of the Peshawar and Kohat districts. Following the example of all previ ous rulers of the country, the British agreed to pay the tribe a subsidy to protect the pass. But in 185o I,000 Afridis attacked a body of sappers engaged in making the road, killing 12 and wounding six. It was supposed that they disliked the making of a road which would lay open their fastnesses to regular troops. An expedition of 3,200 British troops was despatched, which traversed the country and punished them.

(2) Expedition against the Jowaki Afridis of the Bori villages in 1853. When the Afridis of the Kohat Pass misbehaved in 185o, the Jowaki Afridis offered the use of their route instead; but they turned out worse than the others, and in 1853 a force of 1,700 British traversed their country and destroyed their stronghold at Bori. The Jowaki Afridis are a clan of the Adam Khel, who inhabit the country lying between the Kohat Pass and the river Indus.

(3) Expedition against the Aka Khel Afridis under Colonel Craigie in 1855. In 1854 the Aka Khels, not finding themselves admitted to a share of the allowances of the Kohat Pass, com menced a series of raids on the Peshawar border and attacked a British camp. An expedition of 1,500 troops entered the country and inflicted severe punishment on the tribe, who made their submission and paid a fine.

(4) Expedition against the Jowaki Afridis under Colonel Mo catta in 1877. In that year the government proposed to reduce the Jowaki allowance for guarding the Kohat Pass, and the tribesmen resented this by cutting the telegraph wire and raiding into British territory. A force of I,5oo troops penetrated their country in three columns, and did considerable damage by way of punishment.

(5) Expedition against the Jowaki Afridis under Brig.-General Keyes in 1877-78. The punishment inflicted by the previous expedition did not prove sufficiently severe, the attitude of the Jowakis continued the same and their raids into British territory went on. A much stronger force, therefore, of 7,400 British troops, divided into three columns, destroyed their principal vil lages and occupied their country for some time, until the tribe submitted and accepted government terms. The Kohat Pass was afterwards practically undisturbed.

(6) Expedition against the Zakka Khel Afridis of the Bazar valley under Brig.-General Tytler in 1878. At the time of the British advance into Afghanistan, during the second Afghan War, the Zakka Khel opposed the British advance and attacked their outposts. A force of 2,500 British troops traversed their country, and the tribesmen made their submission.

(7) Expedition against the Zakka Khel Afridis of the Bazar valley under Lieut.-General Maude in 1879. After the previous expedition the Afridis of the Khyber Pass continued to give trouble during the progress of the second Afghan War, so another force of 3,75o British troops traversed their country, and after suffering some loss the tribesmen made their submission. After this both the Khyber and Kohat Passes were put on a stable footing, and no further trouble of any consequence occurred in either down to the time of the frontier risings of 1897, when the Afridis attacked the Khyber Pass, which was defended by Afridi levies.

(8) For the Tirah campaign of 1897 see TIRAH CAMPAIGN.

(9) In February of Ig0 the restlessness of the Zakka Khel again made a British expedition necessary, under Sir James Will cocks ; but the campaign was speedily ended, though in the following April he had again to proceed against the Mohmands, the situation being complicated by an incursion from Afghanistan. See Paget and Mason's Frontier Expeditious (1884) ; Warburton's Eighteen Years in the Khyber (2900). (C. Li.)

afridis, british, expedition, country and pass