From Lahore to Larkana: A Tale of a Nawab’s Journey
The Lahori family of Larkana are Rajput Kharal and originally belonged to Kamaliya state, now part of Punjab
The Lahori family migrated from Kamaliya to Larkana in 17th Century due to internal state crisis among heirs. The land revenue record of 1876 and 1881 shows that they were among big landholders of Larkana
Col. ® Hassan Imam
Sindh is a unique land where who so ever has taken refuge or migrated, the motherland has always showered blessings on them. There is no other land with open heart which has accommodated outsiders. This is the most generous and peaceful land on God’s earth.
The Lahori family of Larkana is also among those who migrated to Sindh and settled in Larkana.
Lahori family, strong supporters, financers and trustworthy friends of Bhutto Family, were among large landholders and notables of Larkana in colonial rule, as the land and settlement record of 1876 and 1881 shows. Whatever you see in present day Larkana is developed on the heartlands of Lahori family generously gifted for the interest of general public.
The Lahoris are known as most noble, decent, gentle, dignified and celebrated family of Larkana during colonial rule. The origin of Lahori family is from State of Kamaliya, Punjab and are known Kharals.
According Nawabzada Qalab Hussain Lahori, the family migrated from Kamaliya to Larkana in 17th Century due to internal state crisis among heirs.
I came in acquaintance with Kharal family in 1990 when I met Nawab Imdad Hussain Khan Kharal of Kamaliya state. His son Major Faisal Abbas was commissioned and my under-command subaltern. I was honored like a real son of Nawab Imadad Hussain Kharal. During his visit to son in Quetta, Nawab preferred to stay with me instead of his son. One day Nawab Imdad Khan, during his visit to Quetta, said, “Beta Hassan Imam, you are not sparing time and paying visit to us in Kamaliya. I will be delighted to welcome you in Nawab’s Haveli ‘Qasr-e- Kadir”.
I once visited Nawab’s Haveli Qasr-e-Kadir at Kamaliya when I was posted in Okarra Cantonment in November 1990. When his eldest son was blessed with third son, Nawab named him ‘Hassan imam’, and said ‘Allah has blessed me with son like you Hassan Imam’.
Why they are called Lahori?
The timeline when they arrived in Sindh, Lahore was famous so just to give a reference of important landmark, they are labeled as Lahori.
They are Rajput Kharals. Muhammad Ali Jinnah also visited Nawab Kharal in 1939 just a few months before presenting the Pakistan Resolution. The Nawab along with his other tribal heads accepted Pakistan and declared willing to join.
When the colonial rule started after Napier, the name Lahori emerged among large landholders. David Cheeseman quotes in his work and writes that the most developing and trustworthy landholder who honestly developed their land was Lahori Fateh Muhammad and his son Tharo Khan. Tharo Khan was special bench magistrate and titled as Khan Bahadur in 1885 by the Lord Governor General and Viceroy India and his son Haji Ameer Ali Lahori was also conferred upon the title of Khan Bahadur by lord Chelmsford the Viceroy and Governor General India in 1921. Tharo Khan’s son Nawab Haji Amir Ali Lahori earned more accolade for the family and remained grandeur in colonial era.
All the information I received from Nawab’s second last son Nawabzada Qalab Hussain Lahori, when I was posted as Army Recruitment Officer in 1999. I found him a sincere, submissive and trustworthy person. He invited me for tea at his old inherited residence and showed me the tribute and honors their ancestors earned by the colonial officers. The honors includes many Aafrin Namas, letter of appreciation and sword which was displayed in their drawing room.
Like my family, the Lahori family is also the oldest one family which is keeping all the old manuscripts, papers and documents issued to them in colonial rule.
Nawab Lahori also mobilized the youth of Larkana in World War I and generously donated in recruitment fund, which earned them the war contribution medals and Afrin Namas by the Raj in 1919.
The Lahori family is known for their generosity and character. I also had chance to speak once with the eldest son Nawabzada Ahmed Hussain of Nawab Lahori. I was still posted in Larkana when heard the sad demise of Mustafa Lahori the youngest son of Nawab.
Lahori Family has been a political ally and strong supporter of Shahnawaz Bhutto. They have been financing Bhutto in all his political maneuvers.
They proved their generosity when they gifted free land for development projects of Larkana city, which includes schools, hospital and many other important schemes of government in district.
Though they were political opponents of my ancestors but it does not mean that they were enemies. They were kind hearted and had good relations with us and to everyone despite opposite political affiliation.
It is worth mentioning here that it was Nawab Haji Ameer Ali Lahori who represented Nawab Ghaibi Khan Chandio in grand Jirga during Magsi-Chandio Conflict and assured the Collector of Larkana NH Hey that he takes the full responsibility of the tribe to maintain peace in region.
During our past political and administrative discussions, Nawabzada made a complaint that when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became Prime Minister, he annexed much of their land in Master Plan of Larkana city development and they were not given due price of their land.
Whatever you see in present Larkana is developed on the heart lands of Lahori which were generously gifted for the interest of general public.
The beautiful mosque could also be seen located in central Lahori Muhalla of Larkana on an area of eleven thousand square feet. This was built by Fateh Muhammad Khan Lahori and augmented by his son Khan Bahdur Raees Tharo Khan Lahori. Later, it was beautified by Nawab Haji Amir Ali Lahori, son of Tharo Khan Lahori during his tenure as Family Head. The minaret of this mosque is very old and most of its walls are five feet wide. Tiled and marbled work of this mosque shows that the controlling work of planning, beautification and adornment has been done far and wide. The tomb of Nawab Fateh Muhammad Khan Lahori is also located in its premises.
Colonel ® Hassan Imam is the former Head, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Karachi Sindh.
All photos provided by the author