Ghilzai - Encyclopedia




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GHILZAI, a large and widespread Afghan tribe, who extend from Kalat-i-Ghilzai on the S. to the Kabul river on the N., and from the Gul Koh range on the W. to the Indian border on the E., in many places overflowing these boundaries. The popular theory of the origin of the Ghilzais traces them to the Turkish tribe of Kilji, once occupying districts bordering the upper course of the Syr Darya (Jaxartes), and affirms that they were brought into Afghanistan by the Turk Sabuktagin in the 10th century. However that may be, the Ghilzai clans now rank collectively as second to none in strength of military and commercial enterprise. They are a fine, manly race of people, and it is from some of their most influential clans (Suliman Khel, Nasir Khel, Kharotis, &c.) that the main body of povindah merchants is derived.

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