“ Pathan is not merely a race
but in fact a state of mind there is a Pathan inside
No oral lore or even written record of Alexander's passage through this country in the local languages is available. It is only through Arrian, a military historian who wrote the Anabasis, and other classical Greek and Latin sources that his passage through this country is documented. The Hellenic influence seems to have persisted and come into its own under the Graeco-Bacterian kings. Arrian the main authority was a contemporary of the Roman Emperors Hadrian, Antonius Pious and Marcus Aurelius and served as Counsel. He probably lived to 175 A.D. and was thus writing five hundred years after the event.
According to Wheeler it was not Greek but Roman influence that had "the most penetrating and enduring impact" upon "the Eastern world". A major source of Western influence on Gandhara sculpture has been traced to Roman Alexandria. Gandhara civilization and Mahayana school of Buddhism in turn served" as the source of much that is fundamental in the ecclesiastical art of Tibet, China and Farther Asia generally." The earliest cultural impact on the Province was, arguably, of Buddhism mixed with Kushan mores.Though Hinduism had been widespread prior to the rise of the more egalitarian Buddhism, the latter rapidly found acceptance among the people. Under Hinayana Buddhism, Buddha was a man of, not a, God. In Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha the wise human being became divine. This elevation found full creative expression during the reign of Kanishka .
Under Asoka and Kanishka numerous stupas and major monastery-complexes were built across the empire. When Kanishka converted to Buddhism and raised a commemorative tower at Shahji Ki Dherij "The King's Mound" outside the Ganj Gate of Peshawar, the royal stamp of approval was given. Buddhism which has started as a doctrine based on ideas and symbolism began to manifest in the visual and the tactile. From the religion of the intellect it also evolved into a religion of the masses. Prompted by imperial patronage, the Golden Path of the Enlightened One found extensive expression in the chisel of the sculptors. He became the "focus of every composition." These images, perhaps more than the sacred Sutras, helped spread Buddhism among the common man who could more readily relate to these tangible objects than the rigours of ascetic life and philosophical discourse. From a symbolic icon he metamorphosed into an idol. From being venerated as a sage, he began to be worshipped in all his godly manifestations.
The Fasting Siddhartha, one of the greatest sculptures of the world, belongs to this period when the Greek chisel met and merged with South Asian spirit. Found in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , it was transported to the only museum at that time, the Lahore Central Museum where it now sits in splendid display.
When the Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hien visited Gandhara in 404 A.D, he found 500 monasteries. In the seventh century his country man Hiuen-Tsang lamented the decline. A hundred years later U-Kong found only 300 monasteries. The more famous ruins of these centres of learning can still be seen at Charsadda, Naogram, Jamal Garhi, Kharaki, Takht-i Bahi, Sehri Bahlol or the Fort of Bahlol, the Lodhi ruler, Therali in the Peshawar district; at Adh-i Samudh near Kohat, the Akra mound in Bannu and KafirKot in Dera Ismail Khan. The most valuable of inscription relics are the Kharoshti rock-inscriptions at Shahbaz garhi in Peshawar district and at Mansehra. The ruins of the monastery at Takht-i Bahi show how developed the tangible and intangible culture was. There are meditation cells and communal living quarters integrated into the overall scheme, and constructed not to impose on, but blend with, the terrain looking out and down to the plains. A natural setting that engenders detachment and provides perspective on life and living.
TThe Peshawar Museum also has a fine collection of images related to the Buddha in stone, terracotta and plaster. These reliefs and free-standing works narrate the life story of Buddha from his birth and princely upbringing to his fruitless fasting and asceticism, meditation, ultimate enlightenment or nirvana and subsequent preaching and death. These core subjects are supported and supplement by Buddhisatvas, the deities, monks and votaries. Some of the figures support turbans and headgears which in modified forms can still be spotted in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The loose pants or shalwar, introduced by the Kushans and reflected in some Gandharan works, have now become a part of the national dress of Pakistan. The type of footwear and musical instruments, the jewellery and ornaments, the agriculture implements depicted in these works are in use to this day
The dominant language of the Province, Pashto, belongs to the Irani branch of the Aryan family of languages. It has two main dialects: Pakhto and Pashto. Pakhto is the hard or north-eastern version spoken in Bajaur, Swat and Buner, by the Yusufzai, Bangash, Orakzai, Afridi and Momand tribes. Pashto is the soft or south-western version spoken by the Khattaks, Wazirs, Murwats and other tribes in the south.8The earliest Pashto works were composed in the Yusufzai dialect which is considered classical. It is the purest and the clearest form of the language.
Pashto Literature is illuminated by the works of Khushhal Khan Khattak (1613-89), a chief of the powerful Khattak tribe. This "renaissance" man was known not only for his prowess as a warrior but also for wielding the pen. He is reputed to have authored about 350 works of poetry and prose on subjects as wide-ranging as ethics, philosophy, religion, jurisprudence, medicine, sports and falconry.
Khushhal Khan's father had been confirmed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as chief of the tribe as well as entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the Grand Trunk Road from Attock to Peshawar. Khushhal accompanied the imperial armies on various expeditions, succeeded his father as chief of the tribe in 1640 and also served the Emperor Awrangzeb. Victim of court intrigue, he soon fell out of favor and was imprisoned in the Fort of Gwalior. During his incarceration he composed many poems. His poetry remains a high-point in Pashto literature and gives eternal expression to Pathan values and the intellectual collective. Sensitive to the impact of nature on body and soul, in many ways he has much in common with the English Romantic poets
His patriotic poems, however, are inspired by two passions: his hatred and contempt for Emperor Awrangzeb and his own pride, which he calls the nang, the honour of the Pakhtun. He celebrates the fortitude and simple manliness of the Pathan and sees life as a clash of opposite. The tyranny he suffered at Awrangzeb's hands is attacked bitterly. Awrangzeb had deprived him of the ferry and highway tolls enjoyed by his forefathers since they were granted by Akbar to Akoray. He speaks at length about contemporary history and his own experiences in the great current of contemporary affairs. Many of his sayings were collected by his grandson Afzal Khan in Tarikh-i Murassah / "jewel-studded History". In his works Khushhal refers admiringly of the emperors Jahangir and Shah jahan. While he did not know Jahangir, for the emperor died while Khushhal was still in his the teens, Shah Jahan he had served and knew personally. He died a lonely man at seventy-eight at Dambara and was buried at the foothills of Cherat.
The other great luminary is Abdur Rahman (1650-1715). Popularly known as Rahman Baba, he is renowned for his poetry and also venerated as a Sufi, though there is no evidence he was ordained in any formal Sufi silsilah "order". He was born in a village south of Peshawar called Bahadur Kalal. He later shifted to another village, Hazar Khawani, where he lived and died. Unlike his contemporary Khushhal Khan, he did not travel far and wide. He was influenced by the immortal Persian poets, Rumi, Hafiz and Sa'adi and preferred to compose on, and sing of, the inward. His verse is imbued with the spiritual and the longing for the Divine. His only extant work is a collection of poems, the Diwan-i Rahman.
With the coming of the British and the establishment of educational institutions along European lines, both the colonists and the colonized worked for the spread of Pashto language and literature. The rich oral tradition was accorded written form subject to the standards of western scholarship of the time. During this period the most comprehensive work on the language was undertaken by Henry George Raverty, a Lieutenant in the Bombay Army. Posted in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 1849 to 1850, he wrote an account of the Peshawar district. He is also credited with introducing the tradition of compiling the Gazetteers of the newly conquered territories. He published A Grammar of Pukhto, Pushto or Language of the Afghans (1855), A Dictionary of the Puk'hto, Pus'hto, or Language of the Afghans (1860), The Gulistan-Roh: Afghan Poetry and Prose (1860), Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans (1862), Gospels (1864), Fables of Aesop AI-Hakim in Pashto (1871) and The Pashto Manual (1904). The pioneering work of Raverty laid the academic foundations for others. With the spread of education, textbooks in Pashto were written for the Munshi Fazil and Adeeb Fazil courses by Mir Ahmad Shah Rizwani, while Rev. T.B. Hughes' Ganj-i Pashto (1897) was used for lower classes. Later scholars not only produced practical manuals and linguistic works to facilitate the administrative machinery, but also explored history and undertook translations from, and into, Pashto. Maulvi Abdur Rahman Khan Muhammadzai was prompted to translate the Old Testament and John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress into Pashto, thus adding to, and opening new areas of interest in, Pashto prose.
Education played a pivotal role in the evolving culture. The two institutions which acted as catalysts were Edwardes College and Islamia College. They not only provided a common platform to all clans and tribes but were instrumental in projecting common Pathan identity and cultural underpinning. They shaped generations of Pathans who were to spearhead the struggle for freedom and take on the responsibilities of the new nation and contribute to its cultural vibrancy. The Islamia College and the Collegiate School were founded in 1911 on the site where the battle between Akbar Khan and the Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa had taken place. The impressive foundation-stone laying ceremony, held in March, was attended by elite of the Province. Tribal leaders in their traditional dresses and turbans, mixed with high-ranking civil officers, both British and Pakhtun, religious divines in their flowing robes, mingled with bemedalled and beribboned officers of the armed forces on the dusty flat near the mouth of the Khyber Pass. That historic day in spring marked the realization of a vision shared by two unusual individuals. One was Sir George Roos-Keppel, the Chief Commissioner of the KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA who was fluent in Pashto. Of mixed Dutch-Swedish-English blood, he had an impressive administrative record and cut a dashing figure. The other, a distinguished son of the soil, was Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qaiyum Khan K.C.S.I.E., K.B. (1863-1939). He came from a religious family of the Topi village in the Swabi area. After his basic education he joined the Edwardes Collegiate Mission School, passed the vernacular and English examinations, and in 1887 joined the Commissioner's office as a translator and reader. From here his dedication to work and sound and timely advice to his British superiors led him from one honour to another. It was not long before his innate qualities placed him amongst the leading figures of the Frontier. Together with Sir George, he saw the necessity of an education in which traditional disciplines and Western arts and sciences were imparted.
In 1908 or 1909 Sir George and Sir Sahibzada had visited the Muslim University at Aligarh. The Pathan students there had raised about sixty rupees as a token towards the establishment of a College in Peshawar. That token took root. Over the next few years Sahibzada Qaiyum worked tirelessly to realize the desire of those farsighted students. Donations were solicited and pledges cashed. Appeals were published in Pashto, Persian and Urdu. Then a site spread over 121 acres, three miles from the cantonment of Peshawar, was purchased. It was a great undertaking and one which was to spawn a full-fledged University in decades to come. The first Principal was Mr. L. Tipping. His wife rendered a water-colour of the College building, as it stood in those early years in splendid isolation, as if challenging the Khyber mountains, with its meticulously executed details in man-made, kiln-baked bricks. The library of the Islamia College has a fine collection of rare manuscripts. It is now housed in the original College for the Ulema/ "religious scholars" and the Oriental Hostel, their boarding house. One of the College hostels, Grant Hostel is named after Sir Hamilton Grant, Chief Commissioner in 1919. The Quaid-i Azam had declared: "…You will get your University sooner than you can imagine" on one of his visits to Peshawar. "This was a promise and a prophecy". Two years later the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaqat Ali Khan inaugurated the University of Peshawar on October 13,1950. Over the years this University has hosted students and scholars from many countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The first Vice-Principal, and later first Muslim Principal, was Allama Hayatullah Mashriqi. A brilliant graduate of Cambridge University, England, he aquired four triposes (B.A's) with distinctions in five years in such diverse subjects as Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Mechanical Sciences and Oriental Languages (1907-1912). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Art (F.R.S.A.) in 1923, Fellow of the Geographical Society of France (F.G.S.) and Fellow of the Society of Arts of France (F.S.A.). He was offered an ambassadorship in 1920 and a Knighthood in 1921 by the British Indian Government but being a man of simple living and high ideals he refused these and several subsequent offers of political and administrative import. Instead he founded a Muslim militia, the spade-weilding "Khaksars" during the freedom movement.
Among educationists who acquired a lasting reputation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was Prof. LA. Thakurdas, a much-loved teacher of English literature, lawyer, poet, musician, singer, badminton champion and a fine cricketer. Born a Brahmin, he converted to Christianity in 1913. He started teaching in 1936 and continued to do so, at Edwardes College and later privately in Peshawar till 1980 when he died. His lectures became famous for continued disregard of the stipulated periods to the consternation of his colleagues and the amusement of his students. He is still remembered as an academic who could be seen riding a bicycle clutching Shakespeare. As a lawyer he graciously accepting bread or chicken from the poor as his legal fees. As a radio broadcaster during World War II he had the lover's temerity to dedicate a song to his beloved despite the highly conservative society. He cut an eccentric, amiable figure.
Another was the Englishman, H.M. Close. A Cambridge graduate, he was teaching at St. Stephan's College, Dehli when World War II commenced. In 1940 he got a regular commission in the army. During the Independance period he was active in the rehablitation of refugees. He came to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 1947 and dedicated himself to the cause of education. He taught at the Islamia College for three long decades and then at Edwardes College from 1982 to 1996. Besides being an academic, he was a historian, author of several books, social worker and a Missionary. He died in Peshawar, widely mourned, in 1999. Dr. Phil Edmonds, another devoted teacher, was an Australian. His twenty-three years (1955-1978) at Edwardes College are remembered for his keen endeavour and personal interest in raising the academic standards of the institution and to produce well-rounded students.
With the importation of the printing press from the Punjab to Peshawar, the technology spawned an interest in current affairs and popular literature. Newspapers printed in Urdu and Pashto gave impetus to journalists. The first newspaper Murtazai a weekly was published in 1853 but ceased in 1858. Pioneers of journalism include Hakim Syed Abdullah Shah of Afghan, a newspaper current in 1909. Other early Pashto publications include the magazine Sarhad (1926) and Pakhtoon (1927).
The printing process involved the lithographic technique and created thriving work schools of calligraphers. Amongst the more famous Ustad / "Master" calligraphers was M. M. Sharif. He designed the currency notes of the State of Swat and also rendered newspaper mastheads and titles for Urdu and Pashto magazines. The mast head for the Daily Tarjuman-i Afghan is not only reflective of the Pathan' s love of arms but is a most innovative interpretation of the nastaliq style.
Qazi Ahmad Jan is reputed to have introduced a "lucid style" and promptedthe "new genre of short story" in Pashto. Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari (b.1910) trained in the Bombay film industry, acted in, and directed, the first Pashto film "Laila Majnu". Soon however, the spirit turned to other calling. He became a Sufi, wrote prose, plays and poetry and introduced new facets in the Pashto ghazal. Maulana Abdul Qadir laid the foundations of the Pashto Academy in Peshawar University. He was born in the backward area of Gadoon Amazai in the village of Pabinin of Swabi district. A graduate of Islamia College Peshawar, he joined the Aligarh University and obtained degrees in English, Arabic and Law. After World War II, he joined the All India Radio. Following the Independence of Pakistan, he served as a diplomat in the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul. A polyglot he spoke and wrote in five languages: Pashto, Urdu, English, Arabic and Persian.
Kalandar Mohmand is one of the leading intellectuals of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was born in the village of Bazikhel and worked as a journalist for many years acquiring a reputation in several literary genres. His lasting contribution is the compilation of a comprehensive Pashto dictionary called Samander. Khatir Ghaznavi was a moving spirit behind the literary and cultural activities in the Province and is the author of several books of poetry and prose. He started his professional career from Radio Pakistan Peshawar, then joined the Urdu department of Peshawar University and also worked as a Director in the Pakistan Academy of Letters, Islamabad. He taught at the University of Malaysia and the Beijing University, China.
Mohsin Ahsan is another front-rank poet of Urdu and has published several volumes of verse. Dr. Raj Wali Khattak who head the Pashto Academy is a poet and well-known critic. G.J. Pareshan Khattak (b. 1930), an accomplished scholar was the Vice-Chancellor of the Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, Islamabad, the Vice-Chancellor of Azad Jammu and Kashmir University, Muzaffarabad and Chairman of the University Grants Commission. He has published numerous books and received national and international awards and honours.
Dr. Ahmad Hassan Dani (b. 1920) is the country's leading authority on paleolography and archaeology. A polyglot, he was the first Muslim student at the Benaras Hindu University and also the first Muslim student to receive a gold medal for topping in the M.A. He later trained under the legendary archaelogist Sir Mortimer Wheeler in Taxila. In 1955 he obtained a Ph.D from the University of London. He has explored the region extensively, studied ancient cultures along the Karakoram Highway and has written prolifically on the proto-history in Gandhara, anthropology, history and allied subjects. He established the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations and has long been associated with UNESCO. He is probably the most decorated scholar in the country whose work has been recognized by numerous countries through honours and awards.
Ahmad Faraz (b. 1931) ranks amongst the foremost Urdu poets of the post Independence generation and has published thirteen volumes of poetry. Born in Kohat to a father who was himself a poet of Urdu and Persian, Faraz became known at a young age. He began his career as a lecturer in Urdu at Islamia College, Peshawar. Later he joined the Central Government's National Centres network, like many intellectuals, to promote national cohesion, between the provinces especially East Pakistan, through the arts and culture. His anti-establishment poems landed him in jail but the Supreme Court came to his rescue. He was the Chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters. A most sought-after poet, he has won several national and international awards. His work has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Macedonian, Russian and Swedish. Amongst the poets who adopted English as their medium of expression, the most well-known is the late Daud Kamal, a professor of English at the Peshawar University. He published several volumes, translated the work of eminent Urdu poets into English and won international awards.
Western education and technology opened out new ways of expression. One important area of creative realization was western-style painting. Abdul Ghani Khan (1914-1996) was a man of many parts: poet, philosopher, painter, politician. Eldest son of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, he joined the Indian National Congress like his father and was active in the political struggle against the British. Yet he is now remembered for his book Pathan, written in English and as a pioneering practitioner of the modern idiom in poetry and painting. He joined Rabindranath Tagore's Shantiniketan College of Arts in 1934, where he "discovered" himself both as a poet and a painter. The subjects of his five volumes of Pashto poetry range from "freedom, love of God, land and people, nationalism, fate, the mysteries of life and death, the joys of communion, and the woes of separation". All his paintings are the influence of the Bengal School and pre-Islamic heritage of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwamake bold and contemporary statements.
Amongst the most well-known and versatile artists of the country is Gulgee. Born in Peshawar in 1926 he has, over the decades, acquired an international reputation both as a painter and Calligraph-artist. He trained as an engineer but acquired fame as an artist during Ayub Khan's rule. He started with realistic work, acquired remarkable facility in draftsmanship, executed some of the most memorable works in lapis lazuli mosaic including the portraits of the present Aga Khan and his grandfather Aga Khan III, rendered abstract murals in free gestural expressionism for many public and private collections. His contribution to the new international movement in the visual arts, Calligraph-art is phenomenal.
Other contemporary painters of standing include Tayyeba Aziz, a fine water-colourist who is also an academic. The paintings of Naveed Shabbir and Naheed Saleem figure in several military and public collections. Sabir Nazar who trained as a painter is known for his cartoons. Nasir ud-Din Mohmand, a senior artist, has for several decades painted the people and places of his Province.
Another new medium was the motion picture. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's contribution though often over-looked, is substantial. During the early twentieth century, a centre of film industry emerged in Bombay attracting talent in all branches of movie-making. Actors, with and without stage experience, gravitated to the dream-factory emulating Hollywood. The legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, the incomparable Dilip Kumar and the screen siren Madhubala all hailed from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They went on to conquer the South Asian silver screen as no character actor, hero or heroine has done since.
Prithviraj Kapoor was born in Samundari, near Lyallpur now called Faisalabad, in Punjab. After schooling in Lyallpur and Lahore, he went to Peshawar where his father was a Police official. He graduated from Edwardes College, studied Law for a year before the celluloid lured him to Bombay in 1928. An interesting anecdote is told of his racial tenacity. Baburao Patel, editor of the top cinema magazine of the 1930's, Film India remarked to him: 'There is no place in the films for uncouth brawny Pathans who think they can make it as actors!" To this the young Prithviraj replied: "Baburao do not provoke this Pathan. If there is no place for me in the Indian films, I shall swim across the seven seas to Hollywood!" But there was no need to undertake such a tiring swim. He not only became a successful actor and producer but spawned the Kapoor dynasty that for five generations is involved with cinema.
The other male actor who dominated Bollywood like a colossus was Dilip Kumar. Born in Peshawar in 1922 as Yusuf Khan, he ruled the South Asian silver screen from the late 1940's till well into the t 980's. Unmatched in the clarity of dialogue delivery, master of various rustic dialects, chaste Urdu of Lucknow and Dehli, and the vast repertoire of expressions, he came to be celebrated as 'The Monarch of Tragedy". From lead romantic roles - tragic or swashbuckling, rustic or comic - to character parts, his repertoire and charismatic presence remains unparalleled. He is the Olivier of Bollywood.
Widely acknowledged as "the most beautiful actress of her generation", Madhubala hailed from Mardan. In the epic romance "Mughal-e-Azam" these three Pathans, the greatest actors of their time, were immortalized in leading roles: Prithjviraj as Emperor Akbar the Great, Dilip Kumar as the rebellious son, Prince Saleem later to inherit the empire as Emperor Jahangir, and Madhubala as the tragic Anar-kali / "Pomegranate-blossom", the dancing-girl who dared to love the Prince. Even the current Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan (b. t 965), lOVingly called "King Khan", has his ancestral house in Peshawar.
In the years after Independence, Radio Pakistan Peshawar and theatres played vital roles in training performers and actors. Some of the early luminaries include Khalil Khan, F.R.Qureshi, Kazim AIi, Sheikh Shareef and Ms. Santosh Russell, a Christian lady popularly known as Santoshi. Qavi Khan began his professional career in 1952 from Radio Pakistan, Peshawar, where he learnt his craft from some of them. When television came to Pakistan in 1964 he was the lead in the first television play "Nazarana". Since then he has continued to perform on radio, stage, film and television in ' tragic and comic roles with equal facility, and win numerous national awards. His younger contemporary Firdous Jamal (b. 1954) also began as a radio artiste in Peshawar. His first television play was from the Rawalpindi Station. Since then he has performed in all the languages of Pakistan on radio, stage, film and television and received awards like his senior colleague. Rangeela, the versatile comedian of the Pakistani silver screen, who delighted audience for over three decades, was also a Pathan.
Singers such as Muzaffar Khan, the late Gulnaar Begum, Khiyal Muhammad and Zarsanga have acquired a lasting following and reputation in the Province. Their senior contemporaries who contributed to Pashto music and singing included Ustad Abdullah Jan, Ahmed Gul, Ahmed Khan, Qamro Jan, Baacha Zareen Jan. Rafiq Shinwari pioneered the fusion of folk singing with ghazal rendering and so created a new style. The musician Muneer Sarhadi is a master of the Saranda, an indigenous stringed instrument played with a bow. On the current pop-culture scene, Rahim Shah has emerged as a major vocalist. His songs have been plagiarized by Bollywood movies.
Predictably traditional sports such as hawking, hunting with dogs and shooting hare and partridge have waned. The traditional sports such as ram-fighting, wrestling, cock-fighting are only occasionally seen. However, horse riding, polo and shooting remain popular as ever. Polo in its traditional form still draws large crowds when it is played annually at the Shandoor festival in mid-summer.
This widely attended festival takes place at the highest polo ground in the world. Nine hours by winding road from Chitral, in the Shandoor Pass at about 11,000ft, the six best teams, three from Chitral and three from Gilgit continue the tradition which was formalized in the 1920's. The game is played following the centuries old rules set by a descendant of Chengiz Khan. Unlike his blood-thirsty ancestor who played the game with the heads of vanquished enemies, Ali Sher Khan tamed the game to set rules. It consists of two chukkars, in which each player is allowed only one pony and if one player ceases to play, so would the player from the opposing team. Smaller than the standard polo-field, the shandoor ground is 60 yards by 220 yards
Contribution of a different kind came from the village of Naway Kallay, now subsumed in the growing Peshawar cantonment. It has acquired international fame for producing a string of world champions in squash. The first generation of champions such as Roshan Khan (1927-2006) and Hashim Khan groomed the next generation of champions: Azam Khan, Mohibullah Khan, Qamar Zaman, Jahangir Khan and Jan Sher Khan. These world-class players, for many decades dominated the intense sport. Roshan Khan won the British Open, Dunlop Open, Canadian Open and Egyptian Open in one big sweep in 1956. The following year he won the Pakistan Professional Championship and the Australian World Series. In 1958 and 1960 he won the US Open and in 1962 the Canadian Open. He rounded up his carreer by winning the Pakistan Professional Championship for the last time in 1967. His son Jahangir Khan, was the youngest ever winner of the International Squash Raquet Federation World Amateur Championship in Australia. In 1981 he defeated the great Australian Geoff Hunt in the World Open in Toronto and lifted the British Open trophy in 1982 in a historic win. He remains a record-holder with ten successive wins at the British Open and six wins at the World Open Championships.
Qamar Zaman having won the Pakistan Open in 1973 went on playing the international circuit till 1989, winning numerous championships including the World Open Championship in 1975 and the World Masters' Open Championship in 1997 and 1978. During 1975, 1978 and 1980 he was number one in the world ranking. These men not only put Pakistan on the map of the squash world, but helped strengthen and spread the game in the country.
For skiers and mountaineers, the Province is a challenge. The only ski resort of the country is at Malam Jabba, Swat but many peaks continue to beckon the more adventurous climbers. Every year the daring come from all over the world to test their stamina, strategy and tenacity against the slopes and summits. In the summer of 1939 there was an unsuccessful attempt to climb Trich Mir. On the expedition's departure, two of the Sherpa porters, Everest "tigers" named Anten Sing and Tensing, remained with the Chitral Scouts for four years, though for different reasons. They were to carry out reconnaissance of all possible invasion routes from Russian Turkestan, through the Wakhan. Tensing who was to attain fame as one of the first two men to reach the summit of Everest in 1953 was a very good coole "His souffles concocted at 12,000 feet on a bleak mountainside were out of this world, and his coffee and chocolate-gateaux scrumptious”.
Bill White, the leader of the expedition, the Sherpas and selected Scouts were sent to reconnoitre fourteen passes over the Hindu Kush, of which only two had been visited by Europeans in the previous forty years. They varied in height from Bang Gol (15,600 ft.) to Kot Gaz (17,939 ft.). For this exploit Bill White was awarded the medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
For the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's material culture the Kissa Khwani Bazaar in Peshawar provides a collective view. A broad artery, crisscrossed by narrow lanes and bye-lanes, it is an important economic and cultural nucleus of the Province. Here are found vessels in beaten brass and copper, fine hand-woven woollen fabrics, leather-work, hand-knotted rugs, namdas of beaten wool, and carpets, caps made of mountain-sheep wool and lamb-skin, the karakuli, finest quality woven fabrics with richly worked end-pieces in bands of gold / tilla for lungis/ turbans, Chitrali cloaks of handspun and hand-woven wool, and leather chappals in a range of traditional styles besides a hundred other products, all vying for space and attention. Not only native designs and forms but influence of Greek and Arab, Kashmiri and Persian, Central Asian and Tartar, European and Far Eastern motifs are visible. All testifying to Peshawar's reputation as the place where cultures meet.
The cottage industry consists mainly of fine embroideries of phulkari variety from Hazara, chikan doz from Peshawar, wood-carving with characteristic motifs of each region especially from Swat and Kafiristan, marble inlay, glazed earthenware or faience from Bannu, lacquer-turnery from Dera Ismail Khan and lacquer-ware of Bannu, metal-work and leather.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also spawned the true Pakistani" Pop Art". Peshawar is the centre of the highly popular 'Truck-art". The painters with bright enamel colours cover almost every conceivable surface of the heavy vehicles, decorating each like a bride. Bold and naive renderings of local fauna and flora, calIigraphed verses, traditional or folk motifs, portraits of male and female film stars and political leaders are rendered with such unrestained abandon that the result is the most eyecatching art galleries on the road. This has led to exhibitions in museums at home and abroad.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is seismically an active area and the people over the ages have evolved their indigenous architectural styles which are earthquake resistant. The traditional architecture of mud bricks reinforced with timber beams and supports seen in many of Burke's nineteenth century photographs can still be seen in Peshawar's old city. Some structures are several storeys high. Up-country the Kalash, the herdsmen and the peasants generally employ the traditional construction methods which rely heavily on the use of logs, shaped timber and rocks held in place by adobe and plastered with mud and straw.
The Pathan celebrates social and political occasions with verve and vigour. Firing guns into the air is a common expression of joy. Another is the Khattak sword-dance. This most popular and representative dance involves loud music of drums and pipes and flashing of blades while young men in full white shirts swirl and toss their hair back and forward or flick them from side to side in wild abandon. The cultural facets of the Frontier are many, and many remain unexplored.