The Kakar country on the Indus frontier is about a hundred miles square, and extends from the Waziri border on the north to the Baloch border on the south The country is traversed from north to south by a mountain range, on the east and west slopes of which are many pleasant and fertile valleys In the Kanjoghi valley, which runs about thirty miles south-west from the Kand peak, is settled the Sanya clan, and in Bori, an extensive valley running to the south-east, are the Sanjara and Sambhira clans - names evidently of Indian origin The Kakar, in fact, is a collection of several different peoples, who, though now all speaking Pushtu and calling themselves Kakar Pathan, nevertheless maintain their own peculiar customs, manners, and dialects.
The bulk of the Kakar Proper are employed in the asafoetida trade between Herat and India; but most of the other clans lead a pastoral life, moving from place to place with their cattle and flocks, and living in small societies of three or four families, who pitch their black hair tents, or Kizhdi, in little clusters together. The lesser number are settled in villages and cultivate the soil in the main valleys, as Bori, Zhob, Kanjoghi, etc, etc. The Zhob range separates the Kakar from the Waziri. Their neighbours on the north-west are the Ghilji, on the west the Achakzi and on the south-west the Tarin - both Durrani tribes. On the south are the Baloch, the hereditary foe of the Kakar. The Shayuna Dagh, a mountain plateau, in the north-west of the country, is a celebrated pasture ground of the Kakar; and to the west of the Toba mountain they have a number of narrow little valleys whose several streams combine to form the Lohra liver which waters the Peshin valley In spring and summer the whole of this part of the country is said to be a delightful residence, the climate salubrious, and the air perfumed with the odours of the flowers which cover the surface as with a variegated carpet The country is good, it is the people only who are bad, for they are ignorant, brutal, and savage in their manners, and robbers by intuition, as indeed are all the independent Pathan tribes.
We have thus shown that the Pathan comprises not only the modern representatives of the four ancient Pactiyan nations mentioned by Herodotus - to whom, alone indeed, the title properly belongs - but also a variety of other races, some kindred and some foreign, who have been thrown together within the area of their original country, the ancient Pactiya, by successive waves of conquest, and dynastic revolutions All these different races, such as the Kakar, Wazni, Ton, etc, have evidently had a long struggle before they finally established themselves amongst the Pathan nations, and it would seem that it was only by blending with them, and, to some extent, adopting their mariners and customs, that they were afterwards enabled not only to hold their own, but to enlarge their borders and maintain their distinct identity at the expense of the ancient inhabitants The only other people of Afghanistan, besides those dwelling in the Pathan country proper, who call themselves Pathan, are the Afghan and the Ghilji Apparently, simply because they, to a great extent, the latter especially, live within the limits of the Pathan country, and to some extent have adopted their language and social code of laws; and because it has pleased their genealogists to class them all together as a single nation descended from a common ancestral progenitor.
Until the recent changes,political and military - changes which are still in course of development on the Trans-Indus frontier of India - the Pathan tribes, who hold the mountain ranges of Sufed Koh and Suleman Koh, have for the most part maintained their independence for many centuries, an independence, not of a united nation, but an independence of individual tribes. The Pathan tribes on the plains and low lands, between the mountains and the liver, such as the Yusufzai, the Khattak, Bangash, Banuchi, the Mahmand of the Peshawar valley, etc, have been British subjects ever since the conquest of the Panjab Some of the hill tribes, such as those of the Kurram, Daur, and Sibi valleys, have been at different times, within the above period, subjugated by the Kabul Government. But all the powerful hill tubes, such as the Yusufzai and Mahmand of the hills, the Waziri, the Kakar, and several lesser tubes, are entirely independent, as are some clans of the lull Ghilzar.
From the foregoing account it would appear that the original Pactiyan, Pukhtun, or Pathan nations, though severally maintaining their identity to the present day, have become individually much mixed up with various tribes of foreigners brought into then midst by successive waves of conquest and revolution during many centuries And this is just what we might expect, considering the situation of their country at the point of junction of the three great empires of the Persian, the Turk, and the Indian, How long it took for these different races to amalgamate into a nation speaking the same language, professing the same religion, and owning the same code of laws, it is difficult to say. But there is no doubt that the change once initiated was rapidly carried to completion, it would appear that in the accomplishment of this end, the influence of religion played an important part, and that the Budhist, Brahman, and Gabr, all simultaneously succumbed to the majesty of Islam. This religion was first systematically enforced upon the peoples of this country by the first Turk sovereign of that faith in these parts, the celebrated Mahmud of Ghazni, about the beginning of the eleventh century But however successful his means of fire and sword may have been at first, it appears that their effects were not very lasting nor complete. In short, the conversion of the people under such compulsion was only nominal, and they rapidly relapsed to their former creeds during the reigns of Mahumd's successors, until in the time of Shahabuddin Ghori, the twelfth century, there occurred a revival of the Muhammadan religion all over India. About this time the whole Pukhtun country was overrun by Arab priests who assumed the title of Sayyid ("Lord"), and by native Indian converts, who were called Shekh ("Elder"). These enthusiastic propagandists seem to have set about the task of proselytizing the people with remarkable energy and boldness, though with no great self-denial or personal restraint. They everywhere made themselves very comfortable at free quarters amongst their ignorant flocks, freely took their daughters to wife, rigidly exacted the tithes and other offerings ordained by the law to their sacred callings, and punctiliously enforced the reverence and homage due to them as the expounders of the word of God and the guides to the delights of Paradise.
The priests of the Sunni or "orthodox" sect had not the field entirely to themselves, for they had already been preceded by those of the Persian Schismatics of the Shia sect, as well as by the Persian heretics of the Ali Ilahi sect, who believed in the divinity of Ali With the decline, however, of Persian influence in this quarter, they soon acquired the ascendancy, and the Shia and the Ali Ilahi, or Chamkani, as he was called (the Chuagh-kush of the Persians and Or-mur of the Afghans), either deserted their own creeds for the more popular state religion, or, clinging to the faith of their forefathers, sunk to a state of servitude or dependance There are still several Shia clans amongst the different tribes of Pathans, and since the decline of Islam as a state power in these parts, they manage to maintain their position with greater security and freedom than before. With the Chamkani, it was diffeent. He was a proscribed and persecuted heretic by both Churches of Islam, and soon, for self-preservation, became a Sunni, though still retaining his former appellation.