district Pishin

The district Pishin was a part of Quetta Pishin district. In 1975 it was separated from Quetta for administrative reasons. It derives its name from the locality Pishin. Pishin is a modernised form of ‘Pushang’, which is old Persian for the Arabic Fushang. Myth attributes the origin of the name to a son of the Emperor Afrasiab and Fushing was the spelling used in the records of the Afghan government.
Precolonial History
Up to the middle of the 18th century, when Quetta finally passed into the hands of Brahvi rulers, the history of Pishin is identical with the province of Kandahar. The earliest mention of Pishin is in the avestic writing in which Pishinorha is described as a valley in an elevated part of the country and containing a barren level plain (dasht).
Little is known of the history of Quetta Pishin up to the 13th century AD It was in 1221 that Kandahar and its dependencies passed into the hands of the Mughals. During the first half of the 15th century, Kandahar was under the rule of the Timurs’ successors and it was probably at the beginning of this century that the Tarins, who now hold Pishin, emigrated from their original homes in the Takht-i-Sulaiman and made their way into Pishin.
Between 1530 and 1545 the province of Kandahar was in the possession of Mirza Kamran the brother of the Emperor Humayun. After his death in 1556, Kandahar and its dependencies were restored to the Safavid kings of Persia and they remained under Persia until 1595, when they were again acquired by the Mughals. It is mentioned in Ain-i-Akbari that Shal and Pushang were included in the eastern division of the Kandhar Sarkar. In 1622 Kandahar was again brought under the Safavid dynasty and with the exception of a short period remained under Persia. The Safavid Monarch Shah Abbas gained possession of Kandhar in 1622. He conferred the government of Pishin and tribal dependencies upon Sher Khan the Tarin.
The end of the 17th century witnessed the rise to prominence of the Brahvis power and it is probable that Quetta and Pishin both suffered from the encroachment of Brahvis and that Quetta fell into their hands in the time of Mir Ahmed whose reign lasted 30 years, from 1666 to 1696. The Ghilzai, Mir Wais obtained possession of Kandhar in 1709 and it is curious that this feat was accomplished in connection with Pishin Brahvi history relates that around 1725 Pishin has been annexed by Mir Abdullah after an engagement with the Ghilzais near Kandahar. However, in 1733 Shah Hussain Ghilzai made a move against the Brahavis and he dismantled the fort of Pishin and garrisoned it. Moving forward, he crossed the Ghaza Bund and took Quetta. He advanced to Mastung where the Brahvai submitted. Quetta remained after that time under Kandahar and was transferred to Nadir Shah on his taking that place. Later on it is said that Ahmed Shah Durrani finally conferred it on the Brahvis after the campaign in eastern Persia in 1751, when he received gallant aid from Nasir Khan-I. Pishin meanwhile remained under the Durrani’s. Ahmed Shah is said to have given Pishin as a jagir with the condition of the supply of military services, to Pakar Khan Batezai. From the Durrani’s Pishin passed into the hands of Barakzai.
During the period of the first Afghan war, Quetta fell into British hands in 1839. After the British retired in 1842, Pishin and Shorarud were occupied by the Afghans. The first phase of the Afghan war closed with the signing of an agreement in May 1879 stating that the district of Pishin along with some other districts were to be ceded to the British government. It was in 1882 that final orders were given for the permanent retention of Pishin and British authority was extended over the little valley of Shorarud.
When Quetta district was handed over to the British government on April 1883, it was combined with Pishin into a single administrative charge and Sir H.S.Barnes was appointed the first political agent.
Before its occupation in 1878 and its subsequent assignment in 1879, Pishin always formed part of the province of Kandahar. The Batezai Tarins played important part as Governors. Before the British occupation and up to 1882 it was under an assistant to the Governor General. From 1883 onwards, when Pishin was combined with Quetta and Shorasud, together they fell under one political agent, the Deputy Commissioner.
This situation remained till the partition of the sub-continent in 1947. Till 1975 Quetta and Pishin were a single administrative unit. In 1975, Pishin was separated from Quetta and was given the status of a district. In 1993 Pishin was bifurcated into Pishin district and Killa Abdullah district. Now there are three districts Quetta, Pishin and Killa Abdullah which before partition came under one administrative division, known as Quetta Pishin.


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