Circle Bakote

Circle Bakote

Circle Bakote is a cluster of Union Councils in the eastern part of Abbottabad District in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Circle Bakote is located on the upper and west bank of the Jhelum River at Kohalla Bridge. The region is somewhere between 65 kilometres and 90 kilometres northwest of Islamabad. "Bakote" means the "land of forts". The Kanhar and Jehlum rivers are the two main rivers in Circle Bakote. Famous hill stations in the area are Miran Jani, Mukeshpuri, Thandiani, Pather Gali, Ayubia, Khanas Pur and Nathia Gali.


Ancient History

Circle Bakote and surrounding areas have a rich history - going back thousands of years. Historic excavations first began under colonial rule, when researchers such as Sir John Marshal - who as part of the Archaeological Survey of India uncovered many relics in the area, studies continue to this day by scholars such as Asko Parpola and others. Historically this region was part of the Taxila Kingdom of Gandhara, [] there are many relics in the area dating to the Vedic Age as it was en route to Moshpuri where a Vishnu temple used to be. After the arrival of Islam, the area became part of Kashmir.

Modern History

In 17th century a Dhond Sardar (chief), Lahr Khan, divided his territory by his brothers and finalised the borders from Manwan ni Hel to Lora on the west bank of the river Jhelum to Islamabad, the last edge of last UC Birote of Hazara Division on East-south. This line was drawn from the river Jhelum to Sulleal (Lower Birote) to Aarhi, now called Hadd at upper Birote, Kanair Kas to Sorjal, Arwarh, Thoba (Barhean), to Lora. The tribes used the jirga system to govern themselves

This partition of land was accepted by the Nalwa Singh administration of Ranjit Singh and by Major Abbott, the first commissioner of Hazara. In 1800 Maharaja Ranjit Singh attached this region to the Lahore Darbar, this area was later sold to Maharaja Gulab Singh of Kashmir under the Amritsar Agreement.

During British rule, rebellion had broken out - after the failure of this revolt and as a punishment for the war of independence waged by the local Tribes, this area was first annexed to Murree in February 1859, and then became a part of the Hazara Region in November 1859, both areas being under the direct rule of Britain.

The dominant people in Circle Bakote are the Lehral Dhond Abbasi family, they battled against the Sikh rulers under the command of Pir of Plasi at Balakot in 1830, and also fought against the British in 1857 at Murree.

Music and arts

The musical tradition of Circle Bakote was inherited from the earlier Hindu civilisation. Music is a compulsory element of Hinduism, and when Muslim tribes entered here the music was also changed and it changed into a profession rather than a religious tradition, that adopted by special families called "Mirasies". These families performed not only on wedding but on seasonal occasions as Grass Cutting ceremony ("LAITRY"), Roof Building of a House, ("PAHCHI") Etc. The other duties of Mirasies were to distribute invitations of weddings in shape of sweets homemade items, they were also used to spy on rival tribes or tribal chief before wedding caravan ("Janj").

Downfall of Music and Arts in the Sikh Era

The mountains of Circle Bakote and Murree Hills were under the control of Gakhars and Dhond Abbasies and Karhrals were their sub-feudal lords since four centuries. Sikh army personal of Gulab Sing and Lahore Darbar were illiterate, greedy and very brutal against Muslim tribes of area Downfall of Music and Arts in the Sikh Era [] . They looted and gutted their houses, slaughtered them and got rewards of Rs. five Nanakshahi per child head and Rs. 10 for adult ladies or male headsFact|date=November 2007. These circumstances compelled inhabitants of area to change their names as SOLLA KHAN, PUNNU KHAN, BUNK KHAN, LALLI KHAN etc in every tribes of Kohsar.Fact|date=November 2007.


The Circle Bakote area was formerly part of the Hazara area, the Government of British India issued District Gazetteers every year in which details of population demography was published. The Circle Bakote population was not mentioned separately but the overall statistics of District Hazara and Tehsil Abbottabad are available.

Hazara District

*1869-70 : Total population was 343,929, (15,733 Dhond Abbasi and 25,231Kareals)
*1881 : 383,031
*1891 : 483,903 (Including the population of Thoba (Barhean) - this area was transferred to the Punjab Government in 1893.)
*1901 : 528,666, current Union Councils Birote and Bakot had a total population of 2,290 total and a culivatable area of 6,024 acres - the land revenue collected by local lumberdars (village headmen) was Rs. 1,750/. There were six lumberdars with second class police station in Birote and Bakote.


District and Tehsil Abbottabad

In 1981 the Hazara area was divided and Abbottabad was formed as a district with two tehsils, In 1981, Abbottabad district had a population of 977,212 whilst Tehsil Abbottabad (a sub division of the district) - had an area of 1,802 square mile and a population of 667,328 including 51% of Circle Bakote. In 1990 the total population of the district was 1,425,032 including Circle Bakote 43%.

Political division

Politically Hazara was a solo constituency of NWFP Legislative Assembly in 1935 to 1951, Hazara was divided into three constituencies.

Union Councils

Under the new administrative system - there are eight UCs of Circle Bakote. This area had been divided into 13 UCs in 1983 but some of these councils were merged in 2000, Moolia was merged into Bakote, Malkot into Palak , Chamyali into Pattan Kalan and Birote Kalan and Khurd were united. The Circle Bakote [ [ Circle Bakote area] ] region is composed of the following union councils:

# Bakot
# Birote
# Boi
# Dalola
# Kukmang
# Nambal
# Palak
# Pattan Kalan

The highest and lowest places

* The peak of Mukeshpuri or Moshpuri.
* Manwan ni hell is the lowest place in UC Birote it is located on three provincial borders, - NWFP, Punjab and Azad Kashmir on the right bank of the Jhelum river. This place was of historical importance and contains relics as it was a crossing point between Kashmir andTaxila during the time of the Gandharan kingdom. Manwan ni hell was the first town of the Kethwal and Satti tribes who settled much of the current Circle Bakote and Murree Hills area before the arrival of Karhlal and Dhond Abbasi tribes six centuries ago.

Tribes of Circle Bakote

The mountainous area of Circle Bakote and Murree Hills contain many tribes. The Dhond Abbasi and Dhanyal are the largest groups, but other groups are Karlal, Satti, Kethwal, Gakhars, Awans, Syeds, Gujjars, Khakha, Bumba, Rajput, Bhati, Rehmanis, and many others. Before Islam this area was dominated by Hindu Kshatriya tribe who worshipped a goddess Kohala Devi in Dewal temple. The Kethwal, believed to be the oldest tribe in area, came from Iran 2500 years ago fought and expelled the local Dravidians and occupied the area until the invasion of the Dhonds in the mid fifteenth century - the Kethwal embraced Islam in 1090Fact|date=November 2007.

Dhond Abbasi

The Dhond Abbasi tribe form a large part of the population in Circle Bakote and Murree hills. Dhond Abbasis are the forth largest group overall in the NWFP, and the largest in Hazara Division and the seventh in Punjab by population. They have their own language called Dhondi/Kereali (see also Hindko) - also known as Dhondi, and they have completely revolutionised the culture and civilisation of the area. The Dhond and Dhanyal tribe are all Sunni Muslims. The language of the tribes is sometimes called 'Dhondi/Kareali' [ [ Pahari-Potwari - A language of Pakistan] ] . They are descendants of Shah Wali Khan whose nickname was Dhond Khan and Mohazam Shah Alia Dhanni Pir. There are two major Dhond Abbasi families living in Banda Jaat. One is headed by Mirdad Khan Abbasi, and the other is headed by Allah Dad Khan Abbasi (Paharlal). Their father Noor Ahmed Abbasi migrated to Abbottabad from Banda Khair Ali Khan. However, half of their family members are still based in Banda Khair Ali Khan.


Karhrals family is old tribe of Circle Bakote and migrated in mid of fourteen century, when they rebellion against Gakherhs by co-operation of Dhonds Abbasi tribe of Birote. Mojwal family of Basian had taken vacant place of Bakote by force. Karal family was not residing at Birote and out side area. A family of Karal tribe was residing at Bakot and still have property and now living at Tajwal, nathia gali, havelian, haripur, rawalpindi, basera, lora, Punjab. Karal family came from Turk. Its original tribe name is karluks. Karlal tribs are found on all places of earth.


Goojars or Gurjars are believed to be the oldest tribe of the area, they were one of the tribes of Ancient India that battled against Alexander The Great, (known here as Sikandar-e-Azam), when he launched his invasion of Western India.

Gakhars Kayani

Gakhars also known as Kayanis are a prominent tribe of Circle Bakote. They are of Iranian origin and according to Shahnameh written by Persian Poet Firdowsi in 1000 AD, their ancestors ruled for centuries. They have written and documented history going back to thousands of years BC.

Alvi Awan

The Alvi Awan are a well known tribe of Circle Bakote and are scattered throughout the region and form majorities in some areas of Abbottabad, Birote, Thandiani, and Nathia Gali. The main tribe of Alvi Awan of Birote is Naik Mohammedal and Taj Mohammadal.


The Bhati Rajpoot tribe is influential and was known for their bravery as warriors. The new generation of this tribe now works as businessmen or serve in the Pakistan Air Force. Yaqoob Khan, a British Government contractor during the colonial era was a member of this tribe. Now a days Mohammed Hafiz is most active political person. He also participated in UC Birote election in 2004 as general councillor but not succeeded.


There are Three kinds of Syeds, one is the "Meshadi" who migrated from "Rahi Lora" of District Abbottabad to Birote. The second is "Bokhari Syed" who migrated in the middle of the 19th century to Kahu Sharqi, Ali Abad (Pichbhanna) Bhan (Birote Khurd) third is "Tirmizis Syeds" who are decender of Hazart Peer Baba (bunair sheerif).


Jadoons of the SalarZai sub-tribe settled in Circle Bakote from Havelian District Haripur during the 1870s and settled in Kahoo Sharqi, Basian and Osia MurreeFact|date=November 2007. A few houses remain in Basian today. A famous member of the Jadoon tribe in Circle Bakote was Qazi Abd-ul-Haq Jadoon who performed the pilgrimage to Mecca on footFact|date=November 2007. In Basian many members of the Salar Zai subtribe migrated to Rawalpindi after the 5 October 2005 earthquake tragedyFact|date=November 2007.


There are another tribe in all union councils of Circle Bakote named Rakheals. Most of them converted and emerged themselves in to Dhond Abbasi tribe by ignorance or demand of time. They basically belonged to Rajpoot Khashterea tribe and came in the mentioned areas in different times in history. They were worriors and guards the people of area from invaders attacks. They were armed with swords and arrows and lived on the boundaries of villages licenced by Gakherh dynesty during 1000 to 1800 AD. They migrated or emerged themselves in Dhond Abbai tribe during political and cultural disterbanc of Sikh era (1800-1845). Sikhs killed, murdered and slaughtered innocent people of Circle Bakote and Murree Hills and wone Rs. 10 (Nanak Shahi) reward from their government in Jamon (Indian held Kashmir). Dhond Abbasi along many others tribes flew to nearby mountain peaks and also changed their Muslim names into Hindu names. That cultural anarchy benefited to Rakheal tribes and they embraced Dhond Abbasi ethnical kingdom. People of area narrated that Naker Kutbal (Birote Khurd) karachi based merchant Imteaz Abbasi son of Hakam Khan is also belonged to Rakheal tribe. Word "RAKHEAL" derived from "RAKHI" and RAKHI means "to guard" or "secure" in Dhondi/Kareali Language.


Dhaneal are ofsprings of Baba Dhani of Karore, 32 km north east from Pakistani capital Islamabad. As known history only one man of same tribe came in Kahoo Sharqi was the grand grand father of teacher Nisar and Hokumdad (nick name Nalkas). They are more than two dozens male members of Dhaneals of Kahoo Sharqi. Important personalaties of the tribes are late Qazi Wajahet, Abdur Rab Nishter (husband of Mrs Farrukh Bibi)etc.

Dhaneal in Dewal and Murree

Dhaneal tribe in Osea and Gohrha Gali are in majority and they are teachers since 1872 and founders of first local and historical Vernicular Primary school. They also inhabitant in Pichwal near Kanair Kas. Amjed Ali Qurban is a social personality in Karachi belonged to this tribe. Gorha Gali Dhaneal main family is Raja Feyaz Sewer MPA.

Language and Literature

See Article on Dhondi/Kareali language

Urdu Literature

During the twentieth century as education spread through this hilly region, Urdu was the medium of learning. The rural culture and civilization was revolutionised and new thoughts and ideas came into being. Many Urdu newspapers and magazines as Daily Zimidar Lahore, Daily Inqilab Lahore, Wakil Amretser, Muslim Rajpoot Ludhheana, Madina Bajnore - stimulated the poetry of the hill people. Much of the poetry is oral and not written down.

Esperanto Writers

Muztar Abbasi (1931-2004) was a scholar from the Dhond Abbasi tribe of Murree Hills and Circle Bakote. He was a patron of the Esperanto language in Pakistan. He translated the Holy Quran and wrote a biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in Esperanto .

* Amjad But is a teacher in Murree High School who is also teach Esperanto as a tutor.


Many books have been published in Murree and Circle Bakote related to local history. The historians wrote only some information but not in depth and not fulfilling the demand of anthropologists and history, containing unauthentic information from Oral histories. There have also been tribal histories books such as "TAREEKH-E-ALVI AWAN" by Muhabbat H Awan, "Tareekh-e-Gakhrhan" by Raja Haider Zaman Keani and "Tarekh-e-Sattian" by Sabir Satti which are detailed research Fact|date=July 2007.


* The first journalist of Circle Bakote was "Qazi Hadayetullah" of Union Council Bakot, who for 23 years worked for the Daily Zimidar Lahore (1932-52).

* Syed Amir Ud Din Sha Kazmi from Tauri Union Council Boi was the First Person to get Declaration copy of "Weekly Pakistan" from British Government from Abbottabad Office.

*Abd-u-Rezzaq Abbasi Mujahid of Union Council Malkot/Palak who was a correspondent for the Weekly Zamin Delhi (United India) before partition in 1947.


*There are four Daily Newspapers Daily Ousaf [ [ Daily Ousaf] ] , Daily Musalman, Daily Azkar and Daily Nawa-i-Hazara published from Islamabad by the editors of Murree Hills and Circle Bakote, named Raja Mehtab Khan of UC Phagwari, Tikka Khan Abbasi (well known Akhbarfrosh leader and ex-federal minister) of UC Jhika Gali, Ilyas Abbasi of Namb Romal and Khurshid Abbasi from Bakote.

*Weekly Akhbar-e-Kohsar printed by Saeed Abbasi (now Amir of Jamat Islaami PF-45), Safi-u-Rehaman Abbasi (Osea) with co-ordination of many lawyers of Murree and Circle Bakote in 1987 from Karachi. After a short time Weekly Akhbar-e-Kohsar was take over by brothers Fida Husain Abbasi (now editor of Daily Kaenat Karachi) and Sajjad Abbasi (now deputy editor of Daily Ummat Karachi) of Birote in 1989. They published this newspaper and competed with weekly Hill Post but stopped publication in 1992 due to the murder of Fida Abbasi's brother in Birote. "Weekly Tarjuman-e-Abbasia" is a house journal of the Dhond Abbasi tribe published under the direction and supervision of Anjuman Ittehad-e-Abbasia Karachi, first published in 1995 by Safi-u-Rehaman Abbasi.
*The first newsmagazine of Circle Bakote was "Weekly Tarjaman", which was published from Karachi under the editorship of Ghulam Kibreya Abbasi of Kahoo-Sharqi Birote in 1970 till 1973.
*The first paper on Photostat eas published in Rawalpindi named "Hum-waten" Bakote by "Yari Khan Ulfat" in 1984 and second was "Monthly Zanjeer" from Birote by a group of students in 1995.
*In Phagwari a hand written newspaper Dara of four pages was published from Karachi in 1979 until 2002 by Aashik Abbasi.

Modern Journalists

* Kaleem Abbasi of Bhan Birote Khurd (graphic designer and artist, creative Director / Regional Manager of Orient Mcccan Erickson Advertising Peshawer).
* Shahid Akram Abbasi, Bureau Chief of Khabrain Group Channel 5 from Gulf & KSA.
* Aftab Abbasi of Bakote, (Arabic/English news editor of Libya TV in Tripoli).
* Naeem Abbasi of Bhan Birote Khurd, Producer and newseditor of Aaj TV Karachi).
* Sajid Quresh Abbasi , Qaiser Quraish Abbasi of Abbasiyan Chief Executive "Weekly Ahbar-e-Kohsar" From Karachi. Hannan Ali Abbasi from Bakote is the deputy Editor of the Daily Nawa-i-Hazara, Sabir Hussain Abbasi from Boi Sub Editor Sarhad News, *Naveed Akram Abbasi from Bakote (First Male Journalist from Pakistan who won Best Urdu Write-up 2006 by International Committee for Red Cross presented By Head Of Delegation ICRC in Pakistan Mr Pascal Mauchle for The Article Zinda Zammer Afrad Ko Tameer e Nu mai Shamil Kia Jaey. After the earthquake in 2005 he published in Nawa e Waqt), Best Article Writer Award Winner Pakistan Press Foundation (Presented By Fatima Surrya Bhajiya), Correspondent Daily Nawa e Waqt, Correspondent Pakistan Press International, he was also the first person elected as first General Secretary of Abbottabad Union of Journalist in first week of 2007 from Circle Bakote.

* Farhat Jabeen Alvi, is the first female journalist from Circle Bakote and is a reporter for the Daily Jinnah [ [ "Daily Jinnah Islamabad"] ] and the Weekly Hill News Rawalpindi in Circle Bakote.
* Nazar Ahmad Abbasi from Berot Correspondent Daily Ausaf. Iqbal Sagher from Sialkot Union Council Patten sub Editor Daily Muhaseb Abbottabad. A new daily newspaper NAWA-I-HAZARA started her publications from Islamabad and Abbottabad at a time on 14th of August 2006 under the editorship of famous journalist M Khurshid Abbasi of Mojwal, sub-tribe of Dhond of UC Bakote & Youngist journalist of Pakistan Hanan Ali Abbasi is Deputy editor of Nawa-i-Hazara.
* Khurshid Abbasi is the first journalist in Pakistan who introduced the Inpage layout of Urdu newspaper using the inpage software for the Daily Khabrain [ [ Daily Khabrain] ] Islamabad in 1992. He joined Daily Ousaf Islamabad in 1998 as a senior editor where he appointed him as a bureau chief of Daily Ousaf London in 2002 and he shifted overseas. He worked with the said paper but differences with newspaper administration resulted resignation. He returned to Pakistan and then started his project on "Daily Nawa-i-Hazara" Islamabad. After nine months a UK based consulting firm offered him a challenging job, so he travelled to London again, now back in Pakistan he is publishing the prestigious daily Nawa-i-Hazara from Abbottabad, Islamabad and soon from Karachi.
* Molana Mehmood-ur-Rasheed Hadoti is a religious scholar from Hadot Murree. He publishes the Monthly Aab-E-Hayat [ [ Aab-E-Hayat] ] Lahore and Sifarish Abbasi fortnightly ASHAET-E-ISLAM from Gulahrhagali Murree on Islamic subjects.
* Shafiq Abbasi (Sub-Editor Daily Ousaf ) was from Kundan Namb Murree. Imteaz-ul-Haq the special correspondent of Daily Nawa-i-Waqt is from Murree City.

Religious Heritage

In prehistory the people of this area were Hindus, however during the reign of King Ashoka and the spread of Buddhism, this area became a route for Buddhist scholars who travelled from Taxila Buddhist University to Kashmir via Lora, Narha, Thoba (Barhian), Nathia Gali, Moshpuri, Birote Khurd and Domail Kanair Pull on the River Jhelum.

* In the 12th century Islam arrived, when Muslim tribes such as the Dhanyal settled in Kashmir and then crossed the River Jhelum into Circle Bakote.
* The first tribe of the area who embraced Islam were the Ketwals and the Satties, originally they were Zoroastrians. Famous Muslim saints Syed Ali Hamdani and Mohazzam Shah (aka Dhanni Pir) were able to make converts - although the first Mosque in the area was not established until the 17th century.

* In the 14 century the Karhal tribe settled the area, followed by the Dhond Abbasi in the 15th century - both fought against the Ketwals and Satties and expelled them from the area. During the wars many Hindu and Buddhist temples were destroyed.

* In 17th century, a Dhond Abbasi feudal Chief Malik Soraj Khan rose to prominence. He was a religious scholar as well as a saint and a Poet of the Dhondi Language. His mother Rehmat Jan was a Satti lady. He built first Mosque in Potha (Aliote, now Alyote) seven km of north of Murree City.

* The people of Circle Bakote and Murree Hills were troubled during the early Sikh era and they fought against them in Balakot under the command of Pir of Plasi Seyed Mohammed Ali Shah, a close companion of Mujahid Leaders Syed Ahmed Shahid and Shah Ismail Shahid, grandsons of Shah Waliullah Dehlvi, but they did not succeed and were defeated and killed in Balakot.

* After this incident Seyed Mohammed Ali Shah moved to Bakot in 1832, built a mosque there and lived there until his death in 1849. He was the first religious saint but his influence was eclipsed after the arrival of Hadhrat Molana Pir Faqir-u-llah Bakoti from Pajja Shrif, Chikar (AJK). Hadhrat Molana Pir Fakir-u-llah Bakoti was a great Sufi saint who had thousands of followers. He was a well known figure of Circle Bakote. He invited people to follow the teachings of Islam. He arrived in Birote in 1870 and married into the Naik Mohammedal Alvi Awan of Birote, and a land of 12 kanals were granted to him by the Kamalal sub tribe of the Dhond Abbasi, then he travelled to Bakote because an Ahmadi Qadiani preacher taught in a mosque in Central Bakote. He beat this person and taught the people of Bakote traditional Islam.

* Hadhrat Pir Haqiqullah Bakoti - was first member of NWFP legislative assembly (M.L.A) from Circle Bakote. He was second son of Hadhrat Molana Pir Fakir-u-llah Bakoti and father of current Pir Azhar Bakoti. He was a great scholar and religious leader. He had thousands of followers in Circle Bakot, Murree, Azad Kashmir and all over Pakistan. He was educated in Deoband-India. He was a pupil of Akhoond of Swat (Molana Abdul Ghafoor of Swat, NWFP, and witnessed the Sikh Afghan War). He organized the Circle Bakote Muslims spiritually and politically by an organization named Anjuman Mujahideen at Bakote.

*Another saint who came in Circle Bakote was Gull Baba from Mansehra and died at Ramkote east of Ayubia in 1943 where his tomb now resides.

Transport History

There have been road links between Punjab and Kashmir for thousands of years. For some 1500 years these road links have been established via Kohala, Lora, Musearhi (Murree old name) and Khwadder. Kashmiri rulers all depended on the trade link from Punjab to Kashmir.

In 1350 the Turks conquered Kashmir along this route. When the Mughals appointed their governor Yousaf Ridhvi in 1587, they made contacts through Kashmir Highway via Kohala. Another route between Kabul and Srinager was established when Abdullah Khan Kabuli became ruler of Kashmir - the route was Kabul, Mansehra to Srinager via Hasan Abdal. In the second decade of 1800, Hazarawals suspended supply lines of the Sikhs as result of the bloody wars they were engaged in. Hari Sing Nalva, a Sikh General tried to open this route by bloodshed and war of Balakot but did not succeed. The only route between Kashmir and Punjab remained Upper Dewal Kohala, which they developed. Another route wasbetween Kashmir and Potohar (Land of Gakherhs) along with right bank of River Jhelum from Srinager to Mirpur, AJK. Rawalpindi (formerly Gajnipura) emerged as a socio-political as well as commerce centre of North Punjab in 1802 after the defeat of Gakherhs and the emergence of the Sikh government of the Lahore Darbar. Malka Singh as a new ruler set up Raja Bazar as a major trade centre between Punjab and Kashmir and Kohala as a centre of Raja Bazar. His successor Sardar Jewan Singh occupied all Murree Hills and Circle Bakote controlling the properties of local tribes, i.e. Dhond Abbasi, Karhral, Gakherhs and other tribes and transferred them to Hindu merchants by force. At that time these was no bridge in Kohala and travellers crossed the River Jhelum at Knair Pull or Pattan. Knair Pull is the oldest place crosspoint in the region going back. The remains of this points are also can be seen at Domail, 200 feet above the New Kohala Bridge, 100 feet above Kanair Pull Dak Bangalow and new build road from eastern part of New Kohala Bridge to Bashir Petrolepump. There were three routes in second decade of 1800 from Kabul, Rawalpindi to Kashmir.FIRST ROUTE was Hawailian, Khaira Gali, Malkot. Dewal to Khawadder crossing, second was Haripur, Lora, Danna, Gorha Gali, Kotli Sattean to Patan Dhalkot and third was Rawalpindi, Musearhi, Upper Dewal to Kohala. The resistance movement against the Sikh Authorities built forts (Kote in local language) and checkposts (Kotlies) in Dannah, Dewal, Bakote and Sahlian to maintain law and order.

Upper Dewal Kohala Road

The new construction of Upper Dewal Kohala Road started in 1836 on the orders of Gulab Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir, where Sikhs armed troops patrolled 24 hours and fought local people ruthlessly. After the government of Ranjit Singh ended in 1845, the notorious Amritsar pact was signed among British rulers and Maharaja Gulab Singh - as a result of this all areas of Circle Bakote were aligned to Kashmir. This event compelled the local tribes to rebel, they destroyed Upper Dewal Kohala Road, delinked all bridges and had taken positions against Sikh troops. They killed more than 100 troops in Kohala [] and hanged their dead bodies across right and left banks of River Jhelum. The agitation produced fruitful results and all regions of Circle Bakote were reunited with Punjab in same year after a few months.

Rawalpindi Murree Road

In 1857 local tribe's war of independent failed and British Government started development of Murree City and built Rawalpindi Murree Road. All bridges including Salgran is a masterpeice of Mistri Noor Alahi of Birote. A new friendship pact was also signed between the Dogra Raj of Kashmir and British Government of the Punjab in 1870.

Kashmir Highway

In 1873 the construction of the Kashmir Highway (Murree Srinagar Road) via Kohala started. The contractor was Sardar Hoshnak Singh and the bridge builder was Mistri Noor Alahi of Birote. It was completed via Aliyot, Phagwari, Lower Dewal and Lower Birote in 1885 and carts began travelling. In 1871 the first Kohala suspension bridge was built which was destroyed in the 1991 flood. Notable events are:-

* First highway link established between Rawalpindi and Kashmir and transport started.
* Trate, Company Bagh, Gora Gali, Sunny Bank, Kuldanna, Ghikagali, Lower Topa, Aliyote, Phagwarhi and Garheal Camp emerged as populated towns along Kashmir Highway.
* Kashmir Highway completed in 1901.
* Kohal Bridge washed away three times, 1890, 1902 and 1991, then the bridge was shifted to Domail in Union Council Birote.
* Parsi investor Dhanji Boy four wheel chariot service first established to Murree in 1904 and then to Srinager next year.
* Punjab Motor Transport Company established in 1907 and started service with four buses.
* The first transporter of Circle Bakote was Dewan Singh of Termuthean.
* The first Muslim transport company had established in 1920 with equal shares of contractor Amin Khan, Mehmood Shah, Ghulam Nabi Shah of Birote and many other shareholders from Rawalpindi under the banner of Allied Ghiraghdin Transport Company with two buses enroute to Rawalpindi to Srinager.
* Poet of the East Allama Iqbal first travelled to Kashmir by Kashmir Highway in 1921. He was passenger of Allied Chiragh Din driven by Molvi Ghazi of Lammian Larhan, Birote. According to Sabir Afaqi, Iqbql wrote 17 poem of his book ARMEGHN-E-HIJAZ and on poem of Jawaid Nama AANSOO-E-AFLAK during this voyage.
* Rawalpindi Murree transport Company started her bus service in 1923 between Rawalpindi and Murree.
* In 1930 Contractor Amin Khan and Raja Nazer Khan founded a new Rawalpindi Srinager Transport (SRT) Company and got a very handsome response by passengers as second company of Allied Chiragh Din. First SRT bus was Chewerlet no RI 4618 started on 23 July 1930.
* In 1935 reksha started their services on this road.
* Raja Serwer Khan of Gora Gali established third transport Company named Murree Hills Transport Company in 1943 with eight buses en-route to Kohala Rawalpindi.
* Between years of 1946-7 Rawalpindi Srinagar transport bus service suspended and eight buses of Allied Chiragh Din were seized by Dogras. New transport system first introduced when British Government built Rawalpindi Murree Road in mid of 19th century.

Transport After Independence

After Pakistan came in to being, many transporters came forward and invested million of rupees in this sector both in Northern Punjab and Azad Kashmir. A half dozens transporters of Azad Kashmir run their services on Kashmir Highway but the route was on Rawalpindi to Muzaferabad, Rawalakot, Bagh, Dhirkot, Chinari and Athmuqam. Allied Chiragh Din and Srinagar Road Transport (SRT) Company purchased more used buses and restarted their operation. Murree Hills Transport Company monopoly was on Rawalpindi Kohala rout which was broke by Pindi Murree Transport Company in 1951 and started operation with 32 seater six buses. Mentioned company got rout permit of Rawalpindi Lora, Rawalpindi Ayubia and Rawalpindi Rewat on Kohala Bridal (Now Upper Dewal Kohala) Road. Demand of Upper Dewal Kohala Road construction was echoed in President House in ex-capital Karachi and in 1958 when federal Capital shifted in Islamabad, the importance of Upper Dewal Kohala Road emerged higher and higher as a permanent supply line of Pakistani armed forces in Azad Kashmir. A large landslide damaged Kashmir Highway near Aliyote in 1960 and road was closed for six months, it was a great concern for GHQ, therefore federal government called emergency meeting of Corp Commanders in Rawalpindi in last December and recommended construction work of Upper Dewal Kohala Road under supervision of Pak Army. In first phase construction work started on this road in mid of 1961 from Garheal to Rewat. The second phase completed in 1964 from Rewat to Dewal and then suspended. Pakistan Army faced many hurdles in logistic movement during 1965 war as a single road connection with AJK and the importance of Upper Dewal Kohala Road came more aggressive again as a defence linkage way for Armed Forces. Pak Army restarted road construction in 1966 on Sikh made old rout and it was completed in 1969. The first bus service started on this rout was Murree Hills Transport Company drove by Mohammed Rezaq Khan of Birote. The second Pakwatan Bus servpany Bagh, Gora Gali, Sunny Bank, Kuldanna, Ghikagali, Lower Topa, Aliyote, Phagwarhi and Garheal Camp emerged as populated towns along Kashmir Highway.

*Kohal Br10 services have been operating in morning from Moolia, Kohala, Basian and Birote to Rawalpindi and four were from Rawalpindi to Kohala and Molia. These bus operators are:-

*Razaq Khan then Nizakat Abbasi operated Murree Hills Bus Service from 1963 to 2004.
*Azad Khan of Basian operated Pir Bakoti Express from 1980 to 2003 and then sold to Hussain Abbasi of Basian and he operated it till 2006.
*Nisar Abbasi of Birote started Abbasi Coach (No RID 8699) in 1987 and ended in 2006 by his son Anwar Abbasi.
*Imteaz Abbasi started Abbasi Coach (No Rid 1230) in 1990. This was first bus that first time operated from Rawalpindi to Molia.
*All heavy passenger transport is now eliminated on Kashmir Highway and Upper Dawel Kohala Road since 2003, and coaches are running travel business. More than 200 texies are now operating only in UC Birote.

Printing business

The first press was established by Shahab Al-din Jadoon of Basian at Workshapi Mohalla Rawalpindi in 1992. A person from Bakote is also a proprietor of a press in Messy Gate Rawalpindi. Raja Mubeen Akhtar Abbasi of Reala/Malkot possessed a printing press in Islamabad. All four Daily newspaper of Murree and Circle Bakote, Daily Ausaf, Daily Azkar, Daily Musalman and Daily Nawa-i-Hazara have their own presses. Daily Nawa-i-Hazara started publication from Abbottabad and Islamabad - the office is in Islamabad, Abbottabad, Mansehara, Haripur, Havialian and other cities.prominent journalist M.Khurshid Abbasi is the owner of the Daily Nawai-i-hazara.nawae hazara is running very good at the moment.

Books on Circle Bakote and Murree Hills

Colonial Era Books

The earliest books published on this area were during the British Raj - The first was "MEMORENDUM ON THE NWFP" by Cap. Bonami and published from Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. Other notable books are:-

* Notes on Khaira Gali and Shangla Gali of NWFP by J E N Bide (1927)
* The origin of the Himalayas Mountain
* Notes on The elevation of Himalayan Peaks by Archibald Campbell published from Colkata (1848)
* Remarks on Himalayan Glaciation. - G.F.Cambell published from Kolkata (1877)
* Indian Frontier Policy, A historical Sketch by Sir John Miller Adye published from London (1897)
* North West Frontier Province by T Camon Plot (1930)
* NWFP and Pathan Borderland (A Survey Report) by E W Kastlave (1914)
* Year on North West Frontier of India by S J Koten from London (1868)
* Memorandum on the Produce of Himalayas Hills by L Kowan from Lahore (1860)
* Air Mapping of NW Frontier by D R Crown (1936)
* The North West Province of India by W Krikk (1897)
* A General Geographical Accounts of NWFP by M A Durrani (His MA Thesis in London University) in 1939.

Modern Books

Mohammed Ata Raheem of the Pakistan Science Foundation (also a professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University) compiled a history of Circle Bakote and Murree Hills from 1684 to 1947. It was published in 1976.

"Zameeni Sitaray" A book by young Journalist from Bakote Sharif "Hanan Ali Abbasi". This book is autobiography of 100 successful personalities from different field of life in Pakistan. Hanan is youngest author and writer of Circle Bakote and his articles are published in countries leading news papers. Zameeni Sitaray is available in all famous Books Stalls of Islamabad and Pakistan.

*"AY KOH-E-MURREE" (O Murree Hills) written by Brgd. Mohammed Ismail Siddiqi, about the civilisation, culture and tribal history of Murree Hills, Circl Bakote and Galyat.
*"TAREEKH-E-HAZARA" (new edition) written by Dr. Shair Bahader Khan Panni published from Abbottabad.

First time chronology

*Nagina Afzal Reaz is the first lady candidate from Circle Bakote who applied for PF 45 in the 2008 general election. She is the daughter in law of ex-chairman of UC Birote Haji Aazam Khan and widow of Afzal Reaz. His family are called Hajial in Birote.
*Provincial politics: Hadhrat Molana Pir Haqiq-u-llah Bakoti was the first representative in NWFP Legislative assembly from Circle Bakote who won election in 1956.
*Sardar Anyat-u-Rehman Abbasi from Lora was the first Parliamentarian of Circle Bakote to receive a grant from the Ayub Khan Government - and established many primary, middle and high schools. Upper Dewal Kohala Road and Ghora Gali Lora Road were also constructed in 1964 and completed by 1968 due to his efforts. He also wanted to create a Sowar Gali to Boi Road but this did not come into being.
*Indian Assembly: Raja Irfan Qureshi son of Thekedar Amin Abbasi of Birote is a member of Indian state Haryana Assembly.
*Transport: Thekedar Amin Abbasi of Birote created the first transport company named "Allied Ncgiraghdin" in his grandfather's name. Raja Nazer of Julial, Mehmood Shah and his elder brother Ghulam Nabi Shah (father of Dr. Ilyas Shah) of Birote joined him as co-transporters with six buses enroute to Rawalpindi to Srinager from 1932 to April 1947.
*Education: Vernacular Primary School Bakote is the oldest school, it opened in 1902, the first student was "Sardar Hasan Ali Khan" of Boi, the first teacher was Syed Masoom Ali Shah (1882-1963) of Juleal Birote who taught in various places to educated people. The first batch of all government running school of Circle Bakote teachers was Masoom Shah students in 1902.
*IT, FINANCE,BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MEDIA & OVERSEAS PAKISTANI: Shahid Akram Abbasi born in 19-11-1969 in Supply Banda Dilzak is the first person of Dhond Abbasi (Paharlaal) who wrote two Books over Computer Science for school Students during 1999. He is also first MBA Finance of his tribe from Peshawar University and also a prominent White collar Overseas Pakistani working in Gulf with Royal Family as Finance & business development Consultant. He has his own business in Gulf and Bureau Chief of Khabrain Group & News Channel Five from Gulf & KSA.He is also Exhibitions Expert in Gulf among the SAARC countries nationals.

Circle Bakote in 2006

*In July President Pervez Musharraf inaugurated a gas pipe supply line for Murree and announced a special package for Circle Bakote [ [ President inaugurates gas supply to Murree] ] .
*The Federal Government approved Rs. 250 millions for the cultivation of Spanish or Palestine Olives in Circle Bakote, Murree and the Galyat area in 2007.

Further reading

* Tarekh-e-Murree by Noor Alahi Abbasi
* Dastan-e-Murree by Prof. Karam Haidri
* Tarikh-e-Alvi Awan by Mohabbat Husain Awan,
* Tarikh-e-Gakhrhan by Raja Haider Zaman Keani,
* Tarikh-e-Hazara by Shair B Panni,
* Tarikh-e-Frishta by Frishta
* Kegoher Nama translated by Dr. Mohammed Baqir
* Ay Koh-e-Murree by Brg. Ismail Siddiqi
* A brief Description Galies Forest Devision By R Ahmed 1936a

External links



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