Notable Karlals

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Introduction to KARLAL'S

Karlal (also known as Kard'al, Karaal, Karhral, or Kiraal) is a tribe found in the Abbottabad and Haripur districts of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Karlal territory borders on both Kashmir and Punjab.


The tribe traces its descent from Sardar Kallar Shah who is believed to have come from southern Afghanistan, and is believed to have been a descendant of Alexander the Great. The various names of the tribe are derived from the name "karal" or "karaak" which means strength, bitter or straightforward, signifying the military character of the ancestor. In Haripur and Abbottabad, they are known as Sardars because during the time of the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1296) they became the sardars (meaning leaders) of this area. Although the Sardari system is now obsolete, the name prevails due to extensive usage by local peoples, including other tribes who prefer to refer Karlals as sardars. The majority of the people of the Karlal tribe are Sunni Muslims. Karlals have a liberal social structure and have accepted inter-marriages with other people, including both Pashtuns and Punjabis. This has led to an ethnic blend within the community, which now constitutes 30% of the population of the district of Abbottabad. They are a Hindko speaking tribe.

According to the District Gazetteers of Rawalpindi and Hazara written jointly by the respective Deputy Commissioners of the above areas, the famous tribe Kharral of Gojra in Punjab, derive their ancestors from the Karlals in Abbottabad, Hazara. The account of the 1857 Mutiny clearly establishes links between the two tribes and links them providing evidence that the Kharrals of Gojra and Karlals of Abbottabad are actually one and the same.