AN UNKNOWN DIWAN OF NAWAB WAZEER KHAN TAKHALLUS WAZEERI;
SOME CONFUSION PREVAILS AS TO THE IDENTITY OF THE SAID PERSON.
On 5 May 1738 Nadir Shah began his march into Northern Afghanistan. Kabul was taken on 19 June 1738. One month later he left Kabul for Lahore, where he received the keys of the city on 12 January 1739. On 26 January he continued his invasion of India. That actually means he was in Lahore from 12th to 26th January, 1739. An invading army with nothing else on mind except literal looting of all resources. Surely, he besieged Lahore and defeated the Mughal governor Nawab Zakaria Khan for same reasons. It is reported by an eye witness that the Qizilbash and the Georgians made a great slaughter while taking the city in early January 1739. But certainly, they looted what they could. But administration of Lahore, knew the best way to handle them. Give them whatever they want. We can only imagine what they took. And certainly, a manuscript with a record of Nadir Shah on it, must be part of the loot. It was the Diwan of Nawab Wazeer Khan. And the uncertainty in Afghanistan decades back, brought these manuscripts back to the region, particularly Lahore. Scholar Khalil ur Rahman Daoudi was acquiring them from the Pathans.
It was 2001 that Daoudi Sahib consulted a Persian language expert, who obviously knew the language well, but history less. After studying same, he made the following points into consideration. It is known that Daoudi Sahib did not agree with him and told persons about his misgivings, and same were communicated to me too. The manuscript was of a poet with valuable information:
- The takhallus of the poet was WAZEERI.
- No poet of this takhallus was known from any source. It was a unique manuscript.
- The poet was supposedly of Mughal origin and had migrated from China to the Mughal Court.
- Qasidas present in the Diwan related to Emperor Akbar, Khan e Khanan, Prince Saleem; etc.
- A number of historical personalities of past were mentioned too.
- The poet himself asserts us that he is Nawab Wazeer Khan.
- Mention is also made by him of his profession of being Hakeem and tahbeeb, as well as an astrologer. The chart made is of last days of Emperor Akbar. Then Emperor Saleem is mentioned. That is 1605 AD. Wazeer Khan died in 1640 AD. He fell from his horse as the Governor of Akbarabad.
Wazeer Khan was attached to Prince Saleem. It is possible that this Diwan is Part one. Part two may be missing. The script is clear. Corrected at times. Number of seals. Re-written colophon with change of names and date. The owner stresses his link with Nadir Shah. In fact, he draws his ancestral tree on the manuscript itself. It seems that the manuscript landed as a waqf in some collection of Habib ullah. From its repaired looks, it is clear that it has passed through tough times.
Confusion starts with the assertion that the poet belonged to China and migrated here from there. A person working in China and finding an excuse to come here is not only doubtful, but no solid evidence exists of the same. The title “Nawab” also belongs to our region, and nowhere else. Wazeer Khan is not a name but a title is obviously understood by us. Why this confusion? Not many references are there. I saw one with reference to “Cheen”, but it is forgotten that the short term for Chiniot was Cheen. In fact, travelers referred Chiniot as Little China, or Chota Cheen. I have seen this in a manuscript on Chiniot. Otherwise, traditional reference is of the place being named after a Princess by the name of “Chandniot”. On the bank of river Chenab, it was a famous trading post for travelers. Old name which was still in use even in 1862. It gained international importance when on 20th September, 1948, the Ahmadiyya’s migrated from Qadian, India, and leased opposite place from the Government of Pakistan. From a security point of view a long travel on a bridge makes this place a perfect hide out from prying eyes.
The changed date on the manuscript (changed to hide identity of owner and manuscript, usual for stolen things) is 1186 AH, and amusingly a note on the first page is dated as 1152 AH. There are other dates too. 1152 AH means 1739 AD. 1186 AH means 1773 AD. The interesting part is that in 1739 AD, Nadir Shah was very well in Lahore. It clarifies the source of the manuscript as to have originated from Lahore. Later the colophon is changed to 1773 AD, which is totally wrong. The manuscript very much looks like 17th century and it certainly belongs to Wazeer Khan era, and possibly is an autograph of the man. The manuscript requires serious research. Persian language expert can do the job to an extent. Even more the requirement is of a qualified historian of the period. If time permits, we will try to get more done. I was getting research done on a manuscript of Nur Jahan, and mentioned the scholar from Quetta. Malignancy surrounded a person who approached the Quetta person and got the work stalled, due to threat of commercial sanctions on that poor man. There is ruthless dictatorship in research work. No one interested in research but making their own name famous. My job is to open things, not close things due to some megalomaniac tendency. Often research is stalled due to petty self-aggrandizement. We are all happy with new information.