— Dawn
— Dawn

MULTAN: The tomb of Baloch chieftain Sardar Massu Khan Nutkani is in a dilapidated condition.

The tomb is located about six kilometres away from Taunsa Sharif, Dera Ghazi Khan.

Punjab Archeology Department in-charge Malik Ghulam Muhammad said the tomb first fell prey to Sikh vandalism while the remaining structure, glazed tiles and bricks were dismantled by locals under a plan for building rooms.

He said the lower portion of the tomb measures 27.5ft each side from its interior and 34ft from its exterior with four corner bastions. An entrance has been provided on the eastern side of the tomb.

“Only lower portion of eastern and southern walls of the ground floor survive to the maximum height of five feet. Top portions of western and northern walls have already been pulled down by the brick robbers. The first floor of the structure was originally decorated with cut bricks and glazed tiles. The floor of the tomb is buried under silt from Rood Kohi (hill torrent) which inundates the area during monsoon season,” he said.

He said at present a modern grave, about 30 years old, exists in the northern half inside the tomb.

“There is a possibility that the original grave inside the ruined tomb might be buried under the silt. The tomb’s upper stories including the dome are extinct,” he said.

According to District Gazetteer of Dera Ismail Khan and Muzaffarnagar, Taimur Shah, the son of Ahmad Shah Durrani, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali, died in 1793 and was succeeded by Zaman Shah who was ruler of the Durrani Empire from 1793 until 1801. The title of Zaman Shah as king was disputed by his brother Prince Humayun, who in 1794, made his second attempt to recover the kingdom from his brother but was defeated and fled to Sanghar, where Massu Khan Nutkani, chief of Sanghar, assisted him and managed to smuggle him across the Dera Fateh Khan in a ferry.

Humayun however was arrested in Layyah in an encounter with Nawab Muhammad Khan, then Multan’s governor. A son of Humayun died in the fight; he himself was taken prisoner and brought to Layyah. The Nawab reported the capture of Humayun to Zaman Shah who sent orders that Humayun’s eyes should be put out and his companions should be disemboweled. Humayun spent the rest of his life in confinement.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2021

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