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Sigur Center Asia Report, Issue 42: The Art of Chieftaincy in the Writings of Pashtun Tribal Rulers Open Access

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The writings of Khūshḥāl Khān Khaṫak and Afzal Khan Khatak represent a distinct independent niche in Pashto literature of pre-modern times. This iconic grandfathergrandson duo were men of letters and warriors. Their work is rooted in a broad literary tradition comprising the classical Mirror of Princes, a genre of political advice literature originating in the 6th century. The writings of these two leading Pashtun figures are well known for laying down principles of conduct for rulers and describing the social and political life in the heyday of Mughal times in the 16th and 17th centuries. The feudal ideology of governance and the principle of one-man power are ascribed to these writings. Mikhail Pelevin, a scholar from St. Petersburg State University, Russia, recently delivered a talk at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies shedding light on Pashto military elite thinking of the time as reflected in the literature of Khūshḥāl Khān Khaṫak and Afzal Khan Khatak

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