Introduction / History
They are essentially a 'Punjabi' tribe/people numbering around 120-150,000 altogether, in Pakistan and India. In historical terms, 'Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan' (1892-1942) a prominent Punjabi politician, is the best-known representative of this tribe, and belonging to the famous 'Hayat Family' of Wah, in Punjab. Over the last 50-60 years, the tribe, especially its main/chief families in Pakistan, have intermarried with some Kashmiri and Pushtun/Pakhtun families.
Where Are they Located?
Around 68% of the Khattars are found in the 3 districts of Pakistan's North Punjab i.e Rawalpindi, Attock and Chakwa (2000 Census of Pakistan)l-- and in addition,there are some populations in Jhang and Layyah districts in Southern and Central Punjab and a sizeable population in India, in Indian Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
A very smal group of Khattars, by their own accounts, settled near/in Kabul, Afghanistan, some 150 to 200 years ago, as traders and this number has since assimilated with the locals there. Most of the Khattars speak Punjabi dialects although some also use Pahari and Urdu/Hindi.
About 64% of Khattars in Pakistan and India are rural, agrarian cultivators, mostly small-holders but with some big/notable landowners amongst them, too. In North/Pakistani Punjab, a fair number of therm also enter the military and civil sevices.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Urban Khattar populations are rather scattered, mostly settlers from the rural areas. In Pakistan they are mostly in Rawalpindi and Lahore cities; whilst in India, in Delhi, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Bareilly, Agra and some other cities too. The Indian urban Khattars are more dynamic and go in quite a lot for business and commercial activitry, in addition to government service.
As a race, the Khattars especially in the rual areas, tend to be of average wheatish complexion, with occasional variations of very fair and very dark; and they are a robust and healthy people, although not bulky or heavily muscled, but slim and tall. They generally have very expressive features and eyes and are quite direct and outspoken in speech.
In Pakistan, almost all Khattars are Muslims of the Sunni sect, and often quite devout in the rural areas. Those in India are mostly Hindus as well as some Sikhs.
What Are Their Needs?
The Khattars are a prominent race in Punjab, and generally well off, except for the very smallest land-holders or tenant farmers. Their general condition would also greatly improve with the availability of water resources in their main areas in Pakistani Punjab; and with greater access to primary and secondary and vocational education.
* Scripture Prayers for the Khattar in Pakistan.
Pray the Khattars may see the light, and be brought into the fold.
Pray for education and greater awareness.
Pray they may move away from their sometimes violent ways towards pece, love and tolerance.