Nagar (princely state)

Nagar, Pakistan
Princely state of Pakistan
14th century–25 September 1974
Map of Pakistan with Nagar highlighted
Capital Nagar, Pakistan
  Established 14th century
  Disestablished 25 September 1974
Area 5,000 km2 (1,931 sq mi)
Today part of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
This article is part of the series
Former administrative units of Pakistan

Nagar (Urdu: نگر, Riyasat Nagar) was a princely state in the northern part of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan. Until August 1947, it was in a subsidiary alliance with British India. It bordered the states of the Gilgit Agency to the south and west, and the senior princely state of District Hunza to the north and east. From November 1947 to 1974 it was a princely state of Pakistan. The state capital was the town of Nagar.

The territory previously covered by Nagar forms three tehsils of the Nagar District of Northern Pakistan.


Nagar, founded in the fourteenth century, was an autonomous principality until the British gained control of the state following the Hunza–Nagar Campaign (1889-1893). It was a princely state until 1947, but since 1868 a vassal of the Maharaja(Jammu and) Kashmir despite never being directly ruled by Kashmir. The rulers of Nagar were considered to be amongst the most loyal vassals of the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir sending annual tributes to their Durbars until 1947.

In November 1947, Nagar acceded to Pakistan, which became responsible for its external affairs and defense, while Nagar maintained internal self-government. In 1968, Syed Yahya Shah, the first educated politician of the valley, demanded civil rights from the Mir of Nagar. In 1974, when Ayub Khan's dictatorship ended in Pakistan and the Pakistan People's Party (under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto) was elected, the government forced the Mir of Nagar to abdicate. The area was then merged with the Northern Areas.[1]

The Hunza valley looking across the river to Nagar
Mount Rakaposhi


The state was governed by the hereditary rulers of the Maglot dynasty, who were styled as Mir. The details of these early rulers are uncertain; the first definite dates available are from 1839. In November 1947, the state became one of the princely states of Pakistan. Brigadier Mir Shaukat Ali Khan was the last ruler of the State before it was abolished by Pakistani PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1972.

Reign Mirs of Nagar[2]
c.1660Fadl Khan
c.1660Daud Khan
~1750Ali Dad Khan (1st time)
Unknown datesHari Tham Khan
~1761Ali Dad Khan (2nd time)
Unknown datesKamal Khan
c.1780 - 18..Rahim Khan I
18.. - death 1839Rahim Khan II
1839?45–1891Jafar Zahid Khan (first time)
1891 - 1892regency: Raja Ozor Khan (died 1922)
1892 - death 1904 Jafar Zahid Khan (2nd time)
June 1905 - death 17 March 1940Raja Mir Iskandar Khan (from 1 Jan 1923, Sir Eskandar Khan)
17 March 1940 - 25 September 1974Showkat (=Shaukat) Ali Khan (born 1909, died 2003
25 September 1974 State of Nagar dissolved into Pakistan
After the dissolution of Nagar State in 1974 Elected Representatives of Nagar in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Council
1975 Syed Yahya Shah
1980 Mir Shaukat Ali Khan
1985 Qurban Ali
1997 (1) Mir Shaukat Ali Khan (2) Shiekh Ghulam Haider
2000 (1) Qurban Ali (2) Shiekh Ghulam Haider
2005 (1) Mirza Hussain (2) Muhammad Ali Akhtar
2009 (1) Mirza Hussain (2) Muhammad Ali Akhtar
2015 (1) Rizwan Ali (2) Muhammad Ali Haider

Wazir Zadas of Nagar state

The Mir was assisted by a council of Wazirs or Ministers who were selected from a family from Khutayating. Wazir Taifor Shah and his son Wazir Malik Shah were among the most powerful of those ministers. At the time of Wazir Malik Shah's death, his son being too young to assume his father's ministry, the responsibility was divided among three men: Wazir Enayat Ali from Potikuz, Wazir Behlol from Khutayating and Wazir Sarwar from Chalt Chaprote.



There are around 90,000 inhabitants of the Nagar valley (AKRSP Census, 2000).

Nagar is home to two main ethnic groups – the Burushaski speakers and the Shina speakers. An older type of Burushaski is still spoken in the valley with a mild modern accent. A third language, Bedeski, is also still spoken in Chalt Nagar.


The population is traditionally predominantly Shia (Jafria). Following sectarian violence in January 2005, the Tanzim Ahle Sunnah wal Jama’at representing Sunnis, and the Central Anjuman-e-Imamia Northern Areas representing Shias (Jafria), signed a six-point peace agreement arranged by the Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) on 18 February 2005, to ensure peace in the area.[3]


The terrain of Nagar is extremely mountainous, which provided a certain degree of protection against invading forces. The highest mountain is the 7,788 m (25,551 ft) Mount Rakaposhi, south of the town of Nagar. The Karakoram Highway crosses Nagar, connecting Pakistan with China via the Khunjerab Pass. The road follows the Hunza river for some distance through Nagar and into the Hunza region.

Villages of Nagar

The Nagar villages are mainly populated by farmers, hunters and fishermen.


  1. Muhammad Ismail Tehseen, Buroshall Say Nagar Tak ka Safar, Syed Yahya Shah, Brushal ke Qabail, both in Urdu, available in Municipal library at Gilgit
  2. Ben Cahoon, "Pakistan Princely States". Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  3. Ibrahim Shahid, Sunni and Shia groups sign peace deal in Gilgit, Daily Times (Pakistan), Sunday February 20, 2005

Further reading

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