Despite being a tribe settled in the "Salt Range" hills of the Punjab, it would be hard to find a people less connected to the origins of the Ghazni Kingdom than the Awan. They claim their origins are not found in being converted Rajput Indians, nor Arabs having settled in the Punjab centuries ago, but rather as descendants of the sons of Qutb Shah, a ruler of Herat and General to Mahmud of Ghazni himself, as well as a Hashemite - a descendant to Muhammad's son-in-law Ali. It is said that Qutb Shah and six of his sons accompanied Mahmud to conquer parts of Afghanistan, the Punjabi and Sindh, and Northern India, and in recognition of their dedication and courage, Mahmud bestowed upon Qutb and his sons the honorary title of Awan, meaning helper. Their tribal history then holds that the six sons of Qutb settled amongst the land of the Punjab, marrying local women who converted to Islam and gave rise to a people of a strong martial tradition and bravery born from the blood of Qutb Shah. Such a martial spirit bleeds through the veins of all of the Awan, whether the origins of such a fiery passion stem from Kshatriya or Jihad, they remain a fighting presence in the Punjab. These horsemen fight in a manner unlike the Turko-Persian traditions of Qutb and his sons, nor that of the Arabs who settled the Punjab Centuries ago. Rather, it is from the Native Indian Horsemen than much of their inspiration lies. Armed with javelin and short spear, they are aggressive light skirmishers, poor in closed combat for lack of armor and moral, but steady enough as harassers from afar and upon unprotected flank. They might engage in melee if the foe is well wounded, or wish to dash upon their enemy’s flanks like prowling wolves of the Khyber pass.