In BCE350, Brahmins had held sway in the trans-Indus region. Panini, the greatest Sanskrit scholar and grammarian the world has known came from Salatura. This town, according to Hiuen Tsiang, was renowned for literary talent, great knowledge and the intellectual ability of its Brahmins (Peshawar, 1931: 326). So persistent and horrific were the Muslim invasions from the west that by the nineteenth century the river Indus had become the 'forbidden river' for the Hindus. It was said, ".no pious Hindoo will venture to go beyond it of his own accord, for fear of losing caste" (Vigne, 1840: 30).
Hari Singh Nalwa broke an 800-year old psychological barrier of Muslim domination in his country by annexing a large part of the Kingdom of Kabul (Afghan Empire) to the Kingdom of the Sikhs. The rule of the Sikhs resulted in empowerment of non-Muslims inhabiting the trans- Satluj and Indus regions of the Indian subcontinent by providing the people with a secular rule (Nalwa, 2009: 288-9).
NWFP Gazetteers - Peshawar District, comp. E.H. Cobb, Lahore: Punjab Government, 1931.
Vigne, G.T. 1840. A Personal Narrative of a Visit to Ghuzni, Kabul, and Afghanistan, and a Residence at the Court of Dost Mohammed., London: Whittaker and Co.
Nalwa, V. 2009. Hari Singh Nalwa ― Champion of the Khalsaji, New Delhi: Manohar.