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Extract from Chitral Mission Diary, dated Chitral, the 12th February 1893.
Raja Kushwakht Khan has just returned from a visit to his sister at Broz. On the road he met a man named Reza, a servant of Tahummal Shah, who accompanied Sher Afzal in his flight to Asmar. Reza gave the following information:
Sher Afzal was accompanied in his flight by abont.200 persons including the women and children of Ms followers. As soon, as the news reached Palas Gor of Sher Afzal's approach, a certain Sayad who holds the rank of Captain at Palas Gor, where there are 500 regular Afghan troops, me out as far as the village of Chunduk with 50 men. The soldiers presented arms, and then conducted Sher Afzal to Palas Gor. There the whole garrison turned out to present arms. For twelve days Sher Afzal's party remained at Bargain, receiving rations from Palas Gor. At Bailan fifty sepoys in full dress uniform constituted a guard of honour. On the 12th day Sher Afzal proceeded to Asmar (the delay had been caused by a reference for the refugees to enter Afghan territory), and. was received by the Sipah Salar in person accompanied by 100 sowars. Sher Afzal presented a nazar of 80 gold coins, which was remitted by the Commander-in-Chief, who told Sher Afzal that had the latter remained only a few days more in Chitral, the Commander-in-Chief himself would have gone to his assistance. Guns were fired in Sher Afzal's honour. IN reply to questions as to why he bad left Chitral if the English had sent a force against him or not, etc., Sher Afzal told the Commander-in-Chief that no English had come against him. His nephew had advanced and the people rebelled against Sher Afzal, so he had to come away. As the cavalcade approached Asmar, two cavalry regiments came out to honour and escort Sher Afzal. Subsequently all the Chitrali refugees had to appear before an officer who took down their names. The Commander-in-Chief
prisoner, so he also could not reach me. I do not know what can have happened to him that, he did not join me as agreed upon. He must have been made a prisoner, or he could certainly have joined me. My nephew, the Sardar in Gilgit, had about 100 Chitralis with him. The English forces did not cross the Shandur, but there were zamindars of the Gilgit ilaka with my nephew who accompanied him to this side of the pass."
All the fugitives were hospitably received; four sheep, rice, and other supplies daily for his personal use. After, staying five days at Asmar, Sher Afzal was summoned to Kabul. He took a way with him from Chitral a pony-load of rupees huge piece of melted gold, and some gold coins. The Commander-in-Chief has with him two cavalry regiments, two infantry regiments, and six guns are at Dangam; on the Bajaur frontier there are one and a half infantry regiments. There were 200 transport mules at Asmar, and 200 more were employed in carrying away grass from Palas Gor. There was also an elephant at Asmar. All the troops were in tents. Kushwakht is also responsible for the following which he heard from a man at Broz, who also went away with Sher Afzal. The Commander-in-Chief, in the course of conversation with Sher Afzal, said that His Highness the Amir had offered Umra Khan a subsidy of Rs. 10,000 a year, on condition of his going to pay his respects to the Amir or the Commander-in-Chief. The Amir praised Umra Khan's spirit and daring, expressing a desire to be friends with him. Umra Khan in reply told the Commander-in-Chief that he was already the possessor of an income of Us. 20,000 a month from his own country, and consequently stood in no need of Rs. 10,000 a year from the Amir; that he would on no account go to the Amir or to his Commander-in-Chief; that he was quite ready to fight, and, if defeated, intended to go to Peshawar and bring an English army to help him.
No. 16-S, dated 18th April 1893.
From- LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Officiating Resident in Kashmir, To - The Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department. I have the honour to forward, for the information of the Government of India, a letter, No. 1206, dated the 4th April 1893, from the British Agent, Gilgit, enclosing a report, dated the 18th March 1893, by Burgeon Major Robertson C.S.I., on Chitral affairs.
No. 1256, dated Gilgit, the 4th April 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. Durand, C.B., British Agent, Gilgit,
To - The Resident in Kashmir.
I have the honour to forward herewith, in original, Mr. Robertson's report on the present condition of affairs in Chitral, containing his suggestions as to the course to he pursued in future. I would request that a printed copy of the report may be sent for reference in this office as I have kept no copy. 2. Paragraphs 1 to 12 contain a resume of recent events from the death of Aman-ul-Mulk to the flight of Sher Afzul 13 to 17, a clear account of the present condition of the country, an estimate of Nizam-ul-Mulk, his supporters and enemies; I8 to 26, the cause of the unpopularity of the ruling family; 27 to 36, an account of Afzul-ul-Mulk's and Sher Afzul's brief reigns; 37 to 50, an account of the arrival of the Mission and of the results obtained, paragraph 19 being specially interesting; from paragraph 51 begins the exposition of Mr. Robertson's views as to the future of Chitral under the varied conditions which may arise. 3 Prom paragraphs 51 to 56 the views of the Mehtar, of Jamadar Rab Nawaz Khan and of the people of Chitral are shewn; the popularity of the Mission the weakness of the Mehtar, and the choice of a possible successor are discussed. 4. Mr. Robertson shews in paragraphs 57, 53, 59 that the return of Sher Afzul as Mehtar would mean our complete exclusion from Chitral, the sever¬ance of the existing bonds of friendship between it and Kashmir, practically the establishment of an inimical State on our Punjab border. Chitral would become the centre of intrigue against us, a province of Kabul hostile to India; and, as I pointed out in my letter No. ,dated 14th November 1892, para, graph 10, the Mehtar could at any moment cause us the gravest inconvenience, by pouring the Indus Valley tribes across our border. 5. In paragraphs 60 to 63 the effect of a Russian occupation of the country, which would be certain to follow trouble in Wakhan and Badakhshan, is pointed out and from 61 to 67 the Amir's attitude and the value of Chitral to him are discussed. 6. Paragraphs 68 to 70 shew what-.would be the result of our withdrawing from Chitral - anarchy in the country, widespread disorder involving the Shin States of the Indus Valley and Punjab, and an opening for, Russia to step in as the friend and supporter of the Mehtar. 7. Mr. Robertson then unfolds his proposals for the firm establishment of our authority in the country, which put briefly, are -
(i) the posting of a British officer in Chitral with a guard of 120 men and the occupation of Yasen (paragraphs 71-72);
(ii) the consequent strengthening of the Gilgit garrison by a small number of troops (73 to 86); (iii) the posting of a British Political Officer in Yasen practically controlling the Governor as in Hunza and Nagar (87-88), the importance of this being shewn in paragraphs 91-92, with reference to the presence of Russian troops on the reverse slopes of the Hindu Kush, and in paragraph 94 as affecting the safety of our in Chitral;
(iv) the raising of a local levy in Yasen (paragraph 89);
(v) the occupation of Ghizr, Gupis/and Yasen immediately (paragraph 99);
(vi) the recognition of the de facto Mehtar, if he acknowledges the suzerainty of Kashmir, but no guarantee of succession to be given by us (110-111); (vii) the formal installation of the Mehtar of Chitral, no agreement for payment of subsidies being signed till this ceremony is over, consequently the installation of Nizam-ul-Mulk;
(viii) a road and telegraph line following as a matter of course.
8. The bearing of the proximity of Umra Khan, the Baba Sahib of Dir, the Kafirs and the Shin States on the safety of our agency in Chitral and Yasen are gone into in paragraphs 100 to 107, and the policy of our agencies in Chitral and Yasen in paragraphs 10S-109. 9. I have given the above precis for convenience of reference, it remains for me to express my views on Mr. Robertson's proposals. 10. I fully concur in Mr. Robertson's suggestions; to withdraw from Chitral now is to hand the country over to anarchy, to open the door to Russia, to destroy the work of the past eight years And our prestige on the frontier at one blow, to throw away all the advantages gained hitherto, and, by voluntarily weakening our position, to prepare the way for endless trouble and, in the end, greatly increased expense. I believe we must have a Political Officer in Chitral and another in Yasen. 11. I have been in favour for some time of formally installing the Mehtar; de facto, he is a feudatory of Kashmir, and I believe that his position and our hold on the country would be much strengthened by the formal act of installa¬tion, which announces to all that no outside power will be permitted to exercise its influence in Chitral. 12. I agree with Mr. Robertson's estimate of the number of troops re¬quired; an additional regiment would ensure our hold on the country. Small but strongly built forts would be absolutely impregnable. We can draw from Chitral and Yasen all supplies necessary for the garrison, with the exception of the extras given to troops on service, and- at a moderate rate. 13. But I do not consider that one additional regiment in sufficient, while we hold a line from Chilas to Ghizr. The normal garrison of Gilgit is three regiments; at present I have four, and I have only a couple of hundred men available to reinforce the Gupis post in case of a general coalition against us, which is, as usual, being discussed, and not a man to spare to reinforce the troops in Hunza. The normal garrison of Gilgit must be raised, in my opinion, by two regiments, that is, be composed, of a Kashmir Mountain Battery, two regiments Bengal Infantry, and three regiments Kashmir Imperial Service Troops. Then, and not till then, will be Gilgit frontier be really secure. 14. The question seems to me to be in a nut-shell. Are we to abandon our hold on Chitral and on the passes of the Hindu Kush, and to ensure trouble on our Punjab and Indus Valley frontier, and possibly in Hunzam and Nagar or are we not? If we do, we invite the Amir and the Russians to enter by an open door and prepare the way for enormous expenditure in future both in Gilgit and elsewhere. If we determine to strengthen our position in Gilgit it involves the slightly increased present expenditure which the additional of a couple of regiments to the Gilgit garrison entails. It is of course for Government to decide which course is preferable.
Dated Chitral, the 18th March 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
Indian Medical Service, on Special duty in Chitral, To - The Resident in Kashmir (through Lieutenant-Colonel a. Durand, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit).
I have the honour to send you my official report on the present state of affairs in Chitral with the request that, after perusal and due consideration, you will cause it to be forwarded to the Government of India in the Foreign Department, accompanied with an expression of your own views on the opinions and suggestions it contains. 2. An identical communication has been sent through Colonel A. Durand, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit, which in due course will reach you also. I intend to attempt to send this one through Dir and Peshawar, in the hope that thereby much time will be saved in your becoming acquainted with the grave questions which await solution in connection with the present unsatisfactory condition of Chitral politics. 3. As you are doubtless aware, the aged Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk died some what suddenly on the 30th of August 1892. His second legitimate son, Afzal-ul-Mulk who was at Chitral at the time, immediately seized the supreme author¬ity, and so energetically pursued his schemes of ambition that he compelled his elder brother, Nizam-ul-Mulk, to leave Yasen, of which province he was then Governor, and seek safety in flight, lie found an asylum in Gilgit, where he was kindly received and honourably entertained. 4. Afzal-ul-Mulk appeared to be rapidly strengthening his position and consolidating his power, and had already received that acknowledgement of his rule from the Government of India which is expressed by a letter of congratu¬lation and good wishes, when he was suddenly attacked and killed by his uncle Sher Afzal, a Chitrali refugee at Kabul, who made a stealthy descent from Badakhshan, and surprised and seized the Chitral fort by a well planned, accurately timed night attack. 5. Sher Afzal was received with genuine acclamations by all the people, for reasons which will be detailed subsequently. He in his turn seemed to have the whole of the country securely in his grasp, when he was told that Nizam-ul-Mulk was advancing from Gilgit to assert his claim to the Mehtarship, backed by an immense British army, and had already crossed the Shandur Pass and captured Mastuj. To meet this unexpected danger Sher Afzal detached his eldest son with a considerable force to hold Drasan and bar the road to Chitral, while he himself, as a means of strengthening his position; summoned all the Mullas to proclaim a religious war both against the English and also against Nizam-ul-Mulk as the friend and ally of that infidel power. 6. This was done, but its effect was very different from what Sher Afzal had anticipated. The extreme measure of proclaiming a "Jihad" against the English merely convinced the doubting Chitralis that a British army was actually marching to attack them. They became thoroughly alarmed, and while they assured Sher Afzal of their entire devotion to his cause, they at the same time pointed out the utter hopelessness of their attempting to withstand he armed forces of the Government of Indian. 7. Their earnestness and evident terror reacted on Sher Afzal himself Seize by the contagion of their fear he hurriedly sent away to Badakhshan such treasure as could be hastily collected, and lending a panic-stricken ear to false rumours of the death of his son at Darsan, of the destruction of his army and also believing himself to be in evident peril of capture he abandoned the country and fled precipitately by night to Asmar, only pausing to solemnly promise his downcast adherents that he would speedily return with many Afghan regiments, who securely replace him on the throne of Chitral.
8. Sher Afzal's son at the very moment he found himself face to face with Nizam-ul-Mulk at Drasan, heard of his father's fight. Quitting his army with a few followers he rapidly traversed the Lutkho Valley. Crossing the Bahadur Khan is not very wise, and has little influence. Bahadur Shah is the Mehtar's most trusted adviser. He is a man of crafty disposition, and probably more fearful of Sher Afzal than devoted to Nizam-ul-Mulk, although he has attached himself to the fortunes of the latter for many years. Kakan Beg is learned for a Chitrali and said to be clover, but be has never yet had an opportunity of displaying any force of character. Abdullah Khan is Chief of the great Raza tribo of Adamzadas, but unfortunately seems to have little influence with its members, since they all, with the exception of Abdullah Khan, who fled to Gilgit, went over in a body to Sher Afzal. Abdullah Khan is perhaps the most straightforward man of rank in Chitral although this unfortunately is not very high praise. In the days of prosperity, us the close friend and adviser of Afzal-ul-Mulk, he abused his powers and made himself so detested for his excessive exactions, that when lately reappointed Hakim of Mastuj, the people of Laspur, a division of that district, bluntly refused to obey him any longer, as they thought they were under the protection of the British Mission, and would not be called to account. for their disobedience. Another Governor, a popular choice, was then placed over till-in. Abdulla Khan resents this very greatly, and blames the Mehtar for not supporting him, yet he is still the most faithful and valuable servant Nizam-ul-Mulk possesses. Wazir Inayat Khan is a man of considerable ability, the oldest of the headmen of Chitral. He was a great favourite of Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk, and-used that position to enrich himself at the expense of his neighbours. He is consequently most unpopular with all classes, and appears just now to be out of favour with Nizam-ul-Mulk also. This is probably on account of the influ¬ence his half-brother and mortal enemy Wafadar Khan has with the latter. Inayat Khan is an arch intriguer and in former days was the leader of the anti English party in Chitral, Now he is the most sincere supporter of the pro English party, since he could not remain a week in the country if it, were not in the ascendant. Wazir Wafadar Khan, the acting Diwan Bagi, is brave and absolutely faithful to his master. But he is a rascal at heart, and has all the instincts for intriguing which Inayat Khan possesses, but without the undoubted ability of the latter. Wafadar Khan at present spends all ids time and all his influence with the Mehtar in attempts to worry his own private enemies, of whom, the chief are Nizam-ul-Mulk's foster relations and Wazir Inayat Khan, His per¬manent ascendancy in the counsels of the Mehtar would mean the adoption of a policy of retaliation and injustice, in which he would be warmly supported by Mehtar Jan Ghulam Dastgir. Fortunately the latter is not in high favour at present. 15. In opposition to this small band of strangely brought together adhe¬rents, the Mehtar had arrayed against him the secret hostility of the whole of the Adamzada or upper class of Chitral, who are united together both by their desire to have Sher-Afzal for their King and by their dislike to English influence predominating in the country; and, in addition to this party, he has against him the secret hostility of almost all the rest of the community who cordially dislike Nizam-ul-Mulk, but in contradiction to the Adamzadas place, all their hopes not in a change of Mehtars, but in the firm establishment in Chitral of the authority of the Government of India and the protection which they believe such a controlling power would afford them. They would greatly prefer Sher Afzal, or indeed any prince, to Nizam-ul-Mulk, or any other descendant or Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk, but they desire a cessation of oppression rather than a change of oppressors. 16. It may be thought surprising that Nizam-ul-Mulk should have been able to crawl into his father's place on any terms, when such an overwhelming majority of the people were opposed to him and enthusiastic for his rival, but the enormous prestige of the English in Chitral must not be forgotten, not the Dorah he established himself near Zebak in a defensive position, which completely blocks the Chitral Road. There he is believed to still remain. He has made repeated attempts to communicate with Sher Afzal by letters sent through Kafiristan to Asmar, but heavy falls of snow having blocked all the passes, it is 5 is doubtful if any of his messages reached their destination. 9. In this manner Nizam-ul-Mulk obtained a bloodless victory. After same delay he marched to Chitral and assumed the Mehtarship. He is, however, a timid, weak, irresolute prince, and, although his road was clear of enemies, he wasted several valuable days vacillating at Drasan and eventually reached his capital in such a terror stricken state of mind as to earn for himself the well-merited contempt of his subjects. 10. He at once applied for a British mission to be sent to him from Gilgit. His object in making this request was not so much a desire on his part to cement the long standing friendship of his country with the Government of India, as the certain conviction he had that, unless British officers, with a suitable escort, quickly reached Chitral, he himself could not possibly remain there during the winter. 11. The unpopularity of Nizam-ul-Mulk and the extreme popularity of his rival Sher Afzal are due to one and the same cause, which will be explained hereafter. It is sufficient here to remark that the distrusted Nizam-ul-Mulk attained his father's throne and drove out of the country the universal admired Sher Afzal merely by reason of the prestige he obtained as the ally and supposed nominee of the Government of India. The people were sullenly resentful at the change, but accepted it, for the time at any rate, as an in¬evitable decree of fate. 12. The mission applied for by Nizam-ul-Mulk was sent, and the Govern¬ment of India honoured me by entrusting it to my care. It is with a full sense of the responsibilities placed on my shoulders, and a thorough appreciation of the difficulties of the task set before me, that I now offer you my matured, carefully considered opinions on the political outlook in Chitral. 13. Nizam-ul-Mulk is generally disliked throughout the country. I do not believe there are twenty men of any position amongst his subjects, on whose personal devotion he could securely rely. Jamadar Sahib Rab Nawaz Khan Bahadur, the British news writer in Chitral, whose knowledge of the people is intimate and extensive, assures me that even this estimate is far too high, and that, with the exception of his own foster relations, there are not more than six of the Adamzadas, or noble class, who are sincerely desirous of Nizam-ul-Mulk retaining the Mehtarship. Ghulam Mohiuddin, the Hospital Assistant, who, like the Jamadar, has married Chitrali wives, and for that reason, as well as from his professional position, may be considered to fairly well acquainted with the sentiments of the people, declares that on this subject Rab Nawaz Khan's opinions are correct. 14. Amongst those who may be counted upon as thorough-going supporters of their present ruler, the chief are Mehtar Jans (Princes), Ghulam Dastgir, Bahadur Khan, Bahadur Shah, and Kakan Beg, Wazirs Inayat Khan and Waffadar Khan, and Hakim Abdulla Khan and Abdulla Khan were until quite recently Nizam-ul-Mulk's implacable enemies. Formerly they were the active supporters and firm adherents of the rival brother. Afzal-ul-Mulk, but, on the death of that prince, they fled the country from fear of Sher Afzal and joined the cause of the present Mehtar. Ghulam Dastgir is said to be able and energetic. He is vicious, cruel and oppressive by nature and was the chief instigator of Afzal-ul-Mulk to the murder of his three half-brothers
Bahram and Wazir-ul-Mulk. He fled to Jandal when Sher Afzal seized Chitral and probably would again have to become a fugitive if there were another change of government. Although he commands a certain amount of respect and influence from his strength of will, he is much more liked general belief of the inhabitants that Nizam-ul-Mulk was being parried to power by an order, an irresistible order of the Government of India. The people hoped, moreover, and believed that their new Mehtar would soon be assassinated, and when he was dead, as there was no other prince of the hated family old enough to rule, they trusted that the destinies of the country would lead it in the direction of Kabul or in the direction of the Government of India, according ns they belonged to the Adamzadaor to the ordinary zemindar class. The former feared to oppose the supposed orders of the suzerain power however much they may have desired to do so, while the latter were well pleased at the presumed assertion by the Government of India, of its right to control the internal affairs of the State, although its first act was the unpopular one of put¬ ting Nizam-ul-Mulk on the throne. 17. Outwardly favoured as he has been by nature, it must be admitted that Nizam-ul-Mulk has little to attract the hearts of his people or to delight their imagination. An almost hopeless debauchee, his appearance in public Durbar not uncommonly reveals him to be still suffering from his excesses over night. He is heedless silent, and stupid. His intellect, never very strong^ is often clouded by "Churrus" smoking, and drink: Although he is not with¬out that kindliness of heart frequently to be found in the purely sensual, his selfishness is so extreme; that it hides or obscures any virtues be may possess, and makes it, impossible for the most charitable to endow him with the senti¬ments of patriotism, honour, or trustworthy friendship. He is cowardly and miserly, equally afraid to punish his enemies and reluctant to reward his friends. When the Mission reached Chitral, it found the successful claimant of his father's throne scared and trembling, his followers downcast and sulky, while the defeated faction swaggered about everywhere, self confident if sullen, and with all the snider rifles plundered from the fort arsenal paraded openly in their possession. In his favour it may be said that Nizam-ul-Mulk is most impressionable, even if the emotions induced are of a fleeting nature. He can consequently be greatly influenced by those brought in contact with him, and at present he is so amenable to advice and so desirous of acting up to the imaginary wishes of the British Government, that the complaisance of the: anxiety he displays in these directions undoubtedly involve him in a considerable loss of dignity. Happily he seems curiously free from that inveterate cruelty of disposition so characteristic of Aman-ul-Mulk and his son Afzal, and which is clearly recognisable in several of the late Mehtar's surviving sons. 18. But it is not for any personal fault or failing, nor for anything has he done, that Nizam-ul-Mulk is so intensely disliked by his subjects. It is simply and solely because he is the son of his father, the late Aman-ul-Mulk, and because the people fear, sooner or later, any inheritor of the blood of that terrible man must inevitably follow in the footsteps of his sire. 19. To explain this feeling of the Chitralis against the sons of their late Mehtar, as well as the cause, which have given rise to it, a somewhat lengthy excursion into the recent history of the country will be necessary. 20. Informer times the Mehtar of Chitral was rather a Chief amongst his nobles than an absolute King. The head's of the Adamzada tribes were each on his own lands practically independent, arid ruled the villagers and the poorest classes leniently or cruelly each according to the dictates of his own heart. The whole system seems to have been a microcosm of the old feudal institutions of Europe, where a country was parcelled out and governed by a number of little tyrants, or whom the chief, named king, was hardly more powerful than some of his nominal subjects, and frequently owned his very existence of the private jealousies and enmities which prevented a hostile combination of the greater feudatories against their lord and master. 21. There was indeed a special sanctity environing the kingship our in Chitral, where all the chief Adamzadas claimed common descent intermarrying amongst themselves and with the royal family as equals in blood and innate dignity, it more than once happened that an incapable ruler, if not thrust aside by a brother or a son, was removed and supplanted by the strong man of another powerful closely related family. 22. But with the accession to the throne of Aman-ul-Mulk a great change was gradually effected in the power and position of this large privileged class of Adamzada or Nobles. Aman-ul-Mulk was a man of subtle, and powerful intellect, of iron will, and ruthless determination. He probably only wanted greater opportunities to have graved for himself a prominent and unhappy page in general contemporary history. Originally a younger son of the ruler of Chitral, who governed a territory which only extended as far as Barnes, in the Mastuj direction, and which doubtfully included the Tarikho district, on the death of the atrocious Mahtaram Shah now only known by his nick name of Cannibal, Aman-ul-Mulk obtained for himself the Mehtarship, and in the course of a long rein gradually extended his authority over the whole of Chitral and Yasen until he was absolute king from Pailam in the Kunar Valley in one direction, to the Punyal frontier on the other. He also exercised considerable authority over the Bashgal and Veran Valleys of Kafiristan, and was respected and feared in Darel, Tangir, Kheli, and Boshkar. Never possessing anything like a standing army, he was also entirely without money until he entered into an agreement with Kashmir in 1877, whereby he received certain subsidies and other benefits in return for a nominal recognition of the suzerainty of his Highness Maharaja Ranbir Singh. 23. Aman-ul-Mulk achieved nearly all his successes without striking a single blow himself, and simply by his genius for unscrupulous intrigue. He set brother against brother, and son against father, playing on the evil passions of jealousy, suspicion, and revenge, with a skill only equalled by its remorselessness. A superb actor, he could enact the part of the generous candid Mehtar, the justly indignant judge, or the alms giving orthodox Mussulman, whenever it suited him to conceal his flinty heart and insatiable covetousness from his courtiers and people. He would shed bitter tears, refuse all food, and often pass the day in lamentation for the fate of a victim he had himself secret¬ly murdered. Always of fine presence and with noble manners when he chose to assume them, he possessed quite up to the end of his long life, the power of influencing men against their own better judgment; indeed, so plausible and convincing was his crafty eloquence that he could even reattach to his interests some of those he had already deserted or betrayed. 24. His tyranny increased continually as his power extended, until at length he became as absolute a despot as it is possible to imagine. His iron band weighed on all heavily, if not with an equal pressure. The proud and in¬dependent Adamzada not only found all his authority gone, but all his ancient privileges lost as well, for the people were so crushed down by the Mehtar that any added pressure by their ancient petty tyrants must have squeezed them out of existence altogether. All classes' joined together in hating their prince almost as much as they feared him, but none dared even murmur the man who carried in his hands the power of life and death, life hardly worth having, but death sudden, terrible, often mysterious. Yet such was the ascendance of Aman-ul-Mulk over men's minds that, his very victims in the midst of their horror and dread, could not withhold a tribute of admiration for his manhood and his indomitable will. 25. All longed eagerly for his death, and when that greatly hopes for event at length occurred, there was sudden era of hope in Chitral. There does not seem to have been any formulated conspiracy for the exclusion from the succession of all the late Mehtar's children, but men of every class appear, to have straightened their bending backs and raised their drooping heads and tacitly agreed, each in his own heart that the would have none of Nizam-ul-Mulk's son as his Mehtar if there were power to prevent it. The governing oppression of their late king, his disregard of the happiness or sorrows of his people, his contempt, for human life were to be avenged, if possible on his immediate descendants. The Adamzadas determined to regain their lost authority; the mass of the people prayed that all their oppressions might perish together and looked with wistful eyes towards the Government of India, that strange power, which was reported to treat all alike, noble and simple, both rich and poor the Mullas, the Syads, and the Moghli Pirs desired chiefly the exclusion of Englishmen and there establishment of the ancient order of things. 20. In short, the whole of the Chitralis, with very few exceptions, desired to exclude Aman-ul-Mulk's offspring from the throne; but at this point their unanimity ceased. The headmen of Kashkar proper, including the religious leaders, wanted Slier Afzal for their King, while many of the same class in Yasen hoped for a Khushwakt prince. The great majority of the peasants and poorer classes generally detesting Katur and Khushwakt equally, desired only to he relieved from the weight of their excessive burlens, and to he taken under the protection of the British. 27. This was the position of affairs after Aman-ul-Mulk's death and when Afzal-ul-Mulk had seized the throne. The new Mehtar possessed all his father's innate savageness and dogged determination but none of his commanding ability. He at once pat to death three of his half-brothers, tortured unhappy women to make them disclose the supposed depositories of hidden treasure, and when not engaged in foolish ostentation, or prodigal but ill-considered liber¬ality, comforted himself like a monster of cruelty.
28. But Afzal-ul-Mulk seems to have been ordained for destruction. Not content with the executions he had already ordered, he was mad enough to openly announce that there were twenty-four other individuals he intended to kill. As the names of the doomed were not mentioned, every man of any importance in the country trembled for his life. Finally, he not only excluded the Lutkho headmen from all participation in his country, but dismissed them to their homes with gross abuse, calling them "Kalash" and otherwise jeering at their Moghli religion. They went away muttering those vows of vengeance they were so quickly to fulfil. 29. It was at this moment, that Sher Afzal was despatched to the Badakhshan frontier by the Amir of Kabul, who provided the Katur prince with money and firms, also with presents for distribution amongst the Chitralheadmen, but fare him no soldiers, lie was, however, allowed to collect together the refugee Chitralis in the Amir territories men sold into slavery, or fugitives from jus¬tice. Arming these people and supplying them with horses, Sher Afzal found himself at the head of one hundred and twenty well-equipped followers. He first of all sent men over the Dorah into the Lutkho valley. The messengers were received with open arms by all the inhabitants of that district, and were then followed by Sher Afzal, his son, and the remainder of the force. Sher Afzal was looked upon as the saviour of his country, the people crowded delightedly to his cause, and kept the secret of the expedition so closely, that Mehtar Jan Murid Dastgir was killed, several doubtful people made prisoners, and the whole band of adventurers reached Shoghot, an easy march of Chitral, without the doomed. Mehtar's suspicions being at all excited. 30. Resting for the day at Shoghot, as soon as night fell Sher Afzal and his party advanced warily to the Chitral fort; its gate was quietly opened for them by "Aksokkal" Fateh Ali Shah, an official whom the Mehtar had announced he would shortly put to death. They then rushed in and climbed on to the corner towers, whence they roused the inmates by firing their rifles and by loud shouts. They all wore fur caps, instead of the national headdress while they uttered their war cries in Persian, so that those of the garrison not in the secret imagined an Afghan army was upon them, and that resistance would be useless. Afzal-ul-Mulk was no craven. The women of his family begged him to put on the disguise of a female and seek safety in flight, but scorning this advice, he ran out to meet his danger, and ordered a fire to be .... to shew him its extent. By the light of the fire he was recognised hot down and was then hacked to pieces by the Lutkho men. The entire episode well illustrates certain phases of Chitral character, and indicates how this country a storm may be brewing, may accumulate almost irrestible force, and at length burst with fatal fury, yet without giving any premonitory signs of its approach. 31. Sher Afzal's character remains something of an enigma. His enterprise in invading Chitral with the force at his disposal was certainly very great. Even allowing for the fact that there was an extensive conspiracy afoot, which made his success possible and even probable, still it must be conceded that his s adventure was remarkably bold, admirably planned, and manfully carried through. Yet the country he had won so gallantly he abandoned almost without striking a blow, terrified for his personal safety. 32. He must be a man of considerable ability. He is said to possess a princely bearing, combined with polished manners, and to be a clever and convincing speaker. But, if lie knew how to captivate people by his hurried sen¬tences and impossible promises, he shewed himself no less credulous of foe falsehood of others than he was free and crafty with his own mendacities. It must, moreover, be remembered that his rapid seizure of the Mehtarship must have been well nigh impossible if the people, generally had not believed him a kind of "Imam-i-Mahdi " sent by Heaven to deliver them from the "Dejal " Afzal.
33. During his brief occupation of Chitral He posed as the devoted servant of Abdur Rahman Khan, and the enemy of the Government of India, which strangely enough he and his hearers considered to be synonymous expressions. He told how lie bad been helped with money, arms, and in many other ways by his kind friend the Amir of Kabul. In return he had the " Khutba" read in the name of hrs patron, and fervidly declared himself the sincere friend and ever faithful servant of that prince. 34. Every one was delighted with the new Mehtar. The Adamzadas al¬ready saw the old times reviving, and with the Syads, Mullas, and Moghli Pirs rejoiced in the thought that no longer would the surplus grain of villages be collected by the Mehtar's officials on the excuse that it would be shortly re¬quired for English travellers. This impost involved a curtailment of the total amount claimed from ancient times as the perquisite or right of the upper classes which they were naturally extremely loath to abandon, especially with¬out compensation of any kind: Another cause of offence against the English was the interest they were supposed to feel for the sufferings of the poor and miserable, and the dislike they were known to have for slavery, murders, and other abominations in the land. 'The lower orders chiefly exulted in the down¬fall of Afzal the pitiless Might God send all their oppressors down the same path ! Besides, had not the new king promised what practically amounted to a total remission of all duties; had he not declared against slavery and volunta-rily agreed to give up the forced labour for the Kaka Kheyl timbering trade ! A Katur prince who ever made reference to the grievances of the poor most be a wonderfully good man, only inferior as a ruler and protector to the English, officers themselves. 35. Thus it happened that all ranks of the people were pleased at change of Government in their country. Only a few of the older men recognised the folly of relying upon the soft speeches and smooth promises of a Katur trained at the Court of the Amir of Kabul, but their voices were too low and timid to make themselves heard amidst the general joy and self-congratulations of the populace. 36. The news that Sher Afzal had fled to Asmar and that a son of Amir-ul-Mulk reigned in his stead, was received with genuine sorrow, relieved only by the confident assurance, repeated on every hand, that Nizam-ul-Mulk would speedily be put to death and the popular idol be brought back in triumph by an Afghan army. 37. Subsequently the announcement was made that an English mission was on its way to Chitral from Gilgit. A first no one believed this. I was looked upon as a wild, an incredible rumour. People asked how an English mission could be going to Chitral while an Afghan army was advancing on the same place. When the arrival of the English became an indisputable fact the Adamzadas with the religious leaders of the people became both angry and frightened, while the rest of the community prepared to receive the mission with something little short of enthusiasm. They were quite ready to abandon the cause of Sher Afzal, or any one else, for the benefits their exaggerated ideas convinced them they would receive under British protection. 38. The whole of Chitral from Nizam-ul-Mulk downwards seems to have assumed that the presence of English officers, accompanied by an armed escort, meant nothing less than the actual annexation of the country by the Government of India. 39. As the mission advanced into the country it found a smiling welcome from villagers everywhere. They cheerfully applied its transports, and were particularly delighted at the system of payment, whereby each man as he arrived in camp received his wages from the hand of a British officer before the loads were deposited on the ground. Instead as in former times, of being sullenly resentful at having to carry hardens, the villagers now competed for the privilege, even quarrelling amongst themselves as to who should be em-ployed. The rates of payment had been fixed at a very high figure on account of the time of year, the badness of the roads, the severity of the labour, and with the idea of keeping the people cheerful, contented, and friendly. This plan succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations, but was not without an element of embarrassment also for the villagers delighted and surprised at receiving themselves the money they had earned, and astonished at the kind¬ness and consideration with which they were treated, declared that in future they would have no other master than the Government of India, and much,-tact and care had to be exercised to prevent the people coming to me in large bodies to proclaim their loyalty to my Government and to repudiate the claims of their own ruler. 40. The headmen sent by Mehtar Nizam-ul-Mulk to accompany the mission, as well as those who, taking, advantage of the troubled state of the country, had appointed themselves to positions of authority, tried on several occasions in the usual Chitrali way, to keep back the prices paid for provisions and to appropriate the money for their own use, but the villagers each time broke out into open mutiny, and always succeeded in resisting the attempted injustice a most remarkable sign of the times.
41. On its march the mission found the administration of the country in a distracted condition. Nizam-ul-Mulk had no authority of any kind in Yasen, which was held by Mahomed Wali Khan, a son of the infamous Mir Wali, the murderer of poor Hay ward. But he ruled with a divided allegiance; he was constantly at issue with the people he governed, principally on the strength, of his assertion that the district had been given to him by the mission, yet at the same time he was actively intriguing to get possession of the Warshagam territory on the Chitral side of the Shandur Pass. The people of the Laspur division coquetted with his emissaries while they, absolutely refused the Governor the Mehtar had sent them. They nominated a Governor of their own choice whose irregular appointment was subsequently confirmed by Nizam-ul-Mulk, although he greatly distrusted the individual selected. From all valleys reports were brought of a similar state of confusion and insecurity The Mehtar's authority seemed to be openly derided, while he took no measures to establish and enforce it. 42. At many of the villages near Chitral the Moghli, Pirs and other no tables were obviously constrained in their manner on meeting the mission and were unable to conceal their chagrin at its presence amongst them. Little courtesies and attentions, such as invitations to take tea and smoke cigarettes, with appreciative mention of services they had rendered on former occasions backed by a judicious distribution of presents, served for the time at least to raised the cloud from their brains, and in several instances induced them to open their hearts and give their opinions on the state of affairs. 43. In spite of the unsettled state of the country, the dislocation of all civil arrangements and the semi rebellious humour of the villages the mission may be said to have experienced no real difficulties of any kind a Result in no small measure due to the tact and temper displayed by Captain Younghusband, Mr. Bruce, and Mr. Gordon, each in his respective duties, in dealing with the people 44. When Chitral itself was at length reached, we found ourselves in the midst of civil turmoil. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that Nizam-ul-Mulk owed his very existence to our opportune arrival. His anxious face and disturbed manner revealed the perturbation of his mind how thoroughly con¬scious he was of the insecurity of his position, yet for a time he continued the distrustful, jealous policy of his father. He set spies about the mission house and allowed no headmen to visit me unaccompanied by one of his own confidential advisers. Swayed by conflicting counsels fearful that the mission might leave Chitral yet suspicious of it ultimate intentions in remaining he continued in a pitiable state of confusion and indecision for several days until he became quite thin and ill from his fears and perplexities. 45. Now all is changed. The Mehtar has obtained some measure of peace and a feeling of security besides being convinced of the sincerity of our desire to help him without our having any designs of our own on the country inimi¬cal to his dignity as Mehtar. That lie still believes we have taken his terri¬tories into our own keeping, there is unfortunately little doubt, but he now glories in .the idea, and daily when he holds Durbar he proclaims his indebted¬ness to the Government of India and his personal devotion to it. He is indeed most ostentatious in his professions of his loyalty, and when receiving travelers or merchants or messengers from the Governor of Dir and from Umra Khan, he appears to preface all his remarks with a declaration of his sentiments on this point he leaves no doubt in the minds of any of his hearers that he has placed all his hopes for the future on the help and countenance lie may receive from the British power. 46. He is trying hard to collect the rifles and ammunition scattered about the country by Sher Afzal, and is making an honest endeavour to establish order amongst his people. Governors are being or have already been appoint¬ed to all the districts, and the work of civil administration is being started. Finding the benefit which has accrued to himself from discontented and almost avowedly hostile Adamzadas having been influenced by me at private inter¬views he sends every one of any importance to pay a visit to the mission the spies have been all withdrawn and all our dealings are our a cordially friendly footing. 47. A Mehtar of Chitral roughly speaking rules in one of two ways, either he makes himself feared or he conciliates his opponents by giving them pre¬sents. The Mehtar who is in a position to use both methods is practically secure the man who can use neither method is almost beyond hope. At the present moment the Chitral treasury is empty and it has been necessary to lend Nizam-ul-Mulk the sum of RS. 5,000. This sum was at once exaggerated in the popular idea to five times its actual amount. I believe the Mehtar himself started the rumour. It has in any case been most useful. Nizam-ul-Mulk is by nature much more inclined to hide his treasure in the ground than to buy the good will of his headmen, by its judicious distribution. It may be taken as a sign of his returning confidence in his power to remain in Chitral that begun giving "khilluts" with a fairly generous hand, to those entitled to receive them. 48. It is the consistent policy of the mission to attempt to strengthen Nizam-ul-Mulk position not only by the great respect with which it always treats him, but by the deference to his supposed wishes it always display in all dealing with his friends or his enemies; most of all by the entire abstention from even the semblance of interference in the internal affairs of the country. To avoid being drawn into matters of local administration and local policy is more difficult than it may appear. The Mehtar and his chief advisers, under the guise of seeking advice themselves unconsciously conspire to defeat our intentions on this point although probably they would be amongst the first to resent the inevitable results of any infringement of this salutary rule. But by keeping the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs steady before the mind's eye it has always been possible to avoid being caught in their innocently laid traps. Our reward has been that we are not only on the warmest terms of friendship with the Mehtar, and still maintain our popularity with the poorer classes, but that, if we may place any reliance on their personal asseverations we have also disarmed the hostility of a considerable number of the Adamzadas and Moghli Pirs, while not a few of them go about loudly praising the generosity and kindness of the English officers.
49. Nizam-ul-Mulk has quite lately transmitted to me his opinion that even with Sher Afzal on the Badakhshan frontier there will be no fear of trouble so long as the mission remains in the country, and that the position of affairs has undergone such a wonderful change during the last month that, if Sher Afzal were certainly interned. Some distance from the frontier, there would be no cause for apprehension of any kind, under any circumstances. He, however, is just as impressionable as the people he rules, and his opinions have to be accepted with a certain reservation, although they no doubt embody the ideas of his chief advisers as well as his own private sentiments. 50. Something of the history of the past as well as the present state of affairs have now been laid before you. It still remains for me to speak of the future. In doing this all opinions and suggestions have to be advanced with the utmost caution, Chitral being prominently a land where unexpected events come to pass. 51. It is the deliberate opinion of Khan Sahib Rab Nawaz Khan Bahadur that the point of chief importance in insuring the pacification of the country is that Slier Afzal be removed to a distance, and the impossibility of his making a second attempt on Chitral demonstrated to all men. This is also the view taken by almost every one whose judgment is worth having, and until a few days ago was shared by the Mehtar himself. Astonished, however, at the unexpected popularity the English mission has achieved, he now declares its continued presence in the country is the prime necessity. At the same time he lays great emphasis on the advisability of preventing Sher Afzal doing mischief, and hopes he may be interned in India. 52. Until within a fortnight ago all peaceable Chitralis looked forward to the spring and the opening of the passes with dread. No one knew exactly what he feared, but all felt certain that tragic events were impending. That the more important of those would he a second invasion by Sher Afzal or his son, the murder, or attempted murder, of Nizam-ul-Mulk and a possible attack on the British mission, was the subject of current talk. 53. The news that Sher Afzal was in disfavour, and had been imprisoned by the Amir, helped to calm men's thoughts, though very many declared* the tidings were untrue; but the chief factor in giving an increased feeling of security to the people has been the change in the attitude of many of the Adamzada class towards the mission. Instead of being regarded with avowed disfavour and open hostility, instead of being shunned by Sher Afzal's most influential supporters, it being now, clear to all that no me meddling the internal affairs of the "sweet country" is contemplated, and no dreaded innovation are to be attempted, the mission is cheerfully accepted and openly praised. Even allowing for the extreme impressionability of the Chitralis, their natural fickleness and changeful dispositions, some portion of this favourable feeling ought to be retained permanently. 54. But there is no disguising the unpleasant truth that the Mehtar is not generally liked, and at present enjoys merely a reflected share of the popularity of the English officers. He will have to steadily continue his policy of clemency for some time before he gains the hearts of even a fair proportion of his subjects. Everything he does which pleases his people is put down to foreign influence, which those acts which they do not approve he is given entire credit for. 55. I have already referred to the possibility of Nizam-ul-Mulk being murdered. The exact amount of danger in which he lives cannot be estimated, but the probability is that it is lessening day by day such a catastrophe occurring must be conceded. 56. Many people, including Rab Nawaz Khan, think that the best plan for removing this fear altogether would be for the Government of India to guarantee the throne to Nizam-ul-Mulk, and, failing his issue, to his young half-brothers Amir-ul-Mulk and Shuja-ul-Mulk, the sons of the late Aman-ul-Mulk by his Asmari "Khunza," so that people might know that, even if Nizam-ul-Mulk were killed, Sher Afzal would still have no chance of succeeding him. I do not, however, believe in the advisability of adopting this plan, or in its efficacy, if adopted. The half-brothers mentioned are very young, the elder is not more than fifteen, and both are unfortunately below the average standard of boyish intelli¬gence. To put either of these princes on the throne in the event of Nizam-ul-Mulk's death would be, I imagine, almost impossible, unless we were prepared to sustain our nominee by force and administer the country ourselves in his name an arrangement, in my opinion, as impolitic as it would be burdensome and expensive. If the present Mehtar were to be murdered, or to die naturally, his successor might probably be ultimately found in the family of Mehtar Jan Aman-ul-Mulk of Kala-i-Naghr. This consists of three brothers of legitimate "birth and royal rank. The brothers are grown men, and although they have lived all their lives in the cold shade of neglect, they are believed to be fit for the duties of Mehtarship. Their father was Mehtar Jan Humayun, who, with all his family, except these three sons, was slaughtered by his brother-in-law, Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk, on the suspicion that he was privy to the murder of Mehtar Muhtaram Shah, the "Cannibal," whose savage reign of one year's dura¬tion was ended by a bullet from his cousin Said Ali Khan, whose, father had been one of the "Cannibals" many victims. In the general massacre of Humayun's family the three little boys, the offspring of Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk's own sister, were alone spared. The policy which, in my opinion, should be adopted on this point will be is cussed below, when the whole question of our future relations with Chitral is being considered. 57. No reference has been made to there being any possibility of our influencing Sher Afzal into entering into friendly relations with the Government of India in the event of his ever regaining the throne of Chitral. I know nothing personally of this prince. One or two of his admirers under the influence of presents and kindly treatment have hinted that in his heart Sher Afzal is not really hostile to the Government of India, nor desirous of excluding British officers from Chitral, but their opinions are tainted by their obvious desire to remain loyal to Sher Afzal, and at the same time he friends with those who have treated them well. It must not be forgotten that all the acts of Sher Afzal and all his outspoken declarations point to his extreme dislike and consistent enmity to the English and their Government. I am fore compelled to the inference that Sher Afzal being Mehtar means the rigid exclusion of British officers, as well as British news writers and other native officials from Chitral, with a complete severance of all bonds of friendship and even neighbourly tolerance between this country and Kashmir.
58. It is necessary, therefore, to consider what could be the probable effect on our frontier policy of Sher Afzal being Mehtar of Chitral. In the first place, we could never be certain that an attempt would not be made to revive the old unhappy days before the Chitrali rulers were regularly subsidized when impecunious princes looked to Gilgit as a land to be plundered or terrified into paying black-mail. A thoroughly hostile Government at Chitral it
enough to attempt raiding Gilgit single handed, would certainly become the centre and relying place for all the discontented and fanatical tribes of the Indus Valley, and might at any time cause serious, or at least vexations, trouble on our Kashmir border, for whose protection the Gilgit; frontier force would have to be both strong and vigilant. 59. A much more serious point, however, is this, that all the evidence I have been able to obtain and carefully examine, points to the fact Afzal had remained, Mehtar of the country, Chitral would have become practically a province of Kabur avowedly hostile to the Government of India, while the Amir himself would always have been in a position to disclaim all responsibility for its misdeeds. 60. It seems almost certain that a serious collision between the Afghanis and the Russians cannot be long postponed. The Amir would expect and would undoubtedly receive, all the help his subsidized ally, the Mehtar of Chitral, could give him. The Russians must assuredly triumph in the end, and would then have an excellent pretext for attacking and invading Chitral, even if the Mehtar had only indirectly supported the cause of the Afghans. 61. In the case supposed, the British authorities at Gilgit would probably be entirely ignorant of what was passing, in Chitral. The first news they would get might be an intimation that an avenging force of Russians had crossed the Dorah and occupied the country. With the Amir's army defeated, the whole of Badakhshan rapturously throwing itself into the arms of a deliverer from the hated Afghan yoke, the Russians would meet with absolutely no resistance. If boundaries had already been fixed and agreed upon by a Commission, the Russians might still plead the absolute necessity of their punitive expedition. It would be hard to refute such arguments. I apprehend it might be harder still to induce the invaders to go back, their task being completed. The im¬portance of Chitral, its facility of entrance from .the north, its easy roads to Peshawar by the Kunar Valley and Jelalabad or by the Lowari Pass, Dir and Swat, both running through fertile districts thronged with large villages, is so great, that it can hardly be exaggerated even by a writer like myself, who may be held to be incapable of viewing the complete perspective because he is too close to his object. 62. The extreme importance of our retaining a firm hold on this country is not universally understood, and if Russians were once within its borders, it is quite possible that public opinion influencing Parliament would refuse its sanc¬tion to the adoption of any extreme measure necessary to enforce our legiti¬mate demand that they should return to the other side of the Hindu Kush. 63. With Russian influence strong in the country or Russian troops actual¬ly within its boundaries, a most serious embarrassment to Indian finances may be confidently predicted. A large increase in the army will be required to protect our frontiers, and its great cost, the outlay required for defences, roads and railways, will not be the only trouble which will have to he faced resolute¬ly and expensively.
64. If the Amir of Kabul can be relied upon to permanently restrain Sher Afzal from making another attempt oh Chitral, the 'situation will be to a certain extent cleared of its present difficulty; but I cannot rid myself of a suspicion that very much trust cannot be placed on any such; promise. All reports go to show that the Amir is indeed highly incensed against Sher Afzal at the present moment, and that, after reproaching him for pusillanimity and folly a most as bad as cowardice, he has put him under some kind of restraint. This no doubt is all true enough, and Abdur Rahman is very likely extremely annoyed at Sher Afzal's failure; but the Amir is a man of great tenacity of purpose, and must know the value of keeping such a court card as the fugitive prince for future use in his games of diplomatic skill with the Government of India. 65. Chitral means very much to the Amir, Besides considerations another spot from whence he could indicate his power of annoyance against
great ally, whenever he desired to add point to an arguments or
it is a country admirably adapted to help his ambitions protects
and Dir. It might be used as a cat's paw in obtaining those district, which he cannot openly capture himself, now the Government of India has stopped his advance at Asmar. He is accredited with a burning desire to distress of destroy his inveterate enemy Umra Khan and to seize the Bash gal and Veran Valleys of Kafristan. Both these objects he might hopefully pursue if he had a thorough control of Chitral. 66. If subsequent rumours are true that the Amir in his mortification at the failure of Sher Afzal has not only, as might have been anticipated, showed some signs of disfavour to that prince, but has actually imprisoned him in a particularly vile dungeon, and has also in other ways despitefully used him and his followers, they merely indicate that Abdur Rah man has allowed a gouty temper to triumph over the dictates of prudent policy, land has already inclined Sher Afzal to listen to wise counsels and make friendly overtures to the Gov¬ernment of India, if ever he succeeds in escaping from his present bonds and is able to make another attempt on Chitral. But it seems impossible that Abdur Rahman has really proceeded to these extremes; while it is much more likely that he has spread abroad a false statement of his seventies in order to blind people to the fact that he was himself the instigator and strong helper of Sher Afzal in capturing Chitral. 67. Even if sufficient guarantee can be obtained that neither Sher Afzal nor any of his family, while they remain hostile to British interests, can ever obtain the Mehtarship of Chitral, there are still other reasons why we ought always to maintain such an effective control over the affairs of the country that our influence could never be endangered either by the fickleness of the Mehtar for Cue time being or by the political ambition of Russia. At present our prestige is great, and our position can be easily rendered perfectly secure; but I believe we could not make any backward movement without imperiling the one and making the other difficult to recover. The probabilities are that if we now reverted to our old policy with the Mehtars of Chitral, which served us well enough while the strong Aman-ul-Mulk ruled the land, and withdrawing British officers from Chitral left no obvious palpable sign of our dominant autho¬rity in the country, we should find ourselves involved in unceasing frontier troubles. 68. Nizam-ul-Mulk would probably be either killed or driven from the country Anarchy, from which we have lately rescued the people, would at once reappear. Umra Khan would actively and openly support a nominee, while the Amir and his Sipah Salar from Asmar would secretly support their own candidate. The country would be split into factions, and many, other claimants also might assert their pretentious to the throne. Yasen would be distract¬ed by the rivalry of Mohammad Wali Khan, Mokaddas Aman, as well as by Katur pretenders in addition. Whoever was successful for the moment, would at once try to get possession of Mastuj and the Chitral Kohistan. The Punial rajas would start intriguing actively and earnestly. The continued triumph of violence and disorder would make Hunza, Nagar and the Shin States restless and eager to join in the fray, either to support the claim of relations, or from the hope of plunder. We should be in almost as bad a position as if Sher Afzal were ruling the whole of Chitral as our avowed enemy. The end would probably be that we should have to step in and restore order with the sword and at the cost of much bloodshed. 69. It, on the other hand, Mehtar Nizam-ul-Mulk were able by any chance to retain the throne and assert his authority, he would at once make overtures to the Russians. He is by nature a ruler of the same stamp as Safdar Ali Khan, the late Thum of Hunza. Relieved from the restraining influence of British officers, he could not be trusted for a moment. His idea of successful statesmanship is to get subsidies from whoever will pay them in return for a nominal allegiance and secret agreements. This is the
traditional policy of the rulers of these petty Khanates and is
by argument nor altered by evidence of its invariable failure. They never ascribe such failure to its true cause but merely consider it the result of bad luck or fate, against which no man can protect himself. 70. Russia would certainly seize any opportunity of pushing her influence across the Hindu Kush, either by taking advantage of a general de bacle or by intriguing with a shifty, unscrupulous Mehtar. 71. On all grounds, therefore, I think we ought to uphold our present authoritative position in Chitral by establishing an Agency in the country and placing it in charge of a British officer. In this way we shall be protected against any more under-hand schemes of the Amir of Kabul, and also against. Russian intrigue, further fighting and, bloodshed will be prevented, and we shall be able to ensure the peace and security of our Gilgit-Yasen frontier. 72. To enable us to safely maintain an Agency at Chitral, and also retain an efficient control over the whole country, it is necessary, in my opinion, not only to provide a guard of 100 or 120 trained British Indian sepoys for the Political Officer at Chitral, but also for Yasen to be occupied effectively. These measures cannot, however, be prudently adopted unless the present Gilgit garrison is strengthened. This will involve a moderate increase of expenditure in the present, but will be the saving of large sums in the future. 73. Concerning the actual number of troops required to reinforce the Gilgit garrison I have little to say. It is a point to be decided by Colonel Durand and the military authorities. But I am sure the number asked for will be very much smaller than officers unacquainted with the country would, at first, be inclined to consider necessary. The reinforcement should, I believe, be British Indian troops, so that there should always be on the frontier a force well officered and of approved discipline. To avoid wounding Kashmir susceptibilities, the addition to the Gilgit garrison should be all included under the desig¬nation of a Guard for the British Agent. 74. That there are many objections to sending up British Indian troops to Gilgit cannot be denied; the transport and supply of such a force bristles with difficulties; the shutting up of a number of men in more or less isolated positions is most undesirable; the impossibility of recalling them to India in case of necessity during several months of the year has to be admitted; yet, with all these objections clearly before my mind, I have no hesitation in strongly advising that it should be done. 75. If the alternative road to Gilgit through Kaghan and Chilas were employed, the difficulties both of marching up troops and of supplying them would be greatly diminished. This road, besides many other advantages, has this great superiority over the Bandipur-Bunji Road, that it does not appear liable to those landslips and other freaks of nature, which, in the latter route, cause so much anxiety to the Gilgit authorities. The military importance of having two lines of communication with India, instead of one, is too obvious to require more than the merest mention here. 76. Concerning the proposed occupation of Yasen, it is obvious that to enable it to be done effectively Gilgit must be reinforced. To attempt to properly garrison Yasen from the troops now at Gilgit would be too severe a strain on the resources of that Agency. 77. I estimate that for Yasen a total of 600 rank and file is required. Well supplied, well equipped, and well, posted, this force would be sufficient for all eventualities. Its distribution would be something as follows: One hundred and fifty men in the fortified camp of Thayor Lasht, between the villages of Gupis and Junjorat. One hundred men in the most suitable fort in the Yasen Valley. Two posts of twenty-five men each to guard the important positions of Roshan and Dahmial. The remaining three hundred men would be stationed at Ghizr in a fort. There is ready to hand an admirable position on a rock which rises from the river bank and commands the Ghizr plan on every side. The fort should be constructed, so that it could be securely defended by a fourth of its garrison, and yet possess ample room for six months provisions and military stores for the whole number. Bearing in mind that artillery could never be brought to bear upon it, a square double storied fort with unscaleable walls and flanking towers at two of the opposite angles, would fulfil these requirements cheaply and effectively.
78. I have good reasons for believing that such a force of 600 men in the Yasen district could be supplied with food in average years from the surplus grain of Yasen, Ghizr, and Chashi, at moderate rates and without hardship to the inhabitants. 19. There need he no anxiety concerning the safety of the proposed; Yasen garrison even under a combination of adverse circumstances, provided the men are well equipped, well supplied, and fairly officered. 80. In the improbable, I believe almost impossible, event of a general rising of the whole of the Yasen district, aided by all the Shin tribes and many of the Nimchas and distant Pathans, there would still be no danger of the troops being overwhelmed. 81. A hostile force, no matter how strong in numbers, would, partly from its own constitution and mostly from the peculiarities of the situation, be always at a great disadvantage in attacking disciplined troops in strong positions in Yasen. Its only hope would be in establishing a blockade for a long period, while, as a matter of fact, it could not remain in the district more than a limited number of days. Poorly armed, without artillery, and having no leaders correctly speaking, it would be also deficient in those arrangements for transport and commis¬sariat which would alone enable it to keep the field. 82. Without outside help on a very large scale, Yasen would be powerless for mischief. 83. All roads leading into Yasen, except that from Gilgit, are most difficult, merely consisting of rough tracks leading over high passes. It is doubtless the severity of the marching which disables men from carrying more than five days rations in amount rarely or never exceeded according to my experience and information. 84. Unless almost at once successful, the combination must break up and disperse in search of food, yet it could never face rifle fire during the daylight. The communications between the different posts could almost invariably be maintained; they could only be exceptionally closed by day, and then only for short periods. 85. It must be remembered that the Shin and kindred tribes have not the dash and enterprise of Pathans; their fanaticism, also, is at present of a very mild and theoretical kind. It is this poor fighting Shin element, which would largely predominate, in any attacking force. All the battles in this country are practi¬cally bloodless; the killing being done after the so-called fight is over. 86. The only possible danger I can conceive for well-supplied, property equipped Gilgit troops, is from young or inexperienced British officers recognizing the weakness, of the enemy, but forgetting the source of their own strength, becoming impatient at the mild character of the fighting, and being temped to leave their strong places, to attack at a disadvantage a, numerous, enemy well posted in positions the capture of which would be both expensive and useless patience and coolness of temperament arenas much the cardinal military virtues in the country as brilliant leading and dashing onslaught on more favoured battle fields. 87. I have written as if it were conceivable that the whole country should be in a blaze round all the various posts, but such a condition of affairs ought not to be possible. If we maintain a strong but kindly administration deriving our authority directly from the Mehtar, or exercising it in the name of some nominee of his, but in either case taking care that while we are responsible to the Mehtar for the maintenance of order and for the payment of the revenue (a small matter of a few thousand rupees), we are equally determined that our good name shall not be tarnished by being associated with tyrannical or unjust government: then we may confidently expect that the Yasen is will not merely be well disposed to us, but will quickly become energetically loyal and faithful in our service.
88. The most important factor in attaining this end is to place in Yasen a sympathetic political officer, a man tolerant of the changefulness of mind of a half-wild people, and hot too rigid in requiring absolute punctuality and other ideal difficult or impossible to attain even in civilised countries. Carelessness in carrying out elaborate instructions does not necessarily imply disrespect to authority or dislike to reasonable control, but is more the result seen of that forgetfulness or failure in continuity of thought which is constantly seen in children, whom the lower classes in Yasen, in many other respects, strongly resemble. A carefully selected officer of the temperament I have indicated would rapidly range the whole population on his side. 89. The Ghizar men share with the Laspuris the credit of being the flower of the fighting element in Chitral. Gradually and cautiously, effective local levies might be raised. Their management would have to be placed entirely in the hands of the political that is to say the civil officials. Experience confirms me in the idea that purely military officers of any standing usually become too crystallised in the routine of disciplined troops to be en-trusted with the care of our strange but useful levies, to whom anything like drill is irksome, but who nevertheless, by the heredity of centuries and by their peculiar knowledge of every yard of their own country, display an apti¬tude for mountain warfare which is extraordinary. The average military officer is apt to either make service unpopular by insisting on rules admirable indeed when applied in appropriate cases, but inapplicable to first beginnings amongst lively inconsequential Chitralis, or else he holds them in such half-amused contempt that he can hardly be at the pains to seriously teach them to shoot. 90. It will be a long time before such levies could be of much use against regular soldiers; hut against the neighbouring tribesmen they would be invincible. The knowledge that they had good troops behind them, and, most of all, that there were stores of food and other supplies to fall back upon, would fill them with confidence. It is the "band-o-bast," the power to choose its own time and season for fighting, even more than its superiority in arms, which makes a civilized power unconquerable by wild tribes. 91. I have dwelt at some lengthen: the question of the arrangements for holding Yasen because, even if Chitral were merely occupied for a limited period, until it has a strong trustworthy government, and until after the meeting of a boundary commission, even then I think Yasen should never he allowed to slip from our grasp. Its possession would always act as a re¬straining influence on the Shin tribes of the Indus valley, and keep the Gilgit border quiet and it would always give us a masterful position in relation Chitral affairs, since Drasan could be occupied by levies from Ghizr in three days, while regular troops could reach the same place three days later. 92. Besides acting as a present support to be the British officers and their escort at Chitral, ensuring their safety the possession of Yasen is doubly important to us in the future, because the Russians are now actually on its northern frontier. If we do not declare ourselves masters of the country, they will certainly begin pushing exploring parties into it again. Last year a party ventured as far as the summit of the Khora Bohrt pass. It is impossible to say how far east in Wakhan the Amir will declare to be the limit of his territories, but with Yasen in our secure possession His Highness's ultimate decisions on this point will be of minor importance. 93. In his present grateful humour and avowed willingness to do anything whatever to meet he wishes of the Government of India, it should not be hard to get Nizam-ul-Mulk to agree to the proposed arrangement in Yasen which would be as convenient and profitable for him as it would he convenient and profitable for us.
94. Turning now to the establishment of apolitical agency in Chitral Unless Yasen is occupied as I have suggested by Gilgit troops, I do not think it would be prudent or even safe to have British officers isolated at such a distance from help, and so liable to be cut off from all communication with India but if Ghizr is properly held, all danger from such causes is greatly minimised. 95. The Chitral Agency staff might consist of a political officer with a military officer to command the guard. If a commissioned medical officer could be also appointed it would be well, otherwise the best man of the best subordinate class available should be placed in medical charge of the British officers, the escort, the civil dispensary, &c., &c. 96. To ensure an uniform policy being maintained all along this frontier, all British officers, including any political officer in Yasen, must be under' the orders of the British Agent at Gilgit and act strictly on his instructions: 97. The escort at Chitral ought to consist of at least one hundred trained sepoys; for a year or two at any rate this number should be maintained. To provide against all possible contingencies, it ought to be cantoned with the British officers in a well-built defensible structure in a carefully selected position, and always have six months supplies in hand. Strict discipline must be maintained and careful watch and ward kept, not only to ensure safety from stray Mussulman fanatics or hired Kafir assassins, but also against sudden secret invasions, of which Sher Afzal's descent on Chitral may be considered a possible type.
98. The possible dangers to be anticipated are-
(1) A general rising of the people against Nizam-ul-Mulk and the English and in favour of Sher Afzal's family and the Afghans;
(2) An attack or invasion from Umra Khan's Dir territories;
(3) Risks from Afghans and other fanatics visiting Chitral.
(4) Frontier troubles from the Kafir and other "Yaghistan" borders. It is the first, which is the chief danger, the second is an improbable one, the other two require chiefly recognition of their possibility. 99. Concerning the possibility of an emeute in Chitral itself, I have already indicated that all our secret information and all the signs of the times, if I read them aright, go to show that the danger of a general rising against the present Mehtar is very much less than it was. It is, however, possible that, the adherents of Sher Afzal may make another effort to regain Chitral after the opening of the passes an attempt, which would probably be coincident with the murder, or attempted murder, of the present Mehtar. The best way to guard; against this double contingency is to have troops at Ghizr in Yasen, and in this way Overawe the more turbulent spirits amongst the disaffected Chitralis. If this were done, and unremitting efforts were made to win over to out interests the Adamzadas, the natural aristocracy of the country outbreak will be very small indeed. 100. With reference to danger from Umra Khan's territories or from the Shinaki tribes, it must be remembered that Chitral is so situated that bodies of swift-footed mountaineers from any, direction can reach its vicinity before any tiding of their hostile intention can arrive. At Dir there is a hotbed of fanaticism kept at a red heat by the teachings of the priest known as the Baba Sahib, one of the Murids of the late Akhoond of Swat. This fervid preacher is universally respected for his piety liberality, and or hodoxy. He is said also to be a man of great learning and ability. He frequently has with him at Dir as many as two or three hundred disciples amongst whom are several Kafirs. The enthusiasm and devotion of those men give their leader a power which ....... not be despised especially when it is remembered that the distance for Dir to Chitral can be covered by natures of those countries in two days. 101. While Umra Khan finds it politic to keep on friendly terms with the Government of India, and while he keeps, a firm hold on Dir, this danger may not be great; but if he were to become estranged from the British or to lose Dir, it would not be wise to disregard the possibility of some kind of hostile attempt from that quarter. 102. It may be taken as certain that the presence of an English Agency at Chitral will be looked upon with disfavour by all the surrounding peoples, except by the Kafirs. Umra Khan is said to dislike it particularly, on the ground that it brings the English on to a frontier from which he is assailable. He lately sent a message to Nizam-ul-Mulk urging him to send away the British officers as soon as possible, and offering to send five hundred men to supply their place. He is known to cast a longing eye on the rifles the Mehtar possesses. 103. The Shin tribes of the Indus valley are avowedly hostile. Their power is not formidable although their numbers are numerous. 104. The Kafirs arc a people who will require to be treated with some caution. They arc apt to be incited to violence by clever intriguers, by the sayings of certain men held to be inspired during religious sacrifices, by bribes and from accidental causes, such for instance as one of their number being shot during an attempt at thieving, and so on. They, however, know their own weakness in weapons, and several of their headmen are clear sighted enough. It would probably only be in times of confusion and trouble that they would have to be considered as a possible danger. Their natural inclination is certainly to be friendly with Englishmen. Very great reliance cannot be placed on this tendency, however, because Kafirs, when suffering from a defeat or from some injury at the hands of an enemy, in their first burst of indignation or rage are inclined to assume that all except their active sympathizers arc secretly hostile to them; they require a little time before cool reflection enables them to see things in a proper light. 105. They tell me that when Umra Khan raided them, after I left Kauristan in 1891, he taunted them about me and said his attack was to punish them for entertaining an Englishman. They would like me to accept the responsi¬bility for all their late troubles; they also pretend to think I have the power to compel Umra Khan to conclude a humiliating treaty of peace with them. But in this matter they are merely pursuing their customary national tactics. 106. It seems that Slier Afzal has some hold on the Kam Kafirs. He had either been liberal with money or with promises. He has also betrothed his son to the daughter of one of the chief men and paid the price of the girl. They have likewise a common bitter enmity against Umra Khan to make their interests appear identical. When the roads are open I shall send for a deputation of the headmen to come to me, and shall then find out the true state of their feelings. The Katir Kafirs, those in the upper part of the Bashgal valley, have had no dealings with Slier Afzal, as far as I can discover. I think, in short, the Kafirs are not so much a danger in the future as a element of possible disquiet which may require to be carefully considered tactfully dealt with. 107. I believe no fear need be entertained concerning the safety of the Agency if the oblivious precautions. I have already mentioned are strictly adhered to, and if its officers decline to allow the lapse of many uneventful, perhaps monotonous, date to lull them into a feeling of absolute security. For the peculiar circumstances arising from a general frontier war or a war with Afghanistan, &c., special arrangements would be necessary to provide for the absolute security of the Agency, but short of such a war on a large scale the officers and their escort will incur no unreasonable risks by remaining in Chitral. 108. Our policy in Chitral might, I think, be defined as follows. The Agency escort will never be used a bodyguard for the Mehtar, nor under any circumstances be permitted to begin hostilities with the Chitralis.
109. The arrangements under which we remain in different from those we acknowledge as our guide for action in latter place we accept all responsibility for the good government or the district for the reasons I have mentioned in paragraph 87, but in Chitral we abstain; her from interference with the internal Affairs of the Stated altogether 110. To guarantee the Mehtarship to Nizam-ul-Mulk or any other family would he impolitic and inexpedient. If the present Mehtar were to' become tyrannous and Oppressive, it should be at his own risk. He must learn to place reliance for hiss personal safety, not n the bayonets of British troops but on the justice and mercy of his system of government. The principle to be strictly adhered to is, I think, the one we have always proclaimed as actuating us in our relations with Chitral absolute non-interference between the Mehtar and his subjects. We ought, I believe, to accept the de-facto Mehtar, whoever he may be, provided only that he acknowledges the suzerainty of His Highness the Maha¬raja of Kashmir, and agrees to be guided by the advice of the Political Officer at Chitral in all matters relating to the foreign relations of the State.
111. In this way we may reasonably hope to obtain the good-will of the Adamzadas, who will see in time that we have no desire to introduce any new system of law or administration repugnant to their customs or religion, while the mere presence of British officers in the land will be sufficient to put a stop to many of those iniquities for which Chitral is unhappily so notorious-. Domestic slavery will gradually disappear, the trade in slaves, including the traffic with Peshawar in female children, will end at once. Murders will greatly diminish in number. The simple fact that the British officers are known to look upon such cus¬toms and crimes with grave disapproval, and are also disgusted when they hear, of mutilations and other barbarous forms of punishment, is a powerful factor in improving the morals and civilizing the customs of the people. It is one of the chief reasons why the poorest classes are already so friendly disposed towards us. A slight but undoubted improvement in their condition has already resulted from the casual visits of English travellers in the past, and they consequently look forward hopefully to the benefits they will obtain from the residence of British officers in their country. 112. To me it seems also most desirable that Mehtars of Chitral be form¬ally installed on the throne by, an English officer acting as the representative of His Highness the Maharaja of Kashmir and of the Government of India, and that until this has been done, no agreement for the payment of subsidies, &c., be entered into. The delay which will necessarily always ensue between the actual succession to the Mehtarship and the formal installation by a British officer may be valuable as showing the hold the new prince has on the affec¬tions of his subjects. The ceremony can be hastened or delayed as may seem expedient; but the Political Assistant in charge of the Agency will continued to control the foreign relations of the country under all circumstances and at all 113. I therefore suggest that Nizam-ul-Mulk be regularly installed by an officer deputed for the purpose. This would clearly show to all the neighbouring States that the agreement of 1877 between the Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk and the Kashmir Durbar is not to be considered as either dead or lapsed, but is an actual living reality and that the suzerainty of the Maharaja of Kashmir over the whole of Chitral can never in future be called in question. All the great Adamzadas, Syads, Moghli Pirs, &c., should be summoned to attend the Installation Durbar, their participation in the ceremony being very desirable. 114. In the event of civil war or anarchy in Chitral, we might have to occupy Drasan and actually rule the country ourselves; but I consider that if my suggestions are accepted we need have very little fear of such any unfortunate and improbable state of things occurring. On the other hand, if the country rapidly grew settled and peaceable and a satisfactory arrangement were come to with Russia concerning her "boundaries and spheres of influence, the plan of keeping British officer and a considerable escort at Chitral itself might perhaps be reconsidered. This point I have not been able to decide to my own satisfaction. 115. Such is the general line of policy, which, in my opinion, we should adopt towards Chitral. It has, no doubt, certain obvious disadvantages, but I believe it is the best which can he devised under present circumstances we shall obtain all we need reasonably desire - a sufficient dominance of the country. A good road and a telegraph line to Gilgit will follow as a matter of course, for the Political Officer and the escort at Chitral will require these conveniences. The construction of roads and telegraphs should be undertaken as soon as possible, beginning with the Gilgit-Chitral road. This should be begun quietly, and as a work to which no exception could possibly be taken. It might be made popular by carefully selecting officers for the work, by liberal payments to labourers, and by presents to the Adamzadas and other headmen. 116. In bringing to a close this lengthy and I fear tedious report on Chitral matters, I hope that my carefully considered opinions have not become obscured in the numerous pages it has seemed necessary for me to write in order to explain to you fully the reasons on which those opinions are based.
117. I am aware that the Government of India has no desire to undertake the responsibilities which the acceptance of my advice will involve, and yet I am so sure of the correctness of my views that I am deeply anxious lest a faulty exposition of the situation, an inadequate description of the issues at stake, may cause an underestimate to be formed of their great and pressing importance. 118. The loss to our prestige, now so high that the mere presumption that he was actively supported by the Government of India placed Nizam-ul-Mulk on his father's throne, would be irremediable if we now withdraw from Chitral and are debarred from all influence in its frontier affairs; yet it is not mere loss of prestige from which we shall suffer, as I have attempted to show. 119. Prestige, however, in the Hindu Kush is itself as valuable as many bayonets, as useful as the expenditure of much money.
No. 1586, dated. Srinagar, the 20 April 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. Barr, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To the - Government of India,
In continuation of my letter No. 15, dated the 18th April 1893, I have the honour to forward, for the information of the Government of India, a letter, in original, No. 1009, dated the 18th March 1893 with its enclosures, received from the British Agent, Gilgit, on the 25th instant, forwarding extracts from the Chitral Mission Diary, dated, respectively, the 8th, 9th and 10th February 1893.
No. 1009, dated Gilgit, the 18th March 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To - The Resident in Kashmir.
I have the honour to forward copies of extracts from the Chitral Mission Diary. 2. The news is discounted by later information, but the deductions made by the Chitralis, as to the Amir's real attitude towards Sher Afzal as shown by the fact of his son being at liberty in Zebak, are worthy of notice.
Extracts from Chitral Mission Diary forwarded by SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I., to LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DISBAND, C.B., dated Chitral, the 8th February 1893. About midday Ghulam and Bahadur Shah came to renew yesterday's conversation about Warshagam. Mr. Robertson said he thought, under the present circumstances, it would not be advisable for the Mehtar to send any force into Yasen; armed men entering the district might alarm the Ghizr arid, other folk, who would probably imagine war was intended, and so would either; desert their homes and run away, or stay and fight. The Jemadar was on "his way to Gilgit, and, in passing through the district, would be able to explain matters to the people. If he were successful there would be no fear of any disturbance arising, while, if he were convinced there was danger that the Warshagam men now in Chitral would be attacked or illused by Muhammad Wall on their returning to their homes, he would at once send back word to that effect. Until the Jemadar returned to Chitral it would be premature to suppose that an armed force was necessary to make the Mehtar's orders respected. At the present moment, when everything appeared to be progresses so satisfactorily, it would be unfortunate if there were anything like a distance or insurrection, in any part of the Mehtar's dominions. The Government of Indian would certainly be sorry to hear of such an occurrence, while, if the Mehtar's dominions. The Government of India would certainly be sorry to hear of such, an occurrence the Mehtar's mandate to Muhammad Wall were obeyed at, once, simply because it was a mandate from Chitral, the moral effect on all the people would be very much greater than if he had to support his distinct orders with an army. If the Jemadar reported that Muhammad Wali and the Yasenis refused to obey the orders of their ruler, it would then be time enough to think of punishing them for contumacy. At first Ghulam and Bahadur Shah seemed depressed at this view of the subject, but subsequently, when the argument was fully explained to them they cheered up and declared the advice offered we sound and would certainly be acted upon. They then went away apparently satisfied. They said Abdur Rahman Khan was the Governor whom the Mehtar thought of putting the Yasenis. Abdur Rahman Khan is a peculiar looting lad said to be clever. He cannot, however, be more than seventeen years of age, and has had as yet no opportunity of displaying any force of character. He is the fourth son of Aman-ul-Mulk by Syednan (Syedmothu), the eldest of whom, Shah-i-Mulk of Dras, was murdered with his two brothers Bahram and Wazir by Afzal-ul-Mulk, under circumstances of peculiar atrocity. Mr. Robertson's impression is that the Mehtar and Bahadur Shah want to send in a large force to Yasen with the injection of creating a disturbance, and so obtaining an excuse for severe reprisals on those people who deserted-him for Afzal-ul-Mulk and Muhammad Wali, but that such a policy is extremely undesirable. The danger at present is from the Latku people Minawar and Nayab with their followers are said by the Badakhshi princes to have declared that the news about Sher Afzal and the other fugitives haying, been placed under close arrest by the Amir is false, as otherwise Sher Afzal's son would not be permitted to remain at large at Zebak. They assert pri¬vately that the whole of the Latku population, numbering 1,000 families, intend in the spring to leave their country and join Sher Afzal's son at Zebak, from whence they, intend to wage war in Chitral. They have no quarrel with the mission provided they leave the country, but if they do not go away voluntarily, they intend to drive them out and pursue them as far as London. In any case the Mehtar will be better employed in consolidating his position than in, worrying the Yasen people and re-stirring up their enmity to himself. The Jemadar in conversation said that, had Aman-ul-Mulk been allowed by Government to invade Dir last year, Umra Khan would have been ruined. There would have been a general insurrection, in face of which his cause would have been hopeless. The Baba Sahib is secretly bitterly hostile to him, for Umra Khan is no respecter of Mullas, but oppresses them greatly and takes their property to increase his revenues which probably amounts to a lakh of rupees a year. Another important man, inimical to Umra Khan, is Sardar Khan of Baraul, whose wife is own sister to Nizam's mother, the Khuza. During the conversation with Ghulam about Yassin, he mentioned that Mr. Robertson had last night said that, when the Chitrali troops went there, the Gupis force would retire. Nothing at all on that point had even been referred to, and the remark occasioned some surprise. Ghulam was satisfied he had misunderstood what was said. The Jemadar thinks nothing was meant, and that Abdul Hakim's interpretation in Chitrali had been in fault, while, Abdul Hakim naturally thinks he spoke quite clearly, and that Ghulam's observation was intended to draw forth an expression of opinion about the probable stay of the troops at Gupis. It is most likely that in this matter the Jemadar is right, for, as far as we know, the Mehtar and. his friends are very pleased at our occupying that part of Yassin, but it is very inconvenient that Ghulam and Nizam-ul-Mulk also, who can both speak Persian very fairly, will persist in talking in their native tongue which Abdul Hakim understands well enough for ordinary purposes, but not sufficiently well to be certain of always translating absolutely correctly.
Extracts from Chitral Mission Diary ending 9th February 1893.
Mehtar Jao Bahadur Khan and Bahadur Shah called in the morning on Mr. Robertson, who said to see them, as he wished to speak to them on a subject which he had lately been turning over in his mind. He said that Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk had frequently impressed upon him the necessary to having a standing army in Chitral; and Mr. Robertson thought at would been an excellent thing it such an army could now be raised; he pointed out the Amir of Kabul and Umra Khan both had standing armies, and were become powerful in consequence and that it was high time, if Chitral wishes to preserve her influence, that she should have one too. Mr. Robertson said be could not say whether Government would agree to the plan, as it had not yet been laid before them for consideration; but he had lately been thinking over the late Mehtar's words, and intended, after he had consulted Nizam-ul-Mulk and the leading men of the country, to lay a definite scheme before Government. At present his idea was that a few hundred men should be enrolled, one or two hundred of whom should be collected for a month or two every year, and during the time they were actually serving; they would receive say Rs. 5 a month, while at other times when they were, at their homes, they would receive say one or two rupees as a retaining fee. This was a rough idea of the scheme which Mr. Robertson said the hoped the Mehtar Jao would lay before the Mehtar, so that he might be able to discuss it shortly with him. The Mehtar Jao said they quite agreed with Mr. Robertson as to the necessity of the scheme, and thought that there should be no difficulty in carrying it out; they would, however, as requested, talk over the whole matter with the Mehtar, so that there might be a definite discussion of it later, on. They remarked that they thought it would be advisable if Martini-Henry rifles should be supplied instead of Sniders. But Mr. Robertson said that they must first prove themselves worthy of having Sniders before they could expect to receive Martinis. Recently a large number of Sniders had been given them, but they were scattered all over the country, and no account could be kept of them. These should all be collected together first. * * * * * * * * It is said (Ghulam Mohi-ud-din is the informant) that Minawar Nayab and other leaders of Sher Afzal's party refuse to believe that their leader has been imprisoned by the Amir. They say the whole story is false, otherwise why would Sher Afzal's son be allowed to remain at Zebak in his present threatening attitude.
Extracts from Chitral Mission Diary, dated Chitral, the 10th February 1893. Another report is circulating that, if Sher Afzal is at present under arrest; he will only remain for a short time in disgrace, and then be set at liberty again to resume his plans for obtaining possession of Chitral. His followers are cheering themselves up by circulating and believing this and other reports about the prospects of their party. Mast Khan has secretly been to see Abdul Hakim to warn him to tell Mr. Robertson that all the Adamzadas are opposed to the mission remaining in Chitral, and also to warn him to beware of isolated attacks on some of the British officers by Afghan fanatics. The Badakhshi princes, Muhammad Rahim Khan and Muhammad Azyam, had an interview with Mr. Robertson before starting for their homes. They, as on former occasions, iterated their loyalty and devotion to the Government of India and their willingness to do any service it might impose upon them, particularly military duty such as an attack on Badakhshan &c. They say they could at once assemble any number of Badakhshis, good fighting men, from a. hundred men to three complete regiments. Only the word was wanted and some rifles. The whole of Badakhshan would rise at their bidding, while the Afghans would have to fly for their lives. Mr. Robertson commented on the fact, that the Amir of Kabul was a friend and ally of the Government of India. The princes, however, smiling, remarked that those living on the frontier known what actually occurred there. They enumerated the different kinds of help given by the Amir to Sher Afzal - the money advanced, the arms and horses supplied, &c., and asked it such were the acts of friendly neighbours. They pleaded their own poverty the abject distress they were in the actual hunger they were suffering from, Mr. Robertson sympathized with them greatly, bade them good bye for the present, and gave them Rs. 100 for their more pressing and immediate wants.
No. 1587 D.-O., dated Srinagar, the 26th April 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir
To—SIR H. MORTIMER DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.I. In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 1208, dated the 29th March 1893. I enclose, for information, the marginally detailed demi-official letters, in original, with their enclosures, for warding copies of demi-official letters from Robertson regarding the state of affairs in Chitral, and containing certain items of news relative to the movements of the Russians on the Pamirs.
No. 983 D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 16th March 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARE.
I forward herewith copy of Robertson's last. I have cut out some unimportant pieces about office establishment and rum for the Sikhs. Robertson has evidently made up his mind that, the Jemadar must go, but I am not sure if he expects me to keep him here till orders come. The change for the better in the feeling of the Adamzadas is most satisfactory. Hay it continue No news yet of Muhammad Wall having started; if I don't hear in a day or two, I must write and order him in.
Extract from demi-official letter from SURGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I., to LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. DUBAND, C.B., No. 23, dated Chitral, the 26th February 1893. I do not think it advisable that Rab Nawaz Khan should remain here. We get on in every way very much better now he has gone. He is too much mixed up in local matters, was far too much of a partisan of Afzal-ul-Mulk, and consequently is neither liked by the people nor trusted by Nizam. I imagine he has lost all his former influence in Chitral except that which he gets reflected from us. As Abdul Hakim could not be spared from Gilgit, I wish you could send up Agha-Muhammad soon, so that he might get initiated into the run of things and get the Mehtar and the principal men before Abdul Hakim goes back and the Jemadar is relieved. Abdul Hakim is simply invaluable here. He goes on well with every body, and collects information tactfully and assiduously. If he only succeeds in imparting his ways and methods to Agha Muhammad, it will be avery great advantage to the officer who remains here. We only have "extras" for the escort up to the end of March. We are trying to get everything except rum from Peshawar through one of the Kaka Khel traders.
* * * * * * * * * * We are still getting on very well. The Latku men have bee in, have been kindly treated by the Mehtar, and interviewed and tipped by me. As far as we can see a very great change for the better has come over Chitral affairs. All reports and all our secret information go to show that many of the Adamzadas are not only reconciled to our being here, but even seem to like it. They now clearly see that our presence is not inimical to their dignity and position, and that we do not intend to meddle with the internal affairs of the "sweet country," nor introduce any dreaded innovations into its Government. The poor we seem to have ways with us, but we cannot run a country like this on their suffrages alone, and in defiance of the native aristocracy, without employing force or threatening to do so. If we can only show the majority of the Adamzadas that it is to their interest to support Nizam, loyally and faithfully, the greatest of all our difficulties will have so far obtained is at least encouraging. There are all manners of rumours about the successes of Muhammad Sharif Khan, many of them are contradictory, some are obviously untrue. The only certain thing seems to be that there is some sort of movement against Umra Khan. I may, in a few days, send a man to get definite, news unless in the meantime certain information arrives from a trustworthy source. There is some suspicion of the loyalty of Muhammad Sharif Khan, Governor of Dir, to his brother, Umra Khan.
[DEMI-OFFICIAL.] No. 1023 D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 18th-20th March 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K.
Herewith copy of Robertson's latest, dated 2nd March. Mukaddas Aman is the son of Mulk Aman of the Yassin family, who died a refugee in Darel last year - vide Gazetteer, Yassin, p. 229. He was amongst the crew against Robertson in November, having to repay the hospitality he has received for many years by joining his hosts. I expect he took good care of his skin. The genealogy on p. 229 should be altered to -
1 and 2 by a sister of Murid Dastgir killed in Latku the other day; third is the son of a Mulla's daughter and don't count. These genealogies are awful, but it is sometimes useful to know who is who. You see from what Robertson says that he a for taking leave and departing from Chitral. Younghusband can run the Chitral coach, but we shall want Stewart for Yassin and a senior Assistant here, if the Chitral business is to be carried to its obvious conclusions.
No. 24, dated Chitral, the 2nd March 1893.
From - Surgeon-Major G.S. Robertson, C.S.I.
To - Lieutenant-Colonel A.G.A. Durand C.B.
The Mehtar has just received a letter from Mokaddas Aman asking for Yassin, and saying if it be not given to ..... the English are certain to take it for themselves. Mokaddas declares he cannot remain in Darel any longer, as the people there have made up their minds, to go to Gilgit to salaam! I suppose this means they are beginning to feel anxious about their flocks and grazing grounds, and perhaps want time to devise some other "Shaitani." Rumours come every day that Muhammad Sharif Khan is doing great things in Dir. that he has captured that place itself as well as Bibiyar, has killed forty of Umra Khan's men, and wounded Ghulam Khan of Asmar and his mother who were at Bibiyar. The Dir road is blocked, and we have nothing to go on in estimating the value of their reports, but I notice? That Nizam and his chief men do not place much reliance oh their statements. They quietly observe, after David, that all men are liars; only they make this remark at their leisure. I am anxious to get an answer to my letter to Umra Khan; as I suppose, as soon as that part of the Chitral frontier, Narsat, is in a fair way for a settlement and my report is despatched, my work here will be over. In these hard times having two Political Officers here is an extravagance. My report is finished, but it is of inordinate length and will-take a long time to copy. It is difficult to cut it down to more moderate limits, but I am thinking it over. As you suggested I shall send it down by Dir if the road is safe, and send a duplicate to you to send on. Chitral will be an anxious subject to .you for some time to come. The one point I am convinced of most firmly, is that officers and escort could not be left here with prudence unless Ghizr is occupied by Gilgit troops, other¬wise it would be something like having troops at Kabul, while Sind and the Punjab were held by untrustworthy native allies. Affairs here are much as they were. People still speculate amongst them¬ selves whether the Afghans will come and turn us out, or whether we shall stay here permanently, or go away in the spring, leaving the Mehtar to his own resources. Each man settles these questions according to his own personal desires. I imagine I noticed some small increase in fanatical feelings amongst the people since former days, but of course Shah Baba at Dir is uncomfortably near us. ___________________ [DEMI-OFFICIAL.] No. 1065, D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 22nd-23rd March 1893. From—LIEUTENANT A. F. NAPIER, Assistant British Agent at Gilgit, To—Lieutenant-Colonel D.W.K. BARR, Officiating Resident in Kashmir. Herewith I enclose a demi-official, in original, from Colonel Durand, and copies of two demi-official letters from Mr. Robertson. In the latter's demi-official of 9th March he says that another message has come in from Wakhan, confirming the report of Russians being in Sarhad-i-Wakhan. This news I have telegraphed to you; and will keep you informed of any further development of the situation. ___________________ [Demi-official.] No. 25, dated Chitral, the 6th March, 1893. From - Surgeon-Major G.S. Robertson, C.S.I. To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B. Things are much as they were, not unsatisfactory on the whole. I sent you news yesterday by special messenger of the arrival of the Russians at Sarhad-i-Wakhan. If there is any faltering note now in our Chitral policy, they will be here before long. That would mean a very heavy reinforcement of the Gilgit garrison, as well as general trouble and anxiety, and what a bill there would be to meet! I am sending a man to Wakhan over the Baroghil to find out exactly how matters stand there at present. One of the Mughli Firs is managing it for me secretly. There is just a fear that Nizam's intriguing propensities would lead him to make overtures to the Russians, if he were left alone here. Muhammad Sharif Khan's adventures seem to have come to an end. They say his four brothers are now prisoners in Umra Khan's hands, although Muhammad Sharif himself has escaped. Umra Khan has sent me no answer to my letter. The general idea is that he has sent on the document to Peshawar to the Shahzada to see if there is any divergence in policy between the Peshawar political authorities and ourselves. It also gives him time to consider the question, and to see how affairs in his own country are tending. News comes that he has made peace with the Nawagai Khan. The terms the latter is said to have accepted are not those accorded to a victorious General. He excuses himself from sending his son to Umra Khan as a hostage, but agrees to an offensive alliance against the Afghan Commander-in-Chief. He is said to have also assured the Mahmund headmen that the coming of the Afghans to Asmar was no work of his. He first of all seems to have intrigued with the Commander-in-Chief, asking* for a gun and shell ammunition, and requiring the Asmar family to be allowed to return to their own district. Both his demands were refused, and about the Asmar family he was told bluntly to mind his own business. He was told- however that he would be supplied with money to enable him to fight against Umra Khan.
Unfortunately our intelligence cannot be relied upon, and events taking place within two or three days' march of us are not heard of for several days after they occur. Yet everybody is so venal in these parts that it ought not to be difficult to organize a trustworthy system for getting early information from the entire districts roundabout. The Jemadar seems to have relied entirely upon the Mehtar's Mullas, a plan, which may have answered well, enough while Aman-ul-Mulk was alive, but is of little use now. It has the advantage of costing nothing, but has also the serious drawback that only so much news is sent to Gilgit as the Mehtar thinks it advisable for us to have. At present it looks as if the spring, will find us with more or less excitement on all frontiers. The Russians at Wakhan, the Jandolis in Narsat, &c., will cause plenty of work for Political Officers as usual; but I clearly perceive that, if I do not get leave until all troubles and worries are at an end, I shall never get leave at all, so my application will go in at once. Nizam is improving in many ways. He goes out now every second or third day shooting. The people however still hold him in contempt as a coward, and are said to be annoyed at his neglect of religious duties, not going to the mosque for Friday prayers, &c. Waffadar Khan is about as bad an adviser as he can well have, but there is no help for it at present. They are very busy strengthening the fort, but all such measures are futile, if the Mehtar fails of make himself popular with the Adamzadas and the people. However, he is going on as well as we could expect. At an entertainment at the fort the other day, my guard fired a couple of splendid volleys at a mark on a hill 950 yards away. It made a great impression, and people are still talking about it with wonder, remarking how helpless they would be against sepoys from India.
No. 29, dated Chitral, the 9th March 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B.
You will have seen the Jemadar long before this, and heard that Muhammad Wall refuses to come to Chitral and avail himself of my, good offices in effecting reconciliation between him and the Mehtar. It is, most foolish of him but the course he is now pursuing is the one everybody expected' he would take. I have now done everything in my power to help him accord¬ing to my promise, but he will not be well advised. I now hope fie will go to you at Gilgit, and cease from troubling at least to some extent. He has written a long and civil letter to the Mehtar, but he is quite resolved not to be friends, that is clear. His tone in speaking about his deter¬mination not to come to Chitral, though polite, is perfectly clear. You will see from my report which will go (a duplicate) to you by this post that I strongly advise Ghizr being occupied by troops, from Gilgit. Whether you can spare, men for this work it is for you to decide. If you can, and you can also obtain sanction for the movement as soon as the roads are fit to travel over, probably in a month's or six weeks' time, a very great advantage will have been obtained. Our position here will then be greatly strengthened, and every thing should go on satisfactorily. I shall deprecate Nizam's sending an armed force to drive out the rebel¬lious Muhammad Wali. It would be most inconvenient on all grounds for there to be any fighting in Yassin, while our troops are occupying the country. "When bullets begin flying about, on-lookers are apt to get their full share of the casualties, and might be inclined to take part in the quarrel, while I have distinctly told everybody here that nothing would ever induce the Govern¬ment of India to begin hostilities with their old friends and allies, the Chitrali people. Muhammad Wali will very likely go to you at Gilgit. I know you will be kind to the misguided boy, for though he is wrong-headed and passionate with vast potentialities for cruelty in his disposition, yet he is a pleasant, plucky little chap and we must try and soften his fall for him. If he goes to, you, so much the better, but whether he does or not, the move of troops to Ghizr to maintain order and give feeling of security to the people, is in my opinion extremely important. Unfortunately it must be a long time before I shall hear if you can accomplish this advance, and in the meantime I must keep the Mehtar and his rascally adviser, Waffadar, as quiet as possible. Waffadar, my most gushing and enthusiastic friend, is a great thorn in my side. He thinks it would be a good thing for him and the Mehtar with 'one other' to go with me, and 'one other' on five months' leave to England, the time he calculated in which the journey could be comfortably and profitably accomplished. I poured cold-water, iced water on this idea, and drowned and froze it to death. All the same if the precious pair would go anywhere right (out) of the country for five months, the situation would be greatly improved. Nizam is a fool Waffadar is a fool and a villain in equal proportions, although to speculate his rascality seems to vastly out weigh all his other attributes. We are doing very well here so far as appearances go. Another message has come from Wakhan
the first report of the Russians being at
Wakhan but Nizam has either no heard the rumour or thinks it advisable to keep his information to himself. We shall know more in a few days.
No. 1163 R.-D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 29th March 1895.
From -LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B.
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K. BARR.
I send herewith copies of the last two demi-officials from Robertson. I have written to him pointing out that, at the present moment I have exactly 200 men whom I can move, and that for a month at least all idea of occupying Ghizr is out of the question. I am not sure what do with Muhammad Wali I shall see him in a day or two, and point out that Nizam, has been, recognised as Mehtar and that I shall consider that any action taken against him is taken against us. This will keep him quiet. I cannot of course permit any fighting Yassin with our troops at Gupis and the mission in Chitrali and a veiled threat will be enough I believe. I have received Robertson's official report, and will forward it a soon as I can Practically it comes to our having a Resident in Chitral with 120 men, holding Ghizr, Gupis and Yassin, and being responsible for the quiet of the Warshagam district, allowing Nizam to put in the Governor, but preventing oppression, &c., —much the same state of-things as in Hunza and Nagar in fact, —the recognition and formal installation of the de facto Mehtar, and the control of the foreign relations. A road to be pushed into - Chitral with telegraph as a matter of course. The increase of the Gilgit garrison, in my opinion as in his, is an absolute necessity, and I am inclined to think that with the road into Kaghari in our hands, we can supply, and should have at the least, two infantry regiments here, in addition to the three regiments of Kashmir Imperial service troops, the susceptibilities of the Darbar being met by their being considered as the British Agent's escort, and by their not moving through Kashmir, but by Kaghan arid the Indus valley road. Government will not accede to this, they must face losing all hold on Chitral, seeing the Russians walk in any day it suits them, and, I am inclined to think, a retirement from Hunza and Nagar. From a military point of view, our position now is unsound, our prestige is enormous at present, and has pulled us through some Unpleasant' moments, but our prestige rests on our troops after all, and our present resources are too small for the work I have to carry out. No more strain can be put on them; frappez vite et frappez fort is in my opinion the only safe motto for the frontier. You must be in a position to hit out savagely in whichever quarter danger threatens, and we are not in-that position now. However there is no use writing about this now. I must get at Robertson's official report, and forward it with my suggestions as soon as possible.
[Demi-official] No. 30, dated Chitral, the 15th March, 1893.
From - Surgeon-General G.S. Robertson, C.S.I.
To - Lieutenant-Colonel A.G.A. Durand, C.B.
Your demi-official No. 718.
I agree with you that Yassin is rather a difficulty, but it is a difficulty, which must be faced. What you say about our having forced Nizam on the Yassin people is quite true, but we have also forced Nizam on Chitral. He is probably equally disliked in both districts. The real cause of this you will se in my report. We have however adopted a certain the of policy in connection with Nizam and must now do the best we can under the circumstances. The situation is however clearing, as we ought to be able to successfully carry through the line we have initiated. Above all we must be consistent and show no signs of vacillation or weakness. I have already, as you know, conveyed to Nizam-ul-Mulk the congratulations of Government on his attaining the Mehtarship of Chitral. It would be impossible now to deprive him of his authority over Yassin - nearly half of his territory - and place it in the hands of Muhammad Wali Khan who is avowedly hostile to him. Muhammad Wali, as you perceive, is irreconcilable and is a difficult boy to control. The majority of the Yassins in my opinion distrust the Khushwakt nearly as much as they dislike the Katur, although if they had to choose between the two evils, they would probably prefer the former. Mukaddas is already intriguing to get possession of Yassin. At present there are at least four factions of Yassin - (1) Muhammad Wali's (2) Mukaddas Aman's, (3) the factions hostile to both and desirous of our Government, pure and simple, (4) Nizam-ul-Mulk's. Ali Mardan Shah detests Muhammad Wali; Raja Akbar Khan & Co. dislike Nizam's rule, but are playing for their own ends. They think their lands are insufficient for all the brothers, and believe they will always be of more importance to us while the Punyal frontier is disturbed. My solution of the difficulty is for us to occupy Ghizr and Yassin, guarantee good order and Nizam's tribute, and rule the country in the name of the Mehtar, or of some pageant Governor he may appoint. If Muhammad Wall were in Yassin without strong restraining influence, it is any odds that he would start intriguing all round at once. He would try to get hold of Mastuj and the Chitral Kohistan. He originally had some arrangements on the point with Mukaddas. He would certainly make overtures to the Russians, as Nizam also will if he gets the chance, and we should have two men to watch instead of one as at present, or one and a half if you count Ali Mardan Shah, Akbar Khan, &c. Similarly Muhammad Wali would try and extend his influence with the Shinaki. If Government accept my proposals, it will be a matter of indifference to us who is nominal Governor of Yassin. Raja Akbar Khan requires watching. None of these people can cease from intrigues, it is the breath of their nostrils, the marrow of their bones. Keep all the Rifles in Gilgit on the excuse that they-have to be continually to keep them always ready for use. Only let Akbar Khan have twenty or thirty at a time for the frontier guards. We are getting on satisfactorily here as far as we can see. There is some rumour of Nizam having received a round robin from the Yaghistanis, signed by the Baba Sahib, Umra Khan, and everybody else asking him to send us back or join in & "jihad" against us. They probably hate the idea of their being between troops in Chitral an troops at Peshawar. It is only a at present, bulls very likely to be true. Umra Khan has sent an evasive reply to my letter, pleading inability to answer it at length until the fighting in Dir on the Nawagai border is over. He is said to have sworn never to leave Narsat unless he is forced to do so, and consequently is in no hurry to discuss the question of Chitral boundaries. He is reported to have made up his mind to drive out the Narsatis and replace them with his own people in a month or two. This seems rather a large order. The Chitralis are always hinting that they should be allowed to attack his men at Narsat, and drive them out while the passes are closed. Like all these people they are wonderfully resolute and decided in their consuls it is in action they would fall off. No more news from Wakhan. Our intelligence is simply awful. I hope when they get my report that Government will quickly come to a decision but I fear that impossible.
No. 31, dated Chitral, the 19th March 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B.
With this letter I send my report. I am keeping back for a day or two, and perhaps altogether, the copy which was going straight to Colonel Barr by Dir and Peshawar. Its despatch by that road will depend altogether on the state of the district, which just now appears to be sufficiently disturbed. The delay on the road between here and Gilgit is excessive. It is a great nuisance not being up to date about frontier politics, the Jalalabad Mission. prospects, &c., &c. All one can do is to observe the greatest caution in all conversation on such topics, and keep on hoping for the daks which never arrive. I suppose you at Gilgit are not much better off in this respect than I am here. I suppose it will be months before all the points raised in the report can be answered. Could you not wire for instructions about occupying Ghizr, instal¬ling Nizam after the signature of an agreement,.
Nizam is behaving very well on the whole, and looks very fit and happy. Of course he keeps worrying me about Warshagam and Narsat, but I decline to see the advantage of his sending an army to either place. The Chitralis may be good fighters, but I doubt it very much. They would probably make a poor show against Umra Khan's veterans. Their line is of course to embroil the Government with Umra Khan. They all detest the Jandoli man, and in their hearts believe that all Muhammad Sharif's troubles and their own loss of Narsat are due to the support and countenance given to Umra Khan by us. News came the other day that the Jandoli garrison are selling off their stores, also that the mission starts shortly from Peshawar, whether the Amir likes it or not, and that, if the latter shams illness, even that excuse will not prevent Lord Roberts going with a force to Jalalabad. Unless it is a ruse on Umra Khan's part, the selling of stores at Narsat and Sao may mean that he intends leaving Narsat either voluntarily by reason of pressure brought to bear on him from Peshawar, or because he is getting hard pressed by Nawagai on one side and Muhammad Sharif on the other. My letter was too neutral for it to have had any influence on his actions. In it I simply started a correspondence and suggested a meeting between us. If Lord Roberts goes to Jalalabad, I might perhaps be allowed to go there also,' and so to India. With the Afghan Commander-in-Chief at Asmar, neither the difficulty nor the danger need be extreme, especially if Umra Khan and his fanatics are out of the valley. In that case Chitralis and. Kafirs could convey me to the Asmar frontier, where an Afghan escort could take me on to Jalalabad. Even if Umra Khan were in Narsat, he would probably give me a safe conduct through his part of the valley. The Kam Kafirs are pretty well down on their luck and ready all kinds of promises. They suggest amongst other things that I should go and live amongst them in a stately mansion they will erect, and should take a Hakim as well, but I have explained the impossibility of my doing this. One of them has a claim in Chitral for a man to be sacrificed in the return for a Kafir shot by a Chitrall, as he was trying to follow a Pathan into the Nasrat fort in Aman-ul-Mulk's time. The old Mehtar agreed to give up a man to vengeance, but he died directly afterwards and nothing was done. The man who makes the demand now is an old friend to mine. He sends word that the does not want to make things unpleasant. He has eaten my salt and is my devoted servant and would sooner do anything than make me angry. So he suggests that any sort of man will do for his purpose, a slave or a ................. It is merely a matter of form that the family may not be put to shame. My friend is a man, named. Shyop, remarkable for his cupidity even amongst Kafirs, yet Sher Malik assures me he could not be satisfied with money even if a lakh of rupees were offered him. The manes of his dead brother must be propitiated with a victim. Pleasant people to have for neighbours, are they not? Recently another old friend of mine caught a Pathan. The prisoner was marched to Kamdesh, placed in front of the Gishtan for two or three hours, while the village sang its war song round him: he was them killed in front of Dan Malik's coffin box. The quite matter of fact stories my Kafir friends tell me would make this page crimson if they were recorded.
From - The British ............, Gilgit
To - The Resident in Kashmir
Dated the 12th April 1893.
Robertson writes from Chitral on 30th March. All well. He is moving to Shoghat. Mehtar and advisers not liking his going to Mastuj. Adamzadas all expect Sher Afzal back in ......... Many would evidently throw in their lot with Nizam if contain of our remaining. We can obtain no further news an to Russian move in Wakhan but one of the Chief Maulai pirs appear to be in content correspondence with them. Please try and obtain orders a soon as possible about British Officer's remaining permanently. If that is announced at once everyting will remian right and improve daily, Maulai pirs and other headmen ready to join our side the moment this is fefinitely settled but in present state uncertainty naturally will not openly. Ghulam Dastgir is in Yasen. No opposition has been offered. Mohamed Wali's family have come to Punyal. is the information that the snow is so bad that the Mehtar's men could not cross, and our private agents dared not make the attempt although, if what I have reported above is true, Shahzada Lais finds no difficulty in getting men across. The fact is the Moghli Pirs accept my tips, and would be helpful if they only had something to go on, if they were certain that Nizam would remain Mehtar, — that is to say, if we are certain to remain here. They do not want a bad record when a new Mehtar succeeds to the throne. One very influential Sayad said this to me plainly. If he were assured that the present Government would be permanent and the mission would never go back, ho would work for me heart and soul. At present he is gratified, and will do what he can secretly. Poor Nizam! He is surely the feeblest puppet prince imaginable so help¬less and so fearful of giving offence. He has been terribly anxious, and cast down for two or three days. Now he knows I have given up the Mastuj project, he is happy again, and has gone out shooting gaily. His little attempt at authority he keeps carefully concealed lest I should not approve. You of course can form some idea of the directions all such' efforts take. It is pro-bably just as well that he does not proclaim them. He is a perfect mirror of courtesy and politeness, and talks to the meanest of his court, as though he were speaking to a great man. But he cannot win either their respect or their affection. He plays polo well and pluckily, is a good shot, and looks a prince, but he is a coward at heart and everybody knows it I imagine. If we stay here permanently, we could not have a better man for a pageant king; but if we leave, he would probably have to leave also. He is altogether too impres¬sionable, and we could never trust him alone for long. l am most anxious of all to know what Government intends to do. I hope Chilas is not worrying you. Let me have early news if troubles are brewing in that direction.
No. 1682, dated Srinagar, the 1st May 1898.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL. D.W.K. BARR, OFF. Resident in Kashmir,
To - The Secretary to the Government of India Foreign Department.
In continuation of my letter No. 1586, dated, the 26th April 1833,I have the honour to forward, for the Information of the Government of India, a letter No. 1272, dated the 6th April 1893, with its enclosures, received on the 80th April, from the British Agent, Gilgit, forwarding an extract from Chitral Mission Diary, dated the 21st March 1893.
No. 1272, dated Gilgit, the 6th April 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To - The Resident in Kashmir.
I have the honour to forward an extract, dated 21st March 1893, from the Chitral Mission Diary. 2. With reference to the reported coalition against us, I wish to point out that, so far as we know, the Tangiris, who suffered heavily at Chilas, have no wish to renew fighting. Further, Jemadar Rab Nawaz Khan pointed out, when I read the extract to him, that the news, so far as concerns Dir, is probably false. Patrak and other places named are under Umra Khan. It is also unreasonable to suppose that the Paindah Khel, &c., who are under the influence of the Baba Sahib and friendly to Muhammad Sharif Khan of Dir, would dare to move unless Umra Khan joined the coalition, which is hardly likely. Muhammad Wali is of course in with the Sher Afzal's party and a friend of Mukaddas Aman's, hut I doubt, under present circumstances, the Yassinis joining him against us. Still I shall relax no precautions, and shall be prepared to move troops to Gupis in support of the detachment there, and, if necessary, towards Ghizr. The presence of Ghulam Dastgir in Yassin should also be in our favour.
3. The conspiracy against Nizam-ul-Mulk is evidently widespread, but for want of a marked leader may come to nothing. The present moment, when the passes are closed, and after the exceptionally heavy weather we have lately experienced are at their worst, seems unfavourable for the success of this undertaking. The condition of things in Chitral is certainly unsatis¬factory, and such as must cause Mr. Robertson anxiety.
________________ Extract from Diary of Chitral Mission, dated the 21st March 1893.
Khushwakt has been told by Sultan Husain Khan of Sanoghar, Ghulam Hazrat of Buni, Muhammad Ali of Mastuj, and Mian San Shah of Buni (all of the Reza tribe) that the Darelis, Tangiris, Kheli, Brani Kal, Tarwal, Kalam, Uju and Utrol have agreed with Mukaddas Aman to make a general attack on the English through Yassin after the Ramzan; also that the people of Thal, Patrak, Lamutai, Kalkot, Bihar, Birkotu and Painda Khel have arranged with the Baba Sahib and Muhammad Sharif Khan, and also with the conveyance of many Chitralis to attack Chitral, destiny the league also. In the opinion of Khushwakt is informant, it would be better if the mission went to Mastuj and if he Yasen force were strengthened. Khushwakt is also, responsible for the following. He has discovered through Muhammad Aziz Beg, Reza of Buni (his brother-in-law), that there is an extensive conspiracy afoot against the Mehtar. It appears that Nizam has sent for Nazrat Shah and his son-in-law, Abdul Kadir, and told them that the latter, a notorious ruffian and murderer, constantly employed by Aman-ul-Mulk, should kill the two brothers, Muhammad Aziz and Muhammad Asim, and added that all the disaffected Adamzadas would be destroyed in a similar way. The conversation was, as usual, overheard by Borne one who reported the danger they were in to the men on the Mehtar's black list. A secret combination has now been started to kill the Mehtar, after which the conspirators will run away to share Sher Afzal's fate, whatever that may be. The chief men involved are Muhammad Latif Khan, Reza of Damik, near Drosh, Nakhwak, Reza Daya of Shah-i-Mulk of Drosh, Niat Shah Reza of Ayeen, Muhammad Azim Khan, Kaza of Chitral, Muhammad Aziz Khan and Bahram, Rezas of Buni, Faridun, Reza of Varigan in Murikho, Rustam Shah and Khan, Rezas of Tirich and Turikho, Shahzada Khan, Reza of Broz, Durani, and 8 other Khushe Adamzadas of Rayun in Turikho, 25 Adamzadas of Bayiki tribe in Turikho, &c., &c. There are between 200 and 300 men involved. Fifteen men of Muhammad Begi tribe in Khusht are also believed to be implicated. As mentioned above the object of this formidable conspiracy is to kill the Mehtar and his friends, such as Basul Charoel of Khusht, Bahadur Shah, Bahadur Khan, Waffadar and Shahzarin.
No. 1683 D.-O., dated Srinagar, the 1st May 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT - COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To - SIR H. MORTIMER DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.I.
In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 1617, dated the 28th April 1893, I enclose the marginally noted demi-official letter, in original, with enclo¬sures, received on the 30th April, forwarding copies of demi-official letters, dated, respectively, the 23rd and 24th March 1893, from Robertson, regarding the state of affairs in Chitral.
No. 1271 D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 6th April 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARR.
I forward herewith copies of Robertson's two last letters, dated 23rd and 24th March. The second modifies the first. I am keeping Muhammad Wali here. His chief adviser has gone to make his peace with the Mehtar's Governor of Yassin, Ghulam Dastgir, the ablest of the old Mehtar's remaining sons, and another headman to bring the young gentleman's family to Gilgit. I have sent the Jemadar back to Chitral with instructions to see Ghulam on the road, and to arrange with the latter that Muhammad Wali's family shall be permitted to leave unmolested. I have also written to Ghulam in the same terms. We have had tremendously heavy rain for this place I never saw anything like it here, and our roads are coming to pieces in all directions, another twenty-four hours of it and nothing would have stood up mountains included. Luckily it is fine now. It is a good thins in one way, as it means the passes into the Indus valley being closed for some time to come. I don't believe much in the coalition against us for reasons given in my official going with Robertson's diary, I believe it is something to do with the late business. If it comes and our boys sit tight, and don't repeat poor Daniell's mistake, we shall be all right, but I am naturally on the look-out. I am sending off Robertson's report on Chitral as soon as possible, and telegraph to you the heads of his proposals to-day; his demi-officials will have prepared you for them. What will Government do I wonder? Is it to be a reversal of our policy or shall we grasp the nettle? No more news of the Russian moves; it is extremely difficult to get any information from Wakhan, now the passes are practically about their worst. Roche of the 3rd Dragoon Guards left to-day. You will find him a very nice fellow and interesting if you meet him at Srinagar.
No. 33, Dated Chitral, The 23rd March 1893.
From – SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To – LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G.A. DURAND, C.B.
Things are not going altogether smoothly here, as the enclosed extracts from my diary will show you. Concerning the rumoured combination of Shinaki and Yaghistanis who intend jointly to attack the English after the fast, there is only this to be said. We must always be prepared for all eventualities. It is very likely true. In any case they will attack us if they think themselves sufficiently strong to do so effectively. Of that we may be sure. It is impossible to say whether the talk about expelling us originated before the flight at Chilas or after that unhappy occurrence. No one seems, to know anything about it here. I mentioned it myself as a skirmish in which the Kohistanis had been heavily defeated and only memorable because a British Officers a friend of mine, had unfortunately been killed. The Sikhs get news of it by the post in the ordinary way. By the way what a melancholy justification of a paragraph in my report, the whole affair seems to have been: that paragraph about officers leaving their strong places to fight a numerous enemy strongly posted.
The Body-Guard Regiment has indeed covered itself with glory. To retire slowly, keeping the enemy in check after losing more than a third of its' number in casualties, and all its officers, is a splendid performance. As you say the enemy was probably not Shinakis. Nevertheless we must not despise Shinakis. The Nilt men are of the same breed. In the open or in attacking they are feeble enough, but in defending a position we have * every reason to thoroughly respect their prowess. The alleged conspiracy against the Mehtar is a serious business, although luckily it wants a leader. The numbers involved seem to be many more than we first believed. Happily they are divided in their counsels. Some think, the mission will shortly come to the aid of the oppressed and the despoiled, and they advise delay, others talk vaguely of supporting Aman-ul-Mulk, now at Jandol, while other more or less conflicting opinions are also advanced. I have nearly made up my mind to go to Mastuj. The move would have had certain advantages in linking up our communications with Gilgit, until the decision of Government could be received and the escort strengthened, preventing the possibility of the fort being held against us, giving us the opportunity of seeing how the Mehtar could row alone, getting us away from the Kafirs until something had been settled about Narsat getting us near the Baroghil and certain news of the Russians, lastly enabling us to try and quiet Yassin. But amongst other disadvantages, it might result in the murder of Nizam-ul-Mulk, if indeed he consented to remain behind which, is doubtful. Already my report is-getting out of date. The Mehtar Jao, referred to in it as Aman-ul-Mulk, should have been called Shah Afzal. I refer to the son of Humayun whose home is at Nagar. It is a very hard matter to get at the proper names of big men in this country. They are known to very few, while it is considered most ill-bred to ask a man direct what his name is. There is no one in Chitral who knows the real name of Sher Afzal's son. The difficulty in the future will be to get the Mehtar to rule decently instead of following, the advice of scoundrels like Waffadar, which will quickly lead to another general overturn, and yet, if the idea in the report is the right one, not to interfere in the government of the country. The Mehtar himself is merely a libertine and an impressionable fool but Waffadar and ... are scoundrels, hopelessly incurable. Our chief interest now centres in the Warshagam and Muhammad Wali. But I have to go most cautiously until I hear what you have done about that young man what you said to him, and what he Jemadar's report on the country is. I am holding the Mehtar back from sending a huge force into the country nominally to exact obedience from the people but most likely or revenge and plunder. Inayat Khan had a long talk with me to-day in support of the view. My line of arguments was why send in army composed
Nizam can rely upon into Yassin with the possible
may be defeated, and then leave Nizam at .the mercy of the disaffected. Inayat Khan was clearly impressed with the view of the matter, and finally went away promising to counsel prudence and caution. The fallacy of my argument consists in this, that it would be exceedingly difficult for the Mehtar to collect an army however small, which might he relied upon to be faithful to him. Nizam could not send a Governor to Yassin under present circums¬tances unless that official were accompanied by a fauj—so he says. His tone is "Either get Muhammad Wali out of the country for me, or let me do as I like with my own people. In the latter case I will send a force, and kill or make prisoner the rebellious Khushwakt Prince; in the former case I do not object to giving Drosh to Muhammad Wali or some other district, provided there is no enemy between me and my Gilgit allies." Yesterday he suggested we should go together arid settle the Yassin question on the spot. This would not be a bad move if we had a detachment at Ghizr, and I first obtained a guarantee that no villainy should be practised under the supposed sanction of a British officer; but you know my idea on the future government of Yassin and the continued iteration must he a weariness of the flesh to you. What we want now is the decision of Government. In the event of an attack in the spring all along the line, and it is a terribly long line from Chitral to Chilas, we ought to be quite safe if our fighting officers will not chuck away the advantages they are provided with. If we attack hundreds with tens, especially when the hundreds are behind stone walls, well may they say with Cromwell at Dunbar "the Lord hath delivered this into our hands." We may still have to pay something more for the Nilt V. C's.
_______________ [DEMI-OFFICIAL ]
Dated the 24th March 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B.
Keep Muhammad Wali in Gilgit, otherwise he will be killed very likely. Ghulam Dastgir starts to-day for Ghizr as acting Governor until matters are fully arranged. He is the smartest man here, and has promised to do all he can to arrange affairs quietly, but of course if he is actually opposed, he must assert the authority of his master. Please send back the Jemadar as soon as you can spare him. If we go to Mastuj or further, he will be useful at Chitral. Abdul Hakim does not want to succeed the Jemadar, although he declares he is willing to do anything he is told. He believes, and I think he is right, that this would be a terribly expensive place, while the pay is but small. If a Political Assistant remains in Chitral, there would not be a news-writer as well in the meantime, until the decision of Government is known the Jemadar should remain at his post: I think, until at any rate, we know for certain that the post is to be abolished or not. I am writing by this post to the officer commanding Thayar Last to warn him about coming events, and I shall also provide Ghulam with letters for the same officer. Concerning the ultimate disposal of Muhammad Wali (if all goes well), nothing very definite can be suggested at present. The plan would be for him to make submission to the Mehtar and get some other place in Chitral but if he gives any trouble in Yassin now, there can be no hope of such a happy arrangement coming off. The we might pension him and so keep him quiet if possible. He is rather a dangerious young man I think and in moments of exasperation might be guilty of any enormity. He is not to be trusted. His advisers also are great scoundrels.
No. 1758 D.-O., dated Srinagar, the 4th May 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K. Barr, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To - Sir H.M. Durand, K.C.I.E., C.S.I.
In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 1683, dated 1st instant, I enclose, in original, a demi-official, forwarding copy of a demi-official letter, dated 3rd April, from Robertson, regarding the state of affairs in Chitral.
No. D.-O.1479 R., dated Gilgit, the 16th April 1893.
From - Lieutenant-Colonel A.G.A. Durand, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To Lieutenant-Colonel D.W.K. Barr.
Herewith Robertson's of 3rd April. The news is bad. I have telegraphed it on. This on the top of the Chilas business is unpleasant, but I hope that things will not turn out so badly as they promise. Robertson's letter has no address on it,' but I gather that he is still, or was rather, in Chitral. I wish he had carried out his intention of moving to Mastuj.
No. 38, dated the 3rd April 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G.A. DURAND, C.B.
We seem to be on a volcano here, hut if so we recognize its muffled warnings. I had news that a number of Adamzadas intended to run away on a certain night, and kill somebody, if possible, at the moment of departure. I advised Nizam to stay indoors, and particularly not to go to the masjid in the evening. He and his friends treated the information as a mere rumour, but stayed in the fort all the same. They could not, however, believe there was; anything afoot. Imagine their fortification, and anger at finding that 17 headmen, all Adamzadas, fled the very night I said they would go, and so proved the truth of my information. The Mehtar's counsellors are such, fools that they, know nothing of what is going on actually under their noses. Matters are no longer improving; the atmosphere of Chitral is one of conspiracy and intrigue. The Baba Sahib is feeding 1,800 men daily we hear, an immensely large number for that furious fanatic to entertain. He prays daily for the utter destruction of the infidels, and declares there is more merit in fighting against the Chitralis than against anyone else, for they have brought the English into their country.
One of our warm friends, at heart a firm supporter of Sher Afzal remarked we ought to go to Mastuj before long and say in a month or so, before the weather in Chitral gets sultry. It is getting very sultry already in one sense. I imagine the general desire is to get us out of the way, so that Nizam maybe disposed of. It is probably thought that were he once killed, the road would be cleared for Sher Afzal. Umra Khan has well thrashed Muhammad Sharif, and is said to be making, peace with Safdar Khan of Nawagai. I hear he is furiously angry with Nizam, and tells his friends that Nizam on fleeing to Gilgit, and subsequently through Waffadar, promised him the entire valley below Chitral if he would help him against Afzal. He swears he will take Chitral as far as Mastuj for Amir-ul-Mulk, whom he now forcibly prevents from returning to Chitral. The last rumour about the Russians is that it was from Akfash that they asked for Kila Panja to be given them. The Afghans reply was that they must be mad to make such a request. By the way, concerning the hint about Mastuj, I have let it be known that I think the suggestion a very sensible one, as no doubt the climate there will be much cooler than at Chitral, &c. Except us, Nizam has no friends at all. The people seem determined to avenge on him the tyranny they suffered from his father. Poor fellow he does his best, but his beard (s.o.) is as poor as his brain. I hope everything is all right in Chilas as it should be, so that the enemy may have nothing to encourage them. As you may imagine we keep our eyes well open here. As an example of the strange rumours which are flying about, I add the following: - A Mulla just arrived from Dir tells, Khushwakt that the Amir has sent an urgent message to Umra Khan and the Nawagai Khan, asking them to make peace. He says the English are enclosing him on all sides, and, if all are not united together against the common foe, all will be destroyed. On this message Umra Khan and Safdar Khan have made peace and are preparing for a religious war. The Mulla says that in every masjid in Bajaur, the people are talking of the war, which is to begin immediately the fast is over. If the Mehtar joins them, it will be well for him, otherwise he will be killed with the other infidels. The Baba Sahib is so delighted at the prospect that he fairly "dances" with joy, while Umra Khan is not one whit behind him in his fervid protestations.
Demi-official No. 1833, dated Srinagar, the 8th May 1893.
From - COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir,
To - SIR H. MORTIMER DURAND, K.C.S.I., Secretary to the Government of,
India, Foreign Department. In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 1756, dated the 4th May 1893, I enclose the marginally noted demi-official letter, received on the 8th May, forwarding copy of a demi-official letter, dated-the 6th April, from Robertson, regarding the state of affairs in Chitral.
Demi-official No. 1557, dated Gilgit, the 20th April 1893.
From - G.S. Robertson, Esq.,
To - Colonel A.G. Durand, C.B. I send herewith copy of Robertson's last. I had repeated to him some of your remarks about him in a demi-official to me. He is about the most modest man I know, considering his extraordinary ability and force of char¬acter. His news is serious and corroborates that given in the last letter forward¬ed. The difficulties and dancers of his position ale very great, and I feel much more anxious about him than he does himself apparently, though he evidently realises that the state of affairs is dangerous. There is no use in offering any opinion on his letter. The storm, if it comes, will have burst before this reaches you. I only wish I knew whether troops are coming to the Babusar. I do not much like the look of things in Nagar, but trust I can keep things straight.
Demi-official No. 39, dated Chitral, the 6th April 1893.
From - G. S. ROBERTSON, Esq., To - COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B. Our hours are beginning to drag a little after the incessant rain, have passed a most unpleasant week. There are again only hope for the best. Colonel Barr is too kind in his remarks about Chilas. He and the Civil and Military Gazette teach me I am not too old to blush allover. It is fortu¬nate that other people cannot estimate our merits with-the accuracy we ourselves possess. All manner of extraordinary rumours are flying about, especially about Umra Khan's religious war against the infidels, and the Mehtar also lf necessary. A good deal of reflection leads me to think there is a substratum of truth in these reports, and that Bajaur and Dir are really in a more or less, red hot, state of fanaticism. I imagine the "Jihad" is directed chiefly against the Bashghal Kafir and not principally against us, although of course nothing would give the Baba Sahib more acute satisfaction than involving his followers in a general frontier war with the English. A friendly Sayad from Hassanabad, near Shogot, has sent me a letter of warning on the subject. He believes that we are the game at which the Baba Sahib and Umra Khan are flying, but such a view of the matter must not be accepted too easily. It is difficult to understand what advantage Umra Khan could possible obtains from openly breaking with the Government of India; and he appears, as far as we know, to be more of the astute politician than a rabid fanatic. However, it is always unexpected contingencies one has to be provided against, and we are not likely to despise any warning however improbable it may seem, nor on the other hand, to over estimate possible dangers. The Sayad also tells me there is some one whose name cannot be mentioned in a letter, who prevents all news from Wakhan reaching me. I imagine that this is the Mehtar himself, who fears that Russian movements on the
........ . . .. .
Demi-official No. 2067, dated the 18th May 1893
From - J. L KAYE, Resident in Kashmir, Srinagar,
To - W.J. CUNNINGHAM, ESQ., Deputy Secretary to the Government of India,
In the absence of Colonel Barr from Srinagar, I forward, in continuation of his demi-official letter No. 1833, dated the 8th May 1893, to the address of Sir Mortimer Durand, the marginally noted demi-official letter, with enclosures in original, received yesterday, forwarding a copy of a demi-official letter, dated the 10th April, and of its enclosure, from Robertson, regarding the state of affairs in Chitral.
Demi-official No. 1698-R., dated Gilgit, the 2nd May 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. DURAND, British Agent, Gilgit.
To - COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir, Srinagar.
HEREWITH a demi-official of Robertson's dated 10th April, which gives practically no news except that in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar, copy of which he sent mo and I forward, he mentions the jehad being preached. His remarks about Mahomed Wali refer to the latter having proposed to return to Yasen, while I was away in Chilas, on the rumour of Nizam's having sent an army there. I put the matter quite plainly to him on my return, said Government had recognised Nizam as Mehtar of Chitral, which includes Yasen, and that, as he had refused to submit to Nizam, the latter would appoint his own Governor. I told him I would not tolerate any fighting in Yasen — a piece of bluff which had the desired effect, and I advised him to get his family out of Yasen and to lie low, which advice ho has taken. I did my best to make it up between him and Nizam in November, but they are deadly enemies, personal and by race. The boy is all right here, and does not think we have played him false, I think.
________________ Demi-official No. 42, dated the 10th April 1893.
From - G. S. ROBERTSON, Esq., C.S.I. Chitral,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B., Gilgit.
I ENCLOSE a copy of a demi-official to Deane at Peshawar, in reply to one from him containing a message from the Foreign Office asking for news; but I hope that my report is well on its way to Kashmir, and that the telegraph line has long ago supplied the Government with all the information it requires.
Two fugitives were captured a short time ago. It leaked, out that a death sentence was to be inflicted, which was to be carried into execution by the fathers of the prisoners. I sent for Inayat Khan and mentioned to him the sentiment of Christians on such an atrocious proposal. He was a little ashamed of the whole business, and said the sentence was merely a threat to frighten people, it was never intended to carry it put. I then pointed out the effect even the rumour of such a punishment would, have in India. Of course, it is all right now. The Mehtar, is by no means bad hearted. I strictly abstain from interfering in internal matters in Chitral, but here one had to draw the line. There was recently a case in which the ears of two men were cut off with more than usual barbarity, I believe. It was kept very secret, and I heard nothing of it till afterwards. Such proceedings must not go on while we are in Chitral. They are as contrary to sound policy as they are to humanity. As I said before, the Mehtar is not particularly cruel, but it would be difficult to guess to what extremes Waffadar, Bahadur Shah & Co. would not go if they had a free hand frontier might compel me to go to Mastuj. Nizam has, of course all manner of hopes and fears, which he does not communicate to lie. He now talks of going down to Drosh to inspect the fort, and suggested I should go with him. This may mean that lie is also disturbed about the rumour from Dir and Bajaur, and wants to display the Mission escort on the Dir frontier and overawe the enemy with his resources. I need hardly say I have no intention whatever of acceding to this request. There is a general belief amongst the disaffected Chitral, and those really well affected to Nizam rarely to be met with that Sher Afzul has been released by the Amir and is to he sent to Badakhshan or to Asmar or Peeh ; also that his son is still in Zebak with a large force, only waiting for the passes to open before ho makes things unpleasant for us on that direction. It will take a year of patience before the. Chitralis will become reconciled to having Nizam as their King. Their imaginations are so vivid and their hopefulness is so great that every thing must be left to kindness and to time. The utter want of any tiling approaching to veracity in these people is an anthropological phenomenon. Childish credulity and absolute seepticism are so mixed up in their minds that it is difficult to know how to permanently influ¬ence them. The only ways are by carefully studied accuracies of statement even in trivial matters, by indomitable patience and unswerving good temper.
If, as seems possible, Umra Khan intends attacking the Kafirs after the Eed, it will be exceedingly inconvenient to us. The question is a complicated one. The Mehtar claims suzerainty over the. Bashghal Kafirs, a claim they readily concede, particularly as lie gives them in presents twenty times as much as lie receives in nominal tribute. All the Mullahs and learned men gave their opinion to the late Mehtar that he was justified in defending the Kafirs by force of arms in the event of "their being attacked by Umra Khan, because they admitted his paramount authority over them and paid him tribute. I am almost sure that the Baba Sahib subscribed to this opinion, but of course the prospect of a religious war will make him turn round at once without shame, or without thinking it necessary to justify his conduct. On the other hand, the Afghans of Dir and Bajaur have been warring with the Kafirs for over a year without any interference 'on the part of the Chitralis. This has been chiefly due to the intestine commotion in the country, hut partly, especially before Aman-ul-Mulk died, to a fear that the Government of India would be exceedingly annoyed if Umra Khan were attacked. Every Chitrali from the highest to the lowest will, affirm with conviction that it was entirely due to the insistence of the English that Umra Khan must not be interfered with. Umra Khan attacked the Kafirs traitorously and villanously in the usual Afghan way, while he was professing friendship and alliance with them. The Kafirs have avenged this action in their, usual murderous way. Their little de¬tached parties have killed men and women right in Bajaur, and actually under, the walls of Dir fort. Not less than 200 men and women have been slain in this way. Both sides are equally exasperated; the rights and wrongs of the origi¬nal quarrel count as nothing and it must be fought out to the end, as there is no strong outside authority to insist on a cessation of hostilities.
The Kafirs are badly armed and must be vanquished in the believe, unless internal troubles in Bajaur and Dir prevent Umra Khan putting forth his whole strength. They could not be safely given arms and ammunition; they are too wild and excitable. The Chitralis will clamour to be allowed to fight Umra Khan in defence of their own country, as they pretend that the Bashghat valley is their territory as well as the Kunar valley down to Bailan. I doubt very much if they really care to encounter Umra Khan's veterans; but being ordered to retrain from doing so will give Nizam and his advisers an opportunity of trying to turn the present feeling of unpopularity they inspire in the direction of the British Mission, and of posing as patriots only kept from fighting for their country by the irresistible orders of the Government of India. Their policy is always decided to the exigencies of the moment. They are too customarily untruthful to argue from past events; they are incapable of looking forward. Bat the complications do not cease here. 'The Kafir tribes of the Bashghal valley are not unanimous in heir hostility to Umra Khan. One small tribe is making overtures to him and offering assistance. Lastly, Umra Khan declares that Nizam on flying to Gilgit sent him a message, and subsequently a second through Waffadar, that in return for help against Afzal he was prepared to cede the whole of the Kunar valley below Garijat (Gairat)? This will be strenuously denied by Nizam and Waffadar, but it is very likely true all the same, and Uma Khan may have documentary evidence in support of his statements. Umra Khan has not written to me to this effect; but he has proclaimed it in Durbar, and may be keeping certain letters back to produce them with strong dramatic effect if necessity arises. I need hardly say that the triumph of Chitral diplomacy would be to embroil us with Umra Khan and get us to fight their battles for them, or failing this, to cast on our shoulders the blame of any indignity the country may suffer at Umra Khan's hands. It is quite impossible for me to try and discuss matters directly with Umra Khan. He would at once begin playing off the Peshawar authorities against me. I imagine he is trying to do this already, one has to be very cautious. Any conflict in opinion or advice between my letters and those of the Political officers at Peshawar would not only give the enemy cause to blaspheme and rejoice greatly, but would create a suspicion that we were not acting in good faith and had similar ulterior designs in Bajaur which we were not clever enough to decently veil. So under present arrangements it is better that Umra Khan should be left to the Peshawar people to deal with, while it would be most convenient if all those portions of the Peshawar political diary relating to him should be sent to Chitral for us to see. Indeed this seems absolutely necessary. Nizam is delighted with a letter from Ghulam telling him of the success in Yasen. He declares we may command his life and the lives subjects in any way we please. He says that now his authority will be greatly strengthened, and it will be apparent to every one that he is the real Mehtar of Chitral. Ghulam seems to be behaving with great prudence and moderation, and lam so far very pleased with him. It is unfortunate that you were obliged to be away from Gilgit while Mohamed Wali was there. I cannot help thinking that if Napier had carefully considered your demi-officials to me he might have though that your hint about Nizam sending a Governor into Yasen would bear fluid, and this would have prevented his making those decided statements to Mohamed Wall which may give the latter the idea we have not been behaving quite straightforwardly with him. It almost appears, too, as if Mohamed Wall had been treated as the de facto King of Yasen, and his right to light Nizam admitted. He asked permission to attack u purely imaginary army sent into Yasen by the Mehtar. He was dissuaded from leaving Gilgit, not on the ground that he must not oppose the lawful authority of Nizam-ul-Mulk, but on the ground that the rumour was false, and that we should never tolerate such an unwise action on Nizam's part. But the rumour was merely prophetic, as you now know. Ghulam of course took with him a strong escort, overwhelmingly strong, so that any small party of rebels or rascals might at once see the hopelessness of disputing the Mehtar's authority. It may be that Napier's demi-official to me does not clearly shew what actually took place between him and Mohamed Wali, but I hope you will get hold of the latter and explain matters fully to him, and disabuse his mind from any idea that either you, Napier, or myself had the slightest intention of misleading him. The absolute certainty that we always act in absolutely good faith with our frontier friends and enemies is always worth a brigade to us. It is part and parcel of our prestige, and makes these people marvel at the strength of our resources, which is the only explana¬tion they can offer of our habits of straightforward dealing. They think a power must be very conscious of its own strength, which is able to put aside the arts of native diplomacy and abide by clear unmistakable statements of policy. I am more troubled about this matter than I can tell you. It seems impossible that Mohamed Wali could ever have seriously thought of opposing Ghulam or any other Governor of the Mehtar; but more likely that he was attempting to play oft' Gilgit against the Mission in the usual way, and use the British cantonment at Thayer Lasht as an argument and a scare¬crow. He plays a bold game, and a wily one too; but it is less bold than it seems and more wily than it appears.
The Mehtar is anxious to built us a house he supplying labour, etc., we getting up skilled artisans from Peshawar or Gilgit. I have thanked him for the kind offer, but hinted the subject may be conveniently deferred for sub¬sequent discussion. He declares his desire is that English officers may always have a suitable "clean" house to live in; but be does not seek to disguise his sincere wish that British officers should always remain in the country. If my suggestions were accepted by Government, the Mission would certainly require a good well-built defensible building; it would strengthen our position greatly, it could easily be made impregnable, But you already know my views and I need not repeat them. I hear the Amir has for some time been trying to get a news-writer Gilgit, and is prepared to pay the official Bs. 2,000 a year. All the news I can get about the Russian is the Badakhshan that district and Balkh this year. Four of the Mehtar's men are returning from Zebak and are now at Lutkho.
Demi-official No. 41, dated Chitral, the 9th April 1893.
From - G.S. ROBERTSON, ESQ. O.S.I., in charge Chitral Mission,
To - CAPTAIN DEANE Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar,
Your letter, dated the 6th of Mareh, reached me last night. We sent the first letters through Dir to see if they would arrive safely or not. If the telegraph line between Gilgit and Srinagar is working, news ought to reach Government more quickly that way than through Dir, where the delay in getting letters through is extremely great. I have sent in a full report on Chitral affairs to the Resident through Durand. It should have reached Gilgit about the 30th of last month, and be now well on its way to India. It contains statements and opinions very confidential in their nature, and I still hesitate to send a copy through; the unsettled Dir country, for fear lest it might fall into wrong hands, which would be awkward.
I now send you a rapid resume of affairs generally. Please telegraph the more important matters and send on my letter subsequently by post. Chitral - Mehtar Nizam-ul-Mull is still decidedly unpopular. The reasons for this are given in my report. The great majority of the Chitralis are unsettled and disaffected, and still look for a sign from Kabul and Sher Afzal. There are loose intrigues and nebulous conspiracies everywhere; but there is no one at present strong enough, or with sufficient authority, to join all together and make them really dangerous. Numbers of men are continually fleeing the country, or attempting to do so. All fugitives are said to be kindly received and entertained at a place called Tuti, near Jelalabad, where all are collected, pending instructions and ordeis from Kabul, where Sher Afzal now is. Our information's concerning the Amir's relations with Sher Afzal are to the follow¬ing effect. Sher Afzal is not really a prisoner, nor in actual disfavour, although he may be nominally under arrest at Kabul. On arrival he had an interview with the Amir, who reproached him for not holding Chitral and fighting Nizam; also for having brought disgrace on the Afgan Government Sher Afzal's answer was that he withdrew entirely for a regard for His Holiness honour, for since the latter was an ally of the English, he thought it would not be advisable to attack Nizam, seeing the latter was supported by the English. The upper classes in Chitral dislike the Mission being in the country; but at present, at any rate, there seems to be no feeling of personal animosity against it in the mind of anyone. All dread innovations, the loss of their own personal dignity, and are annoyed at the belief that while the Mission here Sher Afzal cannot return to them as Mehtar. Yasen.—Attempts which promise to be successful are now being made to induce or compell the Yasens to return to their allegiance to Nizam-ul-Mulk, but without bloodshed. Ghulam-i-Dastgir, a Mehtar Jau of consider¬able ability, has been sent there as Acting Governor in place of Mohamed Wali. Ghulam knows that if he effects a peaceable solution of the difficulty, I shall be greatly pleased, and seems to be acting; with great discretion. Ha has also received from me a handsome present (for a Chitrali) as an earnest of what he may expect if he carries out my wishes. The situation there is one of some difficulty, I want to quiet the country and bring it all under the Mehtars authority, yet without alienating the affections of the people from us, and with cut allowing them to suffer from the revengful feelings of their enemies. In the probable event of active opposition to his deputed authority, Ghulam is to avoid the British cantonment at Thayar Lasht altogether, and if he finds it necessary to make a display of force in the Yasen valley itself, he will reach that district by marching over the hills instead of traversing the ordinary road. Ghulam has a already occupied Ghizr, the most dangerous place in Warshgam. Mohamed Wali, at present at Gilgit, left his brother Pukhtem in command there. The latter was arrested at Pingal running away. Ghulam, however, at the course of events, as he and his advisers firmly believe that his prestige and authority can never be properly established in Chitral while Mohamed Wali is table to set him at defiance in Yasen. In this opinion I believed they are right. Mohamed Wali had lately set up as an entirely independent Governor in spite of all letters of advice, remonstrance, and command. He haughtily refused to held communication with the Mehtar or to allow the latter's messengers to enter Worshgom. The position he maintained had indeed become an impossible one, not without an element of danger also, for he is in secret but close alliance with the disaffected Shinaki tribes. The only danger now is, Mohamed Wall's unscrupulous advises may persuade the hot headed boy, who needs very little urging in such a matter to try and play on the natural fears of the Gilgit authorities lest there should be fighting near Thayar Lasht, and so obtain an injunction against Ghulam to prevent the latter from entering the Yasen valley, where Mohamed Wali could then remain in authority a little longer and be able to take advantage of any troubles which may occur in Chitral coincident with the opening of the passes. Ghulam's escort is so overwhelmingly strong that it is; believed the hopelessness of active resistance will be apparent to everyone.
The Ghizr headmen are said to be already on their way to Chitral to make submission to Nizam-ul-Mulk, who will certainly receive them most kindly Mohamed Wali is actually only less unpopular in Worshgom than Nizam-ul-Mulk. If obliged to choose, the people would prefer a Khushwakt to a Kator prince, but they were so delighted with the Mission that' they entreated to be taken under the protection and rule of the Government of India forever. Although such sentiment may be evanescent, they were sincere enough at the moment of utterance, and might be fostered into something real and lasting. The Mission on its way devoted itself to the task of conciliating the people so as to leave only friends behind it; its success was so great as to be embarrassing at times. Bajaur and Dir. - Mohamed Shah Khan and Majid of Shina have returned from Sin, having defeated Mohamed Sharif Khan (ex-Khan of Dir), and forced him to take refuse in Swat. They severely punished the Sultan and Painda Kheyls, and extorted a sullen submission from those tribes who have sent "jirgas" to make submission to Umra Khan, but only await an opportunity of renewing the struggle. But Mohamed Shah Khan and- Majid of Shina failed to capture the forts of Barun, Rani, Rubat, and Burgholi, where Pamjan has made himself so strong that lie is able to start small raiding expeditions against Jandol territory. Umra Klian is so incensed at this failure, of his Lieutenants, that he refused to speak to Mohamed Shah Khan and Majid Khan, and intends to march against Pamjan in person shortly. The Malik of Barirholi, who had been appointed to that position by Umra Khan, but had thrown of his allegiance and joined Pamjan, attacked Mohamed Shah Khan at a place just above Khal. He was defeated and made prisoner, and it is said has been publicly executed by Umra Khan. Although the Painda and Sultan Khels have suffered severely, they seem to have been able to successfully resist Mohamed Shah carrying out Umra Khan's orders to build a fort at Khal. The position is declared to be an important one, as it commands the Sultan and Painda Khel districts and Umra Khan is determined the work shall be done. He feels too that he must do something to recover the prestige his troops have unable to make any impression on Pamjan. Mohamed Shah Khan has returned to his Governorship of Dir, but Majid Khan remains with Umra Khan at Munda.
Amir-ul-Mulk, the Mehtar's half brother and heir, remains with Umra Khan. According to some accounts he is forcibly prevented from returning to Chitral by the latter. This is the Mehtar's version, but other and more probable information relates that he refuses to return unless. Drash, &c., be ceded to him and that Umra Khan hopes to extend his authority in Chitral possibly even as far as Misty, using Amir-ul-Mulk as his puppet. Bapi Lal, the Mehtar's envoy in their negotiations with Umra Khan is being detained by the later unit he returns from his projected expedition against Pamjan. There is at present a kind of truce between Umra and Safdar Khan of Nawagal, although active hostilities are expected to recommence after the Eed. Nawagal forces under the Khan of Jar have returned from the siege of Gorangi, having only succeeded -in demolishing a portion of one of the towers of the fort. It is said that the retirement was hurried forward because Safdar Khan suspected that Mohamed. Shah's troops returning from Sin were intended for the relief of Gorangi. Intrigues are as usual going on between the leading men on both sides Nawagai's brother, the Khan of Jar, refused, so if is said, to combine with the Otman Khels in a genera] assault on Gorangi because the Otman Khels claim Gorangi and Kulala as their own and Safdar Khan's commanders protested they would merely lose many men in enabling the Otman Khels to get possession of Gorangi for the selves; but the Khan of Nawagai was very annoyed at this breach of faith with the Otman Khels, and expressed his opinion that, if. Umra Khan succeeded in defeating Pamjan, he would at once attack and crush the Otman Khels and advance against Jar. In consequence of this the Khan of Jar with his two guns is to return to Gorangi and renew the siege. There seems to be considerable religious excitement in Bajaur and Dir. The persistent and circumstantial accounts we get on the subject point to no other conclusion, but its extent and precise object cannot be properly estimated. A friendly Sayad keeps sending me warning that it is our presence in Chitral which is the exciting cause of the ferment, and that the threatened religious war after the Eed is to he made against us. The Baba Sahib is reported to have made the characteristic announcement that it is even more meritorious to tight against the Chitrulis and their Mehtar than against any one else, because they have introduced the English into their country. He is also said to have written directly to Nizam-ul Mulk demanding the expulsion of the Mission under the penalty of war at once. If he has so written, the Mehtar his told us nothing of the letter. Our going away would probably mean his retirement from Chitral also. He is so assured of this in his mind that; lately, when I hinted at going to Mastuj for a short time for certain reasons; he declared that my moving would endanger his position, and that if I went he must go also. He will do all in his power to prevent any information reaching me, which might, in his opinion, influence me into leaving Chitral. The Sayad further tells me that Mian Gul, as well as the Baba Sahib, is rabidly antagonistic to the Government of India; that he has written to Sher Afzal not to stay longer than necessary at Kabul for all Dir, Bajaur and Swat are ready for an attack on Chitral in his support. He is further said to have gone to the superfluous trouble of urging the "Baba Sahib" to exert himself in the holy cause actively. Other accounts tell us that the Amir has sent messengers both to Umra Khan and Safdar Khan, begging them to settle their differences at once, and to say that the English are surrounding the Afghan territory on every hand, and that the only way for all to escape a common destruction is for all to sink minor differences and unite against the common destruction is for all to sink minor differences and unite against the common foe. Umra Khan is thought the idea Government of India only nominally give him its support against the Amir; and that its real object is to annex all /Dir and Bajaur to itself. It certainly seems true that in almost every Musjid in Yaghistan the prospects of a rapidly approaching religious war are being earnestly and far as the Dir and Bajaur people are concerned is not chiefly against the Bashgal valley Kafirs and that the threats against the Mehtar are not intended to prevent his interfering with the project. Time alone can show what substratum of truth there is in all these remours. Asmar. - The Afghan Commander-in-Chief at Asmar is busily engaged carrying on intrigues with the Basshgal Kafirs, and it is rumoured sending messages through them from Sher-Afzal to the disaffected in Chitral.
He has begun building a pukka bridge near Shurtan. He ordered the Mamunds to bring him in all kinds of supplies - grain, &c. - telling them that if they refused, he intended to move against them. The latter are in great perplexity, and know not what to do. They feel they, cannot resist the Commander-in-Chief now, Umra Khan has so much on his hands that he cannot be counted on to help them. The Commander-in Chief is encamped at the bridge site, which is one day's march from Asmar. He permits no merchants, to pass up the valley with salt or cotton cloth, and consequently causes great incon¬venience to the Kafirs, who are continually coming to me with complaints on the subject. Kafiristan. - The Bashgal Kafirs, with the exception of one small tribe, who are actively intriguing with the Afghans against all the other tribes, are infuriat¬ed against Umra Khan. The war is being carried on languidly just now, but with the disappearance of the snow it \rill start into life again and be characterized by all its customary barbarity. To appreciate the present attitude of the Kafirs their mad anger against Umra Khan must be carefully kept in mind. To obtain revenge against him they will scruple at nothing, even if their action imperils the independence of their country. They believe the Mehtar' is impotent to help them, and of the other two powers, of which they have know¬ ledge, India and Afghanistan, a great many believe the latter, will be more likely to listen to their representations and to give them assistance, while it has already showed its power of annoyance by cutting oil' the supplies of salt, &c., to Nasrat. As a consequence of this feeling, there is undoubtedly one spy, and pro-bably many more, in the Kam country, sent there by the Amir, and well received by the Kafirs. The latter are in communication with the Afghan Commander-in-Chief at Asmar, have sent some of their men as a deputation to Kabul, and are believed to be actively engaged in carrying Sher Afzal's and the Amir's messages to the rebelliously disposed in Chitral. The Amir seems to be using he Kafirs with his customary skill. He alternately rewards them, pleases hem, and threatens them. In this last connection he is said to have assured hem that if they make overtures to the English or salaam to them, he will at once attack the Bashgal valley. If this is true, and his intention is real, the line of Afghan advance would be probably up the Dungun valley—a difficult road which runs up from Palasgar and cresses a steep pass of just over 10,000 fuet immediately above and to the south of Kamdesh. In any such attempt, he might rely upon the help of the tribe already referred to, which, though com-paratively few in numbers, is well placed for rendering assistance to a ofrce advancing by the line suggested, and which would gladly seize the opportunity of thus avenging old in juries on the other tribes of the Bashgal valley. But a more pressing danger to the Bashgal Kafirs is a religious war starting in Bajaur and Dir. Unless Umra Khan is so engaged with local fighting that he is unable to put forth his full strength against the Kafirs, it is merely certa in that he will organize and perhaps lead an expedition against Kamdesh, possibly in conjunction with the Baba Sahib from Dir. Such an attack, apart from other reasons, is most undesirable, because the Chitralis claim suzerainty over the whole of the Bashgal valley. This claim is admitted in a free and easy way by the Kafirs, and the opinion of holy men and Mullas, collected by the late Aman-ul-Mulk, confirmed the prevalent feeling that Chitral might and should resist any attempt by Umra Khan on a people which paid tribute and acknowledged the supremacy of the Mehtar. The Baba Sahib, I belve, endorsed this opinion of the learned men, and it may be that to reconcile his past declaration with his present intentions that he has; proclamied the Mehtar an infidel unless he quickly sends the English Mission out of the country. The Chitralis are certain to clamour for permission to attack Umra Khan if he invades the Bashgal valley, not necessarily because they are really anxious to fight the Jandol forces, but because they may want to be held back from engaging in a war they have little stomach for, and while asserting their spirit and patriotism put all unpopularity of losing the Kafir valley on the shoulders of their Mehtar and of the English according to the supposed exigencies of the moment. The Mehtar himself is no
behind his subjects in their
way of showing bravery, and has more than once asked to be allowed to march down and capture the Narsat fort, which, he professes to believe, could be done with the greatest ease. Chitralis, like many other eastern races, are extraordi¬narily resolute and enterprising in counsel. The triumph of their diplomacy would of course be to involve the Mission escort in their own frontier troubles, and they are quite fatuous enough*to believe in their ability to do this. The Russians.—I labour under the-greatest difficulty in getting trust¬worthy news from Badakhshan and Wakhan. The passes are, burdened with snowy and travelling is most irksome and dangerous; but natural obstacles are as nothing compared with those raised by two or three individuals equally remarkable for their love of intrigue, and their determination to upset existing arrangements in Chitral. The chief of these is a Moghli Pir named Shahzada Lais, who lives high up in tire Arkori valley. He is a hopeless rascal, but unfortunately has great influence and high prestige among his " Murids." All I can do at present is to try and buy him over, but my attempts so far have not been crowned with success. He accepts my money with gratitude, 'swears he is bound to me by personal ties no less than .by the orders-he has received from Bombay to always support English officers, yet he is strongly suspected of sending messengers over the passes, and even to the Russians, while he prevents, any men bringing news to me even if they Jiave succeeded in crossing the Hindu Kush. He is quite young, and probably so elated at his past success in getting presents all round and in traversing in safety the pathways so dangerous to most, that he intends to continue his ingenious methods of procedure, and may by this time be laying the Russians also under contribution. His time is, however, short, in two or three weeks the passes will be practicable, and rival Sayads will supply me with news—news which will require much sifting before it can be presented in proper form. At present our information amounts to this. The Russians have shifted their quarters from Murghabi, where they suffered terrible hardships from the cold and lost most of their cattle, to Aktash probably. Doubtless also parties have appeared in Wakhan. They requested or demanded that Kalai Panja should be made over to them by the Afghans because of the severity of the weather. The Afghans are believed to have' replied that the Russians must be mad to suppose their servants would surrender the Amir's territory and part to any one. The news has been corroborated by several messengers directly and by inference. It is also said that Russian purchases in Wakhan have so raised the prices of all such articles as ghi, &c., as well as sheep and cattle, that ordi¬nary traders were in despair.
This, I think, is all the news I have at present. Please let me know when his reaches you. I hope it will be all out of date long before the Government of India can receive it, and that my reports and Durand's telegrams, will have anticipated everything it contains. We are all well. No sickness. We have supplies in hand for another two months. There is much distress in several districts. We have had the vilest weather, and suffered greatly from leaky roofs, but the sun is shining again, and we have already forgotten our troubles. One does not expect pleasure in a Mission of this sort, and one is not disappointed; but we are all cheerful and ready to put the best faces on everything.
Demi-official No. 2111, dated the 22nd May 1893.
From - COLONEL D.W.K. BARR,
To - SIR H. MORTIMER DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.I.
In continuation of Kayo's demi-official letter No. 2067, dated the 18th May 1893, to Cunningham's address, I enclosed for information the marginally noted demi-official letters, with enclosures in original, received on the 19th May l893, forwarding copies of demi-official letters from Robertson containing information in regard to the state of affairs in Chitral up to the 20th April 1893.
Demi-official No. 1733-R., dated Gilgit, the 4th May 1893.
From - COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To - COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir.
Herewith Robertson's last of 20th April. It contains nothing of import¬ance, but is satisfactory in tone. I forwarded the Foreign Secretary's telegram, which went also by Peshawar to Robertson yesterday.
Demi-official No. 47, dated Chitral, the 20th April 1893.
From— G. S. ROBERTSON, Esq., in charge Chitral Mission,
To—COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit.
Our Mehtar is beginning to think of his dignity seriously. In a conver¬sation a few days ago with the Khan Sahib, he observed that Chitral from its position was much more important to the Government of India than Gilgit or Kashmir, and remarked that when I go away my successor ought not to be a small person, but an official of even superior rank to the British Agent or the Resident of Kashmir. I am very triad to get good news about Yasen from the Jemadar who arrived here yesterday. Safedullah Khan made one last effort for Mohamad Wali. He persuaded about thirty families to start with him for Gilgit, saying that Nizam's sending a force into" Yasen was distasteful to the British Agent, Gilgit, who intended to start an army to oppose it. However, the Jemadar met the wretched people at Rosham, who, hearing what he had to say, were only "too" delighted to return to their homes. Mohamad Wali & Co. have fixed, all their hopes on a clashing of authority between Chitral and Gilgit, and appear to have thought themselves diplomatists clever enough to bring-about the impossible collision they desired.
The Ghizr delegates, in conversation with our Sikhs, asked the latter if they would fight, supposing they were told to. The Sikhs replied they of course would fight, and wished they might get such an order, and no doubt swaggered tremendously. The Ghizr men finally said they could not fight Sikhs of course, but if they were out of the country, they would fight fast enough. I am very glad we brought up Sikhs instead of bodyguard and Dogras. The size and bearing of the men have impressed the Chitralis very greatly, while their volley firing astounded the people and led to all manners of exaggerated rumours of the marvelous prowess of the Panjabis. The Sikhs are wonderful fellows. Their absolute belief in themselves and their simplicity and dignity are delightful. One of them quietly remarked on the road here, "How astonished the people must be at seeing suck splendid youngmen as we are marching into their country." It was perfectly true also. Everything seems quiet. The people still look hopefully for a sign from Sher Afzal, and many still believe he will return when the passes open. Nizam is behaving very well indeed. He gate away yesterday for the Eed festival 400 garments-of different kinds. The result at the polo ground last night was most striking. The audacity of some of the colour combinations was startling. One player wore a dark red cap, bright scarlet coat and greenish-yellow trousers, which made the eyes ache. Bound the bottom of the trousers and the skirt of the coat were huge gold letters several inches long. If you express admiration for such a get-up, the wearer is so happy and grateful that he wants to kiss your feet in return for your gracious condescension. The enormous ill-shaped scarlet trousers are said to be especially adapted for work on the saddle You would be surprised at the change, which has come over Chitral in 'court circles.' The turbans of the high officers of State are no longer used as spittoons or pocket-handkerchiefs by the Mehtar. All ceremonies are conducted with ordinary civilized politeness, decorum; and, it must be admitted, with excessive dullness also. The introduction of a polo hero after, the game to the notice of the sheeted female bundles seated behind the walls above the ground by Waffadar and Shah Sultan in a humourous speech, accompanied by appropriate facetious gestures, is very amusing.
Demi-official No. 1752-R., dated Gilgit, the 5th May 1893.
From—COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To—COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir, Srinagar. Herewith Robertson's of 13th, the contents of which I have telegraphed
on to you. The reference in the first paragraph is to my interview with Mohamad Wali mentioned in the Office diary, 1st April 1893. Umra Khan and the Kafirs are a nuisance. We shall have the Amir cutting in there and absorbing the Kafir (not that I care about the. Kafir, he is bound to be absorbed), and in so doing getting a very close hold over Chitral. The only effectual way to prevent all this is to order Umra Khan, out of Narsat. But it is a risky game to play if you don't mean to enforce your orders. It is satisfactory that there seems not much chance of the hinted Bajaur Dir attack on Chitral. It would have gone very hard with us indeed and this letter has been a great relief to me. l am not quite sure that we are out of the wood yet. The rest of the letter is satisfactory enough, and we have only to persevere to keep things straight up here. I am thinking of sending Stewart into Yasen so soon as the Indus valley game is over in order that he may know something of the country which he would probably have to remain in as Political Officer. I hope the cloud is bursting or has burst by now.
Demi-official No. 43, dated Chitral, the 13th April 1893.
From - G. S. ROBERTSON, Esq., C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., Gilgit.
Your demi-official of the 2nd arrived last night. It has relieved my mind very greatly. I was afraid that in your absence there might have possibly been a little too much diplomacy with Mohamad Wali, and that he might have become impressed with the idea that we were tricking him about Yasen. Now you have seen the boy, and he has heard your clear and decided words on the subject of his resisting the Mehtar, this fear has been entirely removed. Our latest news from Badakhshan is that the Amir is concentrating his troops somewhere Kolab way, and has dispatched in that direct on all the men at Fyzahad and Rastak. He has also lately relieved the garrison the now maintains in Minjan. The Russians, or a party of them, are said to be at a place equidistant (one day's march) from Toshangazand Sarhad, possibly not far from Langa Kisht; but the one-day's march must be an extremely long one. The Dir-Chitral-Kafiristan frontier question; promises to give trouble. The Kafirs are urgent to know if Chitral means to protect their valley (Bashgal). They ask for a decided answer. If they are left to shift for themselves, they say they know what to do, but will not mention, the course they have decided to follow. It is nearly certain, however, that they intend to make submission to the Amir and invoke his help against Umra Khan — a proceeding which •would please the Amir, annoy Umra Khan, and be most inconvenient for Chitral. I intend to write fully on this matter officially in a day or two. It seems pretty certain that if Umra Khan retains Nursat, the Kafirs of the Bashgal valley will repudiate their past nominal allegiance to Chitral altogether. l am anxious to find out how matters stand between Umra Khan and the Government of India, and what amount of influence the latter may be supposed to he capable of exerting over the actions of the former. Please telegraph for this information, and let me have it as soon as possible. I imagine Umra Khan thinks it better policy to enter into no friendly relations with the Mission and to stick to Peshawar exclusively, In this he may be influenced by the native political officials there, who may think their importance would be diminished and their usefulness doubted if any one else had a word in their communication and arrangements with Umra Khan. In any case, I can do nothing more with him at present. He has promised to write a full answer to my letter, but I doubt if he really intends doing so.
Two of Mohamad Sharif Khan's men have arrived here with messages for the Mehtar. They report that their master is in Swat as determined s ever in his hostility to Umra Khan, and ready to take any advantage of the latter attacking the Bashgalis to attempt another invasion of Dir. Mohamad Sharif Khan lost his country so easily that perhaps I have always underrated the strenuousness of the man. Time will show. The messengers also say that the Sultan Khels in the late fighting lost 300 men, and are mad for revenge on the Jandolis; that Umra Khan has lately observed that there are now 80 Martini rifles in Chitral, which God has given to him. No opportunity is ever lost by the Chitralis to try and alarm me about Umra Khan and his evil inten¬tions towards the Mission and the English. This, of course, is natural enough. I should like to know the nature of the communication between Nizam and the Baba Sahib. It is easy to suspect their drift, especially as the Mehtar keeps it a profound secret. The Bashkaris (not Bashgalis) have been appealing to the Mehtar for help against Umra Khan. This seems to show also that the rumour of a general confederacy against us was more talk than anything else. All the fugitives who were captured and imprisoned in the fort awaiting punishment have been unconditionally pardoned and liberated. I am by no means certain that certain of them should not have been punished, but my disapproval of the proposed execution of sons by their own fathers may have caused the Mehtar to err on the side of leniency. However that may b, I am not in a position, nor have I the inclination, to interfere with doings in that direction. I have a suspicion that Nizam is getting afraid of me. It certainly appears so. If ever he makes a remark, which he thinks may have displeased me, he gets red all over and watches me anxiously. It may be I want a change altogether for a time to try and regain any geniality I am have one possessed and prevent my failing into austere ways and manners. My wishes are law to such an extent that I have to be most cautious in expressing them Nizam remarks that his life and that of all his subjects are at my disposal and asks me the shall keep an army in Yasen. His meaning is that he is quite ready to attack Tangir Darel, &c., &c. if he is asked to do so. He continually enquiries what he is to do about these tribes. I invariably reply that he should use all his influence in the cause of peace, and point out the advant¬ages to themselves of the Shinaki being better neighbours to Gilgit. He declares he longs for the day when all the countries round shall be brought under the rule of the Government of India I reply very truly that Government has neither desire nor intention of accepting such responsibilities. All it wants is peace and friendly neighbours. Affairs generally wear a much quieter aspect than they did. The conspi¬racy against Nizam seems to have only been formidable from the number, which joined it or sympathized with its objects. I may perhaps after the Eed go with Nizam up to Lutko, leaving Younghusband here. It would probably have an excellent effect, and tip people there think it would be to their advant¬age if I went. While writing, news has come that Sher Afzal is to he deported from Kabul and interned at Ghuzni. The pacification of Yasen seems to be having an excellent effect, and ought to strengthen the Mehtar's hands very greatly. His position up till now has never been considered really secure either by him¬self or by his people. His prestige may be expected to gradually increase. Sher Afzal's impossible promise will be forgotten, and the Chitral will gra-dually settle down as more or less faithful subjects. Umra Khan is a trouble, and may become a greater one in the near future unless he can be influenced in the proper direction by Government. His ambition is very great, his energy considerable, while his abilities seem to be of a high order. If matters go on as they seem at present tending, and there are no commotions about the time of the Eed, I can, I believe, leave the Mission and return to Gilgit, &c., with a clear conscience. I do not now anticipate a general rising. The Shinaki time for lighting is nearly over. They must look after the grazing of their flocks, and probably cannot assemble in great numbers. If the Amir is be having properly and Umra Khan is not mad, we shall only have our old friends, the Russians, to bother us.
Demi-official No. 1753-R., dated Gilgit, the 5th May 1893.
From—LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To—COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir.
Herewith two demi-officials of Robertson's of 17th April. The most important point is that Umra Khan's success over the Khan of Dir has broken up the confederacy, which the Baba Sahib was trying to arrange. But Umra Khan, if he is successful against the Paindah Khel, &c., means evident¬ly to go for Chitral as far as Killa Darosh. If this conies off and the Bashkar Kohistan is laid over on to Laspur, the other side of the Shandur from here, we may have trouble. The Indus valley attack may in this case be against Gupis; and, as I have telegraphed, I have heard rumours from there of a Tangiri gathering, to which indeed I do not attach much importance, but which may mean business. But I am keeping the levies here for a day or two to see if any¬thing of importance takes place. I can, if necessary, push up a couple of hundred levies and the same num¬ber of infantry and a couple of guns to Gupis, but I sincerely hope there will be no need for this, and that Umra Khan may have his hands too move against Killa Darosh, &c. Chilas affairs I telegraph to you about daily. There is a pause in life's pleasures at the present moment, and if it only continues for another ten days, all chance of an immediate attack is probably over, as the people will be beginning to move their flocks to the higher grounds as Robertson points out. I hardly know that to think. I was certain an attack was coming, as was everybody down the Indus valley and here; but it seems half doubtful now: the next few days must settle it. We have had a great week of entertainments for our kings and they have enjoyed themselves, and so far as I can judge, things are really satisfactory. If things keep so, I should like to come down and see you at once, for, whether I am to be here next winter or not, I want to get home early.
Demi-official No. 44, dated the 17th April 1893.
From – G.S. ROBERTSON, ESQ., in charge Chitral Mission,
To – LIEUTENANT - COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit.
A trustworthy man has just returned from Dir and Bajaur, where I sent him. He saw the Baba Sahib and Umra Khan, but in the role he was playing he had small opportunity for lengthened conversation with either. The former asked about the English Mission, if it were likely to remain, and if is popular with the Mehtar and the people. He was told it spent much money and interfered with no one, and the Chitralis were rather pleased than otherwise at its presence in their county. The Baba Sahib then became very depressed, and said the. Kohistan was lost, lost fur good. Another holy man of the party began abusing the English, saying they should all be killed, and so on. A relative of the Baba Sahib stopped the speaker in his furious out pourings, remarking that it was no use talking; the Baba Sahib himself remained sad and thoughtful. My man saw Umra Khan, to whom he was introduced as a poor Mullah. They met, in a masjid. Umra Khan was also most anxious for news of the Mission and of its intention, lie was told that the speaker, a poor man, know in nothing of the intention of the great and rarely seeing them, could say nothing definitely, but all seemed well and quiet in Chitral. Perhaps after the country had settled down quietly, the English would go away again. Irresponsible people at different times made many curious remarks to my emissary, which it is not worth while to repeat, as such vague rumours might obtain an importance they did not deserve. There was, however, nothing said which would lead to the idea that any general combination against us was now contemplated. Umra Khan is said to be boastful and full of the great deeds he will accomplish after the Eed. He first goes against Pamjan and Dir. To assist in the conquest of the former fort, he summoned the Bashkaris. The latter replied they were willing to give their help when the fighting was to be in cool climates, such as Laspur or Drosh, but that they could not act in hot places; so the story goes that they are to cross over and attack Killa Drosh in conjunction with Umra Khan after the latter has defeated Pamjan. Umra Khan is reported to be very obstinate about Amir-ul-Mulk getting Drosh. He says if the Mehtar gives it up with a good grace, well and good; otherwise he must be forced to do so. At the same time Umra Khan distinctly says Chitral is not to be attacked because the English are therein, but Amir-ul-Mulk must have Drosh. &c. It is said that a large deputation of Kafirs has one to make submission to the Afghan Commander-in-Chief at Asmar. I shall know all about this in a few days. It is very likely true, for the hatred and fear of the Kafirs for Umra Khan is intense, and they probably perceive that the Mehtar cannot go to war with Umra Khan on their account. Shazada Lais came to see me yesterday. He tells me he has been ordered to bring his family down to Shoghot, and hinted that he could be most useful to me at Arkari ; but if he were to be moved, he should like to be sent to Yasen. He bragged greatly, about his own and his late father's authority, and how it was entirely due to the latter that the. Amir took Shignan. The Ghizr men have arrived to make submission, and conciliation is the order of the day, I am happy to say. The Mehtar wants first to build us a house, and then our skilled artisans to construct a famous hall of audience for himself. It seems that Afzal-ul-Mulk intended to expend 50,000 rupees on a similar scheme. This is the result of their visits to India. I believe Chitralis would civilize with wonderful rapidity if they had the chance, and a moderate tenth rate building here, a telegraph wire, bridge and other small triumphs of engineering skill would excite an awe and admiration of our skill and resources amongst the surrounding tribes which might be most valuable to us. The Mehtar also sants a marble grave stone properly engraved for his father's tomb. This I have promised him. The spot just in front of the masjid has become a sanctuary, and in this way is most convenient. Any one wanting redress or pardon for past transgressions flies to the sacred place, and, as far as we know, no one has as yet been unsuccessful in getting Ms petitions favourably answered. Impairing the old masjid and small, actions of that sort would be probably very popular. I wonder if the Indus valley people will make a determined attempt to turn us out of Chilas before the passes open. They may perhaps have one more try after the Eed, but the 'valley must be warming up now, and the Upper Kobistanis at any rate must be thinking of their "Ailaks" and be getting anxious about their flocks and herds. The Kaglian Sayad is no doubt working hard to keep their courage to the sticking points. He is the inveterate enemy I suspect. I should like very much to see Douglas report of the roads he went over, and to know bow far he reached on the Babusar way. News has come that Mian Gul, of Swat, is dead. It came through my own man. The Mehtar has not mentioned the fact, if it be a fact. In any case it is of little importance to us. If our prominent opponent dies, there arc always fifty to supply his place. I find the Babu Sahib and his friends talked more freely than was first reported. Some fanatics in answer to his despondent remarks declared he was a saint, and could consequently organize a successful attack against the English. He replied, "I am only a poor fakir. I, too, greatly desired a religious war, but it is impossible now that our own Khan (Mohammad Sharif) is helpless and a fugitive. It he wore in power, it could be done, but all the Bajaur Khans are busy eating one another's flesh, so we can do nothing."
He was told that, in spite of the advice of the Mission, Nizam was secretly oppressing the people, selling their wives, and generally ill-using them. He and his friends praised the advice given to the Mehtar, and the Baba Sahib observed that the English were very just. Approbation from Sir Herbert Stanley is praise indeed. I like a thorough going straightforward enemy like this pestilent old priest, lie will cut your throat, or cause it to be cut when¬ever be gets the chance; but he will never pretend he loves you. . If murderer, lie is a thorough going, sincere, old gentleman, and fills me with respect for the way he acts up to his principles always. The poor old fellow wants to try 'a cure' at the Lutko hot springs, but cannot lower himself to enter a country where an infidel's power is paramount. Kafirs, Moghlis, and Hindus he can tolerate and pity, but the stiff-necked Christians, those superior people who pity him, who are ever ready to be condescending and tolerant to his poor, ignorant beliefs, gently assured at his fanatical fervour, they can only be dealt with in one way, and that way how shall it be reached? It is beginning to get warm here. Earthquakes are nearly as common as scorpions. A marvellous change has, occurred. It seems but yesterday we had "winter's wondrous frost and snow: " now it is" spring's soft heaven."
Demi-official No. 45, dated Chitral, the 17th April 1893.
From - G.S. Robertson, Esq., C.S.I.,
To - Colonel A.G. Durand, C.B.
Your demi-official No. 1227 of the 3rd instant. It was most fortunate you returned to Gilgit in time to manage Mohamad Wali. I was on tenterhooks about the young man. It is all right about the Eshani Hazrat. He will be received back into the fold with open arms literally. You know the particular force of love to the vanquished which is dealt out in Chitral. The next punishment to killing is the giving away of wives, children, and houses of the defeated to the faithful. We have practically had no killing at all. There have been one or two mysterious disappearances, but even those are now becoming ancient history. The donations of the wives and houses of fugitives has, however, been continued more or less openly especially since 'that scoundrel Waffadar has been in the ascendant. To day, in reference to Yasen, I acquainted the Mehtar with my views on the subject under the veil of giving advice. In support of my opinion I had prepared several arguments pointing out the inexpediency and impolicy of the practice, arid pointing to its ill success. Of course I took no high moral grounds, because these people imagine that when you adopt, that attitude, pure and simple, you are merely insisting on a proposition, which will not bear rational discussion; that you are, in short, bullying them. But the Mehtar refused to listen to any arguments. It was sufficient for him that he understood my advice. It would be acted on at once, and he sent me a message to say that on any points he only wished to know my wishes, and they should be carried out at once. Surely a more docile prince it is impossible to imagine. He gives up everything, even his more cherished tyrannies and iniquities, at a word. May ho have his reward in our sticking to him, and may we have ours in winning the affections of all the people by our efforts in their behalf. I am no hot reformer: 'Festina lenle' is the motto in Chitral. The People must on no account be frightened by the idea that we intend making innovations in the management of the "sweet country." We could get everything we want gradually the abolition of slavery, the cessation of murdering to a great extent, and all other desirable objects of a similar kind. There is still a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst the people, but the Mission seems to be extremely popular even with the Adamzadas. Wonder¬ful, indeed, if it can be really credited, I hear 180 of the Turikho men, 40 from Khust, and several in Lutko and Ayin intend to bolt as soon as the passes are open. They say that even Abdullah Khan has gone over to the ranks of the disaffected. This will mean (if true) that all the Kezas are going solid against the Mehtar, a very serious business. I must try and get hold of Abdullah Khan. We are on the way of being great friends of several years standing. He may listen to my advice. If Government would accept my proposals, we ought to quickly put matters straight. It is the feeling of -uncertainty about tin; future of the country, and the suspicion that the Mission is only a tem¬porary affair, which makes the people fear for the future and imagine that in the end the Amir's party may triumph. Abdul Hakim wants three months leave this year to India, where he has important business. He has been away for four years, and has thoroughly earned his leave. He is, as you know, very anxious to be nominated as a can¬didate for the post of Assistant Commissioner in the Punjab under statutory Civil Services Rules. You know how well he has always worked at Gilgit; but you cannot know the extreme value he has been to me up here. His tactful zeal and loyalty are beyond all praise. As you know, I am not given to over praising people, but it is only honesty to say that Abdul Hakim deserves anything we can do for him. I will mention to you personally many little matters to his credit, which it is unnecessary to put down here. I know you appreciate his work thoroughly, and beg you will do everything in your power to help him in his wishes.
Demi-official No. 2148, dated Srinagar, the 23rd May 1883.
From - COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir,
To - SIR H. MORTIMER DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department.
IN continuation of my demi-official letter No. 2111, of the 22nd May 1893. I enclose for information the marginally noted demi-official letter, with enclosure in original, received on the 21st May 1893, forwarding copies of demi-official letters from Robertson, dated the 24th and 27th April 1893, containing information in regard to the state of affairs in Chitral and Russian movements in the Pamir region.
Demi-official No. 1838, dated Gilgit, the 9th May 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit,
To - COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Resident in Kashmir.
I send you herewith Robertson's Nos. 48-49, dated 24th and 27th April. The situation in Yasen, if we mean to take advantage of it, and I trust it will be convenient for Government to do so, though I fully realize the difficulties and disadvantages involved in our proposals, is, on the whole, very satisfactory. I have seen a good deal of the Yasenis lately, and I think Robert-¬son has not in the least exaggerated our influence there. I am sending up Stewart at once to make friends with Ghulam Dastgir and the people, and if the former is withdrawn and Shuja-ul-Mulk sent, Stewart would have no difficulty in running Yasen and. in Arranging for the supply of our posts in the country. The news about the Russians is most interesting. There is, I fancy, no doubt that a message calling on the Commander at Killa Panja to clear out was sent, and that the Russians were at Langar Kisht. There will be no ex¬pedition to the Pamirs, but to be in a position to resist Afghan and Chinese aggression, strong reinforcements will be sent to Murghabi, and points of strategically importance occupied. Umra Khan's attitude is puzzling, as you will see from the letters, the second of which rather modifies the first. Probably Robertson's idea is right, and Umra Khan wants to be asked by Government not to interfere in Chitral, so that Le may, by meeting its wishes, and at the same time doing what he really desires himself, be in a position to ask for some recompense. I presume Robertson and I shall now come down together as things are so smooth at present.
Demi-official No. 43, dated Chitral, the 24th April 1893.
From – SURGEON - MAJOR, G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To – LIEUTENANT - COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit. The situation remains unchanged. Everything is quiet. I have men in Badakhshan, Wakhan, &c., while others have started for Shignan and Bajour; but the severity of this winter's snowfall renders travelling tedions and slow. The fugitives have given out that they intend to go to Sher Afzal. They do not believe he is imprisoned at Kabul; but if they find that to be actually the case they intent to return secretly through the Bashgal valley to try another night attack on Chitral. Their object is to kill Nizam and then to
await the course of events. They argue that having no children, his death must expedite, the fulfillment of their political and private desires towards the Sher Afzal family.
They may or may not undertake this adventure. If they do, they will probably not use the Bashgal valley but the Lutkho road, which would be much more convenient unless it Were1 properly guarded. I am anxiously awaiting news about Chilas to learn if the Kohistanis intend to make one more attempt on the place, now the Eed has passed and gone. If they do, their lesson should be final and decisive. The Darelis and Tangiris are, I hear, thoroughly frightened, lest they be punished for their wanton attack on us in Chilas. But they are not greatly to blame. We may rest assured that Akbar Khan, Mohamad Wali, Safedulla, not to speak of Mokaddas Aman, will try their utmost to keep these tribes unsettled, as a peaceful settlement of the country would defeat all ambitious hopes and schemes. However, everything of the sort must fail if we maintain a strong hold on Yasen. The Jemadar reports—and the observations are corroborated by many others—that the Yasenis are extraordinarily well disposed towards us. They, pretend no concealment of their desire that we should keep, their country? And employ them to carry loads on payment. They appear to have fully appreciated the high rates the Mission paid, as well as the way they were petted and made much of. Indeed, everyone would be pleased, the villagers themselves. Nizam who is tremulous lest his road to Gilgit be barred by an enemy, the Mehtar's advisers, —all more or less openly advise it; while the hostile amongst the Chitralis recognise the fact that they would be powerless if Kashmir troops were cantoned in Ghizr, at Thayar Last, and in Yasen. It is an opportunity of strengthening our influence all round which should not be allowed to slip away. We should, I believe, find no difficulty in supplying .the garrisons with grain, forage, and firewood. While Chitral is so hard pressed for food that I hare been compelled to lend grain to the Mehtar, as the fort had run out; of, supplies altogether, Yasen, in spite of invading armies and general disturbance has still surplus stores in hand. There 'is no export for its wheat or other cereals. The people are beginning to understand the value of money rates will-never be high. One point about Yasen is that there the people are practically of one class—the turbulent independent upper ranks are conspicuous by their absence. It is hardly possible to overrule the advantage this peculiarity would afford us in ruling the country. If Chitral were similarly constituted, the Mission; would be a mere picnic. No doubt what Government will shy at will be the detached posts. It is this which, makes the Chilas disaster so calamitous, yet I am convinced of the soundness proposition. Disciplined troops up here chiefly, used as we should use big guns. They should never be placed in positions where they could be captured or destroyed but should be employed to make our depots of stores, arms, and ammunition impregnable, unassailable. The loose hill skirmishing could less expensively and equally effectively be done by local levies. They are infinitely more rapid in their movements, and thoroughly understand how to advance against or defend a "darband" with the minimum of exposure and loss. But it will be a long time before we can safely employ levies in adequate, numbers, unless we have also strong forts where stores can be collected, and arms and ammunition rigidly guarded, except when actually required for instruction or for fighting. I hope Williams will soon start for Baltistan and while working in and studying the district also try and discover if there be no fighting caste amongst the people from which Gilgit could be recruited.
In time and with improved roads we ought to be able to get a larger proportion of our grain and other supplies more of less locally, white if we could also get fair recruits enclose at hand, one of the chief difficulties in efficiency and cheaply maintaining Gilgit would be overcome. Now for the Russians.—The Mehtar sent me a letter last night from the headmen of Zabak, Mulla Safar Doulat Beg, Safar Beg etc., to his address. They ask that the Mehtar should send them trustworthy men, not double dealing rascals who may cause their names to be "burnt." They assert their loyalty to Nizam, as they have eaten his father's salt, white Afzal-ul-Mulk destroyed their fond hopes by refusing to see or hear them. A summary of all the news we have received since Thursday last from beyond the passes amounts to this. More than a month ago four troops of Afghan cavalry left Fyzabad for Sojan and Somti to guard the Oxus fords leading to Kolab. The Russians in large numbers are at Murghabi, with detachments at Sarez and at Khargoshi on the Wakhan frontier. A party also visited Langar Kisht, but made only a short stay at that place. They have sent word to the people of Wakhan telling them not to cultivate the lands by the roadside, as there will be shortly much going to and fro of Russian troops. The Wakhis are promised compensation for the losses they will incur by obeying these instructions. It is generally believed that this year the Russians will occupy Badakhshan. A Badakhshi prince, a son of Doulat Beg, formerly Mir of Shakuldarra, is with-the Russians, who are said to have promised Mm the whole of Shignan. Three Kirghiz were lately sent by the Russian officers at the Pamirs with messages to the Afghan garrison, asking them to evacuate Kila Panja, and remarking that answers and objections should be made from Mazar. The Panja commandant sent on one of the Kirghiz to Fyzabad, where, after torture; he was placed in chains. The General sent orders to Mulla Ashur to send him the other two messengers, but the latter managed to get away in time. Mulla Ashur probably gave them the "office." He is suspected of being in with the Rus¬sians. He has gone in nominal pursuit of the runaways, and been informed that unless he succeeds in capturing them he must not come hack again. The Russians are spending large sums" of money on the Pamirs. Fifty Afghan sepoys from Shignan, on suspicion of intriguing with the Russians, have been imprisoned and transferred to Fyzabad. The Afghan troops are said to be placed as follows: —There are 500 Afghan infantry and artillery in Shignan; 300 infantry at Pauja, under a commandant; 300 infantry at Minjan; two troops of cavalry, one regiment of infantry, and one of artillery at Fyzabad; 200 infantry at Ragh; 300 or 400 infantry at Rustak. The Badakhshis are said to be most anxious to serve the Government of India and only want orders to do: anything they are told. The Badakhshi princes in Lutkho arid the Hassanabad Sayad all write to say that representatives of all the Badakhshi tribes are anxious and ready to come and to me at Chitral You must remember I do not vouch for the truth of any of the information. I merely send it you for what it is worth; at present we have no means of testing its value, while you can make guesses quite as ingeniously as I can. Sher Afzal's son with his Chitral followers have all been sent under escort to Kabul, after being deprived of their arms and horses. Their families are still at Fyzabad. Guards are placed over them at night to prevent money or property being taken away. The Governor of Zebak has been instructed to find out what money was spend by Sher Afzal's son and his followers in that district, with a view, it is supposed to its being recovered from the people. Mohamad Esa, Sher Afzal's foster brother has been permitted to go and live at Warduj with his father-in-law. Ali Mardan's wife has arrived in Chitral. She has been received with great respect by the Mehtar, who rode out to meet her. Her chief object in coming is said to be that Ali Mardan Shah be given the whole of Yasen. She is a terrible woman. You know she threatened to pay me a visit a Gilgit. She is now chamouring for revenge on her brother's murderers, the men who actually carried out Afzal-ul-Mulk's orders, while they intend to appeal to me, or, in the event of my not hearing them, to run away at once. A report has reached me while I write that twelve more men have bolted. It will be months before the people will be induced to believe that Sher Afzal is not coming back, and that they will not be punished for their complicity in his raid. Nobody in this country trusts the spoken or written words of their ruler. Aman-ul-Mulk taught them to place no reliance on princes. Mulla Ashur is a close friend of Ali Mardan's. The latter will require watching this year. From Dir we learn that the Baba Sahib has gone for religious funeral purposes to the grave of Mian Gul. Certain informants said he would remain there for five months, but it is more probable that fifteen days will be the duration of his visit. It is one or the other and all the same to the news-bearing Mehtarjaos.
Nizam has just received an urgent and secret letter from his half-sister, Umra Khan's wife. She pleads for her brother Amir-ul-Mulk that he may be given Drosh, but warns the Mehtar not to leave him there without strong guards. She declares Umra Khan is determined to put Amir-ul-Mulk in Drosh by force if necessary, and gives earnest warning that not a single day should be lost in strengthening and reinforcing that post. She writes sensibly and shrewd¬ly, pointing out the importance of getting back Amir-ul-Mulk to Chitral. She is quite right undoubtedly. Nizam is just as anxious as she is to get Amir-ul-Mulk back again; the difficulty is how it can be managed. Umra Khan's desire is to put in Amir-ul-Mulk and use the boy as his own Governor. To attain this end he is nearly certain to try to send his own troops as Amir-ul-Mulk's guards, and make himself the real master of the district. It may be the whole business is a blind, and Umra Khan is trying to frighten the Mehtar (no very difficult matter), with the view of preventing his helping the Kafirs when the time comes for Umra Khan to attack them. Rumour has credited Umra Khan from a long time past with a fixed determination to get hold of Drosh; but knowing that wily Khan's duplicity, his fondness for trailing a herring across the scent, I have never given too much weight to such representations. This last communication on the subject, being written by the Mehtar's sister and couched in plain, unmistakable terms, cannot be lightly disregarded. Suppos¬ing it is true that Umra Khan intends somehow to make himself master of Drosh, it must surely be trusted also that he and Safdar Khan have patched up a peace at the Amir's suggestion. To estimate the value of the news I get, it is first of all necessary that I have information of the relations between Umra Khan and the Government of India, as well as those between it and the Amir, otherwise we are grouping in the dark. Will you kindly telegraph and find out if the Peshawar authorities have sufficient restraining influence over the Khan of Jandole to prevent his invading Chitral territory, and if they can obtain a guarantee from him to that effect? If they can, it would strengthen my hands greatly. We prevented the Chitralis attacking Umra Khan when their co-operation with his other enemies would have caused him the gravest embarrassment; we ought consequently to keep him from worrying the frontier now if we have the power to make our wishes respected. Nizam has no General, nor any trustworthy fighting men. Nobody believes in him now respects his authority. The old feeling of security against an attack from Afghanistan has gone completely. No doubt the Jemadar is partly answerable for this. He kept declaiming to Afzal and the people that they need be in no anxiety from that quarter, for the Government of India would never allow the Amir to interfere in Chitral, &c. Sher Afzal's invasion has shattered their confidence. They all want to be the side of the victor, and on the whole think that Sher Afzal will be ultimately triumphant. They also desire that it should be so—at least the Adamzadas do. They latter think it would be the height of tyranny and oppression to treat high and low, rich and poor, with equal justice. Please send me as soon as you can all the news you get of frontier I and wire for the special information I want about Umra Khan
Demi-official No, dated Chitral, the 27th April 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit.
EVERYTHING seems to be satisfactory. Umra Khan's threats about Drosh are still perplexing. It looks as if he were, frightening the Mehtar to keep him quiet about Nursat while Umra Khan settles his other enemies. If he really intended to attack Drosh, we should expect him to portend a march against Swat or Asmar. All the same, if we could get from Peshawar an assurance that Chitral territories should not be violated by Jandole forces, it would strengthen Nizam's position, although of course he would at once begin clamouring about Nursat again. The Mehtar is just as shifty as ever. He would agree now to any arrangement about Yasen with pleasure, for his fears are very great concerning Sher Afzal. If he were once really confident of his power to remain in Chitral he would certainly seek to raise difficulties or make a hard bargain. Annexation would be a mistake. It would look like a breach of faith on our part. It would be as inexpedient under present circumstances as it is unnecessary. My idea is to have little Shuja-ul-Mulk made Governor, with a British Political officer as his guardian and director. We would be responsible for the security and good government of the district guarantee the small revenue, &c. In return for all this there would be no interference from Chitral of any kind. If Nizam or his villainous advisers had the run of the place, all the old atrocities would be started again. If we are in a position to protect the people from oppression, there will be no running away of the inhabitants. On the other hand, all will be delighted. Nizam is universally disliked, and, with the exception; of a small party, Rahmatulla's relations and Mohamad Wali's foster relations, Khushwakt domination is dreaded only less than the rule of the Katur. The wretched villagers want peace and some sense-of security that their wives 8 children shall not be sold at the pleasure of the king, nor their houses fields taken away unjustly, merely to reward the favourite of the hour, may confidently expect that under just government the Yasenis will be loyal and grateful, until, at any rate, the terrors of the old regime have faded from their memory. Then of course men will be as indignant at the restraints of in¬justice properly administered as all other natives in a similar stage of civilization are and always must be. They hate oppression themselves naturally, but equally naturally they love to oppress those weaker than they are. "Project me from the strong, let me plunder the weak, is the hearty desire of every one of them.
No further news of the Russians. Two men have just arrived who say no troops have left Murghabi at all as yet. This statement I doubt very much.
I start to morrow with Bruce for Shali, Shagot, &c., leaving Young husband and Gordon
Twelve men of the guard accompany me to provide one sentry at night
The marches will all be short. Nizam goes too. "Tamasha" is
.only object. The weather
.hot in the middle of the day, but the sun is generally temperature ………….
I am most anxious to get away. Five years of this………upon one – a few months of civilization is necessary to prevent one …….. becoming sterile, one's disposition …….or morose. P.S. There is a suspicion that Umra Khan's game is to get Government or Nizam to ask him not to attack Drosh. In this he will seem to oblige Government and Nizam without being required to give up Nursat
No. 2256 D.O., dated Srinagar, the 30th May 1893.
From—LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To—SIR H. M. DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.I.
In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 2148, dated the 23rd May 1893, I enclose the marginally noted demi-official letter received on the 29th May, enclosing copy of a demi-official letter. No, 50 dated the 30th April 1893, from Robertson, relative to the state of affairs in Chitral.
No. 1960, dated Gilgit, the 14th May 1893.
From—LIEUTENANT J. MANNERS-SMITH, Assistant British Agent at Gilgit, To—LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARB, Offg. Resident in Kashmir. Herewith copy of a demi-official letter from Robertson to Durand, dated the 30th April, which is the letter referred to in my telegram No. 1919 of yesterday's date. Robertson had not received the Government of India orders about withdrawing when he wrote, but he has since done so via Peshawar, as an urgent letter, dated the 6th instant, which arrived yesterday afternoon, explained. The letter referred to I have sent on to Durand, who is still in camp. It was really chiefly private, but was sent urgent, and therefore opened by me, as. Robertson had received information, which led him to believe that a number of Swati Mullas had proceeded up the Indus with students, for the purpose of joining in a gathering of forces against Chilas. The rumour must have been false, as everything was quiet down the river when Twigg left Chilas on the 8th. The Chitralis may have got news of the unsuccessful "mission from the Hindustani fanatics into Swat, and distorted its return into this story. I refer to the telegram from the Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar, dated the 8th. Twigg and Sandbach came here from Chilas via the Kanjut Pass two days ago which shows that our friends in Tangir and Darel are at our mercy, if any serious trouble should occur again in the Indus valley.
No. 50, dated Shogot, the 80th April 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B.
Your demi-official to Younghusband was unluckily not dated, so it is not clear whether you wrote it before of after your letters of the 15th and 16th to me. Mian Gul's death ought to put a stop to any general rising in the Indus valley, even if it were otherwise possible. Ii hope all chance of such an event has now passed a way. It would undoubtedly be unpleasant for Gilgit if a determined fanatical attempt was made to drive us out of the country but it would not be more than unpleasant. It must fail utterly. Our holding Chilas makes us very strong. The enemy might hammer their heads against the stone walls there as long as they liked, but could not venture to attack Bunji or Gilgit while we have Chilas. Its possession secures Gilgit. If they really mean a determined assault on Chilas preparatory to other adventures, they must have a severed lesson read them. I will march through Tangir and Darel, with a strong force of Chitralis, and show the Kohistanis how vulnerable they are. They Mehtar is madly anxious for such an expedition. He believes it would make manifest his devotion to Government and earn being to have peaceful neighbours, but all the me if there were anything like a big business threatening, I should start at once. The road are not difficult comparatively speaking, while we should go very fast. Bruce would probably accompany me. The Punyali levies could; go over the Singal Nullab Pass into Darel; we would meet them marching through Tangir. One word of caution is necessary. None of the Punyalis from Akbar Khan downwards would like to see the Darelis completely smashed up, as none of them really liked the Hunza Nagar success. It would consequently be necessary for me to get hold of them, as soon as possible, to keep them under my own eye. While we are in Chilas, the Kohistanis, however infatuated; their fanaticism may make them, are powerless for evil, unless they rose in such numbers that, instead of being a kind of mere frontier police business it would be a general frontier war, when the proper remedy would be applied from Peshawar way. Chilas is the real 'darband' for Bunji, as all the natives know very well. It paralizes any raiding attempt on Gilgit. It puts Darel, Tangir, Thur aun Sazin entirely at our mercy. When it is seen that we not only hold it strongly now, but really intend to stick to it for the future, and yet have no desire to conquer the whole of the valley, the people will settle down to acquiesce and peace provided they are let alone. The Kaghan valley Sayads is the mainspring of all hostile movements. They fear, their valley will be harried by troops and transport, in. precisely the same manner that Astor has suffered. As I wrote in a postscript to my last letter, Umra Khan is very likely 'bluffing' about Drosh, so I have written to him a second letter about frontier matters, a copy of which you will find enclosed. His brother, Muhammad Shah Khan (Miskini Khan), has written to me again. He appears to be desirous of ingratiating himself with the Mission with an eye to the possibility of future benefits for himself, which is satisfactory enough. Umra Khan's forces are besieging Pamjan. Guns have been sent with them. Umra Khan is either with the troops or intends to go to them shortly. Abdul Hakim tells me that, after conversation with some of Sher Afzal's well-wishers, lie is sure that many Chitralis believe that we are at heart well disposed towards Sher Afzal. They do not believe that he is a prisoner at all, but that he will shortly return openly, not secretly as he came before. They expected Nizam would be installed and proclaimed Mehtar by the Government of India. As this has not been done, they conclude we intend eventually to put Sher Afzal on the throne.
It is also said that all the Bashghalis are favorable to that prince. He wisely conciliated them in every way, distributing much money amongst them. The people, say that now the passes are opening, "we shall see." The men, who brought news from Badakhshan that Sher Afzal's son and his followers had been taken under escort to Kabul on their road down the Latku, told a precisely contrary story, declaring that the men were still at Zebak. Chitralis of course like to tell every one that which he wishes to heat. I imagine myself that the party has really been taken to Kabul. Whether or no there is any foundation for the almost universal belief that Sher Afzal will shortly put in an appearance once more, depends altogether upon the state of our relations with the Amir, of which I of course know nothing. I arrived here to day with Bruce. The Mehtar is with us. We have done the one days march in three journeys. This arrangement was nominally in the interests of sport, but we have not had any. It may be the Mehtar is afraid of over fatiguing my excellent majesty. He is painfully anxious lest by some accident he should offend me. If he were but stronger minded or of firmer will, it would be better for himself, but no doubt he would be much less easy to manage. He really likes being kind, and with a British officer always near him should turn out a model Mehtar. He told, me last night with glee how the Eshani Hazrat had asked for 30 slaves on payment, but Nizam without being disobliging had shown how impossible it was to send slaves while I was here. Muhammad Wall's broth Gauhar Aman, is with us here. He is all right. There is not the slightest suspicion he will be poisoned. I believe the Bernas man's daughter promised to Rahmat-ullah's little son has been given to Muhammad Raft's brother. It is not a matter with which I can interfere.
Copy of a letter from SURGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I., to UMRA KHAN of Jandol, dated the 27th April 1893.
On the 2nd of February, two and a half months ago, I did myself the pleasure of writing to you about frontier affairs, being under the impression that you were prepared to enter into discussion on the subject with the British officer in charge of the Government of India Mission to Chitral. On the 5th of March, you sent me a courteous communication, showing that you fully understood the contents of my letter and repeating many of its phrases. You also remarked that the pressure of urgent business at the moment prevented your writing more definitely, but promised to let me hear from you again shortly as soon as you had leisure at your disposal. May I ask you now to be kind enough to fulfill this promise? The year is getting on, and I am most anxious to know that cordial and friendly relations are fully established between you and Mehtar Nizam-ul-Mulk If, on the other hand you are no longer inclined to discuss the Narsat and other frontier questions: with me, I shall write and acquaint the Government of India with the fact. In either case I beg you will accept the assurance of my friendship and my good wishes for your health and prosperity.
No. 2427 D.-O., dated Srinagar, the 6th June 1893.
From - UTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To - H.M. DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., Foreign Secretary,
In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 2256, dated the 30th May 1893, I enclose the marginally noted demi-official letter received on the 6th June, enclosing extract from a demi-official letter No. 55, dated the 8th May 1893, from Robertson, relative to the state of affairs in Chitral.
No. 2003 D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 18th May 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT J. MANNERS-SMITH, V.C., Assistant British Agent, Gilgit, To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARR.
I send herewith extracts from Robertson's last demi-official to Durand. The portions I have omitted were merely expressions of private views and evidently not intended to go further. I have sent you a cipher telegram to-day regarding Robertson's intentions as to returning to Gilgit and leaving Younghusband in Chitral with Gordon and the full Sikh, escort. I feel sure Durand shares Robertson's views as to the inexpediency of throwing away, by now leaving Nizam to his fate, the hold we have gained over Chitral; and that he agrees that, if Younghusband is to remain at all, he must have a strong guard behind him, until the Mehtar is strong enough to be responsible for the safety of his British visitors to say nothing of his own neck.
Extract from a demi-official letter from SURGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I., to COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B., No. 55, dated Shogot, the 8th May 1893.
We halt here today and march to Chitral tomorrow. The explanation given by the bearer of your special daks of your urgency was that the Gilgit troops, had been heavily defeated in Chilas losing their two guns, all the Gilgitis and Punyalis had been sent away to fight, while you were importuning the Mehtar for help. Under these circumstances my-wishes agreed with the Mehtar's that we should waste a day at Shogot. It will relieve any possible bad impressions induced by the dak runner's information.
Muhammad Wali presence at Gilgit is undoubtedly causing us some trouble. That raseal Muhammad Rafi lately sent a secret messenger to him. The man was stopped on the road and turned back wounded. It is said that Muhammad Wali's adherents amongst the Ghizr men have sent him a message to the effect that, if he is given Yasen, well and good but if this is not done, they advise his running away by the Kargah to Yaghistran where they propose to join him. The Dirells and Tangiris are also said to be alarmed at the strong guards Ghulam has pleased on the roads leading into their valleys and to be preparing against the supposed attack. This leads me to hope that the Kohistani's riding may be to defend their country against our expedition from Gilgit by way of Chilas and through Darel and Tangir, and that when they
that no such expedition is contemplated they may quietly return home again.
There is a suspicion that Umra Khan is inciting people to steal; rifles from Chitral and from the mission escort. Bapi Lal, a Beza, who has been detained some time in Bajaur, awaiting an answer to a letter from Nizam to Umra Khan:-
1. Fifteen days ago Sahibzada Muhammad Syad of Mian Kilai, accompanied by the Kazi of the Khan of Nawagai had a long private interview with Umra Khan at Munda. The conference was kept profoundly secret; It lasted from noon to far in to the night. Conjectures concerning it are chiefly to the effect that Umra Khan and Safdar Khan are trying to patch up a peace. 2. The Swat people, acting in concert with Muhammad Sharif Khan, have sent Rs. 6,000 to Nawagai Khan, asking him to attack Umra Khan at once, otherwise the latter, after subduing Pamjan Khan and the Sin forts, will certainly invade Swat. 3 Muhammad Sharif Khan is at Thana. His family, is at Ningrahar near the Peshawar frontier. The Khan of Thana and Muhammad Sharif Khan have lately seized 15 horses which Umra Khan bad bought' in Peshawar, and which were on their way to him.
4. Umra Khan is encamped near Bargholi with a force variously entrenched and numbering two or three thousand men. He is besieging Bargholi which is 'defended by Pamjan with only sixty men. Nevertheless, the latter makes frequent sallies; he has killed about twenty of Umra Khan's men. The Jandol troops are said to fight with the most reckless bravery. Pamjan's son, Saifulla, holds Barun with 80 men. His younger brother is at: Ranai on the opposite side of the river with only 40 men. The Khan of Rubat, an ally of Pamjan, occupies Rubat with a hundred men. The four garrisons between them have only sixteen rifles. Bapi's opinion is that, in spite of all the bravery of the defenders, Umra Khan will achieve an easy victory. He has promised to settle the business in from 16 to 20 days at the outside. If Pamjan is captured, it is thought that this 'time Umra' Khan will not let him, escape with his life.
5. The Baba Sahib had not returned to Dir. Bapi, when leaving Shahzadi, saw the Murids preparing for the reception of the holy man at that place. 6. The Sipah Salar is still at Asmar, but the Afghan garrison there has been greatly reduced, numbering at the present time not more than 2,000 men. The remainder has been sent away in consequence of- troubles between the Amir and the English or the Russians, so folks say. 7. Amir-ul-Mulk has definitely refused to return to Chitral unless Kila Drosh be promised him. Umra Khan in his letter, which the Mehtar sent over for me to see, declares that the boy will not go back, and he (the Khan) cannot force him to do so. He has sent word also that he would be personally obliged it Nizam would give Drosh to Amir-ul-Mulk. He has sent word also that he would be actively helped him, but, as Amir-ul-Mulk has none, he did not care to do so. Further, that he, Umra Khan, was a sincere friend of the Mehtar and of the Government of India, although as yet he had received no benefits, such as money, &c., from the latter. Many people reported lies to the Mehtar about him (Umra Khan), but he hoped to explain everything in an interview with Nizam as soon as his hands were clear of Pamjan.
8. Umra Khan told Bapi that he intended sending a man to see me in a day or two. 9. On one occasion Umra Khan sagaciously observed that the Mehtar should not believe that the English would ever actively help him. They would give money and presents, and by honied word attempt to get hold of the country. I is impossible for the English to bring large force from Gilgit into Chitral, because or the distance and because of the difficulties of transport and supply while a small force would be useless. Their real - their only road was through Swat and Bajaur, but this they will not be able to take for a long time. "We will see" added the Khan ending the conversation. Bapi (or Bappi) is of opinion that, if the Mehtar does not give up Drosh to Amir-ul-Mulk, Umra Khan will probably attack. He and many expect there must be something hidden under the Jandol Khan friendly protestations to the Mehtar, and that after he has smashed Panijan, he will either turn his attention to Drosh or the Bashghal valley, and so occupy the summer. I shall not be able to leave Chitral for some days, in accordance with Government instructions. I shall wait a reasonable time for a reply from Umra Khan.
* * * * * * * * * * A sudden withdrawal of the whole party would reduce Chitral to the condition in which we found it, while to leave Younghushand behind with a diminished escort would he highly imprudent. My present idea is to hold a farewell Darbar as soon as convenient, and then start with Brace for Gilgit, leaving younghusband and Gordon behind with every man of the escort to give Nizam a further chance of establishing his position.
* * * * * * * * * * Ghulam Khan has arrived at Drosh from Bajaur.
D. No. 616F.
No. 2507 D.-O., dated Srinagar, the 10th June 1893,
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir, To - SIR H. M. DURAND, K.C.I.E., C.S.l. Foreign Secretary. In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 2427, dated the 6th June 1893, I enclose the marginally noted demi-official letters received on the 10th June, enclosing extracts from demi-official letters from Robertson, relative the state of affairs in Chitral, and giving certain information in regard to the movements of the Russians and the Afghans in the Pamir region.
No. 2101 D.-O., dated Gilgit, the 22nd May 1893.
From - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G.A. DURAND, C. B., British Agent at Gilgit, To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D. W. K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir. I send you herewith an extremely interesting letter from Robertson, giving the latest news he had of Russian and Afghan moves. The former of course will move, however much they protest, and the latter seem inclined to hang on to their rightful possessions. If the reinforcing of Sarhad is true, the Amir is certainly not stick¬ing to the line shown on his map. His speech to the Kafirs is thoroughly characteristic: he is the regular Afghan bully. I presume that the next letter we get from Robertson will be on his way out.
No. 52, dated Izt, opposite hot springs, one mile from Drosh, the 2nd May 1893.
From - SurGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B. We have moved here from Drosh as everybody, Mehtar included, wishes to bathe in the springs. Messengers are coming in from beyond the passes continually bringing news, much of which is unfortunately more or less contradictory, while not a little is pure fable, or an exaggeration of the vague rumours floating about the frontier. All agree that the Russians will take Wakhan this year and also Shighnan. Most believe also that Badakhshan be seized as well. The reasons for this opinion are the movements the Russians have already made according to common report and the counter movements made or being made by the Afghans. The Khwaja Minjan's Khalifa arrived this morning. His news is definite, given with confidence in its truth, and agrees in the main with that of other travelers. It may at any rate be taken as expressing the general belief of, and the information possessed by, the Zebakis. It is to the following effect:- (1) The General at Faizabad starts shortly for Bagh whither the infantry from Faizabad have already gone. The cavalry have moved to Rustak. These are precautionary measures against a possible attack from Darwaz or Kulab. (2) The garrison at Panja is to be reinforced by 150 men drawn from the detachment at Minjan. From Panja 100 men have been sent to strengthen Sarhad and a similar number to Bapatung. One pony load of rifles and one pony load of cartridges have reached Panja for the use of the garrison. (3) Advanced guards of Russians have arrived at Kishu, half a day's journey from Panja in the Khargoshi direction. The Russians have also advanced from Soma, and have a post one and a half day's journey nearer the Shakhdhara than Soma, while their main force is half a day's journey behind the advance post. The Afghans have sent a company of 60 men to Shakhdara to watch these movements. (4) From Sarez also the Russians have advanced, and 100 Afghans are in consequence guarding the Yal Darband. This Darband is said to be at the foot of a pass called the Sargaighund, and to block the nullah leading to Bartang and the Ghund valley also. 5. Sher Afzal's son's horses confiscated by the Amir are in the transport lines at Faizabad, but are paid for by Sher Afzal, which may or may not be a suspicious circumstance. There is no doubt whatever that there are many refugee in Chitral would welcome the advance of the Russians, and would help them to the extent of their power. Like the majority of the Badakhshis, they would do anything to get rid of the Afghans. The disaffected to Nizam, are as you know very numerous, and are continually sending secret messengers to Zebak. The Zebak is told the Khalifa that these men industriously spread reports of the small number of British there are in Chitral, and how easy it would be to capture the place, is to encourage the adherents of Sher Afzal to attempt another invasion. Many Lutdeh Kafirs have come here. They say that a deputation of their tribe went to Kabul to see the Amir, who used very threatening language towards them, declaring that, unless they sent at once a headman from each of their sixteen villages to make complete submission to him, he would invade their country. He told them to place no reliance on the Mehtar and the English. The latter were his blacksmiths, who supplied him mite rupees and such arms as he required. He had the Lutdehis at a disadvantage on all sides. If they disobeyed him, he would eat them up at the head and at the feet. The point about the Amir's speech is this. He know as well as every one else that the Lutdeh Kafirs have been tribute, and acknowledge allegiance to the Mehtar of Chitral for a very long time. If he has been correctly reported and means, what he says, the Amir is bent on undertaking a frontier policy of extreme for forwardness.
The Kafirs also say it is not true that Sher Afzal is a prisoner. The Amir at first was exceedingly angry with him, but that now Sher Afzal is at large, and is treated with great kindness by the Amir. This is the general opinion in Chitral, and probably the Kafirs got the news from some Sher Afzal's followers, and not from Kabul as they pretend. People who fly from Chitral to join the enemy get their lands and possessions confiscated. There is a suspicion that certain headmen
the credulous people that Sher Afzal is close at hand is certain of success, ..... that it would be only common prudence to join him. These headmen have 'rallied' from Sher Afzal to Nizam but pretend they are humbugging the latter, and are still in close correspondence with the former. Their
to get poor devils to run away and then become possessors of the
lands. As far as I know, it is only in Latku that this game is being played there it has been attended with considerable successes. Shahzada Lais has to day given me a definite promise that the hold himself responsible that none of his 'Murids' leave the century. He says he cannot be responsible for the 'Murids' of other 'Pirs,' but he will do his best to influence them also. The opinion is gaining ground that the mission is secretly inclined to favour Sher Afzal. The rumour is industriously spread by the supporters of Sher Afzal. They know well that I formally congratulated the Mehtar on his occasion to the throne on behalf of the Government of India, but lies in Chitral are readily believed. The inveterate liars are always the most credulous of mortals. The only remedy is to have a great Darbar, summon people from all sides to attend it, and then actually instal Nizam in the name of His Highness the Maharaja and he Government of India with much gun firing, band playing, present giving and an elaborate ceremonial. It is now a month and a half since I sent in my report. During that period my knowledge of the people and of the affairs of Chitral has naturally increased, yet I am just as certain as when I wrote that all my main suggestions are sound, practicable and will, if adopted, be most really economical in the end. Younghusband sends me word from Chitral that Pamjan is said to have made a successful sally, from Barun or Bargholi, returning to his stronghold after killing some of Umra Khan's men, that the truce between Umra Khan and the Khan of Nawagai continues in force; that Muhammad Sharif Khan is trying to induce the Sipah Salar to attack Umra Khan through Nawagai. There is also a report of a Narsati that a deputation of Kam Kafirs has actually started for Asmar to pay their respects to the Sipah Salar. All day long I have been receiving visitors. The weather is beautiful, the country delightful. Younghusband reports all well at Chitral. We are all as fit as possible. Start for Parchah tomorrow. There are men waiting to give me more news, but if I delay sending off this letter until I have heard everything everybody has to say it cannot go to day at all.
No. 2145 D-O., dated Gilgit, the 25th May 1893.
From – LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B. British Agent at Gilgit,
To – LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D.W.K. BARR, Offig. Resident in Kashmir.
I send herewith extracts from a batch of Robertson's letters just received. His No. 56, dated 12th May. The reference of Muhammad Wali is, I believe, because the boy asked to have his wife sent him. She is a daughter of the late Mehtar Afzal-ul-Mulk. I am inclined, as I have telegraphed to you, to send the boy to Astor; here he is a thorn in the side of the Mehtar's Governor of Yassin, and is constantly intriguing against him. I am afraid the said Governor is not so tactful as Robertson imagines; there are the usual complaints of his oppression, but he has a difficult game to play. No. 57 of 12th May. There may be something in this; Kaye has reported a Kohistani force as coming up, but I hope this is not the case. The stories he has heard of small losses do not tally with the 120 men buried in Chilas itself. Of course these people boast in order to cover their defeat. No. 58 dated 14th May. I was afraid, in the unsettled state of Bajaur, that Umra Khan would not meet Robertson. The Jemadar's action, in writing to stop Umra Khan from attacking. Sher Afzal, is curious. He said nothing to me when here about having done so, nor can I find any trace amongst the letters of his having reported his having written. I dare say it was to save his neck from Sher Afzal. I have written, to Robertson saying, I hope, he will bring Ghulam in to Gilgit; it will enable us to put an end to Muhammad Wali's intrigues, and his formal reception berg should have an excellent effect in Yassin. No. 59, dated 15th May. I cannot find the place mentioned near the Khargoshi Pass reported to be held by the Afghans, but it is evident that the Amir is beyond the line laid down by him both in this case and
No. 58, dated Chitral, the 12th May I893,
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G.A. DURAND, C.B.
The situation in Chitral seems to have very greatly improved and to be still improving. A few months more ought to see affairs settling down into a state very satisfactory for us; but of course at present it would be most highly inexpedient to withdraw altogether from the country. I have replied in this sense to the Foreign Office, and mentioned my determination to leave Younghusband and Gordon behind with all the escort, as fifty men is quite small enough in my opinion for the strength of the guard.
My Latku journey was, I believe, a great success. The people were re¬assured, the Sayads were nobbled, and are said to have been pleased. We shall see, however, in a week or two the actual measure of success obtained. After we left Chitral, there was a regular stampede of the people here. This also seems to have now stopped. It put a stop to our projected journey up the Arkari, but Shahzada Lais is there, now, and as I wrote before He has definitely undertaken that none of his Murids shall, run away. All the in¬habitants of the valley are Shahzada Lais's Murids. The one doubtful remain¬ing district is Turikho. They are said to be a little unsettled there. If this is the case, it may be necessary to pay this a visit also, perhaps on my way to Gilgit. We shall see. Nizam is dying to get Muhammad Wali out of Gilgit to Kashmir or somewhere; while that young gentleman himself seems to be very contented and happy where he is. He is quite a potentate and propounds question for you to answer as if he were at least on an equality with the Mehtar. I think the best, plan would be to tell him that we never interfere with the internal affairs of Chitral, more especially with the domestic arrangements and royal prerogative of the Mehtar in, family affairs. That this is the policy of the Government of India and of the authorities of Gilgit every one knows, If Muhammad Wali wants any favours, or concessions from Nizam, it is absolutely necessary that the first step is for him to make proper submission to his lawful king, trusting to the kindness and sense of justice of the latter. In such a case some help might perhaps be given him if it could be done without interfering with Chitral manners and customers, but our consistent end must be to let Nizam know that we consider him as real a Mehtar as his father was, and that we should no more think of interfering with his private domestic affairs than we should have thought of interfering with Aman-ul-Mulk's. Nizam will soon be trying on a scheme to get hold of Muhammad Wali's mother, his own half-sister. In this he will fail. He has already hinted at it to me. Mehtar's have practically the same powers of controlling the marriages of their relatives that the Queen or the Czar have in their respective families; consequently we cannot interface between Nizam and Muhammad Wali, on the other hand, the mother of the latter will certainly never be brought back from Gilgit against her will. I fear Muhammad Wali plays polo too well and is consequently being made too much of in Gilgit. Ghulam has been very carefully instructed as to his behaviour in Yassin. I do not think you need be under any fear about him. He is showing himself exceedingly intelligent and tactful as far as I can hear. There will be no oppression or bullying there of any sort. I think Muhammad Wali's followers should now return to Yasen.
P.S. - Russians reported to be all going back everywhere. Umra Khan said to have got the worst of one or two skirmishes with Pamjan.
Extract from a demi-official letter from SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I., to LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G. DURAND, C.B., No. 57, dated Chitral the 12th May 1893. Anent the Talibilms. It seems that the Kohistanis were more than satisfied with their last efforts at Chilas, but all the same do not intend to fight again. The food question is so difficult they say. They declare their losses were not very great, were less indeed than those suffered by the bodyguard, but it was necessary to go back at once as every one was starving. Now there is a fund being collected in all masjids for the Talibilms who are expected to start shortly for Chilas. They cannot carry grain, so they are to be supplied with rupees to buy food locally. The Talibilms may amount to 1,000 or 2,000, but not more. They will be indifferently armed, chiefly with swords. If they do attack, they ought to be swept away easily. They are only boys. Indeed if they cannot be driven back, it is to be hoped that the attacked force will be killed to a man for drawing the pay and aping the ways of soldiers, while they are only impostors getting their money under false pretences.
No. 58, dated Chitral, the 14th May 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL, A.G.A. DURAND, C.B. One curious point brought to light by the Peshawar Diaries is that Jema¬dar Rab Nawaz Khan in Sher Afzal's time, while, according to his own account, he was hourly in danger of his life and in great distress and f eau by reasons of the behaviour of Sher Afzal, yet nevertheless when Umra Khan's forces advanced over the Lawarai to attack Sher Afzal, wrote a letter of protest to Umra Khan against the latter invading Chitral. I asked the Jemadar in a casual way if it were true that he had written such a letter. He answered that it was true. He volunteered no explanation, and I turned the conversation. Will you find our if in his correspondence with the Gilgit Agency he made any mention of this letter? Of course Umra Khan and his brother, on getting this communication, assumed that Sher Afzal having the Jemadar's support had the support also of the Government of India. It is said that in their embarrassment at being stopped in their adventures by the Jemadar, they invaded Bashkar for the sake of appearances, as it would not do to admit they so readily obeyed the orders of the Government of India. I have had a moderately civil letter from Umra Khan, who mentions that he has had a letter from the Viceroy, saying how pleased the latter would be if Umra Khan met me but as Umra Khan truly says it would be most inadvisable for him to meet me under present circumstances. This point I suggested in my reply to the Foreign Office telegram sent through the Commissioner of Peshawar. Umra Khan also complains of the difficulties of his position, and of the total lack of help he has received from Government. Concerning Narsat &c., he remarks he has written fully on the subjects to the Foreign Office. He is evidently a little "hutted" or wishes to appear so. There is nothing further to detain me here. I shall start for Gilgit on the 26th instant. Bahadur Khan will probably accompany me from Barnas to Ghizr, and Ghulam from Ghizr to Gilgit. I am trying quietly to alter the Mehtar's arrangements in the matter of my going down, but if he is firm in his resolve, I shall give way as it will only involve a few days additional delay. The Kam Kafirs are now busy with a serious quarrel amongst themselves. They are beyond our sphere of influence altogether I think.
No. 59, dated Chitral, the 15th-.May.1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A.G.A. DURAND. C.B.
Your demi-official of the 6th instant. Younghusband has drawn up for me the enclosed statement of our information about the present disposition of Afghan troops. It appears to be correct, that is to say, different informants agree on the main facts. There seems no doubt that the Amir has a detachment at Sarhad. The numbers given us are 26, 20, 30, one man says forty but all are unanimous in saying there is a detachment there. The unanimity of every one about the actual presence of Russians in Wakhan, and the little graphic touches of description about them and their doings were extraordinary. Nevertheless it appears now that the Russians never were there at all. This makes one diffident in certifying to any information as absolutely accurate, but I believe the Amir has a small force at Sarhad.
Disposition, of Afghan troops on the Pamirs and Badakhshan frontier according to information received in Chitral up to May 10th 1893. In Wakhan 300 men, of which 20 to 40 are at Sarhad, about 60 at a post (Kikm or Akbar Zer-i-Zanrin near the Khargoshi Pass and the remainder at Killa Panja. In Shighnan and Roshan, 500 men and four guns; of these 100 are said to be guarding the Yal Darband at the foot of the Sargan-i-Ghund Pass in Bartang. There were originally six guns but two have been sent back to Faizabad.
In Badakhshan, one battalion infantry, one battery of artillery, and two troops of cavalry at Faizabad; 300 infantry in Munja; 300 infantry in Rustak; 200 infantry Ragh; four troops of cavalry at Sayad and Samti, guarding the passages across the Oxus. The total strength of the Afghan forces on the Pamirs and Badakshan frontier may be taken as 2,400 infantry (three battalions), two batteries of artillery, and one regiment of cavalry.
No. 2790-D.O., dated Gulmarg, the 28th June 1893.
From - Lieutenant-Colonel D.W.K. Barr, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To - Sir H.M. Durand, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., Foreign Secretary.
In continuation of my demi-official letter No. 2539, dated 13th June 1893, I forward copies of Robertson's final demi-official letters of Colonel Durand in regard to Chitral affairs.
No. 63, dated Chitral, the 21st May 1893.
From - SURGEON-MAJOR G. S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I.,
To - LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit. A profound calm is on the surface of things. I leave next Friday with a clear conscience. We have news from Asmar that S her Afzal is to he detained a prisoner for three years. If this is true, our frontier is quite safe at any rate. The Amir is intriguing, bullying and frightening the Katu Kafirs (the Lutdeh men), requiring deputation to he sent to him to make proper submission, under pain of an invasion of the Kafir country. The Kafirs object, and so does the Mehtar naturally. The Kara people my friends, are characteristically raging and intriguing all round. They are toe most stiff necked and fierce of all the, Kafir tribes I know anything about, and have of late been committing several entirely unnecessary impolitic murders.
Umra Khan is said to have taken the Rani fort by a coup de main, putting all the defenders, 140, to the sword, while his own loss was compara¬tively trifling. He, then, is said to have offered a road for retreat to Pamjan Khan at Bargholi, which is not more than a rifle shot from Rani, but the old fellow replied; that he intended to keep on fighting, and was quite ready to die. This is the Mehtar's story as related by him to the on the authority of various informers lately arrived in Chitral from Bajaur and that neighborhood. The Jemadar thinks the news undoubtedly true. As soon as the Sin business is quite settled, if any satisfactory arrangement can be completed with Nawagai, Umra Khan will probably attack the Kam (or else Swat in Though valiant, at times furiously brave, they are in a high state of exasperation, and should make a stubborn defence. They will try and get the Amir's help no doubt. The Mehtar is by no means pleased with their recent behaviour, and sent word to me last night that he had refused to see a deputation just arrived from Kamdesh. I told the deputation this morning that, until they had satisfied the Mehtar about the recent murders I was unable also to listen to any of their representations. They have promised to return tomorrow with Inayat Khan or some other Mutabar of the Mehtar as a guarantee that the latter has sent them to me.
There is little doubt in the minds of the people here that an Adamzadas, named Amanat Shah a great fighting man who was murdered here two nights ago, was shot by the Mehtar's secret desire. The decrease was an old acquaintance of mine a ................... Shah-i-Mulk, and a sworn friend of Sher Afzal's. I hear today that several men have fled the country from .................. it may be in consequence of this murder, which has set many men trembling for their own lives. But murders in Chitral are unfortunately common incidents, so common indeed that ordinary people take but little interest in such occurrences. It will take a long time before this state of things is changed. News came yesterday that the Russians were certainly on the Pamir-i-Wakhan. Today we got word that they are going back from Murghabi even.
The unanimity of all our messengers that the Russians were at one time actually on the borders of Wakhan is very curious. We must send a trust¬worthy man from Gilgit, through Ali Mardan Shah, to Mulls Ashoor before we shall truly know what actually occurred. I hope the Indus valley is quiet, and that we have settled, and are settling down to an uneventful summer. It is already extremely hot in Chitral, but every one keeps well. The attempt at restarting the Kaka Khel timber trade seems so far to have failed ignominiously. The first party sent to do the work fled at once. They are now somewhere about Asmar. The next lot are said to have refused the Mehtar point-blank. We have, carefully kept outside the whole question, and I have abstained from even mentioning the subject to the Mehtar. I hope, therefore, that this unjust trade has come to an end of itself. The Mehtar will never be able to complain that he gives it up at my request, a very important point. He has so far been forced to give it up, simply because his people would not agree to continue it.
No. C-1., dated Camp Gurki, tie 28th May 1893,
From - Surgeon-Major G.S. Robertson, C.S.I.
To - Lieutenant-Colonel A.G.A. Durand, C.B., British Agent at Gilgit. I send you a letter received by Khushwakt as we were leaving Chitral. It shows that Sher Afzal has restarted his intrigues, and is by no means hopeless of regaining Chitral. Do you know if there are any definite assurances from the Amir on the subject of the detention of Sher Afzal? If please let me know of them. We shall probably go by the Chamarkand reaching Gilgit in about a fortnight. I am busy 'conciliating' as we go along. We ourselves are highly popular, but the Mehtar makes little or no way in the affections of the people. I need not write at any length as we shall meet very shortly.
Translation of a letter from SHER AFZAL TO RAJA KHUSHWAKT KHAN, dated Monday, the 19th of Shawal = 6th May 1893.
Of exalted rank, distinguished with honour, my brother Khushwakt Khan may you always remain under the shelter of God, and may you remain honoured and respected in both the worlds! By the kindness of the Lord of the world I am well and safe. Please God, you also will be in the same condition. Further, may it be known to you that you and I are brothers. Your father and mine intended to become friends. My father (Shah Afzal) has asked your father that he (Padshah Khushwakt's father) should arrange for a from his father in Law's (Chazanfar of Hunza) family to be betrothed
. ..................................................... .......................... ..........
he brought a man of the Russians to his own place. When the English, came to Chitral, he sent the man down to Drosh. When the English want to Drosh, he had him thence sent to GramoI where the man remained in the house of Abdul Said Kalash. This agent of the Russians was ten months in the country. After that period Aman-ul-Mulk sent him to Ali Mardan Shah, and the latter helped him in his return across the Pamir. Last year when the English were sending forces against Kanjut, this Nizam-ul-Mulk sent a letter to his father, saying he had made arrangements with the Yaghistanis, and asking for permission to attack and take Gilgit from the English. Aman-ul-Mulk in his lifetime used to tell his sons that his evil doings against the English were well known; that, if evil days came on him, he had no road to the English, but that he will proceed to Ishkuman and Pamir, and thence to the Russians. Aman-ul-MuIk used to say these words; now also if misfortune happens to Nizam-ul-Mulk, he will not go to the English, hot to the Russians. In Kaghaz-i there is a man named Tawar and Azad and Ramat-ullah. These were sent by Aman-ul-Mulk, the year before last, with Haji Kokandi to the Russians, also last year after their having returned once. He used to tell the man of the English that he sent them for trading purposes. Those men have not returned yet. You should let the men of Government know this. I have done no evil against Government, nor ever ^intend - to do so. If God grants me my country, I will make friendship and relationship with you. You explain these matters fully to the men of Government. Please God, I am not a liar or given to breaking my promises. The rest—may the days of jour life be prosperous. [Seal of] SHER AFZAL.
Extract from a demi-official letter from SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I., to LIEUTE-NANT-
COLONEL A. G. A. DURAND, C.B., dated Chitral, the 25th May 1893.
* * * * * * * * There is no further news of Russian and Afghan movements. I shall send Khushwakt over the Baroghil to find out and take to Gilgit an account of what has actually happened in Wakhan this year. We must do something for this old and trusted spy and faithful worker on our behalf. Could you get, him a jagir in Gilgit? It would be politic as well as just to handsomely reward his good services and unswerving fidelity. Despite his long tongue and his occasional want to tact, he is the best of all the Kings he is best of all the kings. The Kam Kafirs are intriguing all round and misbehaving generally in their usual idiotic way, alternately lying, bullying and whining. New has come from Bajaur that Umra Khan has captured Rani as well as Barun. It is said that he overwhelmed the former fort with artillery fire, smashing down the defences and killing 82 men. Never the less his own loss amounted to between 60 and 70 killed and wounded a prodigious number, if true for this class of fighting. The news is more than corroborated by a letter from Gulam Haldar Khan to the Jemadar, which relates that Umra Khan has captured all the four forts completely subduing the Sin country. It furthers asserts that an immediate a
....................................... .................. ...............
The Queen's birthday was observed here yesterday with much ceremony. Nizam-ul-Mulk came over in the morning to offer his congratulations, and the headmen followed one another all day with the same object. It was an admirable opportunity for distributing toshakhana presents. In tie afternoon there were sports, while, in the evening, we entertained at dinner some 250 guests, including the Mehtar, and everybody who is anybody besides num¬bers of people who are nobodies. The festivities still, continue. To-day there is to be a great polo match, and more sport which darkness compelled us to leave over from yesterday. The whole business was a very great success the. Queen and her birthday will long be remembered in Chitral. I want a good picture, of the Queen properly famed for the Mehtar. My own idea is that a photograph of Her Majesty statue at Bombay, would be the best picture to give. This would show the Queen on a throne, crowned, and with a sceptre in her hand just the sort of picture to properly impress the Chitralis. The only objection would be the eyes. I must think it over. Hope to see you in a fortnight or so.
* * * * K.F.
D. No. 690F.
No. 2791, dated Gulmarg, the 28th June 1893.
From - Lieutenant-Colonel D. W. K. BARR, Offg. Resident in Kashmir,
To - The Secretary to the Government of India foreign Department.
In continuation of my letter No. 2767, dated 26th instant, I have the honour to for ward, for the information of the Government of India, a letter No. 2540, dated. 17th June 1893, with its enclosures, from Surgeon-Major. G.S. Robertson, C.S.I., being his final report on Chitral affairs, together with a copy of the instructions issued by him for the guidance of Captain Young-husband. The mission accounts are separately forwarded with my letter No.- 2792, dated 28th June 1893. I would submit my opinion that Surgeon-Major Robertson bas conducted the duties entrusted to him by the Government of India with much tact and discretion; that the object of the mission to Chitral has been fulfilled; and that it is "evident that Mehtar Nizam-ul-Mulk is largely indebted to the support and assistance he received from Surgeon-Major Robertson's mission for the measure of success attained by him in establishing himself as the Ruler of Chitral. I consider that the instructions framed by Surgeon-Major Robertson for the guidance of Captain Younghusband, who remains as Political Officer in Chitral, are full and sufficient, and that they have been drawn up with the care, skill, and foresight which have marked all Burgeon-Major Robertson's actions; and with the knowledge and experience of men and measures in Chitral which he possesses to so rare a degree. I trust that the services of Surgeon-Major Robertson and of the officers, whom he so strongly commends for their cordial assistance, will be brought to the favorable notice of the Government of India; and I venture to draw particular attention to the terms n which Surgeon-Major Robertson refers to the excellent work done for the mission by Khan Sahib Abdul Hakim.
No. 2540, dated Gilgit, the June 1893.
From - Surgeon-Major G.S. Robertson, C.S.I.,
To - The Resident in Kashmir.
I have, already officially informed you of the return of the Chitral mission to Gilgit, and of its work being now ended. I now forward, for subsequent transmission, to the Government of India in the Foreign Department, final report on Chitral affairs, together with a copy of instructions, left behind for the general guidance of Captain Younghusband; also the mission accounts. 2. A translation of a letter addressed to me by Mehtar, Nizam-ul-Mulk is likewise enclosed. It was handed to me just before my departure from Chitral by the Mehtar himself, who took the opportunity of presenting it to renew his professions of entire devotion to the Government of India, his earnest desire to place himself and the resources of his country, at the disposal of the power which had not only seated him on his father's throne but was still maintaining him there with equal
3. Nizam-ul-Mulk does not pretend that all his actions during his father? ..
proceedings on his part; justifiable only on the ground that he was acting under the orders of his father and King, he has nevertheless been treated with the utmost kindness by the Government of India.
4. He fluently proclaims Iris gratitude for what has been already done for him, while he earnestly confesses his inability at the present time to con¬tinue the struggle against his numerous enemies, unless he is still sustained by the same strong hand which has so powerfully aided him in the past. He founds an argument why he should be accorded further help in the future, on the broad ground that it is necessary for a great Government to be consistent in its policy. It is this conviction, which is found underlying all his utterances, although it is usually somewhat obscured by that habitual indirectness, of speech, which is common to all orientals. 5. You are aware that the Government of India left it to me to decide whether Captain Younghusband should remain in Chitral with a small escort, or whether he should return with the mission to Gilgit. I decided that he should stay behind in Chitral and that the whole of the detachment of the, 15th Sikhs, with Lieutenant Gordon of the same regiment, should, be left with him also as a personal guard. I formed this determination on the grounds that there is now ho unreasonable risk in officers living in Chitral if properly protected; that any sudden withdrawal of the whole of my party would create, such a general feeling of insecurity throughout the country that it would be probably impossible for the Mehtar to maintain his authority even if it did not impel him to leave Chitral altogether. Finally, I considered that although 60 Sikhs under a trustworthy commander were sufficient to guard the resi¬dence, and stores of the Political Officer, yet it would be an act of imprudence to diminish that number. In short, I read my telegraphic instructions about leaving Captain Younghusband at Chitral with a "small Escort" as meaning a sufficient escort, and acted on this assumption.
6. In now adverting to the work actually accomplished by the Chitral Mission. I think it may be considered good on the whole. My previous report, dated the 18th of March, will have shown the nature of many, of the difficulties the mission had to content against. Most of these difficulties were, however, successfully overcome, and consequently they need not be referred to against at any length. 7. As a means of closely connecting Mehrat Nizam-ul-Mulk himself with the Kashmir Darbar and with the Government of India, there never was any doubt about the assured success of the mission. But it was quickly discovered that a much wider field of operations lay before the Political Officers than was contemplated when the mission originally started. The country was in a distracted condition, torn by factions; the Mehtar was highly unpopular; the English were looked upon with suspicion and dislike by the influential classes. 8. For its own safety, therefore, no less than with the view of maintaining English influence and English prestige, the mission was compelled to actively and energetically support Nizam-ul-Mulk in his Government, yet without ever appearing to interfere in the internal affairs of the State. 9. Instead of finding ourselves in the position of envoys sent to congratulate and form an alliance with a young prince flushed with recent triumphs over rebellious subjects and powerful outside foes, we, found ourselves called upon to firmly establish on his throne, and infuse with hope and virile energy, an unnerved terror-stricken Chief who was conscious that he ruled on the merest sufferance a thoroughly disaffected people, whose abstention from further outbreaks of violence was entirely due to a doubt and fear lest the Government of India might have the will and also the power to energy any injury to its nominee. 10. That under such
..................................... .................... ............ .
11. Military force Other than that which the Mehtar himself can organize and direct, it would be impolitic to use in Chitral, even if it were possible to employ it at such an enormous distance from its base of reinforcements and supplies in Kashmir or India. 12. The upper classes have to be won over and conciliated by friendly, overtures, apparently emanating from men absolutely secure and. confident in their strength and position, while at the same time the imagination of the Adamzadas must be acted upon by the spectacle of their ruler; being securely protected from all outside enemies, and gradually making himself feared and respected by the firmness, combined with justice, of his rule, and by the display of the wealth and resources he possesses as the subsidize ally of his acknowledged suzerain, His Highness the Maharaja of Kashmir. 13. That there are many difficulties in the way of carrying out such a line of policy it would be idle to deny, but there are also two factors, the, value of which cannot be overestimated, as favouring influences in any attempts we may make to mould the Chitralis to our interest, especially if these; favouring influences be employed discreetly and with dexterity. They are, first, the absence of any real fanatical feeling in Chitral, and, secondly, the extreme impressionability of the people.
14. The absence of all sentiments of religious intolerance in Chitral amounts to a national peculiarity. It is especially indicated by the strenuous but futile efforts of one or two of the chief men notably by one of the Mehtar's uncles, to gain a reputation for fanaticism. But the pretended bigotries displayed are so obviously a threadbare cloak for biding simple designs for increasing individual self-importance that no one is deceived by so palpable a sham. One man, a Cousin of the Mehtar's, at first very friendly in his relations with the mission, went on a visit to the "Baba Sahib" at Dir. On his return it was discovered he had become fanatical. He kept aloof from all communication with the British officers, bat yet maintained this uncompromising attitude with so much difficulty, so much, doubt and self consciousness, that it was impossible to feel any resentment at such embarrassed shamefaced proceedings. Another individuals, who had been promised a small present, remembered on the day the "khilats" were distributed that, as a "Sofi," he could, not possibly attend to receive his gift. He nevertheless came to the garden door of my house and openly before all his followers begged that his reward might be sent him there by the band of his friend. 15. The impressionability of Chitralis again is something extraordinary. It undoubtedly makes them terribly fickle. But fickleness tells both ways. If you cannot rely upon unswerving supporters in changeable people, you can at least be happy in the thought that they can rarely become inveterate opponents. When great impressionability is combined with extreme cupidity, for which Chitralis are also remarkable, the power of influencing, them lies with the main of most tactful speech, especially if he also possesses the longest purse. Polite attentions, complimentary speeches, have a great, if ephemeral, effect on most Chitralis. When accompanied by a small douceur, they not infrequently have the effect of starting the recipient to his mouth full of fervid protestations of devotion. It is true his gratitude rapidly cools, but it can be excited again as often as is desirable by a re-employment of the means described. 16. It follows, therefore, that a Political Officers in Chitral has a wonderful power always at hand of influencing for a time all those brought into direct contact with him. All manner of apparently determined enemies of the Mehtar, Adamzadas, Moghli Pirs, Sayads as well as
17. Having now indicated what strong support can be afforded. Mehtar by British officers in Chitral in the way of winning over to his cause the influential classes— the villagers and poorer people will always look at the English with favorable eyes— and having in. my former report, already referred to, shown how the position of the. Political Agent at Chitral san be easily rendered practically safe against those who from fanaticism or other motives are hostile to the continued residence of British soldiers so close to their frontiers, it is still necessary to revert to the present weakness of the Mehtar and his absolute dependence on the Government of India. 18. Nizam-ul-Mulk's lack of popularity can be overcome by time. His miserable poverty will he relieved, by the Kashmir and Government of India subsidies he will receive. But the strongest influence against him at present is the doubt in his subjects' minds whether the Government, of India really intends to continue its full support to Nizam-ul-Mulk, or whether it will after a time withdraw its officers and leave the country to be scrambled for again by Sher Afzal, Umra Khan, and the Khushwakt Princes.
19. Intriguers declare, and their words spread like wild fire throughout the land, that Sher Afzal is only biding his time until he has come to terms with the Government of India and with the Amir; also that the fact of Muham¬mad Wali being treated as a princely guest at Gilgit is significant that Government has not made up its mind what to do. They point their arguments by ' showing that Sher Afzal is in active correspondence with his supporters in Chitral, and by truly stating that numbers of Yasenis, in response to Muham-mad Wali's intrigues, are continually running away to Gilgit. 20. The people in fact are waiting for a sign in which they may place some confidence. They fear to do or leave undone anything which may bring down upon them the vengeance of Sher Afzal or Muhammad Wali, it either of those princes are in the end triumphant in Chitral or in Yasen. They know the capacity of both Katurs and Khushwakhas for wreaking vengeance on those they bear enmity to. 21. For this state of things, there is a simple and effective remedy. It is for the Government of India to at once assume, and let the fact be widely known that it does assume the protection of both Chitral and Yasen foreign enemies will be warned off. The people4 will be given peace. 22. The majority of the inhabitants of Chitral would, gladly welcome the change. The Adamzadas would soon be brought to acquiesce in it. All but a small minority in Yasen are clamouring to become subjects of the Government of India. At the present moment there are deputations of Tuj men in Gilgit, braving Muhammad Wali's resentment, who have come to implore that they may not again be handed over to the cruel oppression of either Khushkwakt or Katur. On the road to Gilgit the same petition was continually made to me secretly by those who fear to openly, declare their sentiments. 23. The English, were never so popular in Chitral is they are at present. It was discernible everywhere on the return march in the ready smile, the willing service of the men we met. Some Adamzadas at Mustuj, friends of Nizam-ul-Mulk, came to me to pray that Government, would not now withhold water from the tree it had planted with its own hand, and so leave it to wither and die - the poorer classes everywhere re-echo the same with in simpler but equally sincere phrases. 24. An Englishman now may travel anywhere through out the length and breadth of Chitral without the slightest fear. He would be welcomed everywhere. The mission returned with no escort unless. Mr.
may be also denominated. There were no sentries at night. No ...................
of danger at any time. A district in the heart of British India could not appear more peaceful and quiet. Such is the result of merely five man
the country. 25. With all their foibles, and vices, of which they have their proportionate share, it is impossible not to like Chitralis. I personally should view with sad regret any retrograde, step on the part of Government which would inevitably be followed: by a return to confusion and bloodshed in the pleasant country, and in a relapse into sorrow and misery of the happy faced picturesque people.
26. I think I have now in this and in my former report gone over all the ground of which it seemed necessary or desirable that you should have my opinion. There only remains for me now the grateful task of acknowledging the valuable services and the happy selection of the officers appointed to accompany and assist me. 27. Captain Younghusband admirable qualities, as a traveller as welt as his general ability, are well known. I need only refer to his thoroughness, his perfect temper and geniality in dealing with orientals, and his extreme conscientiousness, which make him an ideal companion in any mission liable to prove difficult or dangerous. 28. Lieutenant Bruce of the 5th Gurkhas possesses in a marked degree the power of at once getting on good terms with all sorts and conditions of people from the proud Adamzadas to the lowly serf. He has immense energy, but it is always well directed. He is clever and quick, while, his natural liking for eastern peoples seems to be thoroughly appreciated and reciprocated by them. 29. Lieutenant Gordon, who commanded my escort of the 15th Sikhs, gave me valuable help. The discipline and general behaviour, of the men under his command was altogether praiseworthy, leaving absolutely nothing to be desired. Mr. Gordon is a thorough painstaking officer, upon whom, after a very short acquaintance, you instinctively place very great reliance, both on account of his clear headed grasp of any given question, and also by reason of his trustworthy conscientious character. 30. The Superintendent of the Agency Office at Gilgit Khan Sahib Abdul Hakim, also accompanied me, and in a multifarious capacity. He was not only in charge of the mission office, but had to perform the duties of an active Political, Officer, as well as act as interpreter in Chitrali, Persian, &c. Most important of all he had to keep me informed of the secret feelings or changes in feelings of the headmen and villagers whose districts we travelled through.
31. It is hard to say in which of these various capacities he laboured most strenuously. But his most valuable service to me was undoubtedly the astonishingly exact and extensive information he obtained about the people, their desires, their hopes, and their fears. It is no exaggeration to say that on the march to Chitral, I was equally well informed of the private opinions of old women chatting round a village fire, and of the vague restless longings of ambitions headmen. At Chitral itself the local intrigues—the private and family jealousies of individuals about the Mehtar—nothing seemed to escape the skillfully organized intelligence arrangements. 32. Abdul Hakim's unswerving loyalty, his unassailable integrity were always most conspicuous, while his strong character, combined with his tactful disposition made him equally respected by the Chitralis and by the officers of the mission. The services he rendered were in short most meritorious, and I should be wanting in my duty if I omitted to properly emphasize and attract particular notice to their excellence.
Translation of a letter from MEHTAR NIZAM-UL-MULK OF CHITRAL, to SURGEON-MAJOR G.S. ROBERTSON, C.S.I. in charge Chitral Mission, dated the 26th May 1893. After compliments - As I, the sincere well-wisher of Government suffering from
of the times went and appealed to the great Government of India, and by God's grace from there having received royal Kindness with the patronage and support of Government, took possession of my father's country, and again by the coming of your mission with other officers to Chitral, I acquired perfect strength and stability, I am consequently extremely pleased (literally, happy, contented) with you and your companions, and extremely thankful to Government for its favors and kindness, and to the limits of possibility with all sincerity and truthfulness both with my life and heart, I shall continue to act sedulously in the performance of services to Government, and I consider that the country under me is just like the countries within the possession of the great Government. Accordingly, since I have great hope of support from Government, my country being identical with countries belonging to Government, and since with truthfulness I have girded up the loins of sincerity. I request that two or three officers of Government, with a hundred or more or less number of sepoys compatible with the means and resources of this country, should permanently remain in Chitral, and whichever place in the land of Chitral they select for a cantonment they may make buildings there. And without making a telegraph line, the acquiring of news and information is difficult, and delays may be caused in royal affairs; the telegraph line should lie extended from Gilgit to Chitral, so that to all countries and powers it may become known and evident that the country of Chitral is inside the limits of the British Empire, and any other object of Government that there may by in this country I have no objection to offer against it. At the same time I am hopeful that some of my wishes also may be accepted, the advantages of them in reality do not accrue to me especially, but their adoption is advisable for the... governance, (literally, keeping the country) of the country, the carrying out of the wishes of Govern¬ment, and the acquiring of peace and prosperity. 1st.—The amount of yearly subsidy, which was fixed by the Kashmir Darbar and Gilgit for my father, should as before be continued to me, even I should be entitled to an increase of it since I have been placed (on the throne) by Government in this country, and my father's wealth has all been plundered, and consequently T am in very great straits for want of funds to reward people, and to meet the necessary expenditure. 2nd.—As my country belongs to Government, anyhow the parganah (district) of Narsat, which from the time of my ancestors having belonged to us, is my hereditary property, should be taken out of the usurping possession of the Khan of Jandol and handed over to me, so that the bad name and blemish on our reputation may get wiped off. 3rd.—As through favour of Government all the country possessed by my father has been granted to me, a sanad also should be granted to me, saying that all the countries possessed by the late Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk are granted to his son, Mehtar Nizam-ul-Mulk, by the Government of India, so that my head may be raised, and my position exalted before all high and low people. 4th.— As the stay of Sher Afzal in Badakhshan, and also that of the son of Mir Wali in Gilgit, causes refractoriness and wandering amongst the people of Chitral and Warshagam, and as it is quite likely that Mir Wali's son by talking intriguingly with the people of Yaghistan may delude them, it is advisable, even necessary, that Sher Afzal should always be kept at Kabul or Kandahar, and that Mir Wali's son should be sent down to Kashmir. I trust, my friend, you would pay your attention to the points contained in this letter.
Memorandum for Captain Younghusband and Mr. Gordon.
The Chitral Mission will leave Chitral for Gilgit on the 26th of May.
Captain Younghusband, in his capacity of Assistant to the British Agent at Gilgit will remain behind in Chitral with Mr. Gordon and the
further orders. Captain Younghusband will report on all maters and receive orders from the British Agent, Gilgit. He will keep a "Political" Diary, sending all news to Gilgit at least once a week. Important information he will report as frequently as he thinks necessary. Captain Young husband's attitude towards the Mehtar of Chitral should be as follows: He should seek to maintain the cordial, personal, and friendly relations the mission has established with that prince. Whenever competent to offer it, he should give advice whenever asked to do so, but except in questions connected with the foreign relations of the State, he should always make it clear that the advice proffered was merely friendly counsel, and not intended to have the force of formal official instructions, the non-observance of which would be looked upon with dissatisfaction by the Government of India. He must continue to impress on the Mehtar that the Mehtar alone is responsible for the good Government of the country, and that he cannot shift this proper responsibilities on to the shoulders of the Assistant British Agent, the latter being merely an official visitor and a guest, staying in Chitral at the express desire of the Mehtar. He must he also care¬ful to say nothing which may be construed as pledging the Government of India to any increase of its responsibilities in Chitral, or to any deviation from the line of policy it has definitely laid down, which may he briefly defined as follows : The maintenance of friendly relations between Chitral and its suzerain, His Highness the Maharaja of Kashmir; strict non-interference in the internal affairs of the Chitral State ; the right to direct the foreign relations of the country; the continued payment of a specified subsidy so long as Chitral keeps to her engagements with the Kashmir Darbar. While acting within these limitations, Captain Younghusband should always enter a strong and vigorous protest against the adoption of any barbarous procedures or punish¬ments which are opposed to all principles of humanity or justice, the general idea being that in Chitral British officers will never countenance any such actions on the part of a Government which owes so much of its authority to the moral and pecuniary support of the Government of India.
In the event of difficult questions arising m relation to border affairs, they should always be submitted to Gilgit for orders; but Captain Younghusband may possibly be called upon to decide such manners himself when there is no time for him to await instructions from the British Agent. A brief discussion of some of the more probable points on which se may be called upon to give definite instructions on his own responsibility may therefore not be out of place here. Concerning the Dir-Bajaur-Kafiristan frontier: speaking generally, Captain Younghusband should leave no stone unturned in attempting to esta¬blish friendly relations between the Mehtar of Chitral and Umra Khan. It is highly probable that no overt act of general .............. on the part of Dir or Swat will be directed against the British officers &t Chitral while Umra Khan; is in the ascendant, and while he continues to cultivate friendly relations with the Government of India. The Baba Sahib and other fanatics would appear to be powerless to organise a large expedition of a religious character against Chitral, while Umra Khan, with his prestige for piety aid: strength combined, and with his known antipathy to priestly arrogance, professes friendship for Chitral and the Government of India.
The Kam Kefirs are at present divided amongst themselves. They are believed to have sent deputations to the Amir of Kabul. They may send other deputations to Chitral. They may be told that the Amir of Kabul is a friend and ally to the Mehtar of Chitral. If as is ............................... owing elegance to any one other than the ................ this proposition must be politely but firmly rejected. They should be told that they are only accorded a hearing, because they are assumed to be subjects of the Mehtar of Chitral, and that, if they have anything to say on this clear and definite understanding, their petition, after consultation with the Mehtar of Chitral, will be submitted to the British Agent at Gilgit. Kafir deputations should only be received after they have been seen by the Mehtar, and sent by the latter to the Assistant Political Officer. Nor should they be accorded a formal farewell interview until they have received the usual permission from the Mehtar to return to their own country. If Umra Khan attempts an invasion of the Bashgal valley, a by no means improbable contingency, the Mehtar of Chitral should be advised to abstain from interference between the belligerents. The Kam Kafirs and the Jandolis have now been at war for eighteen months, and what¬ever the original rights of the quarrel may have been, they have long been lost sight of in the fury and ruthlessness with which the fighting has been carried on by both parties. The Chitralis have hither to abstained from inter¬fering in the quarrel, and have consequently now lost their right to protect the Kafirs. The allegiance paid by the Kam to Chitral is obviously of a shadowy description. That the Mehtar can produce arguments that the Kafirs are and have been for a long time more or less subject to Chitral is most true. He can also produce very good reasons why he should be allowed to protect the Bashgal valley, and valid excuses why he has not been able to do so before now. But this is not a matter for logical argument. The fact remains that be cannot, under present circumstances, hope to succeed in a war, which would be very popular with the Yaghistanis from their desire to turn the English out of Chitral; and that the Mehtar would not dream of embarking, on such an enterprise, unless he hoped that sooner or later the Government of India would come to his assistance. Umra Khan is and professes to be in a highly discontented state of mind with the Government of India. Although the Amir has been restrained from crushing him, although the Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk was prevented from joining a formidable combination against Jandol and invading Dir at a moment, when such an invasion would have been most embarrassing to Umra Khan, the latter complains that he gets no help from the Government of India. Nevertheless, it is most important, as mentioned before, that Umra Khan should be conciliated, if conciliation be possible, yet all attempts at opening up friendly, relations with him must be made tactfully and cautiously lest he think, that overtures are being made to him from Chitral from motives of fear, in which case he will at once rapidly increase his demands.
In the event of Umra Khan attacking Drosh fort or invading any portion of territory which undoubtedly, indisputably, belongs to Chitral, and which may for the present purposes, be defined as including the whole of the Kalashgam with the valley, and the village of Urzun and the adjacent country as far as the ridge which separates the Urzun district from the valley leading to Istargat (Gourdesh); also the Kunar valley on the left bank of the Kunar river at least as low as the valley and village of Damir; in the event of Umra Khan entering any portion of this country with his forces, Captain Younghusband should write him a letter couched in courteous and friendly terms, pointing out the disfavor with which such an act of aggression cannot fail to be viewed by the Government of India, and asking Umra Khan to withdraw from Chitral territory. If such a letter is ineffectual, or if Umra Khan acts on the pretence that he never received it, it is obviously impossible that the Chitralis should be prevented from defending their own country. It is, however, highly improbable, under existing circumstances, that, even if fighting actually occurred, and Umra Khan were victorious, he would extend his operations beyond the capturing of Drosh fort. That would almost certainly be the limit of his efforts. After making every possible effort to prevent the outbreak of a war, but yet failing in the endeavor. Captain Younghusband should content himself with preventing the possibility of any
scene of conflict and should quietly wait in Chitral pending instructions from Gilgit. But it is to be hoped that, unless something unforeseen occurs to interfere with the present friendly relations between Umra Khan and the Government of India, such aggressive acts on the part of Umra Khan are practically impossible. If the Mehtar of Chitral were to be assassinated, an unlikely contingency now there is no open rival in the field, Captain Younghusband must bear in mind that a king cannot be imposed on a country by an outside power, unless it is in a position to support him by force of arms. He should conse¬quently do nothing, but strengthen his own defensive position in every way, observe the course of events, and send several urgent messages to announce the catastrophe at Gilgit. He should treat the de facto Mehtar, whoever he may be, with every respect, but, with the utmost caution, should announce that he himself is a visitor and guest in the country, and has to await definite instructions from his superior authority before taking any steps in the way of formal official recognition of the new ruler. He should ho very cautious about complying with any demand that he should leave the country; since that would involve his abandoning all his stores and food, besides placing himself at the mercy of a possible enemy in the difficult defiles and dangerous mountain paths, he must necessarily traverse on his way to Gilgit; he might possibly get no supplies on the road and be prevented from hiring transport. Should his position become absolutely untenable, he must take care to be provided with a sufficient number of hostages of a rank which will ensure the safety of himself and his party. These must be guarded strictly. But, as there will always be at least two or three months' provisions in the "Residency " besides plenty of ammunition, and, as our present position at Chitral is a fair defensive one, especially against local forces, Captain Young husband's best plan would be to remain where he is, strengthen his defences in every way, and wait for help from Gilgit. Lastly, and most important of all, Captain Younghusband must never allow himself to be lulled into a false state of security, because the surface aspect of affairs is calm and unruffled. He must not suppose that Chitralis are of such simple character that they cannot keep a secret. The history of Sher Afzal's recent invasion must not be forgotten. The close proximity of a hot bed of fanaticism at Dir must always be borne in mind, as well as the ease with which small bodies of devoted fanatics can reach Chitral without observation, now all the passes and mountain tracts are opening. These considerations should compel both Captain Younghusband and Mr. Gordon to be always on their guard against possible surprises, and to be reasonably cautious in all work which takes them away from their house as well as in all plans for sport and other recreation. They must never let it appear that they have cause for anxiety, but strict discipline should be maintained, and all proper military precautions carefully observed. They are responsible for an isolated body of Indian troops placed in the midst of a not unfriendly but fickle population, and surrounded by more or less untrustworthy tribes who, either from a desire to bring discredit and ruin on the Mehtar, or from motives of religious intolerance may, at any time be incited to attempt an outrage on the British officers or their Sikh guard. It may be taken for granted that all their doings will be carefully watched, all their habits widely known. Any slackness in discipline or any carelessness in outside rambles may act as an incitement to a murderous attack which would not otherwise be attempted. The Chitral bazar will, during the ensuring months, be attempted. The Chitral bazar will, during the ensuing months, be thronged by traders and others from Asmar, Dir, and other districts, of many of these men nothing will be accurately known. Ordinary prudence which time is not allowed to deaden is alone necessary for an attempt at outrage, even if it were to be quite unsuccessful, would still in itself be a matter of very great regret. Mr. Gordon should carefully read and consider this memorandum as well as Captain Younghusband so that in the absence or during any illness of the latter officer, he would be prepared to on its suggestions.
No.142 of 1893.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
THE RIGHT HON'BLE THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY, K.G.. HER MAJESTY'S SECRETARY OP STATE FOR INDIA.
Simla, the 11th July 1893.
My Lord, We have the honour to address Your Lordship on the subject of recent affairs in Chilas and Ghitral, and our future rela¬tions with those States.
* * * * * * 5. Before-further expressing our views as to the course which it will be desirable to adopt in regard to Chilas, it, will be desirable to give a brief-account of the state of affairs in Chitral, the two questions being closely connected.
6 in our Despatch No.233, Secret- Frontier of the 28th of December 1892, we informed your Lordship of the flight of Sher Afzal, of the assumption of the Mehtarship by Nizam-ul-Mulk, of his earnest request that a British Officer might be sent to him, and of our decision, with Your Lordship is concurrence to depute Surgeon-Major Robertson on this mission, on the understanding that Nizam-ul-Mulk was actually in possession of
Chitral Dr. Robertson was cautioned not to commit us further than necessary, arid we instructed him to avoid formally install¬ing Nizam-ul-Mulk as Mehtar, but to congratulate him on his accession, and to act generally upon the instructions which Your Lordship had previously approved in regard to Dr. Robertson's proposed mission to Sardar Afzal-ul-Mulk. These instructions authorized him to promise, on suitable conditions, the same subsidy and support-as were given to the late Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk and to lay down if Chitral and Jandol agreed, the boundary between Bajour and Chitral; and they included a special caution against taking any action likely to impair the position of Kashmir as the suzerain of Chitral. On the 7th of January, Dr. Robertson accompanied by Captain P.E. Younghusband and Lieutenant the Hon'ble C.G. Bruce, will escort of 50 men of the 15th Sikhs under Lieutenant Gordon, left Gakuch for Chitral via the Shandur Pass. At the same time 150 rifles were moved up to a position near Gupis to preserve order in Yasen. In spite of severe weather, the mission reached Chitral without mission on the 25th of January. Its arrival was generally popular with the common people, but Dr. Robertson
by the upper classes. Nizam-ul-Mulk was profuse in his professions of loyalty, and was evidently convinced that he depended on our support for his retention of power. At the end of March Dr. Robertson reported that the position of affairs was unsatisfactory; that there were rumours of a threatened combination to attack the English after the Ramzan fast; and that a conspiracy existed against the life of Nizam-ul-Mulk, who appeared at that time to be making no advance in popularity. One of the Chief difficulties of the situation was the attitude in Yasen of Muhammad Wali Khan, the representative of the former ruling family. He refused to have any dealings with Nizam-ul-Mulk, and was intriguing for his own hand. He, however, eventually went in to Gilgit, where he still remains; and Nizam-ul-Mulk sent his brother, Ghulam Dustgir, with a strong force, to assume the Governorship of Yasen. Muhammad Wali's partizans offered no opposition, and though the situation in Yasen is not altogether free from elements of possible trouble, Ghulam Dustgir is gradually establishing himself there. The success of Ghulam Dustgir and the public recognition of Nizam-ul-Mulk as successor to the Mehtarship, brought about some improvement in the position of affairs at Chitral. Nevertheless, a feeling of unrest prevailed: the people • declined to believe that Sher Afzal and his son were under surveillance at Kabul, and many of the leading men expected his early return.
7. The position was further complicated by the attitude of Umra Khan of Jandol, who was threatening to attack Darosh, nominally in the interests of Amir-ul-Mulk, one of the sons of*the late Aman-ul-Mulk, but in reality with a view to seizing that part of the Chitral valley for himself. On the 3rd of April Dr. Robertson wrote:- "We seem to be on a volcano here * * * matters are no longer improving; the atmosphere of Chitral is one of conspiracy and intrigue. The Baba Sahib (a notorious Mulla in Dir) is feeding 1,800 men daily, we hear, an immensely large number for that furious-fanatic to entertain. He prays: daily for the utter destruction of the infidels, and declares there is merit in fighting; the Chitrails than against any one else, for they have brought the English into their country *.* *Umra Khan has well thrashed Muhammad Sharif (ex-Khan of Dir) and is said to be making peace with Safdar Khan of Nawagai.
through Waffadar Khan, promised him all the valley below Chitral if he would help him against Afzal-ul-Mulk. He swears he will take Chitral as far as Mastuj for Amir-ul-Mulk whom he now forcibly prevents from returning to Chitral.
8. It had never been in our contemplation that Dr.Hobertson1s deputation to Chitral should be more than temporary, and we considered that, after he had in compliance with our instructions recognised Nizam-ul-Mulk as the de facto ruler of the State, it was undesirable that he should remain any longer in Chitral. We accordingly sent instructions on the 21st April for the withdrawal of the mission, authorizing Dr. Robertson to endeavor to meet Umra Khan before starting, if he saw any prospect of being able to do so, and leaving it to his discretion to decide whether a British Officer and small escort should remain behind at Chitral. Dr. Robert son was unable to bring about a meeting with Umra Khan. He believed that there would be no unreasonable risk in leaving the two officers behind; and accordingly, on the 26th of May, he started for Gilgit, leaving Captain Younghusband and Lieutenant Gordon at Chitral with the whole of the escort, which he considered it imprudent to reduce.
9. We have new the honour to enclose a very interesting report by Dr. Robertson on Chitral affairs, together with his and Colonel Durand's suggestions as to the course to be adopted in future. Your Lordship will see that they propose the retention of a British Officer in Chitral and the strengthening of the Gilgit Garrison in order to secure our effective control over the State. 10. With regard to these proposals, we have come to the conclusion that recent events do not call for any departure from the policy which has hitherto been adopted with regard to Chitral. We believe that it is essential that it should continue to be under the suzerainty of Kashmir, and under British influence, and we consider that, in order to secure this end, it is indispensable that a British Officer should for some time to come remain in the State. There is no doubt that this course some risk, and we do not what has been said in this Dr. Robertson in paragraphs 94 to 107 of his letter last cited. Nizam-ul-Mulk is not a strong ruler, and so long as the Afghan troops remain close to his border, above Asmar, and Sher Afzal is believed by the Chitralis to have the support of the Amir this position cannot be free from difficulty. But we have never concealed from ourselves that there was risk in sending British Officers to Chitral, and it does not seem to us that the risk is now any greater than it was when Dr. Robertson's mission started. The latest reports tend indeed to show that Nizam-ul-Mulk is begin¬ning to establish his authority, and that his prospects are more hopeful at this moment than they were at the beginning of the year. Writing on the 12th of May, Dr. Robertson reported that the condition of affairs had of late very greatly improved, and was still improving; but that more time was required, and that to withdraw now altogether from the country would be most inexpedient. On the 18th of May he reported that there was a profound quiet everywhere. Finally, in his report written on his return t& Gilgit on the 6th June, Dr. Robertson writes:-
There is now no reasonable risk in officers living in Chitral if properly protected; any- sudden withdrawal of the whole of my party would create such a general feeling of insecurity throughout the country that it would be probably impossible for the Mehtar to maintain his authority even if did not impel him to leave Chitral altogether. "An Englishman now may travel anywhere throughout the length and breadth of Chitral without the slightest fear. He would be welcome everywhere. The mission returned with no escort unless Mr. Bruce's four Gurkhas may be so denominated. There were no sentries at night. No suspicion of danger at any time. A district in the heart of British India could not appear more peaceful and quiet. Such is the result of merely five months' work in the country".
* * * * * * It had moreover always been in our contemplation that one of the additional officers sanctioned for the Gilgit Agency should be posted in Chitral for the purpose of watching events on that part of the frontier, and this arrangement has received Your Lordship's specific sanction. We consider that after the encouragement which has been given to Nizam-ul-Mulk by-the advent of the mission, it would be unjust to him; as well as detrimental to our own interests, to with draw suddenly and entirely from Chitral at the present moment. We have carefully considered whether a Native Agent would be sufficient for the purposes which we have in view, it may be found possible hereafter to replace Captain Younghusband by a native official, but we have come to the conclusion that, for the present, such an arrangement would fail to give the Mehtar the necessary support and to secure the adequate protection of our interests. It is in fact the arrangement, which was in force until the despatch of Dr. Robertson's mission, and we doubt whether it has worked altogether well. We have therefore decided that Captain Younghusband shall remain in the State for the present, though not necessarily at the capital itself. Colonel Durand has proposed that he should take up his headquarters at Mastuj, which, though within 63 miles of Chitral, which on an emergency Captain Younghusband could reach in a day, would be only 45 miles from our proposed frontier post at Ghizr. We shall make it clearly understood that Captain Younghusband is not expected to coerce the Mehtar in any way, or to interfere with the internal affairs of the State; but that he is deputed merely for the purpose of supplying us with trustworthy information as to events on that part of the frontier and of giving to the Mehtar that amount of
encouragement, which the presence of a British Officer within Chitral limits will not fail to afford.
From - The Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department
To - The Resident in Kashmir.
Dated .... 24th July 1893.
Your letter of the 28th June No. 2791.
Chitral report. Detailed instructions will issue shortly. In the meantime please inform Younghusband that it has been decided to retain British Officer in Chitral territory, but that Government of India think his headquarters should be t Mastuj where Younghusband should remove as soon as he considers it possible. His withdrawal to Mastuj does not denote any change in our policy with regard to Chitral. He might go on tour now so as to be out of reach of Dir and Asmar.
To ...........br> Chitral report. Detailed instructions will issue shortly. In the meantime please inform Younghusband that it has been decided to retain British Officer in Chitral territory, but that Government of India think his headquarters should be at Mastuj where Younghusband should remove as soon as he considers it possible. His withdrawal to Mastuj does not denote any change in our policy with regard to Chitral. He might go on tour now so as to he out of reach of Dir and Asmar. Ends. Please inform Younghusband and report action taken by him. geovisit(); <img src="http://visit.webhosting.yahoo.com/visit.gif?us1204313421" alt="setstats" border="0" width="1" height="1">geovisit();<img src="http://visit.webhosting.yahoo.com/visit.gif?us1218612082" alt="setstats" border="0" width="1" height="1">