By Shahzad Nadeem
This is with reference to the article captioned “Chetrar under Katoor dynasty: Domain and political structure” written by Ghulam Sarwar Sehhrai dated July,16 2012.
I would like to refute the historical manipulation made by the writer. It is proverbial that the people who distort their history, history distorts them. In the present time because of the technological developments and the scientific approach to research self-opinionated interpretation of history for the sake of gaining cheap reputation and personal interests, no one can play havoc with the historical facts. I shall be precise and clear because the honourable writer has dealt with the given topic with bias and self-motivated views. For a researcher of history, it is self-contradictory and opinion-based elaboration of history for meeting one’s personal ends.
The references he has given are from the very sources which he himself says weak because of their courtly affiliations. Even these sources present a different picture. The writers might have inclination towards the Katoor dynasty but the overall reading of their books reveal that Khoshwakhty dynasty had its own entity and both the dynasties had their own separate sovereign status. But they were in perpetual conflict with one another. Throughout history, the sharing of power has swung from side to side and only at the time of Amanul Mulk (1880), he captured the Khoshwakht territories through intrigues (GW Leitner 1893).
According to Shahnama Siyyar, Shah Khoshwakht usurped power from Raees for the first time in the history of Chitral. He divided the territory and gave the lower tracts of Chitral from Mulkhow to Drosh to his brother Muhtaram Shah-1 and himself became the sovereign of upper Chitral and also kept fertile lands of Jughoor, Denin, Jang Bazar, Chumurkhon and Ayun, Arandu as fief (Siyyar, Mirza Ghufran and Ghulam Murtaza).
The so-called researcher has shown Khoshwakht rulers as deputies of Katoor Mehtars. On the contrary, the Khoshwakht rulers like Shah Khoshwakht, Shah Alam, Shah Faramurd, Shah Khairullah, Sulaiman Shah and Gauher Aman held sway over the entire tracts of Chitral from Chaghansarai in south to Chatorkand Gilgit in the north (Siyyar, Bidulph, Mirza Ghufran, Barrow, Gordon).
Even Sulaiman shah and Gauhar Aman expanded the territories of their rulership from Nooristan to Poonji Gilgit (ibid).
If Sulaiman Shah were the deputy of Katoor dynasty, how it happened that Muhtaram Shah-II walked barefooted all the way from Chitral to Chuinj in Mastuj to seek pardon from him so that he could maintain the rulership over the tracts of lower Chitral (Barrow, 1887)? How it occurs that Gauhar Aman as a deputy plays a conciliatory role to settle the conflicts between Shah Afzal-II and his sons (Faiz Bakhsh, 1883).
One face to fathom that Khoshwakhtay rulers carried out correspondence with Chinese authorities and Maharaja Kashmir and their bosses. Katoor rulers have nothing to show as documentary proofs for such kind of diplomatic relationship (Webber, 2007). It is ridiculous and intellectual dishonesty to distort such historical facts.
Even John Bidulph eulogises the war-like spiriti and adventurous valour of the Khoshwakhtay rulers. I do not like to extend my rebuttal for the sake of of readers convenience as there are numerous historical evidences published and unpublished to support the supremacy of the Khoshwakhtay over others.
The given few sources prove that Chitral was not a one sovereign entity all the time. Khoshwakhtays have never been deputies to Katoor dynasty. On the other hand Katoors have remained subservient to the Khoshwakht rulers like Shah Khoshwakht , Shah Alam, Shah Faramud, Shah Khairullah and Gauhar Aman who extended their territories from Chaghan Sarai in South to Poonji Gilgit in the North.The Khoshwakht territories were occupied by Amanul Mulk through intrigues only for fifteen years from 1880-1885 (Ghufran and Ghulam Murtaza).
I will end up my discourse with a useful advice for the novice researcher that research is always based on objective analysis of Primary and Secondary sources. It is totally different from writing and opinion -based article in a news paper. A researcher must have clear mind and a clear conscience not driven by personal grudges and self interest. Only a neutral and unprejudiced researcher can find a niche in the annals of chronicles.