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Know your history!

Many Chitralis today do not know that H.H. Muzaffar-ul-Mulk was the first ruler in the entire Indian Empire to show his willingness to join Pakistan. 

He made it clear to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah that he was going to join Pakistan after meeting him personally, as you can see in this historic photo. It was Mehtar H.H. Muzaffar-ul-Mulk whose deployment of the Chitral State Forces secured Skardu and the Neelum valleys for Pakistan.

He did all this out of sheer love for the concept of Pakistan, about which his elder brother H.H. Nasir-ul-Mulk would correspond with Allama Iqbal, as you can see in this photo a handwritten letter by Allama Iqbal to his friend, the Mehtar of Chitral, in 1930; 17 years before the creation of Pakistan!

Unfortunately today, some misguided Chitralis think that the Mehtars opposed Pakistan. But the fact is, our Mehtars made the most contribution to the creation of Pakistan among all other princely states in the whole northern region.—Junaid Saleh Hayat 

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  1. Fateh Ali says

    You need to have a look on this example,
    Katoor=Seljuk (Riyasat)
    Zondray=Kayi Qabeela (usman)

    Without Zondray tribe Katoor dunasty was like a falling wall.

  2. Shahzad serung says

    You know better abouts sirange zondre you may ask to katoor family they are well known about sirange zondre what the zondre are actually in that era you may study abouts zondre tribes in chitral and gilgete yasin ..shahzad sirang you also contact with me i will help out about zondre era acutully ask about my tribes you old father and old royal family what actually we are

  3. javeed says

    The mehtar of Chitral had no other option, it was a do or die situation for him so he joined Pakistan unheartedly and as far as the matter of this letter is concerned it seems that mehtar himself written it to show his loyalty with Pakistan.

  4. mumtazgul says

    Dear if you do not get a point fully, make a conclusion and laugh,laugh and laugh than it means you are insane and need to visit a forgot that zondray were Hakim also. There is absolutely no comparison between katoors and others, they may be hundreds time better.Now let me agree with you,chitral is 375 years old country during which the great katoors subjugated all and ruled the land because they came to Chitral after Raees Mehtars,than it will be great injustice to history because this land is inhabited for thousand years and ruled by different changing dynasties.Do you know the ancestral father of katoor was employed in Raees army and gradually rose to important position and by trick and courage dethroned Raees after getting married his daughter and that the genealogy of that man is clearly ambiguous.only family traditions link him to khurasan rulers.Do you know how many years Raees mehtars ruled chitral and their time was most prosperous and just..history is indeed very fascinating if you study it objectively…

  5. mumtazgul says

    Dear Editor,
    A very worthy discussion is going on in your esteemed on-line.Here i want to record my point to further elaborate the discussion.As it is said that study of history creates wisdom in a nation and in this regard the most important aspect is that history should be studied thoroughly and known in its all perspectives mere nuisance against each other will serve no purpose.As an impartial student of history i have gone through many writers ranging from Europeans, Mehtar,s court writers and common enthusiasts of Chitral history.In all,one point is common and should be clear to all, that Chitral is a land ruled by many dynasties among them in order is,the Zondrays,Kelash,Raees and Katoors and their clans.lets there be no doubt that Katoor and their clans are not the only rulers of this country rather they are the last fortunate ones, to amass land,property, fame and respect.Some of the writers have castigated Katoor rule for cruelty and harsh treatment of subjects such as selling in slavery.People must know that slavery was order of the day not only in Arab,Africa and Europe rather in other parts of the world including chitral.In chitral mostly those individual were sold in slavery who were regular offenders and threat to the writ of state.In-fact that was no less democratic dispensation for Mehtar would invite people from all important sects and tribes of chitral to his mahraka to reach important decision in times of peace,war and succession to the throne.Merit was not that much compromised in those days for people of every rank and file rose to the important positions of state through hard work loyalty and commitment,these are trait pre requisite today for success.One must accept that it is the fundamental right of every one to be proud for what ever his successes are or family privileges are.Everyone must be proud of himself for a reason.reason. Katoor had many relations with important and powerful tribes such as Zondrays for stability of state,for that purpose they will regularly inter into matrimonial relationships with them so no body should be jealous of that or take it in negative light.Zondrays once restored their lost throne to the Katoor from Raees rulers due to their bravery and vengeance against Raees Mehtar.So it is mutual give and take but for the sad part some of the Katoors are not made up of grateful materials they very often take a lot of things as their right rather than privilege.As for as cruelties of Chitral rulers are concerned it is very clear that they did not forgive their own kins and kith in many instances because no one is above human frailties.The discussion will continue,,thanks

    1. Sher Bahader says

      Mumtz Gul: The writer claims to be a student of history but the way she has tried to portray Zondary tribe made me laugh, laugh and laugh. I do not know in which world this woman is living and what she is trying to say here. I am really, really against the Katoors but comparing Zondary with the katoor is a joke. Katoor and Zondary have no comparison. How can you claim Zondare ruled Chitral ever. All reservations apart with the Katoor, I would say katoor are ten times better than Zondaran. Zondaran used to be charvelu, shaadr, duambegi, atalegh, badakshi etc and some of them even claim to have titles of royal despite knowing nothing about a royal.

  6. Sajid Ali says

    In mehtari time truly chitral was a welfare state but I am unable to know why mehtar sahib of that time ie 1947 wanted to include chitral in pakistan but got nothing as reward. yes it is true that today wheat bag of 100 kg is available for just 1500 rupees in Ghizar in gilgit baltistan but we get the same bag for 3500 rs. If i am asked today i would say give us our mehtari system please.

    1. Mir Wali Walizada says

      Sajid: This is for sure that you including many other darbari can do anything for the sake of ‘khoyanu (stomach)’. Ta ghona makhluqo ishkama tip belik baqi sub jaye bhar me. I would suggest to approach the new mehtar to appoint you his shader. People of Chitral will eat grass but will never accept mitari. Go Mehter Go!

    2. jamhuriat pasand says

      @ sajid at that time the bag of wheat was available for hakeem or charvello only but now the purchasing power has increased and every one can get that bag of wheat very easily,,, that was a monarchy i must say now its jamhuriat… jamhuriat zindabad,,,

  7. booni says

    dear admin i have a complaint, you publish the comments whioch you like, its not good you only publish those comments which you like, everyone has his own thinkng and the right to elaborate any situation in his own way,. its third time i m posting a comment but im unable to know whats the problem may be u dont; like my name

  8. Gulsambar says

    Dear SR Khan It is so sad when you start imagining history. At the time of partition Chitral was a peaceful and calm place with no political agitation. Even the Hindus who resided in the town were given a decent farewell on the Lowari top. When the Kashmir wars took place in those years the state placed the Chitral Body Guards and the State elders at the disposal of Pakistan’s government who fought the war in Kashmir with valour. The imaginations part comes much later when there was agitation against the State in the early fifties which was pushed be disgruntled members of the the ruling family and some agents of the political agents. Anyway it had good results. At a time when Pakistan had not got its first constitution, the people of Chitral and the Mehtar came to an agreement to establish People’s rule in the state. Unfortunately this was not acceptable to the Pakistan Bureaucracy. How could there be a peoples rule in Chitral when Pakistan was under them. They fuelled unrest in Chitral. All the leaders of this movement were the wazifarkhore of the Wazir e azams of Chitral. This coterie continued to play with the destiny of the people of Chitral till the merger of the State in 1969. It was because of their short sightedness that an agreement could not be worked out between the Chitral State and the Pakistan Government to give the people of Chitral a special status in the constitution. The downside of this is visible today. Across the Shandur pass look at the state of infrastructure in Gupis and Gilgit valleys. High government investment has brought good dividends for the people there while Laspur and Yarkhun and the rest of Chitral has none of that. This discirmination extends to all walks of life. This was all because the so called democratic leadership of Chitral sold the Chitralis for their wazifas

    1. SR Khan says

      Thank you for this ‘correction’, I agree that Chitral has been a peaceful place. However, what I am saying is that though there are written evidences to show that the ruler of Chitral decided to join Pakistan. Deliberation on these written record and analysis of them is appreciable, at the same time there are oral traditions regarding the events which unfolded between 1947 and 1951, which we should not disregard. Traditionally history, all around the world, has been attached with power, that is why written history always revolved around those in power (the ruler), that is why the voice of the people are mostly sought in oral traditions, which are transmitted from generation to generation. I am, personally, happy to know that the ruler of that time decided to join Pakistan, but at the same time I want to bring other dimensions to the notice of the readers.
      As you rightly mentioned that it is sad to imagine history, at the same time, I think, it is our collective responsibility to read history objectively. I agree that the word ‘demonstration’ may be problematic to apply to the gatherings of the people of the then Chitral, so let us call them ‘rallies.’ I still think that even holding a rally under kingship sort of rule is something which needs worth mentioning.
      The example of GB as a zone of special status is true but at the same time there is the example of Tribal Areas which are also zones of special status, seeing the latter place I think we should be happy that we do not have ‘special status’. I want to add the leadership dynamics to the state of development in Chitral, even the recent examples show that our leaders in Chitral care more for themselves than the collective development of Chitral.

  9. booni says

    he joined pakistan because the public of chitral rejected him, as he and his ansesters show storng oppression agaist the public of chitral. many of the public lost their houses and land and till now they are like homeless.

  10. sadru says

    At that time people of chitral had stood up for independence,and there was no other option for mehter except to join pakistan.

  11. SR Khan says

    It may be true that Muzaffar ul Mulk decided to join Pakistan, but the fact is that it was not a voluntary decision. The huge agitation in Chitral in favour of joining Pakistan must have compelled him to take the decision. The British Political agent was watching all this and he could not have remained silent if the ruler was going against the majority. Most of the elderly people who have seen these events unfolding remember that there was considerable tension between the supporters of Muslim League and those of the mehter-rule.

    1. Junaid Saleh says

      @SR Khan,
      As you are so sure that the decision to join Paksitan was only due to public pressure, could you kindly tell us the year when this so-called public agitation started?? Also, if you can, give us some facts and figures about this ”revolution”. We would be glad to know about the ”revolutionists” of Chitral.
      Your argument will carry weight only if you talk with facts, not with some rubbish self-created stories. Thanks!

      1. SR Khan says

        Many elderly people who have even participated in these rallies are still alive, I am pretty sure you would deny that those who support the mehtar rule in the wake of the creation of Pakistan were commonly called Pakhti-League.

  12. Gulsambar says

    Dear Gulnaz Baji
    Lets not imagine that there was a French revolution or American revolution in Chitral. Please read the papers of the times available now. Those classified as revolutionaries by you were good people but had none of the greatness and revolutionary traits you attribute to them and neither did the times in Chitral demand it. Once the road had come in the social economic system of Chitral was bound to change because it had developed in isolation. The political agents paid these so called leaders to agitate, all in the good name of liberty and democracy and as soon as the Mehtar willingly ceased to exercise power in the fifties the revolutionaries forgot their ideals. They became the paid wazifa khores of the Poltical Agents or the self styled Wazir e Azams of Chitral. for amounts that would ashame you. This was a period of our history that extended from 1953 to 1969. Anyway that is the past as is the history of the people you call usurpers. Talk about the future please.Can my little sister now use all her knowledge and wisdom to ensure that our young girls are not sold in the bazar for pennies and our land in Chitral is not taken over by outsiders. If you do not do that as the good old words go your name will not remain even in story books. Think postive dear sister it will do us a lot of good

  13. Kamran Hussain says

    Mastuj No 1 seems to be a biggest loser in Chitral. I am also from Upper Chitral I do not see any difference among different tribes on the basis on what they have or not. Socio Economic conditions of Chitralis in Upper Chitral does not show any great disparity. Not all the katoors or the related Ayubi Lals have that much land holdings but only some of the people and some of the Ayubi tribes have more lands. In the past, people from other tribes i.e yuft tribes of zondras, khoshey and rayat tribes of singes rose to prominent positions because of their services to the state and hard work. We should understand that it was a princely state and times was some 200 years ago and there was no concept of human rights and equality, similar was the case in contemporary princely states of the times. The situation in Dir, Mardan and Amb was worse than ours. We should be looking to our future and should not destroy our future by looking into the past.

  14. Shahid Khan says

    The man just entertained guests visiting Chitral, that was mighty decent of him and very much in line with Chitral’s culture. instead of cribbing about it why didnt you guys do the same. What stopped you from entertaining the guests to enjoy Chitral. It been almost 70 years since we have been an independent country and please don’t bullshit that your hands were tied. People from remote corners of Chitral worked hard, rose up and are held in high esteem by everyone including this young educated Lawyer whose family gives him the respect to hold the title of a Mehtar. Many Chitralis are doctors engineers, Civil bureaucrat , Police officers, army officers, politicians, businessmen etc and everyone is proud of them . Collectively they make Chitral , its this culture of tolerance that makes Chitral so special and different from other regions.
    While the majority worked hard to achieve this a few sissies like you guys have just one agenda to spread hatred in our society, see what it has done to the rest of the country not even spared school children. What sissies, cry babies not men at all.

  15. Mastuj No 1 says

    Mastuj means we speak on behalf of the people living here. It’s a place where Katoor is in miority. And the most interesting thing about them is that they are half-literate. Only one professor, one doctor, two pilots and that’s it. Rest of the shazdagan could be making their living by selling lands. They have no role in politics. But they do stand up for local council elections and lose badly. The people of upper Chitral have tightened the noose around them which we must appreciate. As far as your desire to be our guest in upper Chitral, you are most welcome. Yumun zuman lashti ma sher, taarbata shosp ta te kom, se ki ta dish qalaibat korem, shaker phostek di ta xhibem, mager ispa sum taara no boi umeed sher maaf koros, angaar tat kom pech ta porem, ishkara shoqeen ki asus bayu bisi, tonishu maris…mager, mager, magerrrr gerdan se shehzadon wala sariya nikaal ke aja cuz it’s upper Chitral and here everybody is the PRINCE. Woh jo tu samajta he na hero apne ap ko here every single person is a hero. Good luck!

  16. Gulsambar says

    Some of us simply want to focus on the imaginary evils of the past ignoring the looming dangers to Chitrali culture and economy in the future. The role of HH Shuja Ul Mulk is the promotion of education with Sir Abdul Qayyum Khan is acknowledged so is that of HH Nasir Ul Mulk. As for some of the leaders with thier songs what happened to them afer 1954 when here was no Mehtar ruling. Under the Political ‘Agents we had a real democracy, I guess. Let the papers of the time come out and you will find that most of those who are bandied about as democratic leaders were nothing more than the two paisas worth agents of the political agents and the fights of charvelo of Mastuj were small battles wihin the royals of that time for assertiveness

    1. Gulnaz Begum says

      Dear Gulsambar baji, the way you make humble appeal to Chitralis after finding no answer to what they say is like saying Gen Ziaul Haq, the worst dictator, was a democratically elected president. He never staged coup. People voted to power and the uniform in his body was three-piece suit. Husni Mubarak, Saddam Hussain and Arab sheikh, etc. all of them are democrats. The people who toppled Husni Mubarak regime were undemoratic. I would like to invite you to open your eyes as the world is too large than what imagine. People are no more ignorant. Shah se zada shah ki wafadari achchi nehi. Speak ur hear out my dear sister instead advocting for the cruels and usurpers due to whom Chitral legged behind.

  17. Mastuj says

    The Mehtar joined Pakistan, because he had no other option. Chitral was a fragile state. True leaders like Maulana Noor shahiden and others were near to bring revolution against the ‘Pakhti Laks’. It was the public pressure which compelled the so called Mehtar to acceed to Pakistan. Suppose, Muzafar ul Mulk was serious in acceeding to Pakistan, then read history, what did he do with the ‘Charvelo of Mastuj’ who was pro Muslim League. Or listen to the following song of ‘ Charvelo of Mastuj’…. ‘Ma soro meneyane mit congress o wafadar, Sot pushta pat no korom Katoor o ten cher muxi…………’ Do not distort history.

    1. Ehtesham Sirang says

      Words can lie but not these historical pictures. It is you has distorted!

    2. Junaid Saleh says

      Dear Mastuj,
      The person standing with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the photo is not Mullah Noor Shahideen, he is the Mehtar Muzzafar-ul-Mulk. And the person who made intellectual as well as financial contribution to the cause of Pakistan was not any ‘charvelu from Mastuj’, he was the Mehtar Nasir-ul-Mulk.
      Please, correct your facts!

  18. Ehtesham Sirang says

    Very good, our young generations don’t seem to know these positive aspects of our history and are only bashing the mehtars because of a political bias and because of stories told about the mehtars cruelty which they compare to the standards of today. Compared to our neighbors in Afghanistan, Kohistan, Bajaur etc, Chitral has been the land of peace and tranquility, because of the mehtars’ stable system of governance.

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