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His Highness Saif-ul-Mulk Nasir Mehtar Chitral, Feb 1962.

The former ruler of Chitral, his Highness Saiful Mulk Nasir was born at Chitral House, on May 12, 1950. He was the elder son of H.H. Mehtar Saif ur-Rahman, Mehtar of Chitral. Saiful Mulk Nasir was made Chitral’s ruler or Mehtar in 1954 after his father His Highness Saifur Rehman was killed in a tragic air crash over the Lowari Pass. Saiful Mulk was just four-year old at that time. The government of Pakistan had formed the Regency Council to rule the state until he came of age.

Saiful Mulk got his education at the Aitcheson College, Lahore. In 1966, while still at school, he was installed as the constitutional ruler of Chitral. He, however, never got the chance to rule the state, which was merged into West Pakistan in 1969. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during his visit to Chitral in 1971 asked Saiful Mulk to join the Foreign Service of Pakistan. He agreed and served in various capacities in Hong Kong and Turkey. He later sought premature retirement.

The former Chitral ruler led a private life and rarely participated in public affairs. He mostly stayed in Islamabad. He entered the Pakistan Foreign Service 1973, and served as First Sec at Ankara, Turkey 1974-1979, Deputy Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Peshawar and Islamabad 1979-1985, and Assist Consul-General in Hong Kong 1985-1989. He was founder Patron Chitral Polo Association since 1957, and Anjuman-e-Tariqe Khowar since 1960, Patron and Guardian of The Ayubia Union. He had Received Queen Elizabeth II Coron (2.6.1953) and Pakistan Republic (1956) medals.

Saiful Mulk was known as a simple and down to earth person and was held in high esteem by the people of Chitral. He distributed a large part of his property to the poor people in Chitral. He was married to Her Highness the Khonza (Princess) of Chitral daughter of Nawab Muhammad Said Khan, Nawab of Amb. He had two daughters and two sons.

Saiful Mulk’s breathed his last in Islamabad on October 18, 2011 after brief illness. His death marked the end of an era in Chitral’s history, which was associated with the rule of the Katore family, one of the longest ruling dynasties of the Subcontinent. The British recognised the importance of Chitral due to its proximity to the borders of Russia. The ruler of Chitral was held in high esteem, was given the title of His Highness, and enjoyed an 11-gun salute.–Courtesy: North-West Frontier Archives

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