Story of crossing into Arkari from Terich valley

Story of crossing into Arkari from Terich valley

Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig

The rulers of Chitral always remained vigilant against invasions of their neighbours and so throughout summer they sent contingents of tribal forces to man the outposts on all the passes to guard the borders.

The famous routes were known to all and well guarded but some high passes were also not left ignored so men were sent for reconnaissance and report to the ruler about all the positions of the dangerous points. Arkari from Terich valley.

It had been brought to the notice of H. H. Sir Shujaul Mulk that the upper Terich glacier leads to a point from where one can either reach upper Arkari or may cross into the Afghan territory. So the Mehtar wanted to get a true eyewitness report and selected men from Torkho and Terich valley to trek to the pass and report to him.

This was a state order. A prince was to supervise and arrange the long trek but the prince – an easygoing man – did ignore his duty and ordered 15 men of his team to go ahead and try to cross the pass. This story was narrated to me by an experienced man of Khot valley whose name was Aman. He was a wonderful narrator. Their team headed for the pass over a very dangerous glacier and reached the pass. Used ropes and climbed down the other side of the ridge and then reached Oveer village of upper Arkari.

From there, they trekked down the valley and reached Birmogh Lasht where the ruler used to spend his summer days. The expedition completed the trek in 15 days in very poor condition as their food had depleted and they suffered frostbites. They proved that the route from Terich connects with Arkari valley and it does not touch the border area with Afghanistan.

But Shujaul Mulk was not happy on their report for unknown reason, perhaps due to some conspiracy of his courtiers, and did not award them as they deserved. And al their hard and dangerous journey went unrewarded.

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