Rahmat Karim Baig

Chitral of paradox

Prof. Rahmat Karm Baig

During the reign of Amanul Mulk, relations between Chitral and the British rulers of India became linked. Many delegations reached Chitral, at first as individuals but later in teams, and negotiated possibilities of a pact of friendship that was finally concluded in 1885.

Gifts were sent to the princes by the Indian authorities and also the princes were invited to visit India as State guests.

The first such State visit was made by Sardar Nizamul Mulk who was received and entertained by British officers with great respect and in order to impress him he was taken to various centres of British supremacy and military installations.

He travelled in trains and saw the advanced technology in various fields. On his departure, he was given a good amount of ‘gifts’, including a bag of coins.

On his return to the capital of his father, he displayed the gifts and the coins that glittered and bewitched many courtiers in a Mahraka.

The prince then asked the courtiers about their opinions. Many commended his successful visit but one of the notables remarked: “These coins are like the eggs of a lizard and when you take away the eggs the lizard will follow it and enter the house and displace the inmates of the house, so the Farangi shall follow the coins and will sooner or later reach our house (Chitral) and will make it difficult for us to live peacefully.”

This was an unimaginable prophecy for many of the participants but it became true when in 1895 the British entered Chitral and occupied the Chitral Fort and installed their own nominee despite a great opposition of the principal tribes of the State. (Cf. HinduKush Study Series Vol. One).

One Reply to “Chitral of paradox”

  1. This is a beautiful peice of writing. The significant thing however, could be narrating the resistance movement. It might be short and less powerful, but it gives meaning to the lives of generations to come.

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