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Although the period may be past in which a great English Journal could ask, “what is Gilgit ?" the contradictory telegrams and newspaper accounts which we receive regarding the countries adjoining Gilgit show that the Press has still much to learn. Names of places, as far apart as Edinburgh and London, are put within a day's march on foot. Names of men figure on maps as places and the relationships of the Chiefs of the region in question are invented or confounded as may suit the politics of the moment, if not the capacity of the printer. The injunctions of the Decalogue are applied or misapplied, extended or curtailed, to suit immediate convenience, and a different standard of morality is constantly being found for our friends of to-day or our foes of to-morrow. The youth Afzul-ul-Mulk was credited with all human virtues and with even more than British manliness, as he was supposed to be friendly to us. He had given his country into our hands in order to receive our support against his elder brother, the acknowledged heir of the late Aman-ul-Mulk of Chitral, but that elder brother, Nizam-ul-Mulk, was no less friendly to English interests, although he has the advantage of being a inan of capacity and independence. The sudden death of Aman-ul-Mulk coincided with the presence of our protégé at Chitral, and the first thing that the virtuous Afzul-ul-Mulk did, was to invite as many brothers as were within reach to a banquet when he murdered them. No doubt, as a single-minded potentate, he did not wish to be diverted from the task of governing his country by the performance of social duties to the large circle of acquaintances in brothers and their families which Providence bestows on a native ruler or claimant in Chitral and Yasin. A member of the Khushwaqtia dynasty of Yasin, which is a branch of the Chitral dynasty, told me when I expressed my astonishment at the constant murders in his family : “A real relative in a high family is a person whom God points out to one to kill as an obstacle in one's way, whereas a foster-relative (generally
of a lower class) is a true friend who rises and falls with one's own fortune ” (it being the custom for a scion of a noble house to be given out to a nurse.)
The dynasty of Chitral is said to have been established by Baba Ayub, an adventurer of Khorassan. He adopted the already existing name of Katór, whence the dynasty is called Katoré. The Emperor Baber refers to the country of Katór in his Memoirs and a still more ancient origin has been found in identifying Katór with “Kitolo, the King of the Great Yuechi, who, in the beginning of the 5th century, conquered Balkh and Gandhara, and whose son established the Kingdom of the Little Yuechi, at Peshawur.” (See Biddulph's “ Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh,” page 148.) General Cunningham asserts that the King of Chitral takes the title of Shah Kator, which has been held for nearly 2,000 years, and the story of their descent from Alexander may be traced to the fact that they were the successors of the Indo-Grecian Kings in the Kabul valley. If Kator is a corruption of Kaisar, then let it not be said that the remnant of the Katoré exclaimed with the Roman gladiator : “ Ave, Kaisari-Hind, morituri te salutant.”
Amán-ul-Mulk, the late ruler of Chitral, was, indeed, a terrible man, who to extraordinary courage joined the arts of the diplomatist. He succeeded his elder brother, surnamed Adam-Khôr or “man-eater.” His younger brother, Mir Afzul, is said to have been killed by him or to have committed a convenient suicide ; another brother, Sher Afzul, who is now in possession of Chitral, was long a fugitive in Badakhshan whence he has just returned with a few Afghans (such as any pretender can ever collect) and a hundred of the Chitrali slaves that used to be given in tribute to the Mîr of Badakhshan, which itself never paid a tribute to Kabul before the late Sher Ali of Afghanistan installed Mahmud Shah, who expelled his predecessor Jehandar Shah, the friend of Abdur-Rahman, the present Amir of Afghanistan. Another brother of Aman-ul-Mulk
was Kokhan Beg, whose daughter married the celebrated Mullah Shahu Baba, a man of considerable influence in Bajaur, who is feared by the Badshah of Kunar (a feudatory of Kabul and a friend of the British) and is an enemy of the Kamôji Kafirs, that infest one of the roads to Chitrál. This Kokhan Beg, who was a maternal uncle of Afzul-ulMulk, was killed the other day by his brother Sher Afzul coming from Badakhshan. I mention all this, as in the troubles that are preparing, the ramifications of the interests of the various pretenders are a matter of importance. Other brothers of Aman-ul-Mulk are: Muhammad Ali (Moriki), Yadgar Beg, Shádman Beg and Bahadur Khán (all by a mother of lower degree), and another Bahadur Khan, who was on the Council of Nizám-ul-Mulk. Nizám-ul-Mulk has therefore to contend with one or more of his uncles, and by to-day's telegram* is on his way to the Chitral Fort in order to expel Sher Afzul with the aid of the very troops that Sher Afzul had sent to turn out Afzul-ul-Mulk's Governor from Yasin. I believe that Nizam-ul-Mulk has or had two elder half-brothers, Gholam of Oyôn and Majid Dastagîr of Drôshp; but, in any case, he was the eldest legitimate son and, according to Chitral custom, was invested with the title of Badshah of Turikoh, the rule of which valley compelled his absence from Chitral and not “his wicked and intriguing disposition ” as alleged by certain Anglo-Indian journals. Of other brothers of Nizam-ulMulk was Shah Mulk (of lower birth), who was Governor of Daraung and was killed by Afzul-ul-Mulk. He used to live at Dros (near Pathan in Shashi). Afzul-ul-Mulk of Drasun, whom we have already mentioned as a wholesale fratricide. was killed in his flight to one of the towers of the Chitral Fort from the invading force of his uncle, Sher Afzul of Badakhshan. A younger half-brother is also Behram-ulMulk (by a lower mother), called “ Viláyeti,” of Moroi in Andarti. Other brothers are : Amin-ul-Mulk, a brother of good birth of Oyôn (Shoghôt), who was reared by a woman of the Zondré or highest class ; Wazîr-ul-Mulk (of low
* Times, 5th December, 1892.
birth) of Brôz; Abdur-Rahman (low-born) at Owir (Barpèsh), and Badshah-i-Mulk, also of Owir, who was reared by the wife of Fath-Ali Shah. There are no doubt other brothers also whose names I do not know. Murid, who was killed by Sher Afzul, is also an illegitimate brother.
A few words regarding the places mentioned in recent telegrams may be interesting : Shogộth is the name of a village, of a fort, and of a district which is the northwestern part of Chitral, and it also comprises the Ludkho and tributary valleys. Through the district is the road leading to the Dara and Nuqsán passes, to the right and left respectively, at the bottom of which is a lake on which official toadyism has inflicted the name of Dufferin in supersession of the local name. Darushp (Drôshp) is another big village in this district and in the Ludkho valley, and Andarti is a Fort in it within a mile of the Kafir frontier. The inhabitants of Shogộth are descendants of Munjanis, whose dialect (Yidgah) I refer to elsewhere, and chiefly profess to be Shiahs, in consequence of which they have been largely exported as slaves by their Sunni rulers. Baidam Khan, a natural son of Aman-ul-Mulk, was the ruler of it. The Ludkho valley is traversed by the Arkari river which falls into that of Chitral. At the head of the Arkari valley are three passes over the Hindukhush, including the evilomened “Nugsán,” which leads to Zeibak, the home of the heretical Maulais (co-religionists of the Assassins of the Crusades) in Badakhshán. It is shorter, more direct, and freer from Kafir raids than the longer and easier Dora pass. Owir is a village of 100 houses on the Arkari river, and is about 36 miles from Zeibak. Drasan is both the name of a large village and of a fort which commands the Turikoh valley, a subdivision of the Drasan District, which is the seat of the heir-apparent to the Chitral throne (Nizam-ulMulk). Yet the Pioneer, in its issue of the 5th October last, considers that Lord Lansdowne had settled the question of succession in favour of Afzul-ul-Mulk, that Nizamul-Mulk would thus be driven to seek Russian aid, but that
any such aid would be an infringement of the rights of Abdur-Rahman. Now that Abdur-Rahman is suspected, on the Aimsiest possible evidence, to have connived at Sher Afzul's invasion of Chitral, we seek to pick a quarrel with him for what a few weeks ago was considered an assertion of his rights. Let it be repeated once for always that if ever Abdur-Rahman or Nizam-ul-Mulk, or the Chief of Hunza or Kashmir or Upper India fall into the arms of Russia, it will be maxima nostra culpa. I know the Amir Abdur-Rahman, as I knew the Amir Sher Ali, as I know Nizám-ulMulk, and of all I can assert that no truer friends to England existed in Asia than these Chiefs. Should Abdur-Rahman be alienated, as Sher Ali was, or Nizam-ul-Mulk might be, it will be entirely in consequence of our meddlesomeness and our provocations. Russia has merely to start a willo'-the-wisp conversation between Grombcheffsky and the Chief of Hunza, when there is internal evidence that Grombcheffsky was never in Hunza at all, and certainly never went there by the Muztagh Pass, that we, ignoring the right of China and of the treaty with Kashmir in 1846, forgetful of the danger in our rear and the undesirability of paving for an invader the road in front, fasten a quarrel on Hunza-Nagyr, and slaughter its inhabitants. No abuse or misrepresentation was spared in order to inflame the British public even against friendly and inoffensive Nagyr. What wonder that a Deputation was sent from Hunza to seek Russian aid and that it returned contented with presents, and public expressions of sympathy which explained away the Russian official refusal as softened by private assurances of friendship? Whatever may be the disaster to civilization in the ascendancy of Russian rule, the personal behaviour of Russian agents in Central Asia is, generally, pleasant. As in Hunza, so in Afghanistan, some strange suspicion of the disloyalty of its Chief, suggested by Russia, may involve us in a senseless war and inordinate expense, with the eventual result that Afghanistan must be divided between England and Russia, and their frontiers in