A page from Chitral’s history; Crossing into Arkari from Terich valley

.. by Prof Rahmat Karim Baig

The rulers of Chitral always remained vigilant against invasions from their neighbours and so throughout summer they sent contingents of tribal force to man the outposts on all the passes in order 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 all the position of the dangerous points.

It had been brought to the notice of  H.H. Sir Shuja ul  Mulk that the upper Terich glacier leads to a point from where one can either reach  upper Arkari  or may be Afghan territory. So he was to get a true eye witness report and selected men from Torkhow and Terich valley to trek to the said pass and report to him. This was a state order. A prince was to supervise and arrange the long trek but the prince- an easy going man- did ignore his duty and ordered 15 men of his team to go ahead and try to cross the said 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 frost bites. They proved that the route from Terich connects with Arkari valley and it does not touch border area with Afghanistan. But Shuja ul 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. All their hard and dangerous journey went unrewarded. .. Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral, 13 Dec 2021.

One thought on “A page from Chitral’s history; Crossing into Arkari from Terich valley

  1. we should salute the courage of those people who with bare necessities of life did this trick. Even modern climbers with state of the art kits would think thousand times for such expedition. But unfortunately, their heroics achievements went unnoticed due to dirty politics in mehatar court.

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