A page from the history of Chitral-1

.. by Prof Rahmat Karim Baig

In January 1895 Sardar Nizamul Mulk was shot dead at Broze under a conspiracy hatched by Umara Khan of Jandool, Sher Afzal Khan in exile at Kabul and Amirul Mulk son of  Mehtar Amanul Mulk. According to the plot Amirul Mulk’s personal servant had to carry a rifle under his over coat and shot Nizam during the hawking trip at Broze which he did very deftly and Amirul Mulk, at once, declared that it was done by his order so nobody was to open his mouth but obey him.

Half of the conspiracy was thus over in the death of Nizam but the next stage, for Amirul Mulk, was to reach the Chitral Fort and declare his Mehtarship. So he rode fast towards the Fort and announced his occupation of the throne in the footsteps of his forefathers. It had been a family tradition. The British Agent at Chitral was Gurdon who was not with the party of Nizam but hunting chakoor above Jang Bazar where he had his residence. He received the news of the development with great shock and opened some files which contained instructions for him in case such an emergency arose. After some time Amirul Mulk went up to him with his co-conspirators and  demanded that he should be acknowledged as legal Mehtar of Chitral but the British Agent replied that he had no powers to do so and it could be done by the Viceroy and the issue would be reported to him.

Why did Amirul Mulk kill his elder brother and what was the plot was that Amirul Mulk had lived in Jandool for a year and a half and Umara Khan in league with Sher Afzal Khan had tutored him to go back to Chitral, do a number of acts of madness and stupidity and thus hoodwink Nizam about his real designs that after killing Nizam he would be acknowledged as Mehtar  both by Umara Khan to whom Amirul Mulk’s sister was married and Sher Afzal knew that when once Amirul Mulk is on the throne of Chitral it will be  easy for him to walk into Chitral and throw him out. So the trio was the main characters of the conspiracy and  Amirul Mulk was to play the role of a puppet, paving the way either of the two rivals.

Umara Khan came over the Lawari Pass in mid January with a large Pathan Force to pave the path for Sher Afzal unwittingly and shortsightedly, but he was a rash expansionist and wanted to occupy Chitral which he had been coveting  but Sher Afzal expected to deal with him if Nizam was removed from his path. For the winter adventure over Lawari Pass Umara Khan has been called as Napolean of Asia by one of the officers captured at Reshun,  because he made the same mistake as Napolean did  by invading Russia in mid winter and suffered defeat. Umara Khan had only occupied Drosh when the British Indian Authorities sent him an Ultimatum and he decided to go back but after some acts of kindness to two British officer, escaped to Afghanistan. His State was occupied by the British troops and he sought asylum with the Amir of Kabul whom he had been threatening a year ago. .. by Prof Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 12 May 2022

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