Name: Aman-ul MULK 1 2 3
Birth: ABT 1825 in Chitral, Pakistan 2 3
Death: 30 AUG 1892 in Chitral, Pakistan 2 3
Change Date: 6 JAN 2002 2 3
MEHTAR AMAN-UL-MULK was a very remarkable man. For forty years his had be en the chief persona lity on the frontier; even in his father's time he h ad made his mark. It would be worrisome t o attempt to unravel the long st ory of battle and murder, treachery and intrigue, formed by h is life. Suf fice it to say that he ruled a united Chitral, extending from the borde rs of Puny al on the one hand to the borders of Kafirstan and Dir on the o ther, and that the watershed o f the Hindu Kush was his northern boundar y. He was tributary to Kashmir, and received from th at State a subsidy, w hich had been doubled a few years before our meeting, for his assista nc e when Gilgit was besieged by the then ruler of Yasin.
A brief account of this incident will give a good idea of the Mehtar's met hods. Yasin was rul ed by the Kushwakt family, descended from Shah Kushwak t, the brother of Shah Katur, the found er of the Chitral royal family. T he families were of course frequently intermarried, and wer e closely conn ected. In the year 1880, Pahlwan Bahadur, the Kushwakt ruler of Yasin, a nd a ne phew of Aman-ul-Mulk, who had had an adventurous and stormy caree r, took it into his head t o invade Punyal and to expel the Dogras from Gi lgit. The Mehtar encouraged him in every way , promised him assistance, a nd urged him to enterprise. Pahlwan started and laid siege to Che rkill a, the chief fort of Punyal. The moment he was well committed to his adven ture the Mehta r, who had secretly collected his forces, occupied Yasin. T he unfortunate Pahlwan was at onc e deserted by his people, and threw hims elf on his uncle's mercy. It was of the usual kind, a nd he died suddenly.
The Mehtar was steeped to the lips in treachery; his hands were crimson wi th the blood of hi s nearest relations; two out of three of his brothe rs he had murdered; the third was in exil e in Kabul; his Kushwakt cousi ns had equal cause to rue his name. He was continuously plottin g to get h is refugee relations to return to his country, with small success, for th ey well kn ew theirs would be a short shift. But such a character cann ot be judged by our standards: i n wild Mahomedan states it is always a nd must always be, a case of kill or be killed amongs t the sons of a ruli ng chief after their father's death. Polygamy, and the pernicious hab it o f parceling out a kingdom into governorships during a ruler's lifeti me among the sons, invari ably leads to war; and when one brother falls in to the hands of another there can be but on e result, and that as mu ch in the interest of the state which is saved from war as in that o f t he conqueror, for "stone death hath no fellow."
The Mehtar ruled his country with a rod of iron, and none dared gainsay h is commands. But hi s rule was not popular - far from it. His oppression e xtended in all directions: he sold larg e quantities of timber yearly to P eshawari merchants, and the whole of it was cut and conveye d to the strea ms by forced labor - of course unpaid for; he interfered in trade, and lev ied p rohibitive taxes on merchandise passing through his country; he boug ht the goods of passing m erchants, if he wanted them, at his own valuatio n; he sold his subjects into slavery, and sen t presents of boys and gir ls to the Amir and to the neighboring chiefs. At the same time he h ad ma ny good points. He was deeply religious according to his lights, yet he w as no bigot. Hi s view was that so long as a man was a good subject the ru ler had no call to interfere with h is religious opinions, and while I w as in Chitral he soundly rated his son Murad for trying t o enforce orthod oxy among the people. He was a kind and indulgent father, and devot ed to hi s small sons, who used to form a pretty group round him when he c ame to see me, clustering ab out him with the fearlessness of affectio n. In a country where the natural vices were rampan t he was unstaine d. He had a religious horror of them, and attributed his success over t he Ku shwakt chiefs to their depravity, against which God's wrath had kind led. He was much married , not "cursedly confined" to one wife, or for t he matter of that, to some dozens of wives an d concubines. Like Davi d, he "scattered his maker's image through the land," and at every vil la ge you found a small son or heard of a daughter. He had eighty children.
His bearing was royal, his courtesy simple and perfect, he had naturally t he "courtly Spanis h grace" of a great heredity noble, the dignity and ea se of manner which is the birthright o f every gentleman in the East, b ut which were none the less striking from the fact that the M ehtar had ne ver left his mountain fastness. I had read several descriptions of the Meh tar; m y lamented friend; Ney Elias, had put him down as in his second chi ldhood, still full of cunn ing and intrigue, but unable to follow an id ea or keep the thread of a conversation, and ha d warned me that I shou ld find him hopeless to do business with. I believe that Ney Elias ha d se en the Mehtar during the fast month, which was naturally very trying f or an old man. More over, when passing through Chitral, Ney Elias had no o fficial position, and the Mehtar may ha ve thought there was nothi ng to be gained by being attentive to conversation. Any man more th orough ly competent to conduct affairs I have never met.
The above is taken from "The Making of a Frontier" by Algernon Durand, pag es 74-79 (London 18 99)]
There had been a man named Aman who was the king. Aman had 72 children. Wh en Aman had died, h is sons all started killing each other to see who wou ld be the next king. The great-great gra ndfather of Honzagool had be en a man named Bahram, but he had been ruthlessly murdered by hi s broth er Afzal. Then, Afzal had been killed by his uncle. After all this, the de scendants o f Bahram had all their lands, property and huge estates tak en away from them and they were le ft with nothing.
Father: Shah AFZAL b: ABT 1800 in Chitral
- Amin-ul MULK
- Abdul REHMAN
- Badshah-e MULK
- Afzal-ul MULK
- Amir-ul MULK
- Shuja-ul MULK
- Nizam-ul MULK
- Shah MULK
- Wazir-ul MULK
- Bahram-ul MULK b: ABT 1862
- Title: The Making of a Frontier
Author: Algernon Durand
Publication: London 1899
Note: ABBR The Making of a Frontier
Page: pages 74-79
- Title: samsloan.ged
Text: Date of Import: Jan 14, 2002
- Title: ralphroberts.ged
Text: Date of Import: Dec 15, 2003