The New York Times, February 3, 1879, p.3:|
LIFE ON THE FRONTIER OF INDIA.A FORTIFIED CITY OF THE EAST--
SINISTER ASSORTMANT OF RUFFIANS--
THE HILL TRIBES AND THEIR FEUDS--
MAJOR CAVAGNARI AND HIS SURROUNDINGS.
Peshawar Correspondence of the London News.
As the road approached Peshawar, which stands in the trough of a prehistoric lake, the characteristic of the adjacent scene altered. The ground of the lake's bed is fertile. Crops waved in the sunshine. The pleased eye rested upon veritable grass. Thick clumps of foliage and bushy trees studded the plain and girdled the cultivated clearings.
Villages were frequent; but not he straggling villages of Lower India, through whose frail wicker huts and inclosures a resolute bull might charge unobstructed, but compact villages, with substantial habitations of thick plastered mud, surrounded with mud walls which had at least the aspect of some strength. From the long faces of those mud walls rude loopholes looked out, through which in times still recent the muzzles of matchlocks and jezails have grimly warned off unwelcome approachers.
The people, too, differed in aspect from the people of the plain country. They were more warmly clad; they stalked with longer and freer strides, as if used to climb ascents springily; they carried their heads high, and their eyes met yours straight, with a certain pride of equal manliness--at times, as it seemed to me, with a glance of covert defiance...
The people seemed to have... a certain suggestion of ruthlessness in their aspect that somehow grew upon one without any conscious mental process. There was a steadfast fellness in the grim smile, with its gleam of lurid eye and flash of white teeth, that made one instinctively cast a glance down to the girdle in quest of poniards and daggers. A ready-handed relentless, cruel-hearted race, to all seeming, hot to anger, and recklesss in their anger.
The road passes the northern flank of the City of Peshawar. Over its brown walls of circumvallation the city looks imposing enough. The walls inclose eminences which are crowned with lofty houses, and the place has something of the aspect of one of the old Spanish cities.
At the north-western corner of it stands the fort whence once Avitabile, Runjeet Singh's Italian General, exercised his iron sway over the Peshawar Valley in the days of the Sikh domination. It is now a ginger-bread looking structure, with its trim, loopholed curtains and circular bastions of mud. Modern artillery would probably pulverize it in an hour, but it is kept in repair as useful for dominating the turbulent city, which contains a larger proportion of miscellaneous ruffianhood than perhaps any native city, not excepting Lucknow, Baroda, or even Hyderabad, in the Deccan. It also serves as an arsenal, and is garrisoned by a guard of a company detailed from one of the European regiments.
The cantonments of Peshawar lie to the west of the city, and, as one drives through them, appear built in the straggling fashion of most of our cantonments in India. But further acquaintance proves them exceptionally compact. The Peshawar cantonments were laid out under the régime of Sir Charles Napier, who thought a compound 24 feet square quite space enough for a bungalow and its surroundings.
The cantonments are environed by a "circular road," on the western face of which, fronting the hills of the Khybar [Khyber], are constructed the permanent barracks. These were originally intended to be built so as to form a prolonged defensive work, each block to be connected by a curtain having a broad raised banquet behind to afford a battery emplacement. This plan of construction has been in part carried out, but experience has shown that the want of free circulation it entailed overpowered the defensive advantages it promised, and it has not been carried out in its entirety, although the permanent barracks as they now stand form a sort of non-connected curtain facing to the west, the proper front of the cantonments.
At this season Peshawar is, for India, an exceptionally pretty station. In every compound there is a great wealth of foliage, hedges are green, and late roses are still blowing in profusion. But I am told that with the first cold rain in the valley, which occurs simultaneously with the first sprinkling of snow on the hills, the leaves fall, the trees become gaunt and bare, and Peshawar assumes an aspect of monotonous brown.
Peshawar, at present at least, has none of the sameness which is the leading characteristic of Indian military stations. As I ride along the Mall I encounter a little band of athletic hillmen, with flashing eyes and strongly-marked features, striding along in their postheons, with their long, venomous-looking jezails over their lean, broad shoulders. Some salaam with effusion, others stagger by with a swagger, not deigning to notice the Belatee Sahib save by a side glance from under the shaggy eyebrow.
"Why do they come into the station thus armed--these truculent-looking men?" I inquire. I am told that they are hillmen "coming in"--it is curious how phrases repeat themselves--this is the term applied to the Scottish Highlanders, who gradually became "reasonable" after the '45, and applied again to the participators in the Indian mutiny. I am told that they carry their arms because of the blood-feuds that rage between the hill tribes, and the chances are that if a hillman met his hereditary enemy unarmed even within the British lines, he would "go for him."
A man unaccustomed to frontier usages might suggest feebly that it might be advisable to compel these bloodthirsty gentlemen to worry out their blood-feuds according to the hill code of honor, strictly within the precincts of the hill country. But just now we are finding it our cue to be on the best of terms with these hillmen of the debatable land, and we must wink at their inter-social eccentricities.
On the slope of the house of Major Cavagnari, whose hospitality I am enjoying, there are gathered all day long great groups of these fierce-looking, formidably-armed barbarians. They lounge in select consultation parties, or they hold al fresco durbars, sitting in a circle on the grass in the most savagely picturesque attitudes, with the inlaid butts and stocks of their weapons glittering in the sun. They to into Major Cavagnari's room in detachments of twos and threes, leaving a select detachment of their friends along with their slippers on the mat in the veranda. They solemnly, after profuse salaams, take their seats on chairs round the Major's desk, and say their say with grave deliberate emphasis, stroking their bushy red-dyed beards.
Major Cavagnari tells me that these formidable-looking visitors of his, with party after party of which he is in consultation all day long, are headmen and chiefs of families from the hill tribes, who have come in to tender him the assurances of friendship and support in the approaching penetration into the passes. Some remain in readiness of service, some go back again, yet others stay as voluntary hostages for performance of pledges, and, having made their compact, take their way into the city, dwelling there at large, but none the less retaining the character of hostages.
It is pleasant to be told that all the hill tribes of the mountain strip intervening between the Peshawar Valley and Afghanistan proper are securely with us, and have engaged not only not to impede us, but actively to co-operate with us as we pass through their successive territory. Of their fidelity to these engagements Major Cavagnari entertains no doubt, and he ought to be an authority, since he has been engaged politically on this frontier almost since the mutiny. His capacity hitherto has been nominally that of Deputy Commissioner here, but now he is attached to Sir Samuel Browne's force on special political duty.
Our relations with these hillmen present a curious mixture of friendliness and hostility. Our officers have them as body servants, and they are faithful and trustworthy. There are whole companies of them in our frontier regiments, and they make among our best soldiers for every service, even service against their own people. A tribe becomes troublesome, and we go and give it a lesson with fire and sword, and, a few days after, its members are strolling about the Peshawar cantonments.
In the veranda of the house where I am writing there is sitting a gaunt hillman with an honest face. His name is "Mooltanee," and he is Sir Samuel Browne's body servant. He is an Afridi from the adjacent hill country. He had been Sir Samuel's servant for many years. When his master went on leave he went home, and had become a chief among his people.
The other day, when Sir Samuel was nominated to his present command, one of his first concerns was to communicate with Mooltanee, who promptly abandoned his chieftainhood and met his old master on his arrival here, prepared to fall readily into his old billet as his servant.
TIME Magazine, September 20, 1948, p. 36:|
PAKISTAN: That Man
Out of the travail of 400 million in the Indian subcontinent have come two symbols-- a man of love and a man of hate. Last winter the man of non-violence, Gandhi, died violently at the hands of an assassin. Last week, the man of hate, Mohamed Ali Jinnah, at 71, died a natural death in Karachi, capital of the state he had founded. His devoted and equally fanatic sister, Fatima, was at his side; so was his daughter, Mrs. Dinah Wadia, whom he had disowned because she married a Parsee (as he had done before her).
Gandhi's death shamed Hindus and Moslems into halting the communal massacres which he had been unable to stop during his life. Jinnah's passing might release a new wave of fanaticism which even he might have opposed. As he died, a crisis which might bathe all India in blood was boiling up. When the news of his death reached New Delhi, a Hindu said, "A man can be more dangerous in death than in life." He meant that the inflammatory preachings of Jinnah the agitator would live on, but the occasionally restraining hand of Jinnah the politician had been removed.
"The Best Showman." Jinnah was born in Karachi in 1876 of a wealthy trading family; at 16 he went to England to study law. As an advocate of the Bombay High Court he was, according to a colleague, "the best showman of them all... his greatest delight was to confound the opposing lawyer by confidential asides and to outwit the presiding judge in repartee."
He joined the Congress Party and for a while worked for Hindu-Moslem unity. In 1921, he abandoned the Congress to build the Moslem League and to work for a separate government for Indian Moslems.
The walls of his meeting halls blazed with such slogans as: "Make the blood of slaves boil with the force of faith!" and "Make the small sparrow fight the big hawk!" He would stalk into meetings wearing his "political uniform"-- native dress with a black astrakhan cap-- and whip the Moslems into a frenzy. Sometimes, in his fury, his monocle would pop out of its socket. After meetings, he would go home, change to Western clothes and be again the suave Western lawyer.
Enemies among the Moslems whispered against him: "Jinnah does not wear a beard; Jinnah does not go to the mosque; Jinnah drinks whiskey." Yet his power increased to the point where he was able to force the Hindus and the British so split India into two dominions. He became governor general of Pakistan. With the split came the riots. His part in them will not soon be forgotten by Hindus. Last week, when news of his death reached New Delhi's bazaars, there was bitter exultation. A Hindu refugee said:
"I had six people working under me in the West Punjab. Because of that man, I now work as a watchman for one rupee, eight annas [45¢] a day. Now that man is dead, but what about me?"
"A Man of Destiny." The Hindustani Times devoted a page to an uncompromising attack on Jinnah's motives and methods. However, it concluded: "A man of destiny, he was perhaps the greatest man of Islam since Mohamed."
Jinnah did not underestimate his own importance. Recently, a delegation from the Moslem League called on him to urge a policy with which he disagreed. Gently, the League spokesman reminded Jinnah of a debt. "Sir," he said, "because of this league you got Pakistan." Jinnah snapped, "No. Because of my iron will I got Pakistan. I can see ahead 50 years-- which you and even my Pakistan ministers cannot."
Last June he retired to a cool, quiet mountain resort in Baluchistan Province. Against the advice of his doctors, he flew back to Karachi last week to confer with Premier Liaquat Ali Khan on the war between India and the Nizam of Hyderabad. The strain of the flight was too much for his old heart. Two hours after his arrival he was dead.
Behind him, Jinnah left no outstanding favorite, no one man who could command the unquestioning respect of other contenders. The cabinet hastily appointed as governor general Khwaha Nazimuddin, British-educated premier of East Bengal. The real struggle for influence would be between Liaquat Ali Khan and Foreign Minister Sir Mohamed Zafrullah Khan.
Liaquat, 53, is a plump, bald, practical politician, whom Hindus regard as moderate. Zafrullah Khan, 55, Pakistan's spokesman in the U.N., is handicapped politically because he is a member of the Ahmadiyya community, an offshoot from Mohammedanism. Mizza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the sect, who died in 1908, taught that Christ had escaped alive from the cross, fled to Kashmir, where he died, and was buried at Srinigar. Hindus regard Zafrullah Khan as a brillian fanatic.
Jinnah's death raised the possibility that his political heirs might seek the final solution for insolvent, disorganized governments: war.
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah
The Story of Pakistan: Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Yes Pakistan: Jinnah's Thoughts at a Glance
see also: India News - Afghanistan - Iran - Military News|
All of Pakistan
is a single time zone
at GMT+5 with no DST.
PBC Radio listen live: Islamabad Station - World Service
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Asia, is bordered by India, China, Afghanistan, and Iran, and has coastline on the Arabian Sea. The capital is Islamabad. The area of Pakistan is 307,374 square miles (796,095 square kilometers). The estimated population of Pakistan for July, 2008 is 172,800,048. The official languages are Urdu and English.
The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with two sections West and East) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory.
A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh.
In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998.
The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002.
Mounting public dissatisfaction with President MUSHARRAF, coupled with the assassination of the prominent and popular political leader, Benazir BHUTTO, in late 2007, and MUSHARRAF's resignation in August 2008, led to the September presidential election of Asif ZARDARI, BHUTTO's widower.
Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control Islamist militants, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan.
The November 2008 Mumbai attacks again inflamed Indo-Pakistan relations. The Pakistani Government is also faced with a deteriorating economy as foreign exchange reserves decline, the currency depreciates, and the current account deficit widens.
The CIA World Factbook: Pakistan
Free Books on Pakistan (.pdfs)
Field Guide to India (& Pakistan) NAS 1960
Travels Into Bokhara Burnes 1834
Lahore Latif 1892
With the Zhob Field Force McFall 1890
Economic Products of the Punjab v1 Powell 1868
Economic Products of the Punjab v2 Powell 1872
Travels in... Hindustan & Punjab Moorcroft 1841
History of Bahawalpur Shahāmat 1848
Scinde: Or, The Unhappy Valley RF Burton 1861
The Court of Meer Ali Moorad v1 Langley 1860
The Court of Meer Ali Moorad v2 Langley 1860
The Conquest of Scinde v1 Outram 1846
The Conquest of Scinde v2 Outram 1846
Travels in Beloochistan and Sinde Pottinger 1816
Online Book Search Engines
Pakistan Reference Articles and Links
Wikipedia: Pakistan - History of Pakistan
BBC Country Profile: Pakistan
Library of Congress Study: Pakistan
UT Perry-Castaneda Library: Pakistan Maps
Pakistani Government Portal
National Assembly of Pakistan
Embassy of Pakistan Washington, D.C.
US Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan
Pakistam Tourism Development
Pakistan News Websites
Business Recorder financial
The News International
Islamabad Daily Mail
Hi Pakistan in English & Urdu
Geo TV in English & Urdu
PTV News in English & Urdu
Pakwatan in English & Urdu
Karachi Daily Ummat in Urdu
ABYZ: Pakistan News Links
Pakistan Internet Directories
DMOZ Pakistan directory
Yahoo!: Pakistan directory
Google: Pakistan search
Reservations: Hotels, Airlines, Car Rental
Economy Travel - Airline Flight Tracking