On the evening of 28th July 1969 in his monthly address to the nation, the half-witted General Yahya Khan announced the merger of Swat, Dir and Chitral States into West Pakistan. It was a surprise for the common man. The big wigs might have known something like this was going to happen. But we were almost stunned as hit by a blow under the belt.
The next day, some stat officials were found emptying the drawers of their office tables. Those men once kept the smallest piece of paper with the red lines drawn by Wali Sahib, or a rough plan of building conceived by him regarding a proposed school, college or hospital etc, were now throwing them to fire or the baskets. I saw such an officer, throwing away a very muffled State flag, requested him to give it to me. He threw it towards me and I brought it to my home and is still kept by my son as a relic of that glorious period. I remember it was given by Wali Sahib to our officer for designing the board of Wadudia Hall.
Recently I have heard many research scholars, complaining non availability of State record in many offices, to help them in their research work, with authentic figures. They are bluntly refused to have access to the state documents, figures and related data of health, education and judicial set up.
Western countries have maintained centuries old relics, books and other items of historical value. Most of our research person have availed data about our poets, like Khushal Khan in German libraries or the India Office Library, London, UK.
In the Subcontinent, one can find detailed information about all events of the slightest value, in the Govt. Archives and the scholars are facilitated to have access to it for their research work. The event of the merger is not centuries old but it happened 50 years ago. There must be some figurative record available of each department. For example, D.E.O must have data as to how much High, Middle and Primary Schools were working in Swat, when the merger was announced. Similarly the Health Department must produce detail of Dispensaries, Hospitals and Leprosarium in the State.
It is not a mission impossible if the District Administration want to preserve the record for their coming generations.