During the first half of the 1960s, it was decided by the ruler of Swat State to extend first aid Medical facilities on to far flung inaccessible parts. Two rooms Dispensary with a veranda in front and back each was to be constructed by the local under the supervision of the Tehsildar of the area. Professionals were to be provided by the State, including timber and sheets. This scheme was confined only to Tehsil Patan, Kohistan, which is now bifurcated into two districts.
In and Bahadar Zaman were ordered to move to Dubair to accomplish this mission. We were provided with a bag of lime and some 100 pegs made of wood for ground layout. The Departmental Pick up dropped us at Ranolia, Kohistan. Two local police men were waiting for us on the road. They carried the luggage and we crossed the gushing Dubair Khwarh, meeting at this point with the great Indus River.
A single wooden beam on this stormy Khwarh served as a bridge. The police men walked over it quite easily as if walking on a main bridge. But for me and Bahadar Zaman, it was ‘Pul e Serath’. We sat on the beam with legs hanging each on either sides and thus we crawled on our bottoms. The local people laughed and cheered us at the same time.
We reached the Tehsil building which also served as Hujra of the Tehsildar, who was not present at the time. He had gone for resolution of a dispute to a nearby village. I and Bahadar Zaman were very tired and frustrated too at the absence of the Tehsildar.
After some time, a simply dressed man entered the Hujra, followed by some armed men. He shook our hands and said nothing more and started talking with the men in local dialect.
My companion was on the boiling point and asked the man where the Tehsildar was. He replied that he is the man you both are asking for. We introduced ourselves to him. His name was Failaqoos Khan and he belonged to Chakisar, Shangla. When I mentioned my father’s name, he got up and embraced me, kissed me on the fore head and said, “Oh, you are my nephew. Your father is like a brother to me.”
Then his arrogant attitude changed and was very cordial to us. We had a grand dinner that evening and we went to sleep early for we had a long way to go on foot, the next morning.
After a heavy breakfast of roast chicken and pure milk tea, we started for Dubair. The Tehsildar there was Mohammad Zubair Khan of Ghwareja Swat, who later retired as Subedar Major from State forces.
He was also a friend of my father and was very kind to us. After accomplishing our mission, we asked his permission to let us return to Ranolia. He pressed us to stay and told us that he would take us for hunting wild cows and Markhor. But we refused to stay and thus returned to Ranolia.
Spending another night with the friendly Failqoos Khan, we returned to Saidu Sharif the next day.