Swat History


I loved Monsoon in Chakisar, Shangla. The dark nights, the village slumbering in complete dark as there was no electricity in the 1960s.

The roaring sky after a blinding flash of the clouds, rain came down in the high corn fields, creating a silky hessing sound. Chakesar produced high quality of maize. Each plant often had three to four ears, with sixteen feet average height.

I was supervising the construction of a ten beded hospital, with O.P.D and Operation Theatre.

A group of B.A final year students, from Jahanzeb College were camping there, under the charge of Professor Humayun Khan. He was from Totano Bandai, Nikp Khel (Swat) and taught economics to degree classes.

Some students of the group were my personal acquaintance and with some friendship developed as we often spent evenings together. Most of them rose to prominence later in practical life. They included Usman Shah of Amnawar (Buner), Miangul Saeed Advocate of Kanju, Mohammad Zamir Khan of Kabul, who became District Education Officer and was killed by the Taliban during insurgency in Swat. These named included Abdul Razaq of Dir.

As I had the honor of being close to Prof. Humayun Khan, we used to walk together or joined the students in the social work.

Once a team was sent of Khadang, a hamlet of few houses on the top of a hill. Humayun Khan asked me to go with the team for vaccinating the village against small fox which was very common there. When we reached to the top of the hill and asked an elder of the village to bring the female and the children to one house, so that they might be vaccinated. The men whispered among themselves and the elder said, the villagers are not ready and that their women folk should be touched by these students.

Anyhow, they would accept this one (pointing towards me) if he do the vaccination. So I had to vaccinate the children, the girls, the ladies and the gentlemen of the whole hamlet alone. On return from Khadang, we were told that Professor Qazi Hussain Ahmad is coming to Chakesar on foot from Martune via Manga Kandao to Chakdesar. He was young them and very fond of hiking. As I was already known to him through Humayun Khan, I was greatly excited to join the party arranged by the students.

They bought a sheep and prepeared grand B.B.Q and Pulao etc. Qazi Sahib reached in the evening. He put his rucksack on the floor and spread his legs to get relaxed. After dinner, the students arranged a musical programme. Miangul Saeed arranged a harmonium and a pair of ‘Thablas’. He played some old tunes and then started singing a ‘ghazal’ of Saiful Malook Siddiqi, “Lobe me kawaley da khanjar sara, zaka mashgholegam da parhar sara”.

Qazi Sahib listened attentively for a few minutes and then joined the chorus, clapping hands enthusiastically in Qawali style. It was such a charming night. The memory still haunts me. The next day Qazi Sahib left us to go to Karora via Opal Kandao. I went to Gungar, on the Indus bank with Humayun Khan and his students.

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