51.         Plundering of Shimshal by the men of Nagar

        During the era of rule of Mir Khisrau of Hunza, the men of Nagar raided the village of Shimshall, and plundered / looted the inhabitants of Shimshal and made the Shimshal men and woman carry the looted booty on their back and stated backtowards Nagar, along with herds of sheep, goat and other animals. Khisrau and  the inhabitants of Hunza became aware of this happening when the Nagaris had left Shimshal for Nagar, through a Hunza man who had a paramoral friendship with a woman of Nagar. It was the same woman who had come to know about the departure of men of Nagar for the plunder of Shimshal. Khisrau immediately got assembled a force and dispatched it towards Shimshal. When this force reached the pastures of "Abdeh Gar” opposite village "Fasso", they observed that the plunderers from Nagar had also arrived at that place and they were bringing along a huge booty along With the men and women of Shimshal Hunza men immediately  laid an ambush on the looters of Nagar The raiders were all stoned to death and not a single Nagari was left alive Having ambushed and killed all the Nagaris of this fateful expedition, the Shimshalis were taken back to "Shimshall" along with their belongings. The Hunza men returned to Hunza after doing resulting the Shimshalis back in their own village and putting them at ease.

        Khisrau Khan had three sons, the eldest was Mirza, who is shit remembered with the name of "Ghuwati” “Mirza" till  this day: the second was Saleem Khan and the third was Chilis Khan. This Chilis Khan was foster son of Abdaal son of Noor Ali.

52.         Establishment of Friendship with and Beginning of Sending of an Elchi to the with the Government of Khita’a

        Mir Khisrau during the era of his rule, dispatched his second son Saleem Khan-II to Yarkand, as his envoy, in the company of "Daroogha" (the envoy of government of Khitau), who had been visiting Hunza since the era of his predecessors, to carryout further diplomatic parleys and negotiation with the officials of "Khitau" at Yarkand Saleem Khan, accordingly accompanied the “Daroogha” to Yarkand and on arrival reported to the court of officials of Khitau and presented the customary present of gold dust as a token of friendship and tribute. He then expressed his willingness to remain always obedient, subjugated and friendly to the Khan of China and requested the Khan to provide safety and security to Hunza state. His request was magnanimously accepted by the officials of government of Khitau and his offer of friendship, loyalty and obedience to Khan-e-Azam was appreciated Hence a pact was concluded and an certain quantity of grant in kind from the Great Khan (Khan_e_Azam) for the Khan of Kanjoot and notables of Kanjoot was fixed to be pa id annually. After conclusion of this pact. the annual visit to Kanjoot by the "Daroogha"16 of Khitau was discontinued. Instead it was agreed that a representative of Kanjoot called “Elchi”17 would thenceforth make an annual visit to the officials of Khitau, and during his visit would carry and present sixteen tolas of gold dust to the officials of Khitau at Yarkand as a token of friendship and tribute Hence from that period onwards, the Kanjooti representative called "Elchi" with twelve men as his escort. commenced his this annual visit to "Yarkand" at the onset of autumn each year, This diplomatic entourage also carried the symbolic "tribute" in shape of sixteen tolas of ' Gold dust" annually to Yarkand . This party in turn received and carried back the items of the annual grant, in kind, fixed by the officials of Khitau on behalf of Khan-e-Azam as presents for the Mir and notables of Kanjoot. These items consisted of cotton cloth, silk cloth called Tawar. Chinese crockery made of China clay, slabs /bricks of black and green tea etc and many other items of daily use.


14. Ghuwati  in Burushaski language mean lazy. Lethargic and fatty man,

        Salim Khan-II, during that journey re-occupied the lands and property acquired by Salim Khan-I. Salim Khan-II. during his this journey added more agricultural land to the already existing land acquired by Salim-t, partly by purchasing such land and partly by acquiring more land and legal permission from the officials of "Khitau' When Salim Khan-1I son of Khisrau Khan arrived back at Hunza after his successful diplomatic journey from Yarkand, the intentions and ambitions of his elder brother Mirza and some of his close associate had altered and had taken a serious and sinister turn and shape. They had therefore made a firm resolve to kill and eliminate old Khisrau Khan. As Khisrau had become very old, feeble and frail. after he had ruled Hunza for over thirty five years, he had become bed ridden and had to remain lying on bed for most of the time. Mirza therefore killed him while he was bed-ridden.


53.         Murder of Khisrau at the Hands of his son Mirza and Account of His Rule

        As Mir Khisrau had become the Mir of Hunza at an old age therefore when the ruled Hunza for another thirty five years, he had gone very old He was so old that he had to remain lying on his bed for most of the time as he had become very weak, feeble and frail. In his slate of such a physical weakness, he had a greater liking for his second son Salim Khan as compared to his other sons, specially Mirza the eldest When Salim Khan returned from the courts of officials of government of Khitau at Yarkand, after a successful negotiation and a fruitful visit, jealousy of Mirza grew to its extreme limits He, therefore, made a firm resolve to murder his father in collaboration and connivance with his foster parents and his own supporters. During that period, the people of Hunza had developed a habit of rebellion and hatching conspiracies. Many of them

15. Khan-e-Azam: The Great Khan"

16. Daroogha” Chinese Representative or envoy who visited Hunza,

17. “Elchi” The envoy of Mir of Hunza who visited the  Amban at Yarkand and Kashghar

were highly brutal/barbarous and had become unrestrained, and were therefore split in various splinter groups Hence a large number of such like people had turned as supporters of Mirza. In fact the real and true motive of such people was to install Mirza as a front man and a puppet and take the real powers into their own hands and this way enjoy the fruit of power.

        With this motive in mind such supporters encouraged and instigated Mirza to kill his father. They convinced him that, it had become literally impossible that a natural death would soon come to his father, hence it was preferable that he be eliminated by murdering him. Only then could Mirza be made the Mir of Hunza. Thai stupid fellow also ad the strongest desire to become the Mir as soon as Possible and at all costs Hence   n one day he took a sword in his hands and came to the bedside of  Mir Khisrau.  Khisrau, sensing the danger to his life  and knowing well about the foolishly nature of his son Mirza, politely and tactfully tried to convince Mirza that It was not appropriate for him (Mirza) to carry a naked sword In his hand inside the palace The sword would look better on him as Mir of Hunza once he wore It In that capacity and  while in his court. However Mirza this did not Impress Mirza and he look no notice of such utterings of his father and attacked his frail , old and weak father. Mir Khisrau, in self defense tried to drag himself out of his bed and made an effort to take out a knife/sword from under his armpit/pillow, the handle of this sword being while and made of animal bone. However he was too old, frail and weak to resist and defend him self for long, Mirza struck his father with his sword and also struck with the nearby  lying slab of stone, which was used for grinding the kernels and other dry fruits etc, on the forehead of the old Mir, and the Mir died.

54,         Era of Rule of Mirza and Exiling of Salim Khan and Chilis Khan Sons of Khisrau

        When Mirza was free after the murder of his father Khisrau he look over the rule and became the Mir of Hunza, He then became worried about and afraid of his brothers Salim Khan and Chilis Khan He, therefore, sent them both into exile via Chupurson valley, to Wakhan. It is said that Mr. Huko son of Ghulo, Nazar Khawaja son of Dosho and Moosingh son of Doodo (Dudu) were detailed and sent with Salim Khan. Chills Khan's companion was Mr. Abdal son of Noor Ali. Who was his foster father. When these two brothers reached at a place called "Isti Mann", Chllis Khan fell seriously sick and died of the same illness at that very place. He was therefore, buried near the tomb of Baba Ghundi (or Baba Ghundi Ziarat). Abdal, therefore, returned from that place and reached his house at Baltit and he also died. Thus, his wile with two young sons became a widow However Wazir Darwesh, brother of Abdal was alive but the coveted appointment of Wazir of Baltit was taken away from Darwesh and awarded to Masti Beg son of Wazir.

         It has been narrated that Mirza was a very bulky, lazy. incompetent and highly unintelligent man. It is because of this reason that he is known as Ghuwati18 Mirza even to this day. Some of the persons who were supporters and companions of Mirza were, Wazir Masti Beg son of Mr. Wazir, Mr. Wazir son of Wazir Duduko, Trangfah Laskari  son of Quli and Sultan Khawaja alias Wazir Hook. As per another version of oral tradition, Hook was the Wazir to Mirza. However. the authentic oral historians version has been that Sultan Khawaja has not remained as Wazir of Hunza with Mirza. He was given the alias/title of Wazir only for the reason that he was a shrewd, sharp and a very wise man. This was during the period of Salim Khan when had been given the name Wazir Hook 19. Account of this aspect is given at the succeeding pages in its appropriate paragraphs in this book.

        When Salim Khan and his companions arrived at Wakhan they went to the dwellings of a well known and influential notable by the name of "Barq Bai" This man "Barq Bai” a rich, influential and powerful man was the chief/ head man of his tribe, and had many sons and children, this man adopted Salim as his son, thus Salim started to enjoy very comfortable living.

        One day, during his this Stay at Wakhan. Salim Khan confided in one of his companions, "Moosingh" and said to him ·Oh! Moosingh you have a reputation for being physically very fit and a fast runner; would you please go to Kanjoot and find out as to the situation, the condition of the inhabitants and specially that of my fat and lazy brother Mirza?" "Moosingh" on listening to this desire, immediately got himself ready to carryout the task and departed for Kanjoot. He reached Kanjoot secretly and surreptitiously. He went into hiding in the house of Abdal’s widow. He then collected detailed information about the whole situation, the trends of the people and the ratings of Mirza among the people. He came to know that most of the people of Hunza/Kanjoot had become alienated and were fed up of Mirza and his courtiers. They were eagerly awaiting Salim Khan's return and remembered him. This was because during those past few years the agricultural lands had gone dry and barren, as there was no rain and snowfall and thus the trees and plants had also gone dry and had fallen without bearing any fruit or leaves, And there was a famine in the country because of a drought. The people considered this calamity to have befallen upon them because of the incompetence and misdoing of their ruler Mirza, because the people of Hunza had developed a firm belief that the Mirs had the divine power and control over the rainfall and snowfall. They had an absolute belief as to the authenticity of this ability. It was because of the fact that Mirs of Hunza Since old times and even up to the present day had the habit and custom of writing "Taaweez'"20 (charm/amulet) and Baadnamas21 (calls for rain) for bringing rain and snowfall when so desired, hence the people have also remained adherent all along.

        Moosingh, after collecting all this information, therefore, left the house of the widow at the crack of the dawn for Wakhan. This house of the widow was located adjacent to the home of Darwesh and in the near vicinity of the Baltit fort and the palace of Mirza. A few lookout men standing on the roof top of the Mirza's fort observed "Moosingh" getting out of the widows house They could not believe their eyes and exclaimed and said, O! God! How it that Moosingh has is sprang up suddenly and from where!  As no doubt his gait and speed look identical to that of Moosingh!!  However, they never could imagine him to be Moosingh, as they very well knew

18. Ghuwati: in Burushaski mean  as man extremely lazy, unfit and fat.

19. Hook: in Burushaski, language means a "dog”

him to be in Wakhan with Salim Khan. They were utterly astonished and perplexed to observe that a man having the posture, gait and body language of "Moosingh" was lurking around at Hunza at that point of time, when a few hours had passed, the news also reached the ears of Mirza. He immediately got down to investigate the matter. By then "Moosingh" had "vanished" like thin air. It was suspected that either Darwesh or his brother’s  widow was some how involved in this affair. Accordingly, soon the widow was produced and brought before Mirza. She was interrogated by subjecting her to lashes. While she was still being thrashed with lashes, there arrived Trangfa Laskari son of Quli and he advised them to refrain from doing so. He told Mirza "Oh! Mir. Is It a noble act to lash a Window? How can it be possible for "Moosingh" to be present in Hunza, when he is living far away in Wakhan. He is not a bird that he had flown in here and has now flown out." On this widow was released and allowed to go back to her home. However "Moosingh" managed to flee back (escape safely) very secretly and surreptitiously and reached back "Wakhan" In a few days and was With Salim Khan, safe and sound. There he narrated to Salim Khan the whole Situation and the state of affairs prevailing in Hunza, Salim Khan then made a pledge and promise with -Moosingh" that as and when, with the will and kindness of God almighty, he would become the Mir of Hunza. He would very happily, suitably and appropriately award Moosingh with a befitting reward of his  choice and desire. As -Moosingh" belonged to the -lower category of the social set up of Hunza, he asked for an appointment of higher status, and promotion to a higher category.

        Salim Khan was being fully looked after and entertained by "Burq Bai” from every aspect. He always made all out efforts to keep Salim happy and contended. One day Salim Khan saw a beautiful horse, which he liked very much. He wanted to buy this horse. The owner of the horse asked for a slave as a bargain (in barter). "Burq Bai” had no possibility of buying the horse

20. Taweez: a prescription written on a small piece of paper/ such like material with Quranic/ Arabic verses and wrapped into a cloth.

21. Baadnamas: the written sooth saying and a ritual to bring or cause rain and snowfall

 (for) against a slave, Seeing this, Dosho Nazar Khawaja offered himself to be sold as slave He said to Salim Khan, that if you are so fond of the horse, here am I! Please sell me in exchange for this horse!!. Salim Khan replied and said to Dosho Nazar Khawaja, that how could he sell such a loyal person for a horse, who had forsaken and left behind his home, belongings and all the relatives and had become his companion in the foreign land and to exile. Nazar Khawaja again said to Salim that you fulfill your desire today at my cost so that I fulfill my desire on you tomorrow in Burushaski language he said “Gos Kurum mane ke uss kurum mayam” (GOS KURUM MANEKE AS KURUM MAYAM). Because of this sentence Nazar Khawaja was later nick named as “GOS KURUM” It is said that Salim Khan had been selling this man repeatedly but the man always managed to reach back and join him again every time he was sold.

Salim Khan had spent over five(5) years and according to some for over seven (7) years at Wakhan. During this period he was able to visit places as far away as Balakh, Bukhara and Mazare Sakhi.  It has been quoted that on one day “Barq Bai” had to confide with and tell the companions of Salim, i.e. Hook, Moosingh and Nazar Khawaja to take this son of Mir to another country as the sons of "Barq Bai" were gunning to kill Salim Khan. The reason, that Salim Khan was casting an amorous, lusty and perfidious eye on the wives of his sons / the daughter in laws of Burq Bai.

In View of this warning Salim Khan along with his companions left Wakhan and headed for Gilgit. He arrived at Gilgit via lsqamann.  Ghuri Tham Khan was the ruler of Gilgit at that time. Ghuri Tham was the son of daughter of Rahim Khan, the Mir of Nagar. Salim Khan was also the son of another daughter of Rahim Khan the Mir of Nagar.  Hence, both Ghuri Thum and Salim Khan were real maternal Cousins.  When Salim Khan arrived at Gilgit Ghuri Thum welcome him With utmost respect and honor. Ghuri Thum made necessary befitting arrangement for the accommodation of Salim Khan at "Bagrote". Hence Salim Khan made his abode in "Bagrote” valley in the village of "Sinakar". He used to make frequent visits to Gilgit to meet and pay his respects to Ghuri Thum. During his stay at Bagrote, Salim got  constructed a formal sitting arena called "Himaltar” (Biyaak) at Sinakor. This arena is called as “Salims B Biyaak” or Silomay Biyaak (SILUM-E-BIYAK) meaning Salim s arena for peoples congregation.

55.         Return of Salim Khan to Hunza and Account of His Rule/Reign *1788-1823 AD)

        When Salim Khan had spent some period at Bagroto in the periphery of Gilgit, he was over come by his utmost desire and temptation to take over the possession of throne of Hunza in to his hands. Thus he at last asked and requested Ghuri Thum for assistance, help and reinforcements, so that he was able to Invade Hunza and become the Mir, by eliminating his brother Mirza. Ghuri Thum provided him support and the required reinforcement and said to him, that he (Salim Khan) had acquired knowledge and expertise to bring rain. This very skill was therefore more than enough support for him and that this very knowledge was a matter of good luck, omen and his assistance/reinforcement. Thus Salim Khan left Gilgit at the head of this force provided to him by Ghuri Thum. When he reached at Hinni (Village Hindi), he paused there for a few days and established contacts and communications with his well Wishers in the surroundings of Baltit Hunza and Informed them of his intentions and arrival.

It has been narrated, that the inhabitants of Hinni, at the outset and before any other demand asked Salim Khan the only question as to his capability and his skill to bring rain and snowfall. Though it was summer season, but in spite of that Salim wrote a (Taweez) and amulet offered some 'prayers' and sooth sayings after which a hail storm and heavy rain came down. God knows better. It  has been narrated that in spite of a warming season, Salim was able to bring snow rather than rain , the flakes of which were the size of an arrow head. Having observed such a wonderful result and capability and prowess the Inhabitants of “Hinni" whole heartedly decided and pledged to support him and rallied around him.


22. Himaltertz/ Biyaak: is common arena generally located in the middle of a village where elders and notable of the village informally assemble and spend their leisurely time together and also exchange views on the prevailing events.

        Salim Khan along with his companions, supporters and the "Lashkar" left Hindi for Hunza. On arrival at Hunza he made his base at the locality of “Shlqakiyantzs”. As most of the people of Hunza had become totally alienated and were fed up of Mirza because of his character, manners and corrupt and Inefficient style of rule, soon a large number of them rallied around Salim Khan and instantly became his supporters and well wishers. It has been narrated that one of the most ardent supporters and well-wisher of Mirza, Sultan Khawaja also came to Salim Khan on his fours like a dog. It was alter this act of him that Salim Khan and his companions gave him the nick-name as Wazir Hook, meaning the Dog Wazir in Burushaski, and commented that he had been Wise and shrewd enough to do so. It was since after this event that he was addressed with the nickname Wazir Hook.

        Mirza also had his share of supporters and companions around him. He also came out to offer a fight battle and defend himself. Hence both the Opposing parties faced each other. It has been reported that Trangfa Laskari son of Quli came out with his sword and shield from the side of Mirza for a dual. From Salim Khan's side came out Mr. Khuro Shali (XURU SHALI. The dual with sword and shield enSood. The two attacked each other and changed sides seven times but none received even a minor injury. and none of them could win the dual. Finally, Mr. Laskari abruptly threw away his sword, shield, and told his opponent: that oh! My dear opponent and friend, it is now Salim's turn to victory and triumph!  If I kill you, it is of no use, as you are also a part of Salim's victorious side. The turn of Mirza is now over and so is mine l hence I also go down with him as his companion. I therefore prefer that you kill me so that i am counted among the loyal and faithful companions of Mirza I would not like to remain live as a perfidious man. On this, he was immediately arrested and was taken into custody at the same time "Mirza" was also arrested and immediately murdered. It was decided to kill Laskari as well. Accordingly, Salim's men started digging a grave for him. During this pause the wife of "Laskari" who was an intelligent, shrewd and quick witted woman requested the captors of her husband to allow him to see and meet her for a while for the last time so that she could obtain Laskari's last will and his final instructions. His request was acceded and the captors of "Laskari" allowed him to meet his wife in seclusion, nearby. His wife this way took him to a side nearby and to ld him to run away towards Sumayar. She said to him that he was a brave man who did not deserve such an unmanly death from the hands of equally lowly and unmanly people like the ones around him. He therefore deserved to stay alive. You must now flee and run fast towards Sumayar, from where you could proceed to a far away country as there is no dearth and shortage of God's land.

        That brave and elegant man said good bye to his wife and came back to his captors and the one's who were digging his grave His grave was not yet ready! He told hem to dig his grave quickly and finish him as soon as possible bring the sword. He uttered these words, looked towards left and right - uncovered the sword- and made a swift and long leap over the resting men and started running away in full speed. As most of the men present there were actually fee ling sorry for the decision to kill him, therefore, they all felt happy when he ran away for his life. However they were present the re therefore were compelled, to follow him to arrest him, thus they all started running after him and pursuing him, But "Laskari" a superbly physically fit man, had ran faster and vanished like thin air and was soon able to reach the home banks of Hunza river, It has been narrated , that a person by the name of "Guma" was busy cultivating his fields in the vicinity of the river bank. He called Laskari and shouted to him "oh1 Brave man, whether you are a good swimmer or otherwise, go to that spot and take a long leap from that large boulder into river, The momentum of your jump and the subsequent bobbing will automatically take you across the river. Laskari listened to "Guma" and acted on his instructions and this way managed to cross the river and reach the far bank of Hunza River. Once safe on the far bank he soon arrived at Sumayar, His purSoors turned back from the banks of the river utterly unsuccessful, but pleased with in themselves.

 The people of "Sumayar”( remained neutral and practiced neutrality in those days. They therefore provided refuge to Laskari. When the news of arrival of Laskari at Sumayar, reached the ears of Babar Khan, Raja of Nagar, he sent his men and asked Laskari to come to his court. Laskari displayed an utmost sense of self respect and self esteem and refused to go to the court of Raja Babar Khan of Nagar. He said that: "he had come in to the refuge of people of Sumayar and not into refuge of Babar Khan. Although Salim Khan has been my enemy and is against me but after all he is the ruler of my motherland." He sent this message to Raja Babar Khan with his same men and refused to go to himself, When the news of this act of self respect and self esteem reached the ears of Salim Khan of Hunza, he soon sent his own man to Laskari to Sumayar and brought him back to Hunza and granted him an unconditional amnesty and gave him a place among his most trusted confidants.

         Salim Khan and companions had the leisure and respite after killing and eliminating Mirza: Salim was installed as the Mir of Hunza and the crown of the Mirship of Hunza was placed on his head. Salim Khan thus took the reigns of the government/Mirship in his hands and gave himself the little of Mir Shah Salim Khan, The year of his installation as the Mir of Hunza as calculated and computed by me comes to be 1788 AD. Mir Shah Salim Khan was an able and competent ruler. He surpassed his predecessors in very aspect of administration and excelled in the fields of politics and handling of the affairs of the tiny state. He established an effective, efficient and impressive system of good governance and continued to improve upon and strengthen it throughout his reign. He always made utmost endeavors to improve the conditions and overall living standards of his people and kingdom. He got constructed ramparts around all the Khuns (fortified cluster villages). He ordered the closing of all other entrances to the forts and kept open only one main entrance. He introduced permanent guards and system of sentries for protection of this single main entrance who kept a round the clock vigil, He got constructed observation posts on every corner of all forts of his kingdom. These observatories were occupied by guards/sentries round the clock so that such sentries could provide early warning of any enemy attack or impending threat, even during the nights.

        Mir Shah Salim Khan introduced the system of employing escorts/personal security men or gunmen around him who carried matchlocks. This not only provided him close personnel security, but it also enhanced his stature and personality. Such escorts/personal security men used to be the best selected and well dressed men who carried matchlocks and swords in a soldierly and ever ready manner and made a cordon around him both while moving or static, This gave him a stature of grandeur and impressive appearance,

        He appointed "Butlers" or waiters called "YASAWALS" (in Burushaski language). The task of yasawals was to serve lunch or food to him and his courtiers after the proceedings of the court were closed. They always remained alert, available and ready at hand, as they stood by waiting for orders to early them out or any such task assigned to them. They only needed a slight node or a pre-fixed silent signal to come into action; they also performed the task of implementing punishments awarded to the offenders guilty of crimes and offences. They also undertook the task of looking after the guests of the Mir.

         He also appointed suitably chosen and selected persons as the go between and a link between Mirs and his subjects. These were called "Mahrams. They were the most trustworthy, loyal and intelligent men who delivered the petitions, requests, and applications of subjects direct to the Mir. This he had copied from the Amirs of Badakhshan and Wakhan. These "Mahrams" also communicated/delivered to the public/subjects, the Mir's rewards, presents and such other communications. They were in fact responsible to communicate between Mir and the public and vice versa.

        Mir Shah Salim Khan had introduced the tradition and custom of taking lunch with his courtiers, notables, noblemen, poor men and guests/travelers right in the "court" after completion of court proceedings or during the break. This again he had copied from the Amirs of Wakhan, Badakhshan and Yasin. All these traditions and customs of court introduced by Mir Shah Salim Khan were continued to be observed and practiced by all succeeding Mirs up to and including of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan (1892-1938), However these traditions and customs of court of Mir of Hunza were gradually abandoned and ignored and have faded away since the rule of Mir Muhammad Ghaza Khan-II (1938-1945).

        After taking over as the Mir of Hunza the first and foremost formal and official decision made by Mir Shah Salim Khan was to fulfill his that pledge and promise which he had made with his companions Moosingh, Nazar Khawaja and Hook, while in exile at Wakhan.

        "Moosingh" son of Dudaar was promoted from the category of "load carriers” and elevated to the category of noblemen of the state called "AKABIRAN", Hence it was because of this elevation in his category that later on Daulat Ali and his sons Muhammad Ali etc were given the appointments of "Trangfagi". They wee therefore treated and considered to be from among the most trusted of Mirs of Hunza and the class one "Akabiran" 25 of Hunza.

        Mr. Nazar Khawaja as per his own request and choosing was exempted from all the taxes, revenues and Kar-e-Begar 26 of Mirs of Hunza forever. Hence, it is due to this reason that the descendants and the family and clan of this man still remain exempted from the revenues, taxes and other such levies of Mirs of Hunza. This was the reason, that Nazar Khawaja is still known with the name of "Dosho Goss Kurum (DOSHO GOS KURUM).


Hook was also promoted and elevated to the category of nobleman of Hunza called "Akabiran", Hence his sons Darwesh and Beg Ali were tater given the Important appointments of "Trangfagi" and Yarfahgi and this family is also counted/treated  from among the "Akabiran- of Hunza, even as of today.

        Masti Beg son of Wazir Dudoko was the Wazir of Hunza during the initial period of rule of Mir Shah Salim Khan. He was appointed Wazir, for the reason that Masti Beg had ditched and abandoned Mirza and had joined hands with Mir Salim Khan by switching his loyalties. Although prior to that Musti Beg was the principal and main supporter and adviser of Mirza, According to another version of oral tradition, Mir Shah Salim Khan rotated the appointment of

24. Trangfagi: Headman of a village having more than one tribe

25. Akabiran: The notable man - the men of third category In the social ladder of Hunza


Wazir of Baltit among a number of personalities during the initial stages of his rule, and one of such Wazir’s was Dur Shali, son of "Boolan".

        Both Ganish and Altit had their own and separate Wazirs till the reign of Mir Shah Salim Khan. Altit! had also its own Wazir However when the state grew larger and stronger, a Chief of Wazirs of whole of Hunza was appointed, details of which are given in succeeding paragraphs of this book.

56.         Siege of Hindi Fort by the Invaders of Nagar

        Not many years had passed Since after the talking over of Mir Shah Salim Khan as the Mir of Hunza, when his own maternal uncle Mir Babar Khan of Nagar detailed and tasked the combined forces of Nagar and Gilgit, under the command of his own son Vzer Khan (Azur Khan) to attack and take possession of oasis of Hinni (Hindi). Hence, this combined force, one day Invaded Hindi, while its guards were in a state of total negligence and stupor, and besieged the Fort. It was soon captured by these forces and hence was Occupied by them. When the news of the fall of Hinni Khun (Fort) reached the ears of Shah Salim Khan, he Immediately gathered his courtiers, notables and confidants to discuss and finalize a plan of action to retake the fort/village from the Nagaris. The brave men of Hunza suggested and recommended many courses of actions and also bragged and boasted to carry out their bold actions of every imagination. Hence, they rolled back their cuffs. However Dara Beg son of Wazir Darwesh Ali remained silent and calm and cool during boastings and bragging by rest of the courtiers. Shah Salim Khan, on noticing such a reaction, therefore, turned his face towards Dara Beg and asked him as to why was he so Silent and speechless He asked him "Oh! the man of black complexion, why are you so deaf and dumb and  not uttering any words: may  be you are pleased to see Raja Babar Khan capture this fort and remains in his possession?" Dara Beg, In reply said to Shah Salim, that it was not appropriate and prudent to brag and boast and claim to achieve spectacular results, here In this court I will try and put in my best once in the battlefield and when it becomes necessary and when we actually take the field and are in the thick of the battle. The destination is still far away. So let it come about.

26. Kar-e-Begar: Labour  and other physical work carried out any reward and wages, primarily in the fields and other holdings of the Mir.

27.Yarfahgi: an appointment normally held by men of second or third category noble men like a manager of large farm or landed property of Mir, in a village

        After conclusion of the court proceedings and the operational meetings, Mir Shah Salim Khan appointed Dara Beg as the leader/chief commander (Sardar) of the contingent and the operation for retaking the fort of Hindi. Hence a fighting force was assembled comprising the best and chosen lighting men of Hunza and thus this contingent (Lashkar) left for Hindi Wazir Masti Beg was also accompanying On reaching "Mutsutsil Nallah" (present day Hassan Abad Nullah), during a stop over, the route, direction and method of attack was discussed Some of them opted to go straight along direct/frontal route and attack the fort frontally. However many of them recommended to conduct their attack on Hindi by taking an indirect and much difficult route via the pasture slopes of "Hachindar" and carryout a surprise night raid. Finally, with a unanimous decision and agreement the lashkar/contingent adopted the "Hachindar" route. Accordingly the force proceeded on this route for a surprise night raid. When this force reached the top and came over towards "Hindi" side of the mountain, they saw and came to know that enemy had blocked this route by preparing defenses (Sanghars) and deploying a sizeable force from this direction. At about past midnight the whole force therefore got deployed and Dara Beg along with a patrol party of fifteen chosen fighting men proceeded to carryout reconnaissance and investigation of the enemy dispositions, strength and deployment, so as to prepare a suitable plan for talking this enemy post. When this party reached in the near vicinity of this defensive post and started probing and reconnoitering, an enemy lashkar, who was later identified to be the servant of Azur Khan, came out of the post to fetch water from the nullah/spring. He thus detected the party and became aware of the danger He therefore, in a loud shout, challenged and asked, in Shina language, the men as to who they were and what were they doing at that place at this late hour of the night On this Dara Beg immediately asked his brave and warrior men to slash the throat of this sheep/Iamb One of his brave companions by the name of "Khurushali" by taking a lead over others, swiftly moved forward and slashed the throat of the enemy man with a lightening speed. The enemy's head befell like a polo-ball and his water pot got dropped from his falling headless body, However by now, rest of the enemy force inside the post/sangars had got alerted. They therefore rushed out with their swords drawn for action, Their commander/leader Mr. "Schotti" fired his match lock, towards the raiding party. The small group of fifteen Hunza men considering it a matter of disgrace for themselves to withdraw, decided to fight it out. and proceeded ahead to engage in a close quarter battle, Dara Beg who was leading and holding a Bow and arrow released his first arrow aiming at Schotto. The arrow hit the bulls eye and it hit the forehead of Schotti died on the spot. Dara Beg then leapt and rushed forward into the ranks of the enemy force with his sword and started slashing the heads and throats of the enemy soldiers and soon made heaps of the dead enemy lashkaris, Dara Beg had been narrating to his sons that he had counted up to about sixty of the dead bodies of the enemy during this battle and had not been able to continue his counting,

Rest of the fourteen warrior companions of Dara Beg also acted like Dara Beg and they leapt into the enemy positions like tigers and tigers and lions do in to the  herds. They were swift ferocious and in the highest of spirits and motivation, and thus started to slaughter the enemy soldiers/men with their swords. Meanwhile the main body of the Hunza contingent also arrived at the battlefield and joined this party for the combat actions. They observed that the strength of the enemy defending the main fort was too large, hence they asked for explosives from the rear. These explosives were ignited and thrown into the base of the enemy's defenses in the fort.  As the enemy soldiers had covered their sanghars and positions with the help of dried branches and the hay of wheat crop, it Quickly caught fire because of the exploding explosives. Many of the enemy position were thus set on fire and because of this fire the entire area got illuminated The raiders observed that the tent of Azur Khan was located right in the middle of this enemy position. A brave man by the name of Surbur son of Bosingh dashed towards that lent and attacked it like a hungry tiger. Azur Khan, caught unaware and state of total frighteness started running out and away from his tent in a  naked state and managed to escape from his enemies. However every Hunza man, by whom he passed by, let him go and did no harm him they did not consider it appropriate to kill him, In this naked state. Some men like Kuyo son of Behram and Gurg Ali etc. did not kill him. However the raiders of Hunza took full advantage of the total surprise they had achieved and the illumination because of the burning fires, and killed the enemy soldiers of Gilgit and Nagar in a large numbers and soon made heaps of the dead, enemy Lashkaris.

        Enemy soldiers who managed to survive or who surrendered were taken as prisoners  of war and brought to Hunza. Later on most of them were sold as slaves in Yarkand and Badakhshan etc. By the grace of God Almighty, the Hunza raiding force had suffered very few casualties. A few men were killed or wounded at the very initial stages of the raid/attack because of bullets fired on them by the enemy defenders One of those who was killed in this successful combat action was '”Dur Shabo” son of Jamal, who was aspiring to obtain the coveted appointment of "Wazarat of Baltit. However, his valiant death did not given him this chance.

The names of the fifteen brave and fighting men of the above mentioned fighting patrol party are as under:-

1. Dara Beg son of Wazir Darwesh Ali (Commander of the Force)

2. Wazir Masti Beg son of Wazir Muhammad Wazir (Second in Command)

3. Trangfa Shali Khuro

4. Bosingh Surhungo

5. Shamsher son of Birghosh

6. Dudelo

7. Sur Bu r son of Bosingh

8. Kuyo son of Behram

9. Faqir son of Punno

10. Daulatto son of Dudo

11. Khawaja

12. Muyo

13. Millu (Mello)

14. Darya Khan

15. Trangfa Gurg Ali

Though there were many other brave and valiant warriors who participated in this historically important and heroic offensive action by Hunza forces, it is not possible to include the names of all participants. All these brave and courageous men had displayed unfathomable and immense amount of courage, ferocity and bravery and had killed or captured a large number of enemy men/lashkaris. The names of the best out of them and the most active ones have been given above, Poems and songs in praise of and acclaiming the bravery and valour of every one of the above, specially the fifteen men have been composed and sung by the singer poets of Hunza in Shina language. A few stanzas from such poems/songs are reproduced below as sample: -

















Identical odes and songs of praise and acclaim for each one of the above mentioned fifteen brave men, and many others had been composed and sung by singer poets and singers on the occasions of festivals like "Thumushaling", marriage ceremonies and other such festivals and formal ceremonies. It is not possible to include all of such songs of praise and acclaim, as the correct details and exact wordings of all of them are not available.

        When this victorious Lashkar left for Hunza after its gallant and swift victory, and taking along a huge quantity of war booty and a large number of prisoners of war and reached Hunza, Mir Shah Salim Khan and the rest of the people of Hunza accorded them a rousing and befitting welcome and all were extremely pleased and happy with the successful warriors. Mir Salim Khan conferred upon everyone of the force, awards and rewards. individually according to their acts of bravery, courage and achievements. Dara Beg, the leader/commander of this force was awarded with a permanent revenue of a few sheep/Iamb to be given annually for his use and these were levied as a tax on the people of Hindi. This type of tax/revenue continued to be paid annually to the sons, children and succeeding descendants of Dara Beg-I for his this act of bravery and recapture of Hinni (Hindi) from the Nagarkutz. The amount/quantity of such a tax/revenue was two lambs/rams sheep annually, details of which will be mentioned again in this book at its appropriate place.

         As a reward and compensation for his bravery and good services, Kuyo son of Behram was authorized and entitled to receive two "Gharbal" (about 25 kg ) of wheat flour as his traveling allowance. This entitlement was granted for ever and his family members and the descendants continued to receive this revenue till the rule/reign of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan (1892-1938).

        In the same manner, two “measurements" (Gharbal) of wheat flour was authorized and granted to Trangfah Gurg Ali His succeeding descendants also continued to get this revenue from the village on their visit to Hinni.

        Hence after the recapture of Hindi, Dara Beg's respect and stature, in the eyes of Mir Shah Salim Khan, grew and got enhanced rapidly. Dara Beg was being given and accorded extreme respect and honor by the notables, nobles and the masses of Hunza for his exemplary bravery and courage displayed by him during the battle for Hindi Under such prevailing and existing environments, a grave perversion/harm was committed by the family of Wazir Masti Beg, which resulted into his fall from the grace and he was removed from the appointment of Wazir. This appointment was then handed over to Dara Beg.

57.         Falling into Misfortune and Disaster of Family of Masti Beg

        It has been narrated, that Masti Beg had a son by the name of Karim. This Karim was one of the closest "Mahram" (confidant) of Mir Shah Salim Khan. All the keys of treasuries and granaries of Mir Shah Salim Khan were kept in his trust and responsibility, As Karim was a very smart, handsome and intelligent young man, he was the blue eyed of Mir Salim Khan, His other companions and fellowmen were therefore jealous of Karim and envied his this status. In spite of all this jealously by others, Mir Salim Khan had a strong liking for him. Till a time came when Mr. Khush Beg complained to and reported to Mir Salim Khan that Karim had become too frank and close with Mst. Parri who was the daughter of Mir Salim Khan, as Karim stayed in the palace of Mir Salim Khan twenty four hours a day and he was free to move around even in the ladies quarters. Mir Salim was also politely informed that Mst. Parri and Karim were so frank and free that they exchanged jokes and openly flirted with each other, though Mst Parri had grown to be mature and had reached the age of puberty. One day Mir Shah Salim Khan himself witnessed personally that Parri was standing with Karim and she was laughing loudly and flirting. This incident annoyed Mir Salim and the complaint and accusation made by Khush Beg against Karim were validated. Thus Mir Salim got extremely annoyed and alienated with Karim and he, therefore, immediately, removed Karim away from his palace. Mir Salim demanded of Masti Beg to kill his own son. However, Wazir Masti Beg made many excuses and remained evasive and refrained from killing his son, and tried to delay and prolong the execution. Finally, Mir Salim Khan got extremely infuriated and highly enraged for the lame excuses and delaying tactics of Masti Beg and isSood an order for killing of every male member of the family of Musti Beg. It has been narrated that it was the summer season and the month in which apricots ripe, when all the male members of Masti Beg, totaling seven in number, were collected and beheaded at a single spot.

        However one of the sons of Masti Beg by the name of "Sharif" was taken to "Gojal" along with another of his brothers to be executed there. However "Sharif" managed to escape from Gojal and was able to reach Nagar. In Nagar he took refuge in the house of a nobleman of Wazir "Holo", whose name was Chhumaar Singh, and who got him married to either one of his daughters or sisters by the name of Sharifa and kept him in his house as a his son-in-law. This Sharif had two sons by the names of Chhumaar Singh and Wazir from his above-mentioned wife Sharifa. Later during the reign and era of Mir Ghazanfar, Sharif, along with his sons. had returned to Hunza. where Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan had given him the appointment of "Dewan Beggi". Sharif was later murdered by "Shimshalis" on the route to "Qara Tang". From among the two sons of Sharif, Chhumaar Singh did not have any male offspring but his second son Mr. Wazir had a son by the name of "Showko" and 'Showko" has a son by the name of Qadeer (Showko Qadeer).

58.         Matrimonial Details and Progeny of Mir Shah Salim Khan

        Mir Shah Salim Khan had married Mst. Naseeb Khatoon daughter of Babar Khan, Mir of Nagar, who was also his maternal uncle. Salim Khan had two sons by the names of Jamal Khan and Ghazanfar Khan, from the womb of this Wife. There was another son of Salim Khan by the name of Amin Khan but it has not been ascertained as to from which lady wife, he was.

        According to the oral tradition, Salim Khan had also got married to a daughter of Mir Nadir Khan of "Shighnan" or Darwaaz. He had a daughter by the name of Badshah Begum from this wife. There were two other daughters namely Mst. Parri and Mehar Nigaar. He had a son by the name of Abdullah Khan from the womb of his Wife Mst. Khushhal Begum daughter of Qalam Ishqaqa of "Sariqool".

        It has been narrated that after the marriage of Khushhal Begum with Mir Shah Salim khan, the influence, stature and importance of sons of Qalam Ishqaqa had been enhanced manifolds day by day and they had finally been able to become the Begs of Sariqool. Prior to their this rise, the ruler of Sariqool used to be another person by the name of Umar Beg with his capital at a place called Chushmunn, and carried the title of Beg of Sariqool. The above mention Qalam was, the Wazir of Umar Beg at a place called Tez Nef and bore the title of lshqaqa as per the terminology and custom of that country during that era.

        When the sons of Mr. Qalam Ishqaqa attained political powers and gained strength by virtue of their relationship with Mir Salim Khan of Kanjoot, one of them by the name of Bubosh Beg became the "Beg" of Sariqool" or i.e. the ruler of Sariqool. His other brother by the name of Gauhar, became his "Ishqaqa" or Wazir and they both made a place called "Tung" as their capital and became known as "Begaan" of Sariqool.

        Bobosh Beg and Gauhar Ishqaqa offered their sister, Khushhal Begum, that Mir Salim Khan should collect annual tribute and revenue/taxes from the nomadic Kirghiz Herdsmen living and grazing their herds and sheep In the pasture lands located between the borders of Sariqool and Kanjoot. Hence, it is Since from that era/period that Salim Khan used to send his tax collectors called "Elbanchi” from Kanjoot to Sariqool to collect and bring the said tribute/revenue. Annually during the initial days of autumn season, this tax collector, collected felt carpet, ropes, rugs and etc from the herdsmen and inhabitants of pasture lands of Sariqool frontiers and brought all this to Hunza/Kanjoot. Mir Salim Khan also used to spend presents and souvenirs, from his side, for the headsmen and tribal chiefs of every tribe of these Kighiz people. These customs and traditions continued to remain in force till the reign/era of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan (1892-1938), when the great revolution of Turkistan took place and this tradition/custom got discontinued. The genealogical tree of Mir Shah Salim Khan is given below:

Mir Shah Salim Khan

(Son of Khisrau)

Jamal Khan           Ghazanfar Khan              Shah Sultan            Mehar Nagar

  Amin Khan                 Abdullah Khan         Badshah Begum                 Parri

        Mir Salim Khan had five sons but had more than three daughters The writer of this book feel handicapped to account for or recollect the names of remaining daughters of Mir Salim Khan.

59.         Marriages and Matrimony of Sons and Daughters of Shah Salim Khan

        According to oral tradition Mir Salim Khan had got his son Ghazanfar Khan married to "Bibi JI" daughter of Sher Shah, brother of Mehtar Suleiman Shah of Yasin,  He had also carried out the marriage of his other son Abdullah Khan with Bibi Mutreba" daughter of Mehtar Suleiman Shah of Yasin.

        Salim Khan's daughter Badshah Begum was married to "Badshah" son of Mehtar Suleiman Shah of Yasin, where she gave birth to two sons namely Mr. Khushwaqat Sani and Sher Dil Aman, She was later married to Mulki Aman son of Gauhar Aman when she had fallen widow. She gave birth to a son named "Muqaddas Aman Mehtar Jao" from her this second marriage.

Mehar Nigar, the second daughter of Salim Khan was married to Shah Sultan of Astore, where she gave birth to a son by the name of Raja Bahadur Khan, who later became the father-in-law of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan, However, there was yet another daughter of Mir Salim Khan by the name of Shah Begum or Badshah Begum. This one was married to Gushpur Alif Khan son of Raja Azur Khan of Nagar and who had a son named Rahim Khan son of Alif Khan, who as well as Babar Khan were both later murdered in cold blood by Mir Ghazanfar along with two hundred and twenty men of Nagar who had come to Hunza as members of a marriage party. Detailed account of this cold blooded mass murder of these men will be written in the succeeding chapters/paragraphs of this book.

60.         Second Attack on Hindi by Raja Babar Khan of Nagar

        When a couple of more years of rule of Mir Salim Khan went by in this manner, Mir Babar Khan of Nagar once again dispatched a stronger and well organized force under his son Azur Khan, to invest and capture "Hindi" once again. This time the inhabitants of "Hindi" had made strong pledges and promises to support Mir Babar Khan and his son Azur Khan, and had undertaken and assured him to remain loyal to them. This had been possible because of the reason that the allotment of pasture land/grazing slopes of "Dochi" had been firmly notified and pledged to be granted to the people of Hindi. The Nagar force, therefore occupied "Hindi" Khun and by making a strong rampart, all around the fort/Khun of Hindi had prepared an impregnable all round defense. By taking lessons from their previous disastrous defeat, they had made these defense so strong that it was made extremely difficult for attackers of Hunza to make a headway. On seeing such an impregnable defense, Mir Salim Khan and the brave men of Hunza started pondering as to the methods for the recapture of Hindi once again. This time they were finding it exceedingly difficult and in fact were extremely apprehensive of a victory and hence were in a state of despair and felt helpless. During this period, Wazir Dara Beg had died at the age of sixty years. His son Wazir "Punno· had taken over as Wazir of Hunza. Mir Salim Khan and his courtiers now asked and expected from Wazir Punno to follow the foot steps of his brave father Dara Beg and make a plan to recapture Hindi. Realizing the high expectations of his people and the demand by Mir Salim and his courtiers, Wazir Punno said in reply that, that as they all were so well aware that he was neither physically as strong as his father Dara beg nor was he an expert in the use of sword in battle. Therefore he said that if they all could listen to him patiently and agree to his suggestions, recommendations and the plan of action he could win this battle through a master diplomatic/political and tactful stroke which will give them a victory without a bloodshed. Mir Salim Khan agreed to listen to him and allowed Wazir Punno to express his views to him Wazir Punno explained his plan of action and modus operandi to Mir Salim Khan. As per his plan, he took Naseeb Khatoon, the Rani of Salim Khan and a few chosen notables of Hunza and departed for village "Pissan" in Nagar. Raja Babar Khan was staying at Pissan during those days, as his son. Azur Khan was leading his Lashkar at the "Khun" of Hindi.

        On hearing about the arrival of his daughter Naseeb Khatoon, Raja Babar Khan summoned her into his private apartment. This enabled the Rani of Hunza to commence and implement the plot/drama taught to her by the Wazir Punno of Hunza. On entering her father's chamber, she immediately started crying, wailing and weeping and having torn-opened the collar of her shirt, sat down near her father with her chest and breasts naked and beating with her fists. She then commenced a conversation in a wailing and complaining tone and pleaded, Oh my benevolent father' You in the first place have got me married to your nephew (sister's son). You have now snatched away from my hands and mouth the loaf of bread and food I had not as yet eaten even a grain of food from Hindi when you have once again retaken and usurped it. Will you please realize that there are only three villages of Altit, Baltit and Ganish, which are too meager a resource for my sons and their future generations. Please do not now feel offended, if I ask you to also take me as your wife/woman or wife/woman of my own brother and your son Azur Khan. I am now otherwise not at all in a position and a state to go back to Mir Salim Khan and to Hunza in such a state of humiliation and indignity. You may please either murder them or send back the Wazir and other notables of Hunza who have accompanied me up to this place.”

Such awkward, humiliating and penetrating dialogues and sentiments expressed by his daughter became very unpleasant and Irksome for Babar Khan, and in an utter state of embarrassment he beat his chest with his fists in an extreme slate of repentance and In utter desperation said that he wanted to avenge and punish the sons of Wazir Dara Beg and the people of Hunza for the defeat they had inflicted on me and my son during the previous encounter at Hindi But I fully understand that the words and the dialogues uttered by you (Naseeb Khatoon) are the ploy and plot of Wazir Punno and you have said whatever he had taught and asked you to say. His father had executed me with the brilliant stroke of his sword and now his son IS murdering me With his wisdom, sagacity and political insight: Right now he (Wazir Punno) has come to his own grave on his own feet. I will not leave him alive! Rani Naseeb Khatoon once again unleashed her protestation and said that if he considers It appropriate and does not feel ashamed, he must kill the Wazir, but he will have to take her as his mistress and wife and not as a daughter. In this way after a long sentimental and heated discussion, Raja Babar Khan went away with an utmost disturbed and perturb state of mind and mood. He was perplexed and could not find a suitable solution to his stubborn daughter's demand. The only way out left for him now was to vacate and withdraw from Hindi.

        At the conclusion of this embarrassing and emotional meeting, Babar Khan was compelled to order his son Azur Khan to vacate and withdraw from Hindi Ram Naseeb Khatoon along with Wazir Punno and the rest of the members of this delegation returned to Hunza very triumphantly and victoriously and reported to Mir Salim Khan. A contingent consisting of fighting men from each of the villages of Altit Baltit and Ganish, under command of a notable of Hunza was then detailed by Mir Salim Khan to guard the fort of "Hindi" as per a roster of duty, such men detailed on protection and guard duties were called "Rachi" (RA31) in Burushaski language. Sentry posts/towers were then constructed on the roof top towers of the forts and look out men/sentries were posted in those towers/observation posts to keep a constant vigil and round the dock observation and ensure protection of the forts Such sentry posts and towers were known as Tsarey Shikary (TSARE SHIKARI) in Burushaski language, meaning the sentry towers. This ensured the early warning of an approaching enemy force and restrained any conspirators from within the fort from making any sort of contacts and conspiracies, in league with the enemy. Such guards and sentries are called "tszankor" (TSANGKOR). Gates of the forts were closed and sealed firmly at the last light and during the nights and sentries posted to guard even these closed doors as well. The Forts of Baltit, Ganish and Altit were guarded and protected in the above mentioned manner and methods since old times. Such arrangements ensured safety and security of forts and the people and facilitated an early warning about any approaching column/force of raiders and even thieves etc. On locating and observing such hostile movements these sentries and guards signaled with the help of flames of fire made of firewood during nights/dark hours and with flags during day time. The fire signals are called "Fu Barentz" in Burushaski language.

61.         Reclaiming and Making Inhabitable of the Barren Lands of Dashte Bimal and Burum Moss as New Settlements.

        Until the era of reign of Mir Shah Salim Khan the extent of Hunza was not as enlarged as it was after him. It consisted of only three villages. One of the villages was Baltit or Baltit Khun28 and it was called "Agai Kot", the second was the settlement of "Ganish" and its fort with its surrounding village was called "Chughtai Kot" and the third locality or Khun, was "Altit" which was called "Burum Khun", meaning the white Khun. One day Raja Babar Khan of Nagar sent a very sarcastic and taunting but obscene message to Mir Salim Khan ridiculingly that Mir Salim Khan was no match and in no way could claim to be of equal status and stature with Mir Babar Khan as Mir Salim Khan ruled a small domain of only three villages as against these three villages, the  three male organs of a penis and the two testis on his body alone were more than equal to the three forts. This short sighted, highly obscene, taunting and bitter message of Sabar Khan was highly irksome and unpleasant for Mir Salim Khan, and he, therefore, assembled Khun. his ministers and notables and held a meeting for mutual consultations, He Informed this assembly that his maternal uncle, With a very obscene taunting and bitter message had made his pleasant and sweet life utterly sour and bitter. "I now desire that we take a befitting revenge and therefore, loot and plunder a Village of his domain, and bum and destroy anyone of his forts (Khuns), and abduct his subjects and sell them as slaves ". As his courtiers and advisers were fully drunk and in a state of high Spirits, everyone of them agreed with Salim's uttering and bragged and boasted of implementing whatever he desired However Wazir Punno who was also present did not agree as he was in his senses as he did not take wine in such gatherings. He said that let the night pass and wall for the next bright day, only then we will be able to arrive at a better solution.  Accordingly when they all assembled in the court the next day. Wazir Punno addressed them alt and said Look O! the Mir and my brothers, I am neither as brave as my father nor I am an expert In the art of war and use of sword, which I have been telling you time and again and on many occasions. Yes!, if we attack one of the villages of Nagar, we will be able to loot, plunder and destroy it and bring a few prisoners and war booty as well. But if, in retaliation, Babar Khan and the forces of Nagar once again attack Hindi and capture the same, it will be very difficult for us to regain and recapture that village. Hence, it is better to close our ears and eyes and ignore this sour and bitter message and instead be prudent, pragmatic and patient and instead devise and plan a better alternative solution." Hence my suggestions and recommendations In this regard are that, the barren lands tying around us, like Dasht-e-Bimal, Burum Moss, Matas Done, and Thani Daas, should all be developed, reclaimed and made irrigable/cultivable and habitable. This way when our population and numbers are increased, and we achieve a stronger economic position, only then would we be genuinely strong enough to dominate our adversaries.”

28: Khun: 'U' of Khun is to be spelt a “U” in Sun. A khun is in fact the whole of clustered houses village built around the castle/fort of the Mir at its apex. In old time this whole complex was sufficient with a security wall or rampart all around, and a khun was provisioned to remain self sufficient for a considerable period of  time in face of a siege by an enemy force:

        Mir Salim Khan at the outset did not like and did not approve of the suggestion and recommendations of Wazir Punno. However after giving some pause and some more thought and deep analysis, he liked and accepted the proposal of his wise Wazir and turned his full attention towards construction of water channels for irrigation and reclamation of the above mentioned available barren lands Mir Salim Khan first of all selected the barren lands of Bimal Daas out of all other such places which was the property of the tribes of Ganish. Accordingly a water channel called "Halegun” was carved and constructed from the water source of Baltit Nullah (Bulolo). He above mentioned barren lands were irrigated and reclaimed with the help of the water of this channel the new village thus created was given the name of Haider Abad. As a good omen and as custom, first of an, foundation stone of a mosque was laid down in the locality so earmarked for constructing the rest of the houses for the new village. This mosque was called the Mosque of Shahe Mardan Ali Murtaza. In the corner of the wall of the mosque a wooden plaque was fixed on which the date and name of the mosque was engraved. In Persian numerical /alphabets, the year of construction of this mosque as written on this wooden piece/plaque is 1221 Hijra (One thousand two hundred twenty one) which corresponds to approximately the year 1808 to 1809 AD.

        Entire cultivable/irrigable land area of this new settlement of Haider Abad was first divided in to three equal portions/parts. After that one portion was earmarked and allotted to the tribes of Baltit, the other to Ganish and the third to those of Altit. However, the Inhabitants of Altit showed no interest and declined to inhabit and reclaim their allotted portions of land. The inhabitants of Ganish had strong objection and opposed the very idea of such a distribution and arrangements. It  was because of the reason that, the water from the source of Isha Nullah was taken straight to Ganish and was being utilized for the irrigation of lands of Ganish village. Hence, they also refused and refrained from taking into possession and reclaiming their allotted portion of the barren lands. Subsequently all the portions were therefore occupied, reclaimed, irrigated and inhabited by the men of four tribes of Baltit.

        Mir Shah Salim Khan selected and earmarked the best portion of this land for himself. He also allotted a portion of land to Wazir Punno according to his choosing who allotted this to his brother Farhat Beg. Who got himself settled in this new village. Every other notable and Important functionary of the court and state was allotted pieces of land according to their importance and status. The remaining lands were then allotted to the rank and file of each tribe through means of a balloting. The rights of the water from the source or Baltit nullah were allotted according to a formula, by which Baltit utilized this water for seven days and nights and Haider Abad was allotted to utilize this water for four days and four nights. The daytime utilization was the right of Mir Salim Khan and nights were for the rest of the masses. The rights of water from the source of Isha Nullah were also transferred to Hyderabad village.

        Though Mir Salim Khan transferred the rights of use of water of Isha Nullah from Ganish to Hyderabad, the inhabitants of Ganish continued to reject, oppose and resist this decision . It has been narrated that one day an inhabitant of Hyderabad by the name of Haji son of Khujon, who was a very strong, heavily built and wrestler type man blocked the channel and directed the water flowing in it towards his own lands. This water was being taken to Ganish as usual by the people of Ganish as a proof of their continued claim on the rights of its source. Thus the above mentioned man completely and abruptly cut off its flow towards Ganish and waited in hiding in an ambush. When the water channel at village Ganish dried out, an equally strong, powerful and a sort of wrestle style man from Ganish, who was considered the strongest man of his time, left for Hyderabad following the water channel. When he arrived at the spot along the channel where this watercourse was blocked and water directed to the nearby fields of "Mello", he stopped and after a lookout all around got into the water channel to clear the blockade. This blockage was made of a very heavy stone, and he therefore got busy in removing the heavy and large stone from the watercourse. He managed with great difficulty and utmost exertion to take out the large heavy stone from inside the water  channel. When Haji saw and critically observed Mr. Mello taking out and removing the large stone with much difficulty and utmost exertion he carefully ascertained the situation and was able to judge the real strength and powers of "Mello". He therefore came out of his hiding and got himself entangled with "Mello" The two strong men got into a wrestling bout and got busy in overpowering each other. However the final outcome of this wrestling and entanglement was that Haji overpowered "Mello" and said to "Mello· that till that time they (the men of Ganish) were not obeying and accepting the decree and decision of Mir Salim Khan who had given the rights of this water to the people of Hyderabad. I now order you to accept the decision right now and call me as your father. Mello. had no way out, but to obey and surrender to the dictates of Haji as he was in full grip of Haji, and was lying under him. Thus "Mello· accepted the terms dictated to him and called Haji as his father. In order to authenticate and keep as a proof of this acceptance by the Mello, Haji confiscated from Mello his "lance"/'stick and both departed towards their own destinations.

        However, the dispute between Ganish and Hyderabad over the rights of the water of Isha Nullah continued to persist till the reign and era of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan (1892-1938). The inhabitants of Ganish under the leadership of Trangfah Ajzdhar son of Mr. Rupi, during the rule of Mir Nazeem Khan had made a claim and became plain-tiff against Hamayun Beg and his brother Muhammad Reza Beg and demanded of them to transfer the rights of the water of Isha Har to the inhabitants of "Dor Khan" village. However, Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan had dismissed their petition/claim and allotted the rights of the water to Hyderabad village permanently. He then admonished, and punished Trangfah Ajzdhar by removing him from the appointment of Transfagi of Ganish. The appointment of Transfagi of Ganish was handed over to Hassan son of Hassan Ali.

        However later on during the reign of Mir Muhammad Ghazan Khan-II (19381945) the right of water of Isha Har, though, was retained with Hyderabad but once in a week i.e. on every Friday it was allotted to the Village of "Dorkhan" Meanwhile the rights of water of Baltit Nullah (Bulolo) were rearranged under which water was to be utilized for ten (10) days and nights by the inhabitants of Baltit and six (6) days and nights were fixed for the Inhabitants of Hyderabad.  This arrangement was decided upon during the reigns of Mir Muhammad Nazirm Khan and Mir Muhammad Ghazan Khan-II.

        Mir Salim Khan turned his attention towards habitation, reclaiming and settlement process of "Burum Moss" after seven years of the settlement of Hyderabad. He inaugurated and got started construction of a water channel originating from the Ultar Nullah (or Harchi Har). "After a lot of efforts and utmost hard work and great hardships a channel was constructed and water delivered to the lands of “Burum Moss”.  This newly reclaimed and inhibited locality of "Burum Moss" was given the new name of Ali Abad. The new channel mentioned above, which was providing Irrigation water to Ali Abad was named as Samarqand Dala or Samarqand Channel. The total volume of water available in the Ullar Nullah (Harchi Har) was divided into four equal portions under  the supervision and recommendations of a neutral committee of notables from Gojal and Shinaki. Two portions were allotted to the new settlements of Ali Abad and Hyderabad and the first two portions to Ganish and Altit villages. The total land of Ali Abad was divided into five parts. One part each was allotted to the inhabitants of Baltit, Altit and Ganish. This time again the people of Ganish and All it did not take much interest in occupation and inhabiting of their allotted portions Therefore this lime again all three portions of land were occupied, inhabited and cultivated/settled by the inhabitants and four tribes of Baltit. However the barren lands of Matass Dann and Thani Daas were inhabited by the clans/tribes of Ganish and Alt it.

        Mir Salim Khan chose and selected the piece of land of his choice as the state property. This land was later allotted to those men who rendered meritorious services during battles/actions and to other such notables, advisers and servants of Mirs who rendered meritorious services in various fields. The fifth portion which is called as "Aakhan Abad" since then, was allocated and reserved in the name of inhabitants of village of "Hindi". It was done so because there always existed a possibility of a drought and drying up of water sources of village Hindi thus making them waterless and drought stricken. The inhabitants of Hindi depended only on rain water and seasonal snow fall. God forbid, in case of such a drought and drying up of the water springs of Hindi, the inhabitants of Hindi were temporarily transferred/settled on the lands of this Akhan Abad. It was because of this reason that with the consent and understanding of the people of Hindi, every household of Hindi was levied a tax/revenue of one measurement (about 5kgs) of seeds of grass called Rishqa (Shipiting). This revenue in shape of seeds was collected and sown in the lands of "Akhan Abad" as an initial process for reclaiming and making this barren land inhabitable The men of All it, Ganish and Baltit were detailed and employed for the development work through "Kar-e-Begar" or forced labour. A supervisor or administrator called "Yarfah" was appointed for the lands possessed by Mir Salim Khan. A person by the name of Muhammad Beg was the first "Yarfah" of Akhan Abad and other lands of Mir Salim in Ali Abad. The rights of the two portions of irrigation water allotted to new settlements were further apportioned in to two. One portion was for the lands of the Mir Salim Khan and the other portion for the new settlers of Ali Abad. Later on during the reign of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan, when the new villages of Khan Abad and Hussain Abad were created and inhabitants of Hindi

were settled there, Mir Nazim Khan took over the possession of lands of Akhan Abad  in to his own hands. These lands were then given on the basis of tenancy to the local people of Ali Abad on a fixed revenue per kanal of the land, in 1905 AD. This locality is now known as Agha Khan Abad since that period.

        Wazir Punno was also allotted two shares of land One was against the appointment of Wazir of Hunza and the other against his right for being from the category of Akabiran/Mutabiran. As of today the descendants of Raza Ali, brother of Wazir Punno are the inhabitants/owners of one of the shares of this land. Muhammad Raza Beg the second son of Wazir Punno was allotted the second share of this land. This Muhammad Reza Beg died and left this world isSooless and left no heir to his this property. Thus, Mr. Zeenat Shah the eldest son of Wazir Punno look over the possession of these lands and as of today, his descendants are settled and inhabited this property at Ali Abad as a clan called Tharakutzs.

        Not even two years had passed since after the new settlement of Ali Abad was inhabited, when the people of Ganish turned their attention towards reclaiming and inhabiting "Matass Dann" or "Dor Khan" and were able to make it cultivable, irrigable and inhabitable. The village of "Dorkhan" is inhabited only and purely by the men from clans and tribes of Ganish village.

        During this period, the inhabitants of Altit turned their attention towards reclaiming and inhabiting the barren area of "Thani Daas" (present day Ahmad Abad). It has been narrated that a hunter by the name of "Mello" from Altit had gone into the Thani Das nullah in search of his prey/game. His prey, a Markhor gol wounded as a result of his fire and this wounded "Makhor” ran towards Thani Das through the Thani Das Nullah, and passed along the belly of the mountain. "Mello" the hunter also followed his this wounded prey along the belly of the same mountain. During this pursuit he noticed and found out that the route was feasible and suitable to carve and construct a water channel from the bottom of the nullah up to the by then barren lands of Thani Das. He therefore consulted with the inhabitants of Altit on this account and after they had mutually agreed, Mir Salim Khan was informed and alerted. Mir Salim Khan immediately accepted and approved the proposal and got a water channel constructed up to the barren lands of Thani Das. The place was given the name of Ahmad Abad, The first and foremost building to be constructed as a foundation of the village was that of a Mosque, in this place as well. The only man of Altit by the name of Shukoor Ali, who had got settled in Ali Abad, was called back from Ali Abad and resettled in Thani Das (Ahmad Abad). Origin of the entire inhabitants of Ahmad Abad is from the oasis of Altit only. However in view of disconnection/disruption of the head of water channel because of the frequent growth and expansion of the glacier, fields, gardens, and fruit orchards of Ahmad Abad have been getting dried up and barren on a number of occasions. One such an even/occasion occurred during the era/reign of Mir Ghazan Khan the first (well before 1880) when the glacier in the nullah suddenly started expanding/growing and enlarging, This sudden growth, expansion and forward movement of rapidly growing glacier blocked and destroyed the head of the water channel, This situation prevailed for over two years and water channel remained disconnected/disrupted during this period, Hence the new settlers of Ahmad Abad had to migrate to their ancestral lands at Altit and obtained their livelihood by cultivating their previous lands. However the glacier receded and shrank back and the settlers once again returned to their properties in Ahmad Abad. This phenomenon of periodical expansion and sudden growth of the same glacier got repeated once again during the era of Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan (1892-1938) and it buried, destroyed and occupied the head of the water-channel as before, As a result of this a new water channel was calved and re-constructed to obtain water from the source called "Talumesh" and irrigation water was provided/delivered to Ahmad Abad, through this new channel. However this time again the glacier receded and shrank within a year's period and the head of the water channel got released and available and Ahmad Abad got saved from being dried up and getting barren once again. This phenomenon had occurred for a third time during the era/reign of the present Mir of Hunza, Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan (1945-1976). The glacier once again started growing and expanding and creeping forward and thus it blocked the head of the water channel. However in spite of this natural disaster to Ahmad Abed, the Mir was able to not only ensure to maintain supply of irrigation water to Ahmad Abed but he introduced new methods and modern machinery like drilling machines to widen and improve upon the existing old water channel, Government of Pakistan was also kind to sanction and provide funds and the necessary expertise to the Mir for the improvement of the channel and other, such projects, through the system of Basic Democracy. The glacier once again has receded/melted, shrunk and drifted backwards and the water channel is now in a much better shape. Thereafter the flow of water in this water channel of Ahmad Abad now remains to be plenty and uninterrupted as the glacier has now melted away and shrunk (as a result of global l warming),

        After the above mentioned barren localities had been reclaimed and re-settled, the inhabitants of Ganish only then turned their attention towards reclaiming and making inhabitable the locality of Matsu Tshil or Hassan Abad Hassan Abad is believed to have been developed after six years of commencement of development work of Ali Abad, This comes to the year of Hijra of 1234 (corresponding approximately to 18211822 AD), However the irrigation water was obtained and taken from the water share of Mir Saleem Khan supplied through the Samarqand channel, But when an acute shortage of this irrigation water was felt and when the consumption increased. a new water channel was carved and constructed from the source of Matsu Tshil Nullah, with the skill/expertise and active participation of an expert in this field by the name of Haider Beg son of Taimur during the rule of Mir Ghazanfar Khan. Thus a new and separate source of irrigation water was made available which supplied water to Hassan Abad. The settlers of Hassan Abad by then residing and living alongside their kith and kin at Ali Abad later got their homes/living quarters constructed in Hassan Abad Payeen"' and were shifted to these newly constructed homes in the lower Hassan Abad.

        There is no record or details available and no one has any knowledge regarding the construction and period of construct ion of water channel irrigating the village of Mayon. However, this village has remained in possession of the inhabitants of village "Hindi" since ancient times and the lands of Mayon oasis were cultivated by the people of Hindi, but whenever the situation went dangerous and unfavorable they would discontinue any sort of cultivation as they did not inhabit and occupy "Mayon" permanently.

        Mir Salim Khan therefore asked the inhabitants of Hinni, to occupy and inhabit Mayon on a permanent basis. However these people did not agree and thus did not comply, because this oasis was often subjected to raids, plunder and looting by raiders from Nagar and Gilgit. Such incidents of raids and attacks had been occurring on many such occasions in the past. The inhabitants of Sharoat and Shakyot villages of Gilgit, when faced with a of draught situation and dry season in their villages: had been invading Mayan to takeover possession of these lands and settles there. They had been claiming the ownership of Mayan oasis by claiming that the water channel to Mayan was constructed by their ancestors. However the inhabitants of Hindi had been successfully repulsing the raids of these people and had been denying them to take possession of Mayan oasis. When because of these reasons the people/villagers of Hindi refused to settle themselves down in Mayan, did Mir Salim Khan ordered the inhabitants of main Hunza villages to occupy and settle down in Mayan. Accordingly the agricultural lands and fields of Mayan were distributed and allotted to the men of Hunza. Mir Salim Khan kept a piece of land as his own share, which was tended and cultivated for him by the men of "Hindi" through "Kar-e-Begar". The men of Hunza were given the responsibility of guarding and pro viding security to the village, and the new settlers.

        Not even a whole year had passed Since the Hunza men had occupied the oasis of Mayan, when they also felt insecure, uneasy and scared. 11 was the crops season and the crops of wheat and barley had just ripened and ready and the traditional courts called "Dams" in Burushaski language, for thrashing of these crops had also been prepared, when suddenly the Hunza occupants got jittery and scared of threats and danger of raids by the people of Gilgit and Nagar. They, therefore, set on fire the heaps of collected crops of wheat and barely and fled back to Hunza. This way the inhabitants of central Hunza also abandoned the Mayan oasis and returned to their villages in central Hunza. It was after the abandonment by Hunza men, that the people of Hindi once again went back to Mayan and this time agreed to and got themselves permanently settled down in Mayan. By this time the reign and era of Mir Ghazanfar had arrived. Hence, a fort and cluster of houses (Khun) were constructed for the new settlers of Mayan village.

        The newly arrived inhabitants of Mayan worked and' looked after the lands at the Mirs of Hunza by way of "Rajaki 29 " The Mirs collected the produce of their lands through their appointed supervisor called "YARFAH" or "YARPA". During the era of Mir Ghazanfar a flood in rive r Hunza caused by "Sarat slide and natural of Hunza river damming diverted the course of Hunza river below Mayan resulting into shifting of a large chunk of Nilt lands along river bed towards the banks on Mayan side. This added a sizeable piece of cultivable land to the lands of Mayan. hence, land holdings in Mayan got expanded and increased. This newly added chunk of land. added as a result of flooding in the river, is called "Dumyal". Mir Ghazanfar Khan later divided this newly added tract of land and distributed it among the tenants of his personal lands. He also distributed and allotted his personal lands to these tenants. He then levied and fixed a revenue in shape of grain against his own lands and "RAJAKI" was also exchanged or bartered for a fixed revenue of grain. This revenue was called "KUTUKAL", which is collected and paid/delivered to the coffers of the Mirs of Hunza at Baltit till today (as of 1962 AD and even up to 1974 AD, when the Hunza State was abolished.)