Thursday, 23 October 2014

Pashtun tribesmen of Kashmir War of 1948

Tribal irregulars from Waziristan bound for Kashmir, 1947.  From an album, collated and annotated by Lt Frank Leeson, ; relates to his service during 1946-1947 with the North Waziristan Khassadars. [Source: National Army Museum, London]

Pashtuns sent to Kashmir in 1947-48 by Pakistani state appears to be largely trained soldiers and tribal policemen of government with monthly salaries, belonging to para-military forces of North West Frontier,  khasadar force (tribal police), armies of some princely states and regular British-Indian (Pakistan) army. Its hard to come by information regarding Pashtuns who participated in Kashmir war of 1948 but i was able to find following material from web and books.

1- In this report published in BBC, Hussain Gul, then a soldier of Paramilitary Kurram Militia, shares his experiences of that war :-
"Hussain Gul, a resident of Shalozan village in the Kurram tribal region who was then a soldier of the paramilitary Kurram Militia, was part of that force.
"We were there to attack and recapture [the 2,800-metre] Pandu ridge which the Indians had occupied during autumn," he says.
"It was a good victory. We were able to occupy a considerable part of Kashmir but we still lost most of it. It made one feel sad, like when you lose a part of your house," 
His father, who went in with a band of friends to fight during the previous season, "came back defeated".
"They brought back war booty though; gold and some women," he chuckles. 
In his mid-90s now, and with a fading memory, he is not sure what happened to the women. As for gold, "they were cheated out of it by Majoor", an ethnic Hazara businessman in Parachinar, the central town of Kurram.

The picture on Mr Gul's Kurram Militia ID

2- Risaldar Major Ghulam Rasul Niazi of 15th Lancers of British-Indian army participated in Kashmir war of 1948 and earned the title of Ghazi-i-Kashmir. ["History of the Pathans", Vol-III, p-383]

Risaldar Major Ghulam Rasul Niazi of 15th Lancers, a participant of Kashmir War 1948

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