Below is the chronicle of events in Gilgit Baltistan during Agust 1, 1947 to November 16, 1947. The report has been compiled by Major W.Brown and Sardar Alam. Reading the report without second opinion or without alternate versions could lead one into a biased historical camp.
Sardar Alam, a Pathan tehsildar, was the first brutal face of Pakistani establishment who had threatened to chop off heads of the freedom fighters of Gilgit when he found out their secret meetings for the formation of the United States of Gilgit.
“You are a crowd of fools being led astray by a madman [Mirza Hassan ]. I shall not tolerate this nonsense for one instant. Another squeak out of you, and Major Brown and myself will pack up and leave you to your own devices. You have already seen beginnings of the chaos which will ensue from your so-called independence under your so-called Provisional Government. It will not be long before the country is plunged into civil war. And when the Indian Army starts invading you, there will be no use screaming to Pakistan for help, because you won’t get it. And as for you,” said to the members of the United States of Gilgit provincial government.
“You clear out of here and get back to Bunji immediately. And in future don’t show your face this side of the river without my permission.” Major Brown quoted Sardar M. Alam as threatening Mirza Hassan.
Major Brown was a self-justified pro-Pakistan commandant, hell bent on deciding what the people of Gilgit Baltistan should or should not do. At one point he equates Captain Mirza Hassan, a local freedom fighter, with Hitler. Although, he was an advocator of plebiscite in the region, he, however, was the first to maneuvering the situation of the region of Gilgit Baltistan. The Pakistani government in 1993 awarded the Britisher with Sitara-i-Pakistan for his services.
The following report has been compiled by Brown and Sardar Alam and can be found in India Office Records, British Library, File L/P & S/13/1860.]
1. On the 1st of August, 1947, charge of the Gilgit Agency was handed over to the Kashmir State under the orders of the Government of India. A high ranking Hindu Jammti & Kashmir State Anny officer was appointed as Governor who attempted to model his administration on that of the previous British Political Agents.
2. It soon became apparent that the whole country, from the Rulers of the small States of Hunza and Nagir down to the humblest villager, loathed this new regime, regarding it as Hindu domination, an understandable loathing in the light of the fact that the population, of the Gilgit Agency is 100% Muslims. However, the people seemed to be prepared to endure this new regime provided the State of Jammu & Kashmir acceded to Pakistan, but as time passed it became increasingly obvious that the sentiments of the Maharaja lay with Hindustan, for the following reasons:
a. A new motor road was in the course of preparation, connecting Srinagar, the Kashmir capital, with Hindustan via Pathankot;
b. Mr. Kak, the State Prime Minister, had been dismissed. He was, although a Hindu, in favour of the accession to Pakistan;
c. General Scott and Mr Powell, British State employees, who were Chief of the General Staff and Inspector General of Police respectively, resigned or were asked to resign, it being believed generally that their resignations came about owing to their pro-Pakistan leanings.
3. The situation in Gilgit became tense and the people more ostentatious in their claims to join Pakistan. Pakistan slogans were shouted in the streets and chalked on the walls and buildings and a general unrest set in amongst the Corps of Gilgit Scouts, the local militia, both in Gilgit and Chilas, one of the outposts. Major W.A. Brown, Gilgit Scouts, who was in cloàe touch with his second in command, Captain A.S. Mathieson in Chilas, warned the Governor that the situation was becoming serious and daily placed all the facts before him. The Governor, however, paid little attention to these warnings either through mistrust of Major Brown or through stubbornness, probably the former as subsequent events showed.
4. About the beginning of October, there was a disturbance in the Lines of the 6th Kashmir State Infantry stationed at Bunji some thirty miles S.E. of Gilgit, which resulted in a clash between the Muslims and Sikh elements each shouting their respective slogans and all resorting to fighting amongst themselves without arms. The Colonel managed to bring the situation under control but not before the news had reached the Kashmir capital, whence orders were received from Capt. Hussan, the commander of the Muslim company, to be sent to Srinagar under arrest. The Governor, after consulting the Colonel, managed to get this order annulled on the grounds that such an order would aggravate an already serious situation. Major Brown was not informed of this incident but later found out about it through an untrustworthy and incompetent assistant to the Governor.
5. Major Brown and Captain Mathieson soon realized that an underground movement was at work, the members of which, and the actual power of which, could not be ascertained. It seemed that certain local people, under the guise of pro- Pakistan activities, were aspiring to political power, but the strength of the movement could not be gauged accurately nor could it be considered dangerous.
6. The news of the accession of Kashmir to Hindustan was received quietly in most parts of the Agency, though the atmosphere in the Lines of the Gilgit Scouts and in the Gilgit Bazaar was tense. In Chilas, however, the situation appeared to be serious and Captain Mathieson, who was in command there, informed Major Brown at Gilgit that he was finding it difficult to restrain the Scouts, who, backed by the locals, wished to declare for Pakistan and raise the Star and Crescent. Major Brown ordered Captain Mathieson to do his best to restrain the Scouts and to maintain law and order.
7. On the 28th of October, reports were received that the Wali of Swat hid moved into Tangir and was marching up the Indus River to Chilas. Other reports were received that His Highness the Mehtar of Chitral was collecting an army at Mastuj with the intention of taking over the two political districts of Kuh Ghizr and Yasin as a step to annexing all the- territory up as far as Gilgit.
8. The Governor called Major Brown and asked him for his advice. Major Brown once again impressed on the Governor the seriousness of the situation and suggested that before taking any action the Governor should ascertain from the Kashmir Government what their policy was towards places like Tangir, a matter in which he (the Governor) displayed complete ignorance. The Governor appeared quite apathetic and tried to make it clear to Major Brown that he was capable of dealing with any situation. It was obvious, however, that the Governor was losing confidence in himself and that his powers of appreciation and judgement were wavering.
9. On the evening of the 28th of October, a further message was received from Chilas to the effect that pro-Pakistan fervour was reaching an uncontrollable pitch. On the 29th of October, the Governor declined to discuss the situation with Major Brown. Another report was received from Chilas that unless something was done quickly the Scouts, populace and the people of Darel and Tangir would dedare a holy war. Major Brown discussed the matter with Subedar Major Baber Khan of the Gilgit Scouts, who was not helpful but said that he had been in touch with the Rulers of Hunza and Nagir whose advice was to refrain from violence and to remain calm. This advice was passed on to Chilas. The situation in Gilgit was still tense but quiet.
10. On the 30th of October, the Governor showed that he was quite incapable of coping with the situation and it was clear that unless something was done quickly, the result would be bloodshed and chaos.
11. Major Brown went to the Governor and asked him whether he had received any reply from the Kashmir Government as to what policy should be adopted and was told that no reply had been received. Major Brown then gave the Governor a verbal appreciation of the situation as follows:
. that since the population of Gilgit was predominately Muslim, the people objected strongly to the fact that the Maharajah had acceded to Hindustan;
a. that Gilgit was slowly being surrounded by the Rulers of Swat and Chitral States, who had already acceded to Pakistan and that an attack in the guise of liberation of Gilgit was imminent; that there were not sufficient troops on this side of the Indus River to stem such an attack and that in the circumstances it was unlikely that the Scouts would take up arms against their brother Muslims fighting in the cause of, Pakistan;
b. that the Frontier Premier’s speech of the previous evening, declaring on behalf of all Pathans that they pledged all their support to liberate the people of Kashmir, had a profound affect on the people of Gilgit;
c. that the use of Indian troops in Kashmir to suppress the will of the people had shocked Muslims throughout the World and no less so in Gilgit;
d. that World opinion on broadcasts of the previous evening had hinted at tyranny in Kashmir;
e. that the people of Gilgit had lost all faith in the Governor because he, as a bastion of Hindu rule, was in no position to stem attacks from Swat and Chitral in the name of Islam, or to protect the Agency from other outside aggression;
f. that unless the Governor took some action on his own initiative, Gilgit would be plunged into a blood bath like Kashmir;
g. that the will of the people should be ascertained and the question of a referendum be considered, failing which serious trouble would be sure to follow;
h. finally, that failure to take action would result in chaos, either in the form of an invasion from outside or through an internal upheaval, i.e. a holy war, in the confusion of which military discipline and oaths of allegiance would be forgotten and Muslims on one side and Sikhs and Hindus on the other would fight with one another with tragic results.
The Governor appeared to agree generally with the above appreciation and he said he would put three questions immediately to the Mirs and Rajas:
1. Do you and your people wish to accede to Pakistan?
2. Do you and your people wish to accede to Hindustan?
3. Do you wish your country to become Yaghistan?
12. On the evening of the 30th of October, Major Brown approached the Governor and asked him what action had been taken and was told that the Mir of Hunza had declared that he and his people were quite prepared to carry on under the present regime, that the Mir of Nagir was out shooting, and assuming that his answer would be the same as the Mir of Hunza the Governor bad not troubled to contact him; that before ascertaining the wishes of the people of the political districts, he would prefer to discuss the matter with the Raja of Gilgit who was in Gilgit the following day.
Major Brrown, knowing the sentiments of the Hunza people, considered the reply incredible and contacted the Mir of Hunza on the telephone through the Subedar Major, who, speaking in the Hunza language, explained the whole situation to the Mir. The Mir in reply stated that neither had the Governor spoken to him on the subject nor had he ever expressed a desire to carry on under the present regime. The telephone line was tapped by the Governor who, although not understanding the Hunza language, must have realized the purport of the call.
13. On the 31st of October, Major Brown informed the Governor that he had advised and helped him to the best of his ability but since the Governor disregarded his advice, he could not be responsible in any way for subsequent events and he might be compelled to take steps on his own initiative to maintain law and order and to prevent bloodshed.
14. That same day the Gilgit wireless operator, Mr Limbuwala, showed Major Brown a message from the Mehtar of Chitral breaking off all relations with the Kashmir State and saying that neither his State nor Gilgit could accept the accession to Hindustan.
15. On the evening of the 31st of October, Major Brown was warned that an attempt on his life was contemplated by the local Sikhs at the instigation of the Governor. Major Brown left his house by the back entrance and made his way to the Scouts by a devious route. As he left his house, he noticed several armed Sikhs moving round the wall of his garden.
16. The situation in the Bazaar was serious. Armed bands of Muslims and Sikhs were roaming about the Bazaar and people were pouring in from the surrounding villages. The Mullahs had preached Holy War (Jehad) at the evening prayers, exhorting the people to kill the Governor and all Sikhs and Hindus.
17. On arrival at the Scouts Lines, Major Brown was told that an attempt had been made on the life of Subedar Major but had been forestalled. At about 6 pm the Subedar Major had been called to the Governor house but fortunately, as he was about to leave, he was warned that a band of Sikhs was lying in ambush for him.
18. At about 7 pm a report was received that some Sikhs were about to enter the Scouts Lines and blow up the magazine. Precautions were taken and several Sikhs were noticed retreating from various points round the perimeter wall. Subsequent searches proved the report to be correct and large quantities of primed guncotton and gelignite were found in possession of the Sikhs.
19. On the same day, the 31st of October, a message was received from Chilas that a declaration of a Holy War was about to be made by the Scouts and the local people unless an accession to Pakistan was made immediately.
20. Major Brown then appreciated the, situation, which was very grave, and decided that it was his duty to prevent wanton destruction of life and property. He issued the following orders:
. one Platoon under the Subedar Major to proceed to the Governor’s house and ask him to come to the Scouts Lines for protection: the Subedar Major had a letter to this effect;
a. One Section to take over the Post and Telegraph office to ensure that telegrams likely to create panic were not sent;
b. two Sections to be sent to the wireless operator’s house to protect him and his set;
c. one Platoon to be sent to the Bhup Singh Parri on the road to Bunji to prevent any movement towards Gilgit;
d. one Section each to the Basin and Gilgit bridges;
e. two Platoons to be sent from Chilas to hold the Partab Pul bridge over the Indus River and to occupy Jaglote;
f. patrols to move about in the vicinity of the Gilgit Bazaar to prevent looting and to reassure the people: sentries to be posted on the Hindu quarters;
g. the remaining strength was to stand by as a mobile reserve and all permanent guards were doubled.
21. The repercussions to these orders will now be explained.
· Order (a). The Platoon visited the Governors House which seemed deserted. It was bright moonlight. The Platoon halted in the garden and the S.M. [Subedar Major] and another Scout officer entered the house, calling on the Governor to come forward. Receiving no reply, a systematic search of the house was begun. When he [the Scout officer] entered the Governor’s bedroom, he [the Governor, Ghansara Singh] flashed a torch on the Scout and opened fire on them with a rifle. The Scouts retreated outside and the Governor taking up a position at a window fired a fusillade into killing one and wounding another. The Scouts then took up a tactical position around the house and firing from both sides continued Being bright moonlight there was no excuse for the Governor to think that he was being attacked by bandits. By this time about a thousand locals armed with guns, swords and axes, had arrived in the vicinity of the Governor s House and both the Scouts and the locals demanded an immediate rush on the house with the object of setting it on fire and murdering the Governor and the other occupants in revenge for the killing of the Scout sepoy. The Subedar Major, however, displaying considerable calmness and control, steadied the crowd and prevented an unfortunate incident. During a temporary lull in the firing, the S.M. moved forward and tried to persuade the Governor that the Scouts had come for his protection and that he should come out at once as the mob was after his blood. This announcement was answered by another fusillade followed by weird animal noises from which it appeared that the Governor was out of his senses. Later he took to firing through the roof and breaking up the interior of the bungalow. During a burst of fire by the Governor the Office Superintendent, who for some unaccountable reason was in the vicinity of the bungalow, was hit in the back and died instantly. A machine-gun was fired high to force the Governor into submission before further loss of life or destruction of property, but in vain. Major Brown therefore ordered a cease-fire and posted the Platoon round the bungalow to wait for first light. Through the S.M. he managed to move the local mob down to the Polo Ground, where a relative of the Raja of Gilgit, ex-Subedar Shah Rais Khan, a man of considerable influence, managed to pacify them. At first light the Governor surrendered and was taken to the Scouts Lines and put under protective custody, with full respect to his rank and position. His appearance suggested madness. The fact that he reached the lines safely reflects great credit on the S.M. and the Scouts.
· Order (b). Carried out without incident. Telephone lines in both directions had to be cut but were repaired later when the situation came under control. Order (c, d, e & h). Carried out without incident.
· Order (f). Captain Mathieson was informed of the situation and agreed with Major Brown that the only way to prevent chaos was to abide by the will of the people. All non-Muslims were collected in the Fort at Chilas, as the local population, irresponsible enough in normal times, were seething for a Holy War. With admirable foresight, Capt Mathieson sent messages to the various valleys of Chilas and Darel Tangir, exhorting the people to remain calm and not to do anything without a message from him. It says much for the courage and personality of this officer and that of the local Assistant, Muzaffaradin Shah, that the fanatical tribesmen of this part of tribal territory (Yaghistan) were held in check. Capt Mathieson, with a firm hand crushed the looting of the Chilas Bazaar and then despatched his men according to orders. He himself remained at his post at Chilas and did his best to maintain law and order. A declaration in favour of Pakistan was accepted as a fait accompli by Captain Mathieson, the alternative being a Holy War.
· Order (g). It has been proved conclusively in the light of subsequent event that this order prevented the wholesale massacre of all non-Muslims in Gilgit.
22. On the 1st of November at first light, Major Brown, accompanied by his Adjutant, Lieut. Ghulam Haider, toured the affected area. It was obvious that Hindu rule in Gilgit had come to an end. At least two or three thousand people, armed with anything from modern sporting rifles to daggers were gathered on the Polo Ground shouting Pakistan slogans and demanding immediate accession and the murder of the Governor and non-Muslims. At least another thousand were patrolling the streets in the blood-thirsty excitement restrained only by the influence of the Scouts. The whole Corps of Scouts from the States’ officers attached and the S.M. down to the latest joined recruit were pro-Pakistan and nobody in the world could have made them fire a round in defence of the Hindu regime. This fact, coupled with the knowledge that the Rulers of Hunza and Nagir and the political districts were pro-Pakistan, convinced Major Brown that his theories were correct and the only solution was to abide by the will of the people and so avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
23. All non-Muslims were rounded up for their own protection and put into a refugee camp in the Scout Lines. The number of weapons and instruments of a dangerous nature found among them, was remarkable and there were explosives sufficient to have caused considerable damage to life and, property.
24. Major Brown then reinforced the Scouts at the Bhoop Singh Parri, posted guards on all officer’s houses and intensified patrolling in the Gilgit Area. One Platoon was sent from Gupis to Yasin to prevent any of the disgruntled elements there harming the Governor. He then called a conference of the Adjutant, S.M. and ex-Subedar Shah Rais Khan, who through his strong personality and his influence in Gilgit had done so much to restrain the locals from violence.
25. The results of the conference were extremely interesting, the suspicions of both British officers regarding an underground pro-Pakistan movement proved to be correct. Those attending the conference now made clear to Major Brown what had been afoot. The movement comprised: Captain Hussan (Kashmir State Forces), Captain Mohammed Said (attached Gilgit Scouts), Lieut. Ghulam Haider (attached Gilgit Scouts - this officer was working for Pakistan only and had no personal ambitions, as had the others), Subedar Major Mohammed Baber Khan (Gilgit Scouts), exSubedar Shah Rais Khan, plus 80% of the Indian Officers of the Gilgit Scouts and 70% of the other ranks.
26. The scheme of the underground movement was that the Muslim element of the 6th Kashmir Infantry in Bunji, the Scouts and the people of Gilgit Sub-division should declare a jehad in favour of Pakistan and, having murdered all non-Muslims up to the Burzil Pass, should set up an independent State comprising the former Gilgit Agency and Astore, with all political power in their own hands, backed by the Scouts and the Muslim elements of the 6th Kashmir Infantry. Scouts not willing to serve should be dismissed, and others should be enlisted from the Gilgit Subdivision.
27. To oppose the wishes of this party on the 1st of November would have been suicidal. Major Brown therefore accepted the situation and helped to maintain law and order and advised all concerned to avoid any resort to violence.
28. Major Brown then persuaded the wireless operator to send a message to the Prime Minister of the North West Frontier Province at Peshawar that a coup d’etat in favour of Pakistan had taken place in Gilgit and that a provisional Government had been set up. In reply Major Brown was informed that his message had been passed to higher authority and that in the meantime he should help to maintain law and order.
29. Meanwhile, there had been the following developments in Bunji. On the 31st of October, about 300 (75%) of the Muslim State troops there left for Gilgit under one of their officers, Capt Hussan. This force met the Scouts detachment on the 1st of November at the Bhup Singh Parri and made it clear to them that they repudiated all allegiance to the Maharaja and intended killing all the Hindu and Sikh soldiers who had remained with the Battalion at Bunji. A message was then sent by this force in the name of Governor ordering all Hindu and Sikhs from Bunji to proceed to Gilgit to stamp out a revolution, the idea being to ambush them on the way. The plan, however, miscarried.
30. On the 1st of November the Commanding Officer from Bunji, Lt.- Col. Abdul Majid, moved towards Gilgit, having locked the magazine and pocketed the key. The disposition of the Bunji Battalion on the 1st of November was:
Colonel Abdul Majid and Capt Hussan with 300 Muslim troops on route to Gilgit; Captains Mohammed Khan, Baldev Singh, Sehdev Singh and Ranghunat Singh with Sikh and Hindu troops numbering about 300 on the left bank of
Indus in Bunji with picquets at the Partab Pul Bridge and at Jaglote. The keys of the magazine were in the Colonel’s pocket. An interesting fact is that on the night of the 31st of October, as soon as the shooting started in Gilgit, a man named Naib Khan crossed the Gilgit bridge and made his way to Bunji by the left bank of the river with the obvious intention of warning the garrison that a revolution had taken place in Gilgit.
31. On the morning of the 2nd of November at 9 am the Pakistan Flag was raised on the tower in the Scout’s Lines in Gilgit with all due ceremony and amidst great rejoicing. The ceremony was followed by prayers, dancing and festivities, but was cut short when it was realized that the crowd was getting out of hand.
32. To ensure continuity in the administration, the leaders of the underground movement formed themselves into a Provisional Government consisting of President: ex-Subedar Shah Rais Khan, C-in-C: Captain Hussan, C.G.S. Captain Mohammed Said, Commissioner: Lieut.. Ghulam Haider, Chief of Police: Sub-Inspector Hamid. It was, agreed that all matters of importance should be referred to this Cabinet. This sounded all very well in theory but it was in fact useless in practice since the aim of each member was to gain power for himself. Major Brown pointed out the futility of attempting to form an Independent State of Gilgit and that the affiliation to Pakistan was the only way to ensure the future prosperity and safety of the country.
33. At this stage, a certain Mullah in a fanatical address urged the people to kill all non-Muslims in general and Major Brown in particular. But for the timely intervention of ex-Subedar Shah Rais Khan, a regrettable incident might have taken place. This Mullah was instructed in no uncertain terms that he had better refrain from such exhortations.
34. The 3rd passed without incident. Under the guidance of Major Brown the general administration started again, telephone lines were repaired, and the conditions seemed normal. In the evening Major Brown telephoned the Mirs of Hunza and Nagir and reassured them that all was well. They both expressed their wholehearted desire on behalf of these States to accede to Pakistan and requested that this information should be forwarded to higher authority by Major Brown. This was done. The Governors of Kuh Ghizr and Yasin sent similar messages.
35. On the 4th Gilgit seemed quite normal. Crowds ceased to collect in the streets, the Bazaar was open and the people went about their normal work. A certain undercurrent was however apparent. Those who had in no way assisted in the coup
détat made it clear that they too wanted jobs in the Provisional Government, and the old bad feeling between Sunnis and Shias raised its head again Intrigue and local party rivalry were at work. In the afternoon the son of the Raja of Punial arrived with a written instruction of accession to Pakistan signed by the Raja.
36. At about 6 pm Major Brown received a message from Captain Mathieson which made it clear that messages had not been getting through and that Captain Mathieson was held up in Theliche for lack of information on the general situation. Major Brown accompanied by the Subedar Major left Gilgit at 7 pm, arriving at Jaglote at 11 pm to find it deserted, and at Theliche at 1 am on the 5th. An immediate exchange of information took place.
37. It seemed that the patrol left Chilas at 5 am on the 1st of November. It consisted of one Indian local Officer and 60 rifles with one machine-gun Arriving in the vicinity of Jaglote during the night 2/3rd November communication was established with the local ex-Scouts of that area from whom the strength and habits of the Sikh and Hindu garrisons at Jaglote and Partab Pul were ascertained. The strength at Jaglote was one Hindu Subedar and 12 Sikh Sepoys, and 8 Sikh Sepoys at Prtab Pul. The Indian Officer in charge of the Scouts patrol appreciated the situation and made the following plan. At first light the ex-Scouts should seize the ferry boat at Jaglote and move it downstream. In the meantime half the patrol under a Havildar should be in position above Partab Pul whilst the other half under the Indian Officer and covered by the machine-gun should take up a position close to Jaglote Chowki. At first light the Sikh and Hindu garrisons should be called upon to surrender and both positions should be occupied. The operation went according to the plan. Both garrisons refused to surrender and heavy fire was brought to bear on the Scouts. One Hindu Subedar and 7 other ranks were killed from Jaglote garrison as the Scouts moved in and captured the Chowki by force. Three other ranks escaped. They were later killed by the locals. The Scouts lost one killed and one wounded. The engagement lasted little over an hour. At Partab Pul, 6 other ranks of the garrison were killed or committed suicide by jumping into the river. Two managed to escape and took the news to Bunji. Scouts casualties were nil. Not long after the Scouts patrol occupied the bridge at Partab Pul, a large body of Sikhs appeared moving from the direction of Bunji. The patrol commander realizing what havoc would ensure should these Sikhs cross the river and enter Gilgit, set the bridge on fire, partially destroying it. This action undoubtable saved the situation.
38. On the 2nd of November at 6.30 am Captain Mathieson set off with a reserve patrol of 50 rifles and reached Theliche at 7 am on the 3rd. Major Brown had not issued orders to hold the Ramghat Bridge, as he had been informed by the C-in-C of the Provisional Government that Muslim troops from Bunji had already done this. However, when Captain Mathieson arrived at Theliche he found that Ramghat was not held, so he immediately sent two sections there via the Raikot bridge and the left bank of the Indus. Positions were occupied on the 4th when it was discovered that the bridge had been burnt and was impassable. It has not been discovered who destroyed the bridge, though it must have been done by locals. Capt Mathieson then fortified Theliche and made medium machine-gun positions to cover the track from Bunji to Ramghat on the far side of the river and awaited further orders.
39. On the morning of the 5th of November, Major Brown and Captain Mathieson carried out a reconnaissance and saw about 150 Sikhs on the far side of the river climbing on to the bridge between Ramghat and Shaitan Nalas. In order to prevent this and in order that the Sikhs should not escape, fire was brought to bear on them in the hope that they would double back. The range was however too long and the fire had no affect. An immediate message was sent to the C-in-C at Jaglote explaining the situation and requesting an extra Scouts platoon and a medium machine-gun. The C-in-C declined to grant the request. Had he done so it is probable that the whole Sikh force would have been wiped out or forced into surrender by the end of the day.
40. Meanwhile the C-in-C was planning a frontal attack on Bunji from Jaglote with the Scouts and Muslim troops of the Bunji Battalion. These troops had moved up from the Bhup Singh Parri and the first Chilas patrol was also with him. Such an attack would have been disastrous. Fortunately it was not necessary as a message was received from Bunji that the Sikh and Hindu troops had during the night left Bunji and taken to the hills. Rafts were then collected and the C-in-C and his force crossed the Indus and occupied Bunji without resistance.
41. As soon as Major Brown heard the news, he had with Captain Mathieson and the Subedar Major moved up to Jaglote from Theliche, having received no reinforcements or supporting weapons. After encouraging the Scouts at Jaglote whose morale was fair, and ordering the disposal of the Sikh corpses, Major Brown and Captain Mathieson moved across to Bunji. In Bunji there was general confusion but the C-in-C acting on advice of Major Brown arranged perimeter protection for the night. Desultory sniping continued throughout the night from the Sikhs in positions in the hills above the camp. There were no casualties. Major Brown talked to all the Scouts present, encouraging them and reassuring them with the result that morale very soon rose;
42. During the night the two British Officers pointed out to the C-in-C that it was essential to round up all the Sikhs and Hindus so that all the troops would be ready for action in the event of help being sent from Kashmir. Major Brown suggested that a 3” Mortar should be sent to Ramghat and a medium machine-gun to Theliche. Under covering fire from these two weapons, an attack could be made on the Sikhs on the Shaitan Nala ridge at first light and as they would be trapped they would have to surrender. Also during the night a patrol should be sent to quietly get behind the Sikhs in position above Bunji so that they would be caught in the rear when frontally attacked at first light. Unfortunately the C-in-C did not act on this advice. Had he done so, it is probable that all the Sikhs and Hindus with their arms and ammunition and supporting weapons-would have been captured that day. The result of the delay was that some of the Sikhs got through to Astore and over the Burzil Pass to Srinagar. Others destroyed their arms and took to the hills to die of exposure and starvation. Others ravaged local villages in attempts to get rations, and a small percentage surrendered but without arms and ammunition.
43. On the morning of the sixth, Major Brown, Captain Mathieson and the Subedar Major crossed to Jaglote and after arranging rations and amenities for the Scouts there proceeded to Gilgit. Along with their staff and a mounted escort they were given a triumphal welcome when they arrived at Gilgit late in the evening.
44. The Situation in Gilgit was unsatisfactory. On the 5th Lieut. Ghularn Haider, seeing how intrigue and faction feelings were -increasing had sent a wireless message to the Prime Minister of the North West Frontier Province, and to Lt.-Col. Bacon, Political Agent Khyber, requesting the latter to fly to Gilgit immediately.
45. Major Brown, ably assisted by Captain Mathieson, worked out schemes for the defence of the country in the event of an invasion from Kashmir or from the air. As many tactical positions as possible were occupied with the strength at their disposal. The ammunition from Bunji was dispersed in the various picquets in Gilgit, as was the patrol supply, to ensure reserves in the event of air bombardment. The morale of the Scouts was high and all were in good spirits. Daily meetings of the so called Cabinet were held but for reasons already given it was with the greatest of difficulty that a decision could be reached on any point. The civil administration however, seemed able to prevent complete chaos and this was due to Lieut. Ghulam Haider who had been appointed Commissioner in the Provisional Government. He did his best in a job with which he was completely unfamiliar.
46. It soon became apparent that such a state of affairs could not last indefinitely. Major Brown and Captain Mathieson did their best to keep the peace between the various political aspirants but in spite of all efforts it seemed that a state of anarchy would be the outcome as the people began to doubt whether Pakistan was prepared to accept the accession of Gilgit. Eventually all agreed that unless a Pakistan representative arrived there was going to be trouble. The two British officers, realising this danger only too well, sent a wireless message to Colonel Bacon at Peshawar on the 13th of November saying that they could not keep the peace for ever owing to excessive internal intrigue and that it was imperative that he or another representative should come to Gilgit immediately, as even a short visit would do much to reassure the people.
47. On the 14th of November Major Brown received a message from the Prime Minister [of the North West Frontier Province] at Peshawar that a representative was being sent at once with instructions. The message was received with immense relief and on the 16th Khan Sahib Mohammad Alam arrived to take over the duties of the Political Agent.