HC Deb 16 April 1896 vol 39 cc1006-7
*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether, in the recent Afghan operations, an invasion has taken place of portions of the Bashgal Valley, formerly tributary to Chitral, and without the sphere of influence of the Ameer as settled by the Durand Treaty, they being also within the countries visited by Sir G. Robertson after the conclusion of that Treaty; and why the Agreement with the Amir of Afghanistan, dated 12th November 1893, published in The Standard, and in India in the Bombay Gazette of 21st March, and other papers, as laid before Parliament, has not been circulated to Members?


In the Durand Treaty it was originally proposed that the whole of the Arnawai or Bashgal Valley should remain within the sphere of influence of the Indian Government. When the delimitation began in the field it was found that the Bashgal and Arnawai Valleys ran in different directions, the Arnawai draining into the Kunar from the east, and the Bashgal river from the west. The frontier was, therefore, revised, and the revision placed within the sphere of influence of the Amir of the Bashgal Valley, which is west of the Kunar river, and over which the Mehtars of Chitral have claimed rights. This included part of the country visited by Sir G. Robertson in 1890 and 1891. The delay in circulating the papers which I laid on the Table on March 27 has been partly due to a misunderstanding, which I regret, and partly to the, Easter holiday. The final order to circulate was issued to the printers on Monday last, and the book will be in the hands of Members tomorrow, I believe.