HC Deb 30 March 1896 vol 39 cc384-5
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether any arrangements have been made by the Indian Government to afford an asylum in our territories, or in those under our influence, for the Siah Posh Kafirs who have escaped from the Afghan invaders; will the nature of any such arrangement be indicated to Parliament; and whether His Highness the Ameer of Kabul has caused 16,000 of the Kafirs to be deported and distributed amongst the local authorities in Afghanistan?


As I stated on February 20, certain Kafirs have sought refuge in Chitral, where they and others who have joined them are being assisted and settled upon small grants of land by the Mehtar on condition that they observe the usual terms on which asylum is granted. I have no information that is in any sense reliable as to the number of Kafir prisoners or the treatment of them in Afghan territory, but judging from what we know of the total number of the population of Kafiristan, it is highly improbable that any such number of prisoners have been deported.


Is there no news since February, the date named by the noble Lord?


I stated that since February 20 we had received information as to further attacks having been made; but all the figures which have been published in connection with these attacks are supposed to be quite untrustworthy.