HC Deb 01 May 1896 vol 40 cc337-8
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is in a position to give any further information as to the fighting operations conducted by troops from Kabul in Kafiristan; whether the cession of the Bashgal Valley to Afghanistan, and the presence of Afghan troops there, contravene an essential condition of the Darand Treaty; whether Chandak was the extreme point allowed by that treaty for Afghan influence; whether the cession of the Bashgal Valley is the cession of a territory at least 30 miles to the north of Chandak, containing 40,000 inhabitants and 4,600 fighting men; and, whether he can state the terms of the agreement ratified by the Ameer with reference to this valley?


I have received no further information as to the conduct of military operations in Kafiristan. The Bashgal Valley was assigned to the Ameer under the revision on the spot prescribed by Clause 4 of the Kabul Agreement of November 12, 1893. Clause 3 of that Agreement originally contemplated that the extreme point would be Chandak, or Chanak, as it is sometimes called. The Bashgal Valley is a name roughly applied to the country from the Mandul Pass to the Kunar river, which may be 60 miles in length, with a possible population of 20,000. The agreement referred to has been laid on the Table and circulated.


asked whether it was not the fact that two years elapsed between the date of the agreement and the revision, and whether the valley had not been occupied by the troops of the Ameer between the dates of the two instruments?


I do not think so; but I cannot speak confidently as to that. Eighteen months elapsed between the signing of the Agreement and the revision, but the local delimitation was complete before the troops of the Ameer occupied the valley.