HC Deb 07 May 1896 vol 40 cc751-2
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the Correspondence between the Viceroy of India and the Amir of Afghanistan which led to the cession of the Bashgal Valley to Afghanistan; whether the supplementary agreement of 19th December 1895 was drawn up in consequence of pressure by the Amir and in the midst of the Chitral Campaign, and what has been the corresponding compensation made by the Amir for the cession; whether the boundary, settled in principle by the Durand Treaty, was similar to the demarcation made by Colonel Holdich, of the Indian Survey Department, and whether this boundary included the Bashgal Valley and the Nari villages; whether one of the Boundary Commissioners, who settled the later boundary of December 1895, was the Afghan Commander-in-Chief, and whether this line of demarcation was made to include the Bashgal Valley after its invasion by the Afghan troops; and, whether the Mehtar of Chitral and the Maharaja of Kashmir had given their written consent to the cession of the Bashgal Valley before it was made?


No correspondence took place between the Viceroy and the Amir with reference to the Bashgal Valley. The decision to revise the frontier, as proposed to be laid down in the Durand Treaty, was arrived at in February 1895, before the Chitral expedition was contemplated, and, as I have already stated, that decision was based on the ground that the topographical conditions were found not to be what they had been supposed to be. There was, therefore, no question of compensation on either side. Colonel Holdich was the chief survey officer of the Commission which revised the Durand frontier in the manner already explained (April 16). The Afghan Commander-in-Chief was one of the Afghan Commissioners, but his forces did not enter the Bashgal Valley until after the signature of the agreement which gave that district to the Amir. The Government of India conducted the negotiations on behalf of the native States interested, and no written consent to this or to any other detail of the agreement was necesary.