HC Deb 11 May 1896 vol 40 c1011

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether, in view of the fact that in the Proclamation issued by Lord Elgin before the Chitral Expedition the Government of India pledged itself not to occupy permanently any territory of the Swat tribes, he will state if the strong post recently built in the Malakand Pass is situated within that territory; and, whether he will state for what period it is proposed to occupy that post?


The proclamation to which the hon. Baronet refers was issued at the outbreak of hostilities, and states that the Government of India have no intention of permanently occupying any territory through which their force may pass. The proclamation has been adhered to. Negotiations for the maintenance and protection of a road to Chitral had been carried on for some time with the tribes before the outbreak of hostilities, and the Chitral Expedition afforded a favourable opportunity for completing them. With the assent and approval of the tribes, arrangements were made for protecting the road, which included, among other things, the stationing of a force at the Malakand Pass. It will be maintained there so long as it is necessary for the purpose for which it was established.