MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether, inasmuch as the Proclamation of the Government to the tribes on the occasion of the Chitral Campaign, entered upon on the 1st April 1895, declared that its object was the protection, in the interest of Chitral, of the Nari villages, he would state whether the Nari villages handed over to Afghanistan under Paragraph VIII. of the Supplementary Agreement of 9th April 1895 are the same Nari villages as those referred to in the Proclamation; whether these villages are the ancestral possession of Chitral; and, if so, would he state on what grounds Chitral has been deprived of them in direct contravention of the Proclamation; and, whether the consent of the Suzerain of Chitral, the Maharaja of Kashmir, has been obtained to the cession?
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
The Proclamation referred to the objects of the Chitral expedition and to those alone. The Agreement of the 9th April 1895, completed certain delimitation proceedings between the Government of India and the Amir of Afghanistan which commenced long before any expedition to Chitral was contemplated. The Nari villages included in Afghanistan by the Agreement of April 1895 were no doubt villages to which the Mehtar of Chitral laid claim. This claim was not proved, and the Mehtar's right to villages not then in his possession and to which neither Chitral nor its Suzerain had made out a title, was not confirmed.