HL Deb 02 March 1908 vol 185 cc291-2

My Lords, I should like to ask the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council whether he has anything to communicate to your Lordships from Sir James Will-cocks with regard to the expedition recently undertaken against the Zakka Khel.


My Lords, the Secretary of State received yesterday a telegram from Sir James Willcocks, in which he says— Jirga of all Afridis, including Zakka Khel spent night discussing details of settlement. I received them this afternoon, and they laid before me the following petition:—'We, maliks and elders of the whole Afridi tribe in jirga assembled, humbly represent to the British Government that being anxious to end quarrel between Zakka Khel Afridis and British Government, which has been caused by misconduct of former, we have agreed and do promise that we Afridis will hold ourselves responsible jointly and severally for the future good behaviour of every section of the Zakka Khel tribe. Also, we promise that when we are called upon we will assist each other in punishing these bad characters, and British Government may punish us by fine, by exclusion from British territory, or in any other way for the misdeeds of Zakka Khel sections, for whom we stand security. As regards the past, we beg that British Government in its strength will take into consideration losses suffered by Zakka Khel by exclusion from British territory and by war, and will not complete ruin of tribe for sins of badly behaved minority. As regards actual thieves who have been leaders of raids in British territory, we beg that we, with assistance of Zakka Khel elders, may undertake their punishment, wherever they may be, and we will punish them, to the satisfaction of British Government, in earnest for which we here deposit fifty-three rifles, which are worth, according to prices current in our country, more than Rs. 20,000, as security. And these rifles will only be returned to us when political agent, Khyber, is satisfied that thieves have been sufficiently punished. And we Zakka Khel agree to this petition, and promise to assist Afridi jirga in every way. Further, we hope for the mercy and favour of British Government.' Sir James Willcocks adds— I cannot speak too highly of the ability and tact displayed by Colonel Roos Keppel (the agent in the Khyber Pass) in effecting this settlement. All the troops will leave Bazar Valley to-morrow.