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The colonel who missed his farewell — 5 Comments

  1. Not a story i met him in 1981 as a young subltern while tracking the North of Pakistan and had an honour to have a cup of tea with him at mess. He was liked because he belonged to that place and he loved that area

  2. Yes every body knows Col. Murad ( late) we were children at that time there were Sectarian ware started at Chitral ever in the history.

  3. I heard another bit that would add to the story. A younger Colonel Murad had a guest who later became General Zia Ul Haq while serving in Kurrum. At breakfast Murad told Zia that he had dreamt in which he saw Zia becoming the COAS. Zia, then a junior officer, smiled and said if he becomes one Murad can have any wish he has granted. Years later when Murad served in Chitral and loved the place the promise helped him because each year when the request reached the President throught the politicians he granted it while smilingly saying ” So the Chitralis want to make a Museum out of Murad.” Colonels Murad suicide was in the tradition of some officer in the British army who could not reconcile to living a retired life from the way of life they loved in their career and ended their life in the last days of their service. It was well thought out. His will was written six months before he died and it had carefully written instructions including the place which he had marked as his final resting place. I think the other part in the story that needs checking is whether the incident at Shandur is correctly recorded. If I recall correctly the Shandur festival was revived in 1986 with General Zia as the Chief Guest. The rest house was hurriedly built to accommodate his visit. In 1989 at time of Benazir’s visit all the photograph on the wall of the rest house were of Zia’s visit to the place and Colonel Murad saw no reason in changing them. It was the DC who pointed out that this would create an embarrassment given the history of relationship between Zia and Bhutto. It was the IGFC who arrived shortly before the event and had the photographs taken out before the arrival of the guests.
    There is no doubt Colonel Murad loved Chitral and contributed in a large way to the social and cultural life in Chitral and also bringing about communal harmony in the District. He was respected and liked in the valleys. There will always be criticism whether its really the role of the Scouts to give social and cultural factors a priority over its military role. In Murad’s time there was a decline in that respect and his successors had to do a herculean task to overcome the downside of his long stay

  4. The people of chitral may be poor materialy but the crave for respect.Col murad gave them that and all chitralis love the military esp chitral scouts which is a part of chitrals culture and history.