By Dr Inayatullah Faizi
A famous saying goes, “He came, he looked around and he conquered.” In fact, this sentence is the life sketch of late Mir Subhanuddin, a civil service officer, a lawyer and an intellectual of high caliber. He would quote Jaun Elia to highlight his achievements in life, “Me raigan gya” (my life was of no use). He shared many attributes with Jaun.
Mir Subhanuddin was born in 1935 and passed away in December 2018. He belonged to a middle class Khwaja family of Terich, upper Chitral. His uncle Mir Ghayasuddin was minister of trade in the court of H.H. Shujaul Mulk, the ruler of the former princely state. His father Mir Hazratuddin was the custodian of the state grain stores. Both were well educated in Persian and Urdu. Mir Ghayazuddin is also known as one of the pioneers of literary movement for the promotion of Khowar language. His letters to Shehzada Hussamul Mulk show his literary taste for writing creative prose with humorous touch in pure Khowar.
Mir Subhanuddin topped Punjab University Education Board exam of matriculation, from state high school Chitral in 1952 securing 720 marks out of 800. At that time, 90% score in an exam was unbelievable. He did his graduation from Islamia College Peshawar, followed by masters in English and graduation in law from University of Peshawar. After getting license for practicing law and perusing his passion for an LLM from England, he was compelled by his elders to join the civil service in the state administration, where talented youth were needed. He served as secretory to H.H. the Mehtar of Chitral, secretory works and deputy commissioner until merger of the state in 1969.
In 1973, he resigned from civil service, later to join Pak-China trading company with his office in Gilgit. He also served as commissioner Afghan Refugees in the set-up of the government of Pakistan. His services were also hired by the Royal Danish Embassy to implement a project for Afghan Refugees in the tribal areas adjacent to Afghan border under its agency DACAR. On closing of the project he called it a day.
Mir Subhanuddin will be remembered for many things. He was handsome in his prime youth and graceful in his old age. He was an orator, writer, poet and keen reader. I was privileged to read his short story “saving by criss crossing”. Another short story “lost and found” was a master piece.
I remember many roles of Mir Shahab: playing first class polo as captain of Jungbazar team (1965-70), taking salute of Parade on 23rd March 1969 as acting political agent and addressing the gathering in parade ground Chitral, delivering briefings to US ambassador and dignitaries on the status of Afghan refugees in Chitral and last not the least receiving high achievers Iqra award from Qari Saqiq, Qari Jamal Nasir and Maulana Khaleequ Zaman in an award ceremony in his alma materjk in October 2018. The vacuum of his separation is felt not only by his near and dear ones, Mir Amanuddin, Mir Shujaudin, Mir Fazluddin and Mir Zahid Husam, but it will be felt by his friends across the board for a long time to come.
Though he did not write an autobiography, yet he maintained some diaries and left some unfinished short stories and poems. If compiled by one of his friends, i.e. his class fellow professor Israruddin or his cousin Dr.Shujauddin, his biography will prove to be as interesting as the biographies of Josh Maleeh Abadi and Jaun Elia. It will be a colorful story of the past glory.
By Dr Inayatullah Faizi