Chitral Scouts

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Chitral Scouts
Chitral scout.jpg
Band Party of Chitral Scouts
Active 1903 (Source Khowar Academy)
Country Pakistan
Branch Frontier Corps
Type Paramilitary
Garrison/HQ Drosh Cantonment
Engagements Indo-Pakistani War of 1947[1]
Kargil War[2]

The Chitral Scouts (CS) (Urdu: چترال سکاوٹس‎), also known as Chitral levies, originally raised in 1903 as the militia of the princely state of Chitral, is now a unit of the federally controlled Frontier Corps of Pakistan. Recruited mostly from the Chitral and Kalash Valley areas along the western borders and led by officers from the Pakistan Army. The Frontier Corps of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa falls under the control of the Ministry of the Interior. Its Headquarters is at Chitral town and it is commanded by a Colonel of the Pakistan Army.

The Chitral Scouts have seven wings, each headed by Army officers with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel or Major. Its role is to keep guard over Pakistan's western borders in peace-time and to assist the civil administration in maintaining law and order in the district of Chitral.

History[edit]

The Chitral Scouts were raised in 1903 in the princely state of Chitral on an initiative by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon of Kedleston. The word "Scouts" meant that the force was a militia, not part of the Indian Army, and it was under the command of a chief of Chitral, but with a British attached officer. The objective of the force was to provide soldiers for the defense of India's North-West Frontier in case of invasion.[3] The corps had an initial strength of 1,200 men[4] and aimed to recruit the "trained cragsmen" of Chitral, that is, experienced mountaineers.[5]

At the time of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, the Chitral Scouts were still a force under the control of the ruler of Chitral, which only weeks before fighting broke out had become one of the princely states of Pakistan. With the Gilgit Scouts, the Chitral Scouts played a leading role in the conflict and secured the Baltistan territory for Pakistan.[6]

The Chitral Scouts also saw service in the Kargil War of May–July 1999.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jammu and Kashmir War, 1947-1948: Political and Military Perspective, by Kuldip Singh Bajwa, Har-Anand Publications, 2004, pp. 157-158.
  2. ^ a b Zar Alam Khan Rizakhail, Recruitment centre’s shifting opposed, in Dawn News dated September 25, 2003, at archives.dawn.com
  3. ^ Ian Sumner, The Indian Army 1914-1947 (Osprey Publishing, 2001), p. 57
  4. ^ B. S. Nijjar, "History of the United Panjab," Atlantic Publishers 1992, p. 163
  5. ^ Amanullah Khan, Gilgit Baltistan, a disputed territory or a fossil of intrigues? (1999), p. 66
  6. ^ Behera Navnita Chadha, Demystifying Kashmir (ISBN 8131708462), p. 182

Subadar Majors of Chitral Scouts 1.SM Abdul Rauf ( 1942~1948) 2.SM Habib Ahmad (1948~1954) 3.SM Jan Badshah (1954~1961) 4.SM Shahzada Bahader Ul Mulk (1961~Dec 1963) 5.SM Shahzada Momin Ul Mulk (Dec 1963~ Oct 1967) Retired as a Honorary Captain. 6.SM Shahzada Sulaiman Khan 7.SM Mundi Khan 8.SM Qasim Jan 9.SM Shahzada Zulfiqar Ul Mulk