Hund Museum library to be expanded: minister KPK

ajmal-afridi-ministerPESHAWAR: Provincial minister Amjad Afridi has said that library of the Hund Museum would be expanded to promote research activities in the region.

He was speaking as chief guest at a spring festival organised jointly by Pak-Afghan People’s Forum (PAPF) and Qaam Qalam Swabi organisations at Hund Museum hall of a historic village some 80km east of Peshawar the other day.

Mr Afridi, who holds the portfolios of sports, tourism, youth affairs, archeology and museums, said that the provincial government was working on introducing sports, youth affairs and cultural policies.

Other participants highlighted various aspects of the cultural event – Jashne Nauroz. They said that spring festival enhanced collective aesthetic of people and gave them a sense of social connectivity.

Celebrating spring, the minister said, was a golden tradition that used to last for many days both in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the distant past.

He said that Jashne Nauroz brought peoples of both countries together where they could share their feelings to bring peace to their region.


Afridi says Nauroz brings Pak-Afghan people together
“Hund Museum library will be upgraded to accelerate research and cultural activities at the site. We need to create awareness among people of the importance of our cultural heritage,” he said.

Afghan cultural attaché Abdur Rahman Habibzai said that PAPF could play a vital role in cementing relations among Pakhtuns on both sides. He said that such events could help people to understand each other better and make joint efforts for restoring peace and tranquility.

He said that young people should come forward to revive their shared history and traditions which had kept them united for centuries.

He said that Afghan students who received education in Pakistan had been working on responsible positions in Afghanistan. He said that he expected better facilities for Afghan students in Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


Hunza Serena Inn reopens for the season 2015

Hunza Serena Inn formerly Hunza Baltit Inn a fine 4 star standard hotel by Serena Hotels has been opened for the season effective 1st March 2015, after closure due to winter season, Hotel says it remains committed to provide the highest standards of service and the finest product in terms of originality and authenticity and ensure that your stay is always a memorable one Hunza Serena Inn offers 18 standard rooms, 2 deluxe room and 5 luxury tents, all of which are elegantly presented in a fusion of modern style combined with traditional Pakistani heritage and tradition. The Inn has a reputation of serving the best food in the entire valley and proud to play a part in keeping alive the traditions of the local Hunza cuisine. Hunza Serena Inn is located at a 2-hour drive north of Gilgit in the ancient town of Karimabad, formerly known as Baltit at an elevation of 2,500m (8,200 ft). The Inn stands in a magical setting surrounded by inspiring snowcapped mountains and offers breathtaking views of Mount Rakaposhi, Diran, Golden Peak, Ultar, Lady Finger and the Hunza Valley. The Hunza Valley not only provides outstanding natural beauty but it is incredibly rich in culture and history. Hunza Serena Inn offers a plethora of unforgettable authentic experiences for adventure, cultural and leisure travellers, check out some programs designed by Serena to visit & Experience Hunza. Snowfall pictures of today is just for your information.hunza-serena-in-snowfall snowfall-at-hunzabaltit-inn


Adrian Gonzalez from Mexico hunts Markhor Trophy in Chitral

CHITRAL: Mr. Adrian Gonzalez a Mexican trophy hunter successfully hunted the Kashmir markhor in Toshi Shasha conservancy here.

The permission of trophy costed over Rs. 10 million and the Markhor was aged eight years with horns measuring 40 inches.


Range officer of the local wildlife department Irshad Ahmed told the newsmen that the hunter, Adrian Gonzalez, didn’t waste his time to single out the animal of desired length and physique.

“The Mexican national proved to be an expert hunter as he easily shot down the stout and healthy Himalayan goat from a distant range as the slippery pitch didn’t allow him to move further towards the animal,” he said.

Irshad Ahmed said that this was the season’s first trophy hunting while many more hunters were scheduled to arrive during the month of March. He said that the last trophy hunting had been carried out in the conservancy in March, last year when a German boy, Philips Hermann, had hunted a 43-inch“long markhor.

Mr Ahmed said that wildlife department had set up village conservation committees (VCCs) which helped in the conservation of biodiversity. “It is due to this reason that the population of kashmir markhor has comfortable density in the district,” he added.

The wildlife department official said that 80 per cent of the hunting permit fee went to the local community for their collective development.

Mr Ahmed said that the Mexican hunter was facilitated by the office-bearers of Al-Burhan village VCC Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk, and Shahzada Amir Hasanatud Din.


High altitude police unit set up in Gilgit Baltistan

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan Police Department has established a high altitude police unit in order to provide security to the foreign mountaineers and tourists in the region.

According to a GB police press release issued here on Sunday, initially the unit will have 50 policemen, while as many more will be added in due course of time.


“The high altitude police unit has been established for the first time in GB on the directives of Inspector General of Police Zafar Iqbal Awan,” it said.

A police official told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that the personnel of high altitude unit would be sent with the foreign expeditions who come to GB to scale high mountains of the region, including Nanga Parbat, K2 and other famous peaks.

He said that the unit personnel would also provide security to foreign tourists during their stay in sensitive areas of the region, including the Nanga Parbat base camp. In 2013 militants had attacked a high altitude mountaineering base camp at Nanga Parbat, leaving

10 foreign climbers and a local guide dead.

The official said that after the incident many foreign trekking and expedition groups had cancelled their tours to the region because of security concerns. He said that foreigner tourists usually come to the region in summer season and the police had decided to provide security to the mountaineers to avert any untoward incident.

He said that the high altitude police would be properly trained and equipped.
The statement added that the IGP also handed over 12 high altitude kits to the Diamer SP for the policemen to be deployed with foreign mountaineers attempting famous peaks in the region.

Speaking on the occasion, the police chief said that previously the policemen would use normal uniforms, which were incompatible with special situations on high altitude. He said that from now onwards special kits would be procured and distributed among the policemen to safeguard them against frostbite and other hazards.


Karachi Literature Festival Program

Karachi Literature Festival Schedule of events for the year 2015

Dates 6,7, and 8 February 2015
Timing: 6 February: 5 to 9 p.m. 7 and 8 February: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Venue : Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Politics and Personalities of Pakistan:

In Conversation with Najam Sethi Moderator: Agha Ghazanfar JASMINE HALL Kitabi Chehre se Facebook tak: Reading in the Age of TV and Social Media

Haseena Moin, Amjad Islam Amjad, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Zaheda Hina, and Neelofer Abbasi Moderator: Syed Nusrat Ali AQUARIUS HALL He Sang to Our Souls: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Pierre Alain Baud and Nomanul Haq Moderator: Ali Sethi ROOM 007 Book Launch:

Where Worlds Collide: Pakistani Fiction in the New Millennium by David Waterman Muneeza Shamsie Moderator: Framji Minwalla Book Launch: Koozah: Naye Likharion ki Kaawishon ka Intikhab Compiled by Zahra Sabri Maniza Naqvi and Bilal Tanweer Moderator: Harris Khalique PRINCESS ROOM Book Launch: Ballet in the Cane Fields: Vignettes from a Dominican Wanderlogue

Moderator: Omayr Aziz Saiyid TULIP I RED TERRACE Homage to the Artists Marjorie Husain, Amra Ali, Nighat Mir, and Noorjehan Bilgrami Moderator: Durriya Kazi SUNFLOWER ROOM The Art of Bookmaking-Activities with Children Age Group: 5 to 12 years Presented by Oxford University Press

11.15 a-m. • 12.15 Pm. MAIN GARDEN

Book Launch: Benazir Bhutto: A Multidimensional Portrait by Anna Suvorova

Zafar Hilaly, Hussain Haroon, and Syeda Abida Hussain Moderator: Victoria Schofield JASMINE HALL

Can Local Cinema Travel Globally?

Arshad Khan, Sanjay Iyer, Munizae Jahangir, Meenu Gaur, and Tisca Chopra

Moderator: Mazhar Zaidi

The World as the Author Sees it

Aakar Patel, Benyamin, Mohammed Hanif, and Alex Preston Moderator: Sarah Humayun ROOM 007

Book Launch: Fade into Red by Reshma K. Barshikar

Zakia Sarwar Moderator: Arshia Sattar Book Launch:

Baltistan: Apricot Bloom byTariq Alexander Qaiser

Moderator: Iftikhar Salahuddin PRINCESS ROOM Working with the Printed Word Ritu Menon, Ameena Saiyid,

Afzaal Ahmad, Marc Parent, and Karthika V.K.

Moderator: Asif Noorani TULIP/REDTERRACE Book Launch: Rebel Angel:

Asim Butt

Nafisa Rizvi, Zarmeene Shah, and Amean J.

Moderator: Sabeen Mahmud SUNFLOWER ROOM The Art of Bookmaking-Activities with Children Continued

12.30 p.m. -1.30 p.m.


An Eloquent Truth: In

Conversation with Jugnu Mohsin

Moderator: Sahira Kazmi


Book Launch: The Unquiet Ones:

A History of Pakistan Cricket by

Osman Samiuddin

Murad Moosa Khan and

Nadeem F. Paracha

Moderator: Kamila Shamsie


Book Launch: Why I Write: Essays

by Saadat Hasan Manto by Aakar


Nauman Naqvi and Kamran Asdar Ali Moderator: Fahd Ali ROOM 007

Sindhi Afsaana jo Saun Sial

Imdad Hussaini, Manzoor Kohyar, and Akhlaq Ansari Moderator: Sahar Imdad PRINCESS ROOM Cultural Diplomacy Christopher Merrill Moderator: Shayma Saiyid TULIP/REDTERRACE The Future of the Nation in Art Adeela Suleman, Hajra Haider Karrar, Saira Sheikh, and Rashid Rana

Moderator: Quddus Mirza SUNFLOWER ROOM The Art of Bookmaking-Activities with Children

1.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.
2.30 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.

The Satirical Pen: In Conversation with Mohammed Hanif

Moderator: Navid Shahzad

JASMINE HALL Compassionate Karachi

Karen Armstrong (on Skype), Pervez Hoodbhoy, Jameel Yusuf, Ishrat Husain, and Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui Moderator: Amin Hashwani AQUARIUS HALL Khayali Shakhs say Muqabala:

In Conversation with Kishwar Naheed and Book Launch: Intikhab-e-Kalam: Kishwar Naheed compiled by Asif Farrukhi Moderators: Muhammad Ahmed Shah and Anwer Sen Roy ROOM 007

Announcement of the KLF Peace Prize Winner PRINCESS ROOM Uncovering History: In Conversation with John Keay Moderator: Nauman Naqvi TULIP I REDTERRACE Art and the Market Sameera Raja, Zohra Hussain, Amin Gulgee, and Abid Merchant Moderator: Saira Sheikh SUNFLOWER ROOM Creative Movement for Children with Nighat Chaodhry
3.45 p.m. -4.45 p.n

Shayer e Awam: Habib Jalib

Asma Jahangir and Aitzaz Ahsan Moderator: Mujahid Barelvi JASMINE HALL Crossing Genres: Transmuting Fiction into Drama Kamila Shamsie, Framji Minwalla, Arshia Sattar, Alex Preston, and Nimra Bucha

Moderator: Muneeza Shamsie AQUARIUS HALL Book Launch: Gender, Politics, and Performance in South Asia compiled by Sheema Kermani, Asif Farrukhi, and Kamran Asdar Ali Jamil Ahmed, Andrea Backhaus, and Shayma Saiyid Moderator: Rumana Husain

ROOM 007

Book Launch: Changing India:

A Muslim Woman Speaks by Iqbalunnisa Hussain Tahera Aftab and Salima Ahmed Moderator: Arif Zaman Book Launch: Urdu Afsanay Intikhab: Syed Rafiq Hussain and Intikhab: Naiyer Masood compiled by Asif Farrukhi

Masood Ashar and Intizar Husain Moderator: Ghazi Salahuddin PRINCESS ROOM IOWA Silk Route Residency Programme

Bina Shah, Shandana Minhas,

Sridala Swami, H. M. Naqvi, and Kavery Nambisan Moderator: Christopher Merrill TULIP / REDTERRACE Crossing Boundaries, Blurring Borders

Quddus Mirza, Sadaf Malaterre, and Frieha Altaf

Moderator: Zarmeene Shah SUNFLOWER ROOM Readings from Our Shaikh Sa’di:

A Selection from Gulistan and Bustan and The Simurgh and the Birds: A Selection from Mantiq-ut-Tayr by Shaikh Farid ud-Din Attar by Fahmida Riaz
5.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.

Freedom’s Niece: In Conversation with Nayantara Sahgal Moderator: Salman Tarik Kureshi AQUARIUS HALL The Changing Face of Pakistani Politics

I. A. Rehman, Asma Jahangir, Syeda Abida Hussain, and Sahar Shafqat Moderator: Mahtab Akbar Rashdi ROOM 007

Book Launch: The Closed Valley: With Fierce Friends in the Pakistani Himalayas and Wrestlers,

Pigeon Fanciers, and Kite Flyers:
Traditional Sports and Pastimes in Lahore by Jurgen Wasim Frembgen

John Keay

Moderator: Asif Noorani PRINCESS ROOM Book Launch: The Emergence of Socialist Thought among North Indian Muslims (1917-1947) by Khizar Humayun Ansari Babar Ayaz

Moderator: Nomanul Haq TULIP / REDTERRACE History and the Histories of Art H. M. Naqvi, Durriya Kazi, and Madeline Amelia Clements Moderator: Seher Naveed SUNFLOWER ROOM Dosti Kitabon Sey by Khaled Anam
6.15 p.m. – 8.15 p.m.

Nizamat: Ambareen Haseeb Amber Anwar Shaoor, Kishwar Naheed, Sahar Ansari, Imdad Hussaini,

Amjad Islam Amjad, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Sabir Zafar, Sahar Imdad, Fatema Hassan, Shaukat Abid,Tanveer Anjum, Attiya Dawood, Ajmal Siraj, Harris Khalique, Aqeel Abbas Jafri, Sarwat Zehra, Inaam Nadeem, Kashif Hussain Ghayar, Zulfiqar Adil, and Salman Sarwat
8.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.
MAIN GARDEN Presentation on Indus Raag: Music Beyond Borders

MAIN GARDEN Concert by Fuzon Band
11.15 a-m. • 12.15 P*m. 1 1 12.30 p.m. -1.30 p.m.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

10.00 a.m. -11.00 a.m.
MAIN GARDEN Book Launch: The Political Imagination by Nayantara Sahgal and Out of Line: A Literary and Political Biography of Nayantara Sahgal by Ritu Menon Moderator: Aamer Hussein JASMINE HALL

Sindh Sagar aur Qayam-e-Pakistan: In Conversation with Hamida Khuhro Moderator: Aitzaz Ahsan AQUARIUS HALL Making A Better Pakistan— Screenings of Short Films by Faryal Malik, Alizeh Kohari, Azhar Shan, and Ayoub Mallah followed by Award Ceremony Sabeen Mahmud and Khalid Mahmood Moderator: Pervez Hoodbhoy ROOM 007

Iran—A Story of Emperors and Kings

A Presentation by Iftikhar Salahuddin Moderator: Khalid Mir PRINCESS ROOM Dialogue of Rhythm and Movement: In Conversation with Nighat Chaodhry Moderator: Shayma Saiyid SUNFLOWER ROOM Storytelling by Amra Alam
11.15 a m- ~ 12.15 p.m.
MAIN GARDEN PTV aur Aaj ka Drama

Samina Ahmed, Aamina Sheikh, Sajid Hasan, Sania Saeed, Samira Fazal, Haseena Moin, and Neelofar Abbasi

Moderator: Raju Jamil
JASMINE HALL A Traveller’s Tales: Lahore say Yarkent tak with Mustansar Hussain Tarar

Moderator: Asghar Nadeem Syed AQUARIUS HALL Vitality and Violence: The Chaos that is Karachi followed by Book Launch: Karachi: The Land Issue by Arif Hasan et. al

Nasreen Askari, Maniza Naqvi, and Rumana Husain Moderator: Kamran Asdar Ali ROOM 007

Book Launch: Qurratulain Hyder’s Andaz-e-Bayan Aur edited by Jameel Akhtar

Azra Abbas and Ameena Saiyid Moderator: Arfa Sayeda Zehra Book Launch: Nau Lakhi Kothi by Ali Akbar Natiq Moderator: Mohammed Hanif PRINCESS ROOM Sab Lai o Gohar: In Conversation with Fahmida Riaz and Book Launch: Intikhab-e-Kalam:

Fahmida Riaz compiled by Asif Farrukhi Harris Khalique Moderator: Mujahid Barelvi Meray bhi hain Kuch Khwab: In Conversation with A. Sean Pue and Book Launch: I Too Have Some Dreams: N.M. Rashed and Modernism in Urdu Poetry by A. Sean Pue Asif Farrukhi

Moderator: Sarah Humayun TULIP/REDTERRACE Collector’s Choice

Shakil Saigol, Sherry Rehman, and Muhammad Zeeshan Moderator: Sameera Raja
SUNFLOWER ROOM Dosti Kitabon Sey by Khaled Anam
12.30 p.m. -1.30 p.m.
MAIN GARDEN Looking into the Corridors of Power: In Conversation with Syeda Abida Hussain and Book Launch: Power Failure: The Political Odyssey of a Pakistani Woman Moderators: Irshad Abdul Kadir and Hamida Khuhro JASMINE HALL

The English Language Literatures of South Asia: Do They Interact with Each Other?

Sadaf Saaz Siddiqui, H.M. Naqvi,

and Ritu Menon

Moderator: Muneeza Shamsie


The Constitutional Right to

Education: From Access to Quality

Learning for All

Mosharraf Zaidi, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Ishrat Husain, Zobaida Jalal, Sabrina Dawood, and Ameena Saiyid Moderator: Baela Raza Jamil ROOM 007

In a Time of Tragedy: Book Launch: A Season for Martyrs by Bina Shah

Moderator: Victoria Schofield PRINCESS ROOM Mental Health in a Troubled City Ayesha Mian, Naeem Sadiq, Haroon Ahmed, and Saadia Quraishy Moderator: Murad Moosa Khan TULIP/REDTERRACE From Other Perspectives Argentinian, Dutch, and Austrian Ambassadors Moderator: Fawzia Naqvi SUNFLOWER ROOM Creative Movement for Children with Nighat Chaodhry
1.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.
2.30 p.m. -3.30 p.m.

Transaction or Transformation in Film and TV

Tisca Chopra, Ali Saleem, Sanjay Iyer, and Mira Sethi Moderator: Omayr Aziz Saiyid JASMINE HALL A Dramatic Presentation of the Stories of Manto and Intizar Husain by Feryal Ali-Gauhar Chair: Intizar Husain Moderator: Asghar Nadeem Syed AQUARIUS HALL Gul Chandni: In Conversation with Zehra Nigah

Moderator: Masood Ashar ROOM 007 Mirror of the Mind: In Conversation with Aamer Hussein Moderator: Bilal Tanweer PRINCESS ROOM Book Launch: Kitab-e-Muntashir: Ye Natamam si Eik Zindagi jo Guzri hay by Musadiq Sanwal Mohammed Hanif and Wusat Ullah Khan

Moderator: Hasan Zaidi TULIP / REDTERRACE War Within

Sajjad Ahmed, Hajra Haider, Sonya Schonberger, and Yaminay Chaudhri Moderator: Quddus Mirza SUNFLOWER ROOM Storytelling by Khursheed Hyder

Purani Kahaniyaan, Nayi Dunia:

32 Tales of the Thrones

Intizar Husain, Arshia Sattar,

Arfa Sayeda Zehra, and

Masood Ashar

Moderator: Kishwar Naheed


Atam Katha: In Conversation with

Amar Jaleel

Moderator: Shah Muhammad


ROOM 007

Can ‘Creative Pakistan’ undo ‘Unstable Pakistan’?

Jude Kelly and Sherry Rehman Moderator: Peter Upton PRINCESS ROOM Book Launch: London, Sydney, Tokyo by Mujahid Barelvi Moderator: Rumana Husain Kal kay Angaray Book Launch:

A Rebel and her Cause: The Life and Work of Rashid Jahan by Rakhshanda Jalil

Ritu Menon, Kamran Asdar Ali, and Zaheda Hina

Moderator: Kausar S. Khan SUNFLOWER ROOM Book Launch: Intikhab-e-Kalam: Zahida Khatoon Sherwaniya Compiled by Fatema Hasan Moderator: Fahmida Riaz Book Launch: Educational Crisis and Reform: Perspectives from South Asia by Abbas Rashid and Irfan Muzaffar Sajid Ali

Moderator: Ghazi Salahuddin
Rashid Sami, Khaled Anam, and Shanaz Ramzi

Moderator: Hina Khwaja Bayat JASMINE HALL

Dastaangoi: Tilism e Hoshruba and Extracts from the Works of Deputy Nazeer Ahmed

Fawad Khan and Nazarul Hasan of NAPA


The Legacy of Scheherazade:

Women and Fiction

Bina Shah, Shandana Minhas, Reshma K. Barshikar, and Mira Sethi Moderator: Framji Minwalla ROOM 007 Char Janam ki Katha:

In Conversation with Satyapal Anand

Fatema Hassan Moderator: Harris Khalique PRINCESS ROOM A Celebration of Literature and Art Festivals

Sadaf Saaz, Razi Ahmed, Karthika V.K., Ameena Saiyid, Jude Kelly, and Ulrich Schreiber Moderator: Asif Farrukhi
6.15 p.m. -7.15 p.m.
MAIN GARDEN Closing Ceremony:

Speeches by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi

Readings by Zia Mohyeddin
7.30 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.

3.45 p.m.-4.45 p.m. 1

The Complete Performer: In Conversation with Bushra Ansari

Moderator: Nimra Bucha

I q.oo p.m. – 6.00 p.m. 1
Serial aur Soap: Rung Badaltay Dramay

Neelofar Abbasi, Sahira Kazmi,

8.00 p.m. -10.00 p.m.


Popular Classics: The Raag-based Love Songs of Pakistan by Ali Sethi
* The Programme is subject to change without prior notice due to last minute cancellations and other contingencies.


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Chakwal 100 years on, a school searches for its identity

he historical edifice of the Government High School No 1 Chakwal, with its embellished turrets and arches, is today perhaps, the only sign of the school’s rich history and lost identity.

Few remember that this school was once called the S.S. Khalsa High School Chakwal and fewer still remember the great men who laid the foundations of this school.


One of the school staffroom walls, like any other government building in Pakistan, bears the portraits of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal. However, on the opposite wall there is a portrait of a Sikh man, with the inscription: S. Harbans Singh Sistani, founding chairman of the S.S. Khalsa High School Chakwal. Similarly, the portrait of Sardar Chet Singh hangs in the principal’s office.

These men were among the five students of Munshi Sant Singh who founded this school in 1910 and named it Sant Singh or S.S. Khalsa School in his honour.

A marble plaque has survived from the time and with Punjabi words etched in it in Gurmukhi script.

“It says that five students of Munshi Sant Singh built this school in the honour of their teacher,” explained Qazi Baqir Waseem, a Punjabi poet who has also taught at this school.

“Before this school was set up, Munshi Sant Singh used to teach students in Chakwal voluntarily and was highly respected in the area,” Sardar Rattan Deep Singh Kohli, the grandson of Sardar Chet Singh told Dawn from New Delhi.

“When five students of Sant Singh decided to come together to set up a school that would educate students in the nearby villages, they decided to name it after him. The foundation school was laid by five people of the area, according to Sikh tradition of Panj Pyaray (five loved ones), laying the foundation stone,” Mr Kohli said.

He said that many other notable Sikhs of the area made financial contributions for the construction of the school. Since there was no reliable mode of transport for students to be able to reach the school from remote villages, a hostel was also built next to the school.

The hostel is walking distance from the school and today it houses classrooms for 6th and 8th grades.

Mr Kohli talked about his grandfather, Sardar Chet Singh, who was a businessman and a philanthropist.

His friend Sardar Harbans Singh Sistani was also a wealthy man and together the two of them contributed to a number of charitable causes, with education being their prime area of interest. The friendship between them was so strong that they had made each other ‘pagri-badal’ (turban-exchange) friends, Mr Kohli said.

The turban in Punjab is a symbol of honour and Punjabi men exchange turbans as a sign of respect and strength of ties.

“In 1918 when the S.S. Khalsa School was up and running, my grandfather took up the task of building another high school in Munday, our ancestral village,” he said.

Sardar Chet Singh named this school after his father Sardar Hira Singh. Here too, a hostel, bigger than the one in Chakwal was built next to the school. Today this school is known as Government High School, Munday. Sardar Chet Singh also built a hospital in this village.

The schools built by Sardar Chet Singh were educating
hundreds of students in Chakwal and adjoining areas when India gained independence in 1947 and the independent state of Pakistan was born.

The bloody riots that broke out, forced people to leave their homes and the S.S. Khalsa High School was shut down.

“After the school was shut, authorities turned it into an Exit and Reception Centre where people who were leaving Pakistan for India gathered before they were sent to the other side of the border.

Similarly, Muslim migrants from India were housed here before being allotted houses,” said Qazi Baqir Waseem.

According to him, the S.S. Khalsa School remained closed for two years after which the Government School Chakwal was moved to this building.

S.S. Khalsa’s name was removed.

The school was rechristened Government High School Chakwal.

Later, in 1992 this school was renamed to Government School No.

1 Chakwal.

Sardar Chet Singh and Sardar Harbans were also forced out of their homes and settled in Delhi.

Soon after settling down, the first thing they did was opening another school. They acquired three acres of land in Amar colony, in Lajput Nagar Delhi and laid the foundation of a school which they named ‘S.S. Khalsa Senior School Secondary School (Chakwal)


Although now in Delhi, the name of this new school included the word Chakwal in brackets, paying homage to the beloved homeland they had left behind.

“This new school operates to this day, educating 1,300 students free of charge,” Mr Kohli said.

He said that the school educates underprivileged students and does not discriminate on the basis of religion.

Back in Chakwal, the S.S. Khalsa School educated a number of notable students, among them the renowned Urdu writer Colonel Mohammad Khan, former chief minister of Punjab Arif Nakai and many high ranking civil and military officers. Brigadier Akmal, the current Military Secretary of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also studied in this school.

The grandsons of Chet Singh – Sardar Rattan Deep Singh Kohli and Sardar Harbans Singh – were invited by the Old Students Association of Government High School No. 1 Chakwal for the school’s centenary celebrations.

When the two men arrived from across the border and saw the marble plaque with the names of their grandfathers, they were overwhelmed by emotion. Today, an international border and hundreds of miles separate them from their ancestral land and the legacy of their grandfathers. They kissed the plaque, unable to hold back their tears.

Meanwhile, the Old Students Association members were somewhat embarrassed.

“We had nothing to show our distinguished guests from India, the original name of the school had been removed, and a market and a bus stand had encroached upon school property,” said one member of the association.

“Sardar Chet Singh and Sardar Harbans Singh were great benefactors. Chakwal owes a huge debt to them which can only be repaid by restoring the school to its original name,” said Yunus Awan, Old Students Association president.

“I hope that one day both the schools in Chakwal and Munday are restored to their original names,” said Mr. Kohli.

SARDAR Harbans Singh Sistani (L) and Sardar Chet Singh (R), the founders of the school. — Photos by the writer