At the Khyber Gate, opposite Jamrud Fort, as I read the seven large plaques affixed on the Khyber Memorial, on which are inscribed detailed history of the region, from the ‘ancient times’ to the ‘present’, it was evident that History is nothing else but ‘HIS STORY’.
The Sikh Empire in expanding to the frontiers of Khyber, for the first time in over a thousand years, had sealed the dreaded pass through which the sub-continent had been invaded for centuries. But today, amongst the seven plaques detailing the history at the Khyber Memorial, this chapter of the Khyber region is only worthy of a passing line of its demise. In one of the plaques, entitled ‘The British on the Scene’, the only mention of the Sikh Empire’s expanse in this region reads,
“It was the end of the Sikh rule between the Sulaiman Mountains and the Indus.”
Amongst the seven plaques that are dedicated to the British presence and glorification of foreign invasions, a notable history made by the native Sikhs, is only worthy of a mention of their end!
Opposite the Khyber Memorial, the Jamrud Fort built by the Sikhs stands large, blaring at the blatant suppression of history of its architects, who played a significant role in the region.
Irony of partition that even history cannot be accepted for what it is!
Photographed in Jan 2017, during the research for the book “THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”