Hamid Hussain sahib wrote the following email about Pakhtoons involved in both sides of the Molly Ellis case. I think the behaviour of all parties in that era is pretty much per expectations (though colonial and postcolonial propaganda assign different valence to the moral worth of various actions), right down to the Mullah’s getting upset at the outlaw brothers at one point and thus setting the stage for the Englishwoman’s release. Standards of honour did exist on both sides, even though they were very different (a fact that the British always noted about their tribal opponents). Things are different now. Modern education has inserted a very shallow and remarkably inhuman element into the Jihadis as well as their double-dealing opponents…both parties seem to lack deeper cultural roots and standards of behavior. Or maybe I am just projecting bullcrap onto the situation. After all, I have also been educated in some modern fashion. comments welcome.
Anyway, the last chapter in southern california struck me as interesting.
From Hamid Hussein:
Major General ® Jahanzeb Khan had four generations connection with 10th Guides Cavalry. He was from the Kuki Khel clan of Afridis of Khyber Agency. His grandfather joined the legendry Guides. His father Risaldar Moghal Baz Khan followed his father’s footsteps in Guides and retired after long service and earning Indian Distinguished Service Medal (IDSM). In 1923, he was serving as Special Assistant to Chief Commissioner of North West Frontier Province, Sir John Loader Maffey. In April 1923, an outlaw Ajab Khan abducted seventeen year old Mollie Ellis from Kohat cantonment. During this crisis of the Raj, Risaldar ® Moghal Baz along with several others including Assistant Political Officer of Kurram agency Khan Bhadar Quli Khan, retired Subedar Major Azimullah Khan Afridi of Tirah valley and Malik Khan Zaman Afridi of Khyber negotiated the release of Mollie Ellis. In 1932, Moghal Baz was awarded OBE when he was serving as Assistant Political Officer of Khyber agency.
Jahanzeb was educated at Bishop Cotton School at Simla. He was one the three Indian captains of the houses. He joined Guides cavalry after commission. He became the first Indian officer to be posted to Viceroy’s Body Guards (VBG). In 1950s, he commanded Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). Later, he commanded Guides Cavalry in early 1960s. He was a good polo player. In 1962, Kharian Polo team consisting of Major General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, Brigadier Masood Ali Baig (nick named Hesky Baig of 5th Probyn’s Horse), Brigadier Hissam Effendi, Colonel Sikandar Ali Baig (nick named Sikku Baig) and Lt. Colonel Jahanzeb Khan beat visiting U.S. army polo team. His two sons also joined Guides Cavalry. Kamal Zeb retired as Brigadier and Nadir Zeb is a Major General. Nadir did some heavy lifting as Inspector General of Frontier Corps (IGFC). He was recently injured during crash landing of his helicopter. Four generations proudly served with legendry Guides.
In Pushtu folk lore, Ajab Khan became a hero and tales of his bravery made rounds in the evening gatherings at hujras. He was labeled ghazi (victorious religious warrior) by some and later his son took the additional sir name ofghazizoy (son of a ghazi). In post-independence period, the story of Ajab Khan has been given a new twist portraying him as some kind of a national hero. Ajab was son of Sherdil and belonged to Bosti Khel section of Galai Khel sub clan of Adam Khel clan of Afridi tribe of Kohat Pass. He was a criminal outlaw involved in robberies. He was part of a criminal gang that included his brother Shahzada. On November 15, 1920, Assistant Director Medical Services of Kohat district Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Howard Foulkes was killed at his house by a gang of raiders during robbery. His wife injured in the incident died three weeks later. In February 1923, forty six rifles were stolen from Kohat police lines. A Frontier Constabulary party raided the village of Ajab Khan and recovered rifles from his house. Some articles belonging to Colonel Foulkes were also found that implicated Ajab in the murder. Ajab was not home and fled to the territory of Tirah and took refuge with Sultan Mir; a Jowaki Afridi. It was suspected that Sultan Mir was the leader of the gang that killed Colonel Foulkes. The only logical connection is that on their way to Tirah, the gang may have spent some time with Ajab and shared with him some of the loot. Some of these articles were later found in Ajab’s house.