Of a tribe surviving on its own in Pakistan

By Muhammad Shahid
PESHAWAR: The Mullagori tribe in Pakistan’s tribal areas currently lacks social development and so far there is no book, which could have introduced this tribe to the world.
Sitting in his room at a hilltop in Sher Burj area of Khyber Agency where the tribespeople live, Malik Imtiaz Mullagori recounts the days of his youth and talks about the origins of his tribe.
 “Our forefather, Mullagori, had four sons called Pahar Khel, Taar Khel, Ahmad Khel and Daulat Khel,” said the 80-year-old malik (village chief) who said he belonged to the Mullagori tribe’s royal family.
 “Even the Islamia College , Peshawar was set up due to the efforts of our grandfather, Khan Bahadur Adam Khel, son of Pahar Khel, who helped Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum in setting up the college,” he said, adding that Mullagori came from Afghanistan and settled in the area which now falls between the Mohmand and Khyber Agencies.
Unlike most tribal areas, the Mullagori area is poppy-free and its residents usually depend on the marble reservoirs found in the hills. There are around 120 marble factories that are a source of livelihood not only for the Mullagori tribesmen but also for the residents of nearby villages.
The area currently inhabited by Mullagori tribespeople consists of two major parts – the Khakata Mena or lower area and Lowarha Mena or upper area. The ‘Tatara’ hill, a famous resort for tourists, separates the Mullagori tribepeople from the Afridis, while the River Kabul separates them from the Mohmand tribe.
The Mullagori tribesmen, however, lag behind in education and the area has only one primary school, while the rate of women’s education is very low. There is also only one hospital in the Lowara Mena, and residents of the Khakata Mena find it difficult to cross the hills to reach the hospital.
 “The Khyber Agency’s political agent only launches development schemes in areas inhabited by Afridi tribesmen; this is why our area lacks facilities,” Humayun Mullagori said, adding that a lack of educated people was also hampering the area’s development, “as there is nobody to highlight our problems in a fitting manner.”
 “Around 300 canals of our lands have turned barren due to the nearby Warsak Dam, and the government has yet to realise its promise to compensating our people in exchange for the dam’s construction,” area resident Gulab Khan said, adding, “The government has recently announced the setting up of a hospital and a cadet college which the government says will also give Mullagori tribesmen a 30 percent quota.”
The Khyber Agency political agent was not available for comment, and Mullagori Political Naib Tehsildar Nek Muhammad told this scribe that there were around 1,500 Mullagori families in Khyber Agency. He said he had recently taken over as political naib tehsildar for Mullagori and that he did not know much about the proposed construction of the cadet college and a hospital in the area.
NOTE: This story has also been published by a popular journal of the United States called The New Media Journal. Here is the weblink:
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