Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Looking forward to meeting Dadan again

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I met Dadan Chandio in March 1996. The piece appeared in The News on Friday (as it then used to be) and was noticed by Benazir Bhutto, then the prime minister. She ordered chief minister Abdullah Shah to look into the matter. But before Dadan could get his much needed reprieve, BB’s government was dismissed and the matter died on itself.

In January 1999, I returned to the area with a team from PTV to make a documentary on Kutte ji Qabar. On our last day up on the mountain as we were walking back, I saw this black-clad figure majestically walking towards us. Though I could not recognise him from the distance, but the strong swinging gait was unmistakably Dadan’s. And soon he was there: tall, slim and still looking good with his AK-47 across his shoulders.

By that very abstruse system of the mountain grapevine he had heard of my presence. Three years earlier he had also heard of the activity ordered by BB on his behalf. Though nothing came of it, Dadan Chandio had felt beholden to me. Now, this man of principle had come to thank me for what I had done for him. I had only done what had to be done and that doing had earned me Dadan’s friendship. I was gratified and thankful. But it had all come to nothing because Dadan Chandio was still a fugitive.

Fourteen years have gone by in which I have not returned to this part of the Khirthar Mountains. But my young friend Zaman Narejo and I will travel here together in the coming winter. Besides my other friends, I look forward to meeting Dadan again. I hope he has finally found his freedom.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days