- Jan 9, 2012
Unforgettable and joyful memories sum up my 30 years spent in the exotic valley of Razmak. This valley lies within the northern region of Waziristan and was famously known as "Chota London" during the pre-independence period.
By building roads that pierced through the lofty mountains alongside springs boiling forth their salty water, they transformed Razmak into a beautiful hamlet with houses resembling those in the countryside of England. It can be said, without a doubt that Razmak was heaven on earth.
The 'Wazirs' are the native inhabitants of Razmak. They have been living there for ages holding close the traditions that their ancestors introduced to them. Though some of their traditions might worry city dwellers, they seem to be content with their way of life. Their dialect of Pashto is also different from the one spoken in other Pashtun areas.
A long time ago when we were on our way to Peshawar, our car broke down and we had to make a stop for a few hours at a nearby Pashtun house. We had never even imagined how warm and welcoming the residents were – we were treated like royalty. They laid down their new blankets on charpoys so that we could sit comfortably and they served us with a lavish display of food too.
That said – if you somehow happen to fall on their bad side, all I can say is, may God help you! Sadly, the only way they see for their enemies is death. If they don't like you, they kill you.
They hold their idiosyncrasies strong and are proud of their staunch traditions.
After former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited Razmak in 1978, the military camp was turned into a cadet college (Cadet College Razmak) for the Wazir children, as promised by him. My father was one of the first lecturers at the college. Over the years, my father saw it rise to the pinnacle of success, but sadly, also witnessed its downfall.
I remember it so vividly"¦
The people were full of life and the weather was perfect. Nature was kind to Razmak; it was blessed with pure beauty, fresh vegetables, fruit and milk. Lunch in the summer was incomplete without a jug of lassi (yoghurt drink) with excessive amounts of butter swimming in it. Everything was in perfect harmony. Oh, the good ol' days!