Subedar Mahboob Alam Khan (1918-2012)
Subedar Mahboob Alam Khan was born at Goldur Chitral in 1918. His ancestor Mir Shah Reza was on one occasion Governor of Drosh and given valuable information about the ethnography of Chitral to Moghul Beg in 1789, who compiled a book on history. Mahboob’s father Musanif Khan was the son of Haji Feroze, one of the leading Hakim of Drosh in the beginning of the 20th century. His father was a famed state official and was the ring leader in1926 revolt against the Mehtar Shuja ul Mulk (1895-1936); He was sentenced to five years imprisonment which he suffered in Abottabad Jail.
Although of such a tender age when his professional career began Mahboob was old enough to have as a Subedar in Chitral Levies; shortly he had been recruited in Chitral Scouts as Naib Subedar in 1942. The same year his father bought a piece of land in Jughoor and given it to the Mahboob since then he settled there permanently. He did well for his professional career and promoted as Subedar or company commander and was part of the Chitral Scouts Polo team. During his service, General Ayub Khan (later President of Pakistan) visited Chitral and Mahboob Alam presented him Goshawk, entertained with the traditional Kho dishes and informed him about the Kho culture of the Hindu Kosh. On the returned General Ayub Khan wrote an appreciation letter to him.
He was retired from Chitral Scouts in 1960 and subsequently appointed as a member of the Ex – Judicial Council for some years. Mahboob participated in so many social events and Jirgas during his life. As a career he also started polo, afterward, he became Polo coach and member of the selection committee for the Shandur festival.
A love of sport is characteristic of the peoples of the Hindu Kush, and it was shared by the late Mahboob. Polo (local rules), and listening to singing accompanied on the sitar, all came within the ambit of his relaxations. Polo, perhaps, was his favorite sport, and he was very proud of the unrivaled skills of the Chitrali players.
He was naturally courteous and was a charming host. I personally shall very much miss the friendly share of information about the culture of the Hindu Kush which he addressed to me with unfailing regularity