I had the honor to receive a note from Mr. Satinder Mullick, PhD. Corning, NY, USA, about his family's story about the Partition experience in 1947. Mr. Mullick's ancestral home was in Bannu (NWFP). He write's in his blog about the life during the early 1940's in Bannu and how both Hindus-Sikhs and Muslims were living peacefully, due mainly to the influence of Frontier Gandhi.
Mr. Mullick writes in his blog:
For the last 70 years, I have been trying to reconstruct what happened to our lives in 1947. I was ten years old in 1947, and I remember the details of 1945-1947 very well. Like attending my uncle Lachman Chachaji's (uncle) wedding in Bannu, and sitting behind him on a horse in the summer of 1945. There were Pathans on dhol, and dancing in their Bannuwal style. Looked like if they had a drink. Then attending my sister's wedding in 1946 in Bannu during the summer vacations. The bridegroom had come from Karachi, but hailed from Dera-Ismail Khan.
Even in late 1947, Mr. Mullick's extended family was still in Bannu and was protected by Muslim Pathans:
My extended family, which included my grandmother, aunts and their children, were not harmed in Bannu. My father's close friend - a Pathan Muslim from MES - took care of all of them for three months after partition. He sent them to India in a train escorted by Gurkhas in November or December 1947. Their train was shot at in West Punjab, but the Gurkhas shot back forcefully. Therefore, they arrived safely to Delhi.
At their house in Lahore, Mr. Mullick writes about the events in Lahore in summer of 1947:
All of a sudden, I noticed lot of violence with many refugees taking shelter from Rawalpindi areas in March 1947 in our Gurudwara in Dharampura. We were involved in collecting blankets for them. Then the big fire in Shah Almi (a Hindu area of Lahore; read an account of this fire here), which we saw from the third floor rooftop with large smoke rising in June 1947. It was confirmed next day by newspapers and local people that the fire happened with the assistance of the police.
Then, in late July 1947, my father sent us for summer vacations to Dalhousie Cantonment, where one of his relative was with Military Engineering Service. My father used to go for night watch to safeguard Hindu-Sikh areas with his soldiers in Lahore from late July 1947 to early August 1947. They did not trust the police to protect them, as 80% of the police in Lahore were Muslim, and were behind many fires in Hindu and Sikh areas.
In his note to me, Mr. Mullick mentions:
Ultimately 95% of Hindus and Sikhs left NWFP,but they were not rushed. Very few could carry their belongings and their properties were left behind.But Key Message of mine: Pathans were Good Human beings and even most leaders were good human beings-less greedy.
In contrast Punjab lost Humanity and greed took over. Punjab became LAWLESS before PARTITION and Killings intensified from Aug 10th,1947. Senior Officers like Magistrates and Deputy Commissioners participated in RUSHING-PUSHING Minorities out quickly. Result was BLOOD SHED.
Pathans were good humans but Punjabi’s became Animals.
To read more about Mr. Mullick's story, go here: http://www.indiaofthepast.org/contribute-memories/read-contributions/life-back-then/560-from-bannu-to-corning-notwithstanding-the-trauma-of-partition
Also refer to Bannu Biradari article: http://bannubiradari.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=30&Itemid=81&limitstart=10