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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri




(English translation of the Persian text of the treaty signed at Leh on second of Asuj 1899 Bikrami - September 1842 - between the Government of Maharajah Gulab Singh and the Government of Tibet.)

Whereas we the Officer, of the Lhasa country, viz., firstly, Kalon Surkhan, and secondly, Depon Pishi, commander of the forces of the Empire of China, on the one hand and Dewan Hari Chand and Wazir Ratanu, on behalf of Maharajah Gulab Singh, on the other, agree together and swear before God that the friendship between Maharajah Gulab Singh and the Emperor of China and the Lama Guru Sahib Lassawalla will be kept and observed till eternity: no disregard will be shown to anything agreed upon in the presence of God; and we will respect the boundary of Laddakh and the countries bordering on it as fixed since olden times. We will carry on the trade in Shawl, Pasham and Tea as before by way of Laddakh; and if anyone of the Shri Maharajah's enemies comes to our territories and says anything against the Rajah, we will not listen to him, and will not allow him to remain in our country, and whatever traders come from Laddakh shall experience no difficulty from our side. We will not act otherwise but in the same manner as it has been prescribed in this meeting regarding the fixing of the Laddakh frontier and the keeping open of the road for the traffic in Shawl, Pasham and Tea. We will observe our pledge to God, Gaitri and Pasi, Wazir Mian Khushal Chu is witness.

Written on the second day of Asuj 1899 (September, 1842)

The Tibetan version of the treaty

Kalon Surkhan and investigating officer Depon Pishi on behalf of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his officials, and Shri Khalsaji Absarani, Shri Maharajah, Lala Golana, the representative of Khashur Shag Golam Mohammed through an interpreter, Amirshah (on behalf of Gulab Singh) have arrived at Laddakh and discussed the terms of the peace treaty. In the first place the two contracting parties have decided to sink all past differences and ill-feeling and to consider the friendship and unity between the two kings re-established for ever. This peace treaty between Shri Maharajah Gulab Singh and Shri Guru Lama of Lhasa has been restored and there will be no cause for enmity in future in the two nations regarding their respective frontiers. Shri Maharajah Sahib has declared, invoking God as his witness, that he will not deviate from the terms of the agreement. It is agreed that the two brother kings of Laddakh and the Queen shall remain peacefully in Laddakh and shall not indulge in any intrigue, besides trying to promote the friendly relations between the two nations. The Laddakhis shall send the annual tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his Ministers unfailingly as heretofore and the Shri Maharajah Sahib will not interfere with this arrangement. No restriction shall be laid on the mutual export of commodities e.g., tea, piece goods, etc. and trading shall be allowed according to the old established custom. The Laddakhis shall supply the Tibetan Government traders with the usual transport animals and arrange for their accommodation as heretofore, and the Tibetans will also do the same to the Laddakhis who come to Tibet with the annual tribute. It is agreed that no trouble will be occasioned to the Tibetan Government by the Laddakhis. We invoke God to bear witness to this agreement whereby the friendly relations between Shri Maharajah Sahib and the Lhasa Government shall continue as between members of the same family. This is signed on the second day of the month of Assuj, year 1899.

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