Leslie Mallam was born in 1895 and served both within the British and Indian armies. But it was his expertise as an administrator in the Indian Political Service for which he is remembered today. Leslie Mallam served in the 28th Punjabis in Waziristan, the 2nd Bengal Lancers and fought with the 27th Light Cavalry during the 3rd Afghan War. Subsequently, he transferred to the Indian Political Service where he established a great rapport with the many tribes of the North West frontier, especially the Pathan people with whom he shared a lasting mutual respect. His career encompassed the roles of Political Agent, Barrister, District Judge and Chief Secretary to the Governor of the Province.
The author’s candid account is set against one of the most explosive periods in the history of the North West Frontier, especially the Hindu ‒ Muslim conflict. As Partition approached, he presented a major five-year plan for the Frontier Province, which sadly was never implemented. Its structure and recommendations might well have changed the course of history in the area which we know today as the Afghan ‒ Pakistan border region.
Leslie Mallam retired from the Service as India and Pakistan separated in 1947. He returned to England and joined the Church, living out his days as a Deacon in Eckington in the Diocese of Worcester.
In his foreword, Dr Humayan Khan writes: ‘Lt. Col. Mallam’s memoir appears at an appropriate time, because the saga it narrates deals mainly with the tribal areas of the North West Frontier of Pakistan, a subject which occupies a high priority on the international agenda today.’
(Dr Humayun Khan is a former Ambassador, Foreign Secretary, High Commissioner from Pakistan to India and the United Kingdom.)