Chitral is a remote but strategically placed valley 250 miles long, high in the Hindu Kush Mountains. It had been ruled for many years by Mehtar Aman-ul-Mulk, a man with many wives and children until Aman-ul-Mulk died suddenly on 30 August 1892 at age 71. Thirteen of his many sons were considered eligible to claim the right to rule.
His sons started killing each other and four of his sons briefly held power before being killed. In 1895, in the middle of this turmoil, a British military delegation arrived in Chitral headed by Surgeon-Major George Scott Robertson. Robertson had been appointed as political agent by the British as a result of his previous visit to Chitral in 1893 and to adjoining Kafirstan and because of his service in the Second Afghan War from 1878 to 1880. Two other groups representing different claimants for the right to rule arrived in Chitral shortly thereafter. The result was that the Robertson Group took control of the Chitral Fort but were placed under siege by the outside groups.
Upon learning that one of their commanders was being held under siege or as a hostage, the British met in Calcutta and resolved to break the siege by military force.
The British explorer, adventurer and army officer George Scott Robertson was on his second visit to Chitral. His group had been taken hostage and held under siege. This made it necessary for the British to launch a rescue mission. One military group advanced up from Peshawar, through Mardan, Swat and Dir, crossing Lowari Top and reaching the Chitral Fort where Robertson and his group were being held. The British brought with them Gurkhas, who are fierce fighters from Nepal who did most of the fighting.
A second group advanced from a different direction, coming up through Gilgit and Gupis, crossing Shandur Top, reaching Mastuj and advancing down the Chitral River to reach Chitral Fort.
In so doing, the two groups inadvertently conquered Chitral and all of the places in between, including Swat, Dir and Gupis. They appointed local rulers to govern these places, but they all remained under British control until the Independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. For doing this, George Scott Robertson was knighted by Queen Victoria and became Sir George Scott Robertson.