26 DECEMBER 1947, Page 4

I always welcome the opportunity of acclaiming outstanding pieces of

journalism, and certainly the message in Friday's Daily Telegraph on the evacuation of Ramak, on the north-west frontier, deserves that description. Pakistan, within whose area the territory up to the Durand Line falls, has decided it cannot sustain the costly burden of the outlying fort at Ramak, in the midst of the turbulent Waziri country, and began to evacuate it last week. The Telegraph corre- spondent, Douglas Brown, was with the retiring force, and his

description of the abandonment of this isolated fortress, where since 1923 Indian and British troops have kept vigil, is always vivid and sometimes moving. For example:

"The church, though its furniture had gone, was still undesecrated. The British graveyard, where a hundred and twenty British dead had been left behind, was neat and trim. The glass gleamed in the windows of the comfortable stene-built barracks, which are like rows of suburban villas. The cinema was there, with the announcement, 'In Which We Serve,' still flapping against its wall."

So Ramak is left among its wild hills. One wonders what the tribes will do with it. It may be long before anyone knows that.