Military Report on Dir , Swat and Bajour (First Edition) was compiled by the Intelligence Branch , Division of the Chief of Staff, India, Shimla, in the year 1906. This report was compiled by Major A.C.M, Waterfield, M.V.O., D.A.Q.M.G. Further it covered the geography, communications, climates, resources, ethnography, history, administration, military and political aspects of Dir, Swat and Bajour areas. Those parts which are related to Swat are produced here for the interest of readers. Part 6 of this series is given below relating to the history of Swat from Alexander till arrival of Yusufzai in this part of the world.
“From the writings of Arian it would appear that Alexander the Great took an army through Kunar, Swat, Bajour and in the year 326 B.C, crossing en route the Panjkora or” Guroeus,” and the Swat, or “Suastes” rivers, and besieging a city called Massaga in what is now known as the Talash valley. In the same century, some twenty years later, Alexander’s General Seleucus yielded these countries to Chandra Gupta. The later’s grandson. Asoka who succeeded to the throne in 263 B.C., published those Edicts of Buddhism which have been found engraved on rocks in various parts of the country…(from 8th to 14th centuries) the rulers of Kabul and its dependencies were Hindus, who were in power until the tenth century, when they were expelled by Sabaktagin the Tartar and subsequently driven across the Indus by his son, the famous Mahmud of Ghazni; but Buner, Dir and Bajaur remained in the hands of the Indians, while Swat was still independent under its own ruler. During the latter half of the fifteenth century the Yusufzais, Tarkanris (or Tarkalanris) and Utman Khels appeared on the scene. Owing to quarrels in their own country near Kandahar they were obliged to take refuge near Kabul. These tribes were subsequently driven from Kabul, and the Yusufzais under Malik Ahmad, whose grave is still to be seen at Alladand in Lower Swat, assisted by the Utman Khels and other tribes, took possession of the Peshawar valley from the Dilazaks whom they drove across the Indus into Hazara. Up to this period of the Yusufzai immigration, Bajaur was in the hands of a tribe who were known by the name of “Arab”, who under their ruler, termed Hakim, continued to pay tribute to the sovereigns of Hindustan. The Tarkanris had in the meantime been driven from Lughman and taken refuge in Bajaur. The Yusufzais having overcome the opposition of the Swatis now began gradually to spread over Buner, Lower Swat and the Panjkora, and the Utman Khels settled in their present territory. In this period (16th Century) the Emperor Babar invaded Bajaur which, with the exception of the Jandul valley, had by this time come into the possession of the Tarkanris. Babar then entered the Babukara valley and having raided the Jandul valley camped at the junction of the Swat and Panjkora rivers where he received the nominal submission of the Yusofzais. Babar then raided the Maidan valley, after which he marched into Upper Swat where, although he was unable to subdue the capital Manglaor (Manglawar), he exacted tribute from the Swatis and settled that as far as Abueh (Aboha) should be Yusufzai territory and above that Swati. He then proceeded through Buner and returned to Kabul about 1520. Babar died in 1530 and was succeeded by son Hamayun. During the latter’s reign the Yusufzais encroached on Upper Swat and having driven the Swati chief across the Indus got possession of most of the land they now occupy and apportioned the land among the members of the tribe. This distribution of land for all practical purposes holds good to the present day among the Yusufzai tribes. In 1555 , Akbar succeeded his father Hamayun and two years later, after considerable opposition, enforced the submission of the Yusufzais which they had repudiated during his father’s reign. In the meantime the “Arab” tribe in Bajaur had thrown off allegiance to the sovereign of Hindustan and had been ousted by the Tarkanris. Jandul and a considerable portion of Bajaur was still occupied by the Dilazaks. About the end of the sixteenth century the Yusufzais and Tarkanris combined, the former seized the whole of Upper Swat driving out the last remnant of the Swatis, and the latter drove out the Dilazaks and occupied the whole of Bajaur. After a short period of peace the whole country became much disturbed owing to religious dissensions which again necessitated the interference of Kabul. This punitive expedition entered Bajaur by the Hindu Raj and passed on through Talash and Swat. By dint of being reinforced from Kabul the leader of this expedition finally devastated the country and reduced the ‘Tarkanris of Bajaur and the Yusufzais to complete subjection, building forts at Malakand and Chakdara. These operations extended over five years from 1590 to 1595.”
Military Report on Dir , Swat and Bajour (First Edition), Intelligence Branch , Division of the Chief of Staff, India, Shimla (1906), Pages 20-21.
TO BE CONTINUED…