Swat History

NOTES ON ORGANS OF SWAT STATE

One evening, Wali Sahib stopped his car and beckoned a guard to go up and bring the nearest officer living in Afsar Abad. Thus an officer hurriedly came down and stood before Wali Sahib. He was a captain in the State force, designated ‘command officer’ those days. Wali Sahib pointed to a dry stone wall near the masjid saying, “why you did not stop that man from construction the wall”. The officer stammered, “Sir, it is the duty of the civil officer.” He referred to the Tehsildar in his neighborhood to be responsible for ensuring it. Wali Sahib was much annoyed at this excuse, though apparently genuine, and said harshly, “It is your duty as officer of the state to establish writ of the government without drawing the line between civil and military establishment.”

It was such a smooth workable system. Once you entered the state service, you were bound to keep eye on any violation. For example, though there was a separate department for the construction of schools, hospitals and roads etc, known as State P.W.D but the basic unit officer of the Judiciary, i.e., the Tehsildar, was through written orders to the rule, bound to inspect developmental schemes, daily within three miles of his station of duty and once a week within ten miles to check the quality and progress of the schemes.

Besides judicial duty, he was the revenue officer of his jurisdiction, collecting ‘Ushr’, and other taxes. Three or four Tehsils comprised a ‘Hakimee’, headed by a civil/judicial officer known as Hakim. He also has to keep a check on developmental works but with more gape in each visit. This dual system did not created conflict of authority but added to the performance of the State organs harmoniously. Hakim also heard appeals against judgments of the Tehsildars in his jurisdiction. Each administrative unit had Qazis to assist the officer in disposal of cases if the parties agreed to solve their disputes according to ‘Sharia’ or Islamic jurisprudence. Tehsildar was also supposed to maintain writ of the State with the help of police and the gendarmeries stationed in the forts.  He was also a protocol officer during the visits of the Wali Sahib, or VIPs, and facilitated visitors from outside the state or foreigners. Looking at the powers and duties of a Tehsildar, he was an important state functionary. Besides, this, some high officers in the forces had performed judicial duties also. Sepa Salar, or the C.O.A.S had been working as Appellate court for Indus Kohistan till his retirement. But when Sayyad Badshah Gul retired, Wali Sahib abolished the post of Sepah Salar.

Fazal Raziq Shahab belongs to the historic village of Aboha, Swat. His writings on Swat State provides very useful information to the general readers and researchers. He remained Swat State functionary and thus observed the happenings of the State very closely. He is the author of two books and his Columns has been a regular feature of Daily Azadi, Bakhabarswat.com and Lafzuna.com.
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Fazal Raziq Shahab belongs to the historic village of Aboha, Swat. His writings on Swat State provides very useful information to the general readers and researchers. He remained Swat State functionary and thus observed the happenings of the State very closely. He is the author of two books and his Columns has been a regular feature of Daily Azadi, Bakhabarswat.com and Lafzuna.com.
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