Swat History


The disturbance of the country caused by the events of 1895, the intrigues of Afghan officials, and the natural animosity of the religious classes after a period of apparent calm, during which the title of Nawab was conferred on the Khan of Dir, led to the rising of 1897, in which a determined effort was made by the tribesmen mustered by the Mulla Mastan (Mad Mulla) of Swat to storm the posts at Chakdarra and the Malakand. Their attacks were repulsed, though not without difficulty; and in the punitive operations which followed columns were sent to enforce the submission of the Mamunds in Bajaur, the Yusufzai of Swat, and the Bunerwals. No action against Dir was necessary, for the Nawab had been able to restrain his people from overt hostility. In 1901 a railway was opened from Naushahra to Dargai at the foot of the Malakand Pass. Tribal fighting has continued intermittently, but no event of importance took place in the Agency after 1897, until the death of the Nawab of Dir in 1904. His eldest son Aurangzeb (Badshah Khan) has been recognized as the successor, but the succession is disputed by Mian Gul Jan, his younger brother.

Swat proper is now peopled by the Akazai branch of the Yusufzai Pathans (about 150,000 in number), and the Kohistan by Torwals and Garhwis (estimated at 20,000). The Yusufzai comprise various clans. On the left bank of the river lie the Ranizai and Khan Khel in Lower Swat, and the Sulizai and Babuzai in Upper Swat. On the right bank are the Shamizai, Sabujni, Nikbi Khel, and Shamozai in Upper Swat, and in Lower Swat the Adinzai, Abazai, and Khadakzai clans. All the clans on the right bank, except the two last named, are collectively known as the Khwazozai; and all except the Ranizai on the left are collectively called the Baezai. The whole valley and the Kohistan are well populated; but before 1897 the Swati Pathans had not the reputation of being a fighting race, and owing to the unhealthiness of the valley their physique is inferior to that of Pathans generally. The language of the people is the pure Yusufzai Pashtu, except in the Kohistan where the Torwals and Garhwis speak dialects of their own, which is said to resemble very closely the dialect of Hindki used by the Gujars of Hazara.


Imperial Gazetteer of India, Provincial Series, North West Frontier Province, Superintendent of Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1908, Pages 220-221.

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