I am not in a position to have a clear picture regarding crimes and collective responsibility of the community in the State era. Most crimes were traced and cases their off were disposed in the shortest possible time. The prevailing system in the State made it impossible for a culprit to escape scot-free. Even before the establishment of Swat State, called the ‘Pukhtu dawar’, a minor violation of land boundaries or stealing grains from the threshing grounds were promptly traced and dealt with by the elders spontaneously according to their wisdom. Strangely, a few elders in each village know such criminals and even determined how much they were involved in some immoral activities. People had enough moral courage to accept even major offenses. For example, if someone was accused of adultery, or caught red handed and the offended party killed him and woman involved, it was accepted as natural course by all sides.
I will not quote such adultery case to avoid controversies, as for my village is concerned but still narrate here a theft story of paddy from the threshing ground.
My father and uncle were orphans and very small kids as their father (my grandfather) Habibullah was killed in the battle between Sulizi and Babuzai at Sangota.
They were between nine and five years of age. But they owned large piece of land situated at five various places. Someone stole their paddy harvest to the last grain from the field. When they were told by the Paracha about the disappearance of the paddy, they both went to an elder of the village and informed him about their problem. Now the elder man knew who could have committed the theft. He told the brothers to give him one day time. The next morning when the kid awoke, they found the entire paddy lying in the large compound of their home. They never found who did it and how they got it back.
A case of collective responsibility came up in the State period of Badshah Sahib. A notorious and bad woman was killed one night in a village and her dead body thrown on the main road. The Ruler was very much displeased. He was not much concerned about the woman’s murder as the villagers told him about her immoral indulgences, but he was infuriated that the corpse was thrown on crown land. He fined the whole village Rs. 1,00,000 (One lac) for this offensive or to handover the accused. The villagers paid the fine collectively.