Swat History

Sir Aurel Stein Views About Miangul Abdul Wadud (Bacha Sahib)

But fortunately for the modern destinies of Swat, and incidentally for my own plans of antiquarian exploration, the few years following that chance meeting saw the rise to power in Swat of a very capable ruler in the person of Miangul Gul-shahzada, the elder of the two surviving grandsons of the great Akhund. He managed to attach firmly to himself some of the more dependable heads of clans and to organize a kind of feudal force, provided with adequate transport for food-supplies and thus capable of prolonged operations, an unusual thing in Pathan tribal warfare. Thus, after hard struggles, in the course of which his younger brother was killed, he ultimately succeeded in driving out both invaders.

Having thus become undisputed master of Upper Swat he was soon able to extend his sway to Buner, always closely linked by tribal relations with Swat, and also to the valleys that descend beyond the watershed range towards the Indus. It was not long before the Miangul, now sole heir to the name, became known to the people by the simple designation of Badshah or ‘ruler’. The new kingdom that his energy and sagacity had built up was soon extended to its proper geographical limits by the annexation of Torwal, the alpine portion of the Swat valley in which the original Dard population of the country, though converted to Islam, had maintained its independence and distinct language.

The peaceful consolidation of what had been won by the Badshah’s successes had since been greatly facilitated by the close and friendly relations that he wisely fostered with the administration of the North-West Frontier Province. But even this fortunate concatenation of events might not have sufficed to enable me to realize my long-cherished plan of exploration, had not a kindly Fate during those years placed the Government’s diplomatic relations with the new ruler of Swat in charge of my old and ever helpful friend Colonel E. H. S. James, then Political Agent for Dir, Swat, and Chitral.

Source of Information (Reference):

Sir Aurel Stein, On Alexander Track To Indus, Macmillan And Co., Limited, St. Martin’s Street, London, 1929, Pages 4-5.

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