By virtue of the multiple types of political ties that exist in the area, no maximal political unit can be defined; lineages are associated in villages, several villages meet at times in supreme councils, and political alliances extend across ethnic frontiers. Thus conflicts between persons, however distant, are regarded as properly subject to the ordered functioning of law and armed conflict only arises where large groups are involved, mainly in territorial disputes, or through internal struggles for power – in other words, when the political ties break down. Such conflicts are now prevented from arising by the action of the government of Swat State. The procedure adopted for the solution of individual conflicts varies with the nature of the conflict. Thus, personal revenge is regarded as a person’s right in some situations, while compensation is called for in others. For minor conflicts within the local community, the senior men of a lineage may serve as arbitrators, or the case is brought before the appropriate council. In the case of conflicts between persons territorially removed, Mians or other persons of saintly repute frequently serve as arbitrators. Public pressure is very strong to accept the nomination of such arbitrators, and their verdict. Where concerted punitive action is called for, groups of religious students (taliban) have proved more readily responsive than the larger community of villagers under the direction of the council. Finally, it should be pointed out that the functioning of these institutions is now rather randomly modified by the action of the State administration of Swat; however, local customary law is officially recognized and followed by its courts in this area.
Reference (Source of Information):
Fredrik Barth, Indus and Swat Kohistan, An Anthropological Survey, STUDIES, HONOURING THE CENTENNIAL OF UNIVERSITETETS, ETNOGRAFISKE MUSEUM, OLSO, 1857-1957, VOLUME II, 43-44