Swat History

The Yusufzai State of Swat’ By Major. W. R. Hay (Part 6)

Having dealt with the west and the north the Miangul now turned his attention to the south. Across the mountains which bound the Swat valley in this direction lies Buner, a wide open tract of country drained by the Barandu river. At this time Buner was more or less controlled by a party of Khans with their headquarters at Daggar. As elsewhere in Yusufzai country there were two factions, and sometimes one set of Khans was in power and sometimes another. Early in 1922, while he was still fighting with the Nawab of Dir in Adinzai, the Miangul had been seriously threatened by a tribal force from Buner under the ex-King of Swat, Abdul Jabar Shah. In April 1923 therefore he dispatched his Wazir with a large force and occupied the whole of Buner and the Chamla valley beyond it without a single shot being fired. The method pursued by the Miangul when he had made up his mind to occupy new territory was to make friends with one of the local factions. He would then enter the country in support of that faction, and having half the country already on his side, his forces were usually sufficient completely to overcome the opposite faction. In this case however the Miangul was not left in undisputed possession of his newly acquired territory. The Nawab of Amb, a small State on the Indus, was determined to curb the Miangul’s rapidly growing power and sent a force into Chamla. Some quite severe fighting ensued, but one night the Nawab of Amb’s forces suddenly melted away without having suffered any serious reverse. The next year the Miangul advanced still farther and occupied the tracts known as Khudu Khel and Sori Amazai, and began to interfere in Gadun country. Meanwhile the Nawab of Amb had asked Government to intervene, and as it was considered undesirable that fighting should continue between the two rulers, a neutral zone was fixed which included Gadun and Isazai country, and they were both forbidden to interfere in it. By the conquest of Buner, Chamla, and Khudu Khel the Miangul had extended his dominions on the south right up to the border of British administered territory, while to the south-east his further advance was prevented by the neutral zone described above.

North of the eastern portion of Buner and east of the Swat valley lies a stretch of extremely mountainous country intersected by deep ravines running down to the Indus. Most of this is occupied by Akozai tribes who have their headquarters on the left bank of the Swat river. With the occupation of Buner a small portion of this country, called Makhozai, also passed under the Wali’s rule and he constructed a fort at a place called Choga. Here he was almost immediately attacked by the tribesmen of the adjoining tracts. He proceeded to beat off the attack, and before the end of the year had occupied the whole of the country down to the Indus, which he was forbidden by Government to cross.

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