Amongst other reforms the Wali has abolished the Wesh or periodical redistribution of land except in the case of the rice-lands in the Swat valley, where constant changes in the stream afford some justification for the system. Formerly in the case of one at least of the Swat tribes whole villages used to change hands every few years.
Perhaps the most notable development is in the matter of roads and telephones. The Wali has fully realized the importance of both of these for tribal control. In Swat there are now about ISO miles of motor-able roads. These run along both banks of the main river as far north as Churarai, and up several of the side valleys. In Buner and Chamla too excellent roads have been constructed between the Tehsil headquarters, but these districts will not be accessible by car until the road over the Karakar Pass has been completed. Much money has already been expended on this road, but in the present financial stringency the Wali cannot find sufficient funds to complete it. In the Indus tracts the country is so mountainous that the expense of making motor-able roads would be prohibitive; the Tehsil headquarters however have all been connected by good riding paths. In addition to this the whole of the State is covered by an elaborate telephone system, so that the Wali can at any moment ring up his officials in the remotest parts of his dominions.
How great is the achievement of one man in thus carving out for himself a State amongst the wild frontier hills only those who know the nature of the tribes and the character of their country will be able to appreciate. Miangul Gul Shahzada Sir Abdul Wadood, K.B.E., Ruler of Swat, is now in his fifty-first year and is still as strong in body as he is in will. He starts his day at dawn with a constitutional, usually a 1000-foot climb, and is extremely frugal in his habits. He is a first-class shot and spends most of his spare time on shikar. He is the most genial of hosts and unsparing in his hospitality, and loves nothing better than sharing his sport with his friends. The Wali-e-Ahad is polished and capable and should in due course prove a worthy successor to his father. Let us hope that the State which Miangul Gul Shahzada has founded will continue to prosper and remain for very many years to come a haven of peace on our troubled border.
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