Swat valley, Pakistan – A Paradise on Earth.
Swat is a lush green valley and it has a history. It lies between 34°-40′ to 35° N latitude and 72′ to 74°-6′ E longitude. It is a part of Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province of Pakistan (formerly known as North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan) and its specialty is that here 3 parts of Asian continents meet. These include Central Asia, South Asia and China.
A brief study of Swat history reveals that it was known as Udyana and Suvastu. These names were given to Swat because of the scenic beauty and presence of the river in the valley.
Bazira and Ora were conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC when he came here via India. After his departure the local people decided to live independently. During that time Buddhism leeched in and made Swat a Gandhara/Buddhist center of civilization. Turk Shahis included Swat in their kingdom but upon their decline in the region the valley of Swat returned to the influence of Hindu Shahis’.
Muslims occupied Swat in early years of the tenth century CE/AD and as a result many Afghan tribes who later were called Swati Pukhtuns settled here and Swat remained independent in those times.
After that a tribe known as Yusufzai conquered Swat during the first quarter of sixteenth century and dominated the planes for a long time. They did not form government in Swat and rather lived in the region in the tribal fashion. The tribe had two dalas (factions) and each segment had a separate tribal chief known as Malaks and Khans. They resisted the mighty army of King Akbar and gave them tough time and caused a lot of damage to his army.
In 1897, the Swatis rose in huge number and ousted the British from Malakand and Chakdara. Their leader was Sartor Faqir. Although not all the area was being freed from the British but the majority of left-bank valley enjoyed free and independent status till the Swat State emerged. The right-bank valley was made part of Dir State during the years 1879-1881. It is still part of the Dir State since that time. Shamizai, Sebujni and Nikpi Khel section were the three rebels who combined together to put an end to the authority of Dir State over their area and finally in March 1915 they constituted a five-member council who looked after the affairs of their area before Abdul Jabbar Shah from Sithana was decided to become King of Swat on 24th of April, 1915.
The reign of Abdul Jabbar Shah last for a little more than two years as on 2nd September 1917 conflicts rose between him and Jarga who asked him to go back. The jarga installed Miangul Abdul Wadud as their new King and he proved to be a King for the long term as he ruled till 1949 and played his role to consolidate the State of Swat. On 12th of December 1949 he abdicated in favor of Miangul Abdul Haq Jahanzeb (his son) who ruled till 1969. After that the merger of the State of Swat took place.
People of Swat and their territories observed tremendous peace and amazing development in education, health and communication during Abdul Wadud and Jahanzeb’s reign.