Though Swat State became a model of peace, tranquility and progress in a tribal society, the rulers were autocrats. The vices of autocracy were present to the larger extent from the very outset. Peter Mayne may be justified for his remarks that "in fact Swat State is an example of how very benevolent an autocracy can be. However, he himself admits that the Wali was "... a complete autocrat and could, if he wished, cut off a subject's head without a by-your-leave, or even a second thought".
Miangul Jahanzeb became the Wali (Ruler) of Swat on December 12, 1949 with the abdication of his father, Abdul Wadud, in his favour. He carried on the developmental works and schemes. Priority was given to roads, schools and hospitals. Great success was made. Free education and health services were provided. However he changed some of the policies of his father. He started persecution and alienation of the old supporters and allies of his father and brought new elements from various quarters to the fore. The old loyal supporters were made aggrieved and dissatisfied.
Some modern educated people were not happy with the autocracy and mode of ruling. They wanted rights, freedom and reforms. The first to ask for reforms was Sirajuddin Khan. He presented his proposed reforms to Miangul Jahanzeb, in his office two days prior to his becoming the Wali of Swat in December 1949. There were thirteen/fourteen points. Inter alia it was stated that the Princely States are blots on the country after the emergence of Pakistan. However, the blot can be removed either by introducing democracy or by the enforcement of Islamic System in the Swat State. Democracy would not work because the masses were illiterate, so Islamic system will be better for the ruler and the masses as well. The proposed reforms were not honoured. Next was the attempt of the Khans against the Wali in 1950. These were the men who had made Abdul Wadud the ruler of Swat. However, to safeguard his power and position he either won or suppressed and subdued or removed from the scene the powerful of them and brought some new elements to the fore. It aggravated a section of them. The policy of "divide and rule" was felt and resented by most of the Khans. So the leading Khans from both sides, who were not happy with the policy and arrogance of the new ruler, held secret meetings at various places and pledged to undo the Wali and bring a change in the policy and mode of ruling in Swat. The plot was disclosed. Consequently some of the Khans left Swat in 1951 and became exiled. While other did not. Most of those who did not left Swat remained due to their dallas (factions) stratagem. Though all of them wanted to leave Swat some remained behind, because their respective dallas asked them secretly to do so in order to provide financial support, in case of distress to those who had left. It was also to maintain their dallas position among the masses and to safeguard their dallas interest in the State circles.
Affair of the Khans created troubles and unrest for the Wali. Sirajuddin Khan wrote a letter to Liaqat Ali Khan (Prime Minister of Pakistan) wherein it was stated that India had merged all the States. The people of Swat had great expectations of merger, but they were astonished that instead of merging the State the Prime Minister once more kept the turban on the Wali's head. It was required of the Wali to honour his benevolence and had to give relief to the people while he had compelled his subjects to leave their homes.
The Sirajuddin Khan's letter got published in a daily from Lahore. Letters writing were continued to dailies. Consequently the Wali, who was very allergic to such type of letters and statements, approached the Khans by various means and persons. At last the Khans returned by 1953. The Wali admits that "It was a fairly big and powerful group - not so much in the amount of land and villages that they controlled personally, as in the influence they wielded".
The Khans failed to achieve their objectives at the time but their motives did not subside. On the other hand the affairs and the developments compelled the Pakistani Government to do something. So in 1953 the Government asked the Wali to "sign some sort of constitution". Thus he signed the "Supplementary Instrument of Accession" on 12th February 1954. Wherein, inter alia, the Wali was made bound to constitute a State Council with 15 elected members and 10 members nominated by him. However, he was President of the Council, Chief Minister and Ruler. The Council had no real power. The members were collected twice a year but they did nothing. They would just praise the Wali and tell him he was doing well. The Pakistani Government did not interfere in the internal affairs.
As has already been stated a section of the modern educated people was not content with the autocracy about which the Soviet news agency APN latter opined "... that no single human being has wielded more power in the 20th century than the ex-ruler of Swat". And that he .had control even over the people's private lives to the extent that no State official could grow a beard or moustache without his permission".
The movers were educated and in services of the Wali. Their main concerns or objectives were to undo the autocracy, to press the Wali for reforms and to introduce rules, regulations and democratic form of government and to safeguard honour, prestige and rights of the people. The movement was extended to all parts and villages of the State with great success and people from all walks of life became its members. Though the Khans failed at that time, their motives did not subside. So the movement also won them gradually.