Situated in the North-West Frontier Province of British India and later Pakistan, Swat State has the distinction of not being imposed by an imperial power or an individual but was founded in 1915 by a jarga of a section of the right bank Swat Valley after doing away with the rule of the Nawab of Dir over their areas. The youngest of the rule of the Princely States of India and dependent upon British Indian Government and later Pakistan for currency, post and telegraph, foreign affairs and later on electricity as well Swat State was internally independent. It had its own laws, its own justice, army, police and administration, budget and taxes, and also its own flag with an emblem of a fort in golden green background.
Swat State was probably the only governmental machine in the contemporary world, which was run without superfluity of paper work, opined by Martin Moore. Abdul Jabar Shah was the Originator of the administrative system of the State, the first ruler of the State (1915-1917). This system was modified, developed and refined by his successors at the seat of the State, Miangul Abdul Wadud 1917- 1949 and Miangul Jahanzeb who ruled swat from1949- till the merger of the State in 1969.
The State being founded by the jarga of a portion of Swat, the jarga had the power to install and depose the Ruler, which it practically exercised in the installation and removal of Abdul Jabbar Shah and also in the installation of Miangul Abdul Wadud. Abdul Wadud, however, gradually made himself complete autocrat and also made the office hereditary. And the rule of primogeniture was followed in succession to the seat.
The administrative hierarchy comprised the Ruler on the top and Tahsildar at the bottom. Wali was the official title of the Ruler who was the supreme head of the State, possessing all powers, and the virtual head of all the departments. The Pakistani Government got signed the Government of Swat (Interim Constitution) Act, 1954, by the then Ruler of the State under which the Ruler became bound to constitute an advisory Council, with fifteen elected members and ten members nominated by him. However, no Chief Minister was imposed upon him, who would hold all the powers, as was in the case of the other Princely State; and the Ruler, according to himself, was President of the Council, Chief Minister, and Ruler. After the constitution of the Advisory Council too, in actual practice, the Ruler’s will was the law.
Being transformed into an over centralised State and complete autocracy, the Rulers maintained the centralised political pattern without having to vest absolute local power in any single hierarchy of officers, and by requiring frequent consultations by telephone, they systematically balanced the persons in authority in any one area against each other. The Ruler’s own position, however, was such that his authority was neither balanced nor otherwise curtailed by any other formally constituted body.
During Abdul Wadud’s reign, at first there was no such arrangement. Then there was a Secretary, who was responsible for the correspondences with the British Government. He also performed other functions asked for by the Ruler. Later on, however, the Ruler had a Chief Secretary and a Private Secretary in the Secretariat at the Capital. The former maintained correspondence with the British Government and later with the Government of Pakistan. He had also to perform such other duties assigned by the Ruler. The Private Secretary maintained correspondence of the private nature of the Ruler and also performed other functions asked for by the Ruler.
Later posts of Deputy Secretary and Assistant Secretary cum Information Officer were also created. They were to assist the Private Secretary in his duties relating to a number of departments. Besides, a posts of Assistant Secretary was created in the office of the Chief Secretary to assist him in his duties; and there was also a head of the Judicial Department in the Secretariat, at first called Hakim Ala, then Hakim Ala Daftar-e-Hizur, and later Mashir.
Being converted into a monarchy, the Ruler had a Wali Ahad (heir apparent). The heir apparent performed duties of the Ruler in his absence. His status was next to the Ruler within the State. In order to provide the heir apparent with some administrative work and experience, he was entrusted with some responsibilities. He had no authority to discharge or dismiss an official in presence of the Ruler, but had the power on assuming the duties of the Ruler in his absence. He, however, was not authorized to make appointment of any personnel.
At first the highest administrative official at the centre were the Wazir and Siph Salar (Commander-in Chief). In 1940 the post of Wazir-e-Azam (Prime Minister) was created but was abrogated shortly in 1943, and new posts and designations were created. These were the posts of Wazir-e-Mulk (Minister of State), Wazir-e-Mal (Revenue Minister) and Sipah Salar (Commander-in Chief). These officials assisted the Ruler in the administration of the State. They were in charge of their respective departments and were also assigned with duties of the supervision of various sub-divisions, i.e. Tahsils of the State, and so were in charge of their respective administrative areas for speedy and good administrative purposes.