5 Rules and Regulations:

Being aware of the intricacy of the situation, Miangul Abdul Wadud adopted a unique strategy. He did not frame a constitution and uniform laws of his own, but asked the local jargas to frame rules and regulations for their respective areas. These rules were strictly enforced and people would abide by them. The rules thus framed were called Dasturul Amal (Code of Conduct). The codes of Conduct thus framed by the jargas for their respective localities of the Swat State were not uniform.

Side by side, the Ruler issued orders and implemented his commandments at his own will. These orders were sometimes contrary to the existing Codes of Conduct, but the jargas had been asked to pass and make these orders their Codes of Conduct in future. The Ruler issued and conveyed his orders and commandments, during Miangul Abdul Wadud’s reign, mostly telephonically. Miangul Jahanzeb too issued and conveyed his orders telephonically to the administrative personnel but his decrees meant for the common people were issued also in written form.

The rules and regulations framed by the jargas and decrees issued by the Rulers have been implemented but fear and favour, and discretion and discrimination have been observed though not frequently.


Miangul Abdul Wadud and Miangul Jahanzeb were not the originators of the administrative system of Swat State. They, however, raised the super structure upon the foundation laid by Abdul Jabbar Shah. They made developments and modifications therein and transformed the raw structure into a somewhat organized one.

In the administrative apparatus, all the appointments, promotions, and dismissals rested with the rulers. There was complete autocracy and absolutism during Abdul Wadud and Jahanzeb’s entire reign. Both of them, however were energetic and hard working, and, on the whole, ruled firmly and benevolently. They personally supervised all the affairs of the State and administration keenly and minutely, and held daily courts save the holidays. They kept themselves informed of all the matters and cases, great or small. People, influential and ordinary, had an access to them in the office, but in a visible discriminative way, especially in Jahanzeb’s case.

The administrative hierarchy, from top to bottom, on the whole, worked quickly and effectively and so stands unique, at least among the Princely States. Direct appointments on the posts of Tahsildars, Hakims, Mashirs, Wazirs and the similar other officials had not been made during Jahanzeb’s reign. On the whole, they were promoted from the clerks of the Ruler’s secretariat stage wise, but in some cases the promotions had been given rapidly.

The technique adopted by Abdul Wadud to honour the local tribal traditions and aspirations, to a greater extent, in the formulation of rules, regulations and administrative machinery, worked well successfully. The contemporary British reports had endorsed the success and effectiveness of the rules and penal codes introduced and implemented in Swat State.

The collective local responsibility of either surrending the culprits or to pay the fine imposed in case the culprits and offenders were not known or not pointed out by the people of the concerned place, was an effective measure and tool for tracing the culprits and offenders and also for minimizing the offences, thefts and other unwanted acts of such natures. It should be noted that in the early years of Abdul Wadud’s rule, the thieves were to be shot dead on the spot or where ever they were to be found.

Like civil administration, the military organization of the State exhibited its own features. The financial system too had its own unique features under Abdul Wadud and Jahanzeb. The Ruler was the State’s exchequer. No officer, even the Wazir-e-Mal or Mashir-e-Mal, was entitled to draw a single rupee from the State treasury, except with the approval and signature of the Ruler. There was no limitation on the Ruler in disbursement from the State exchequer and there was no audit of him. In a sense the State and private revenue and income of the Ruler, especially during Abdul Wadud’s reign, was considered one and the same and so had been used in the same manner. Taxation was heavy, which was no doubt based on taxing the fruits of the private activities.

The judicial system of Swat State was not Islamic in its essence as is commonly believed. It was a synthesis of the traditional codes, Islamic norms compatible with the traditional codes, and the commands, orders and words of the Ruler.The Ruler had the final authority and supremacy and the traditional codes held secondary status. Islamic law was subservient to both of them. The Ruler was neither bound to the Codes of conduct nor Shariat. The system, however, was an effective one. The trials were quick and cheap, and the judgements properly implemented. The cases were usually decided on first hearing or at the latest on the second.

Fredrik Barth nicely observes that the overall administrative system of the Swat State:

Represented a new and emergent structure, that its organization was not simply copied and introduced from elsewhere . . . . Here, it is sufficient to point to the absence of any neighbouring states with a similar organization. Certainly, most or perhaps all of the elements can be found represented in various organizations in the larger region: the bodyguard pattern shared with Dir, the tax auctioning known from Moghul India, the Tahsil divisions and officers of British India, the Islamic institution of Ushur [ushar], etc. Abdul Jabbar Shah’s procedure for the swift creation of a popular Army may have been innovative-at least it was unknown to the Badshah . . . but it may well have been an introduction from Amb. But the essential structure of Swat State, which assured its survival, did not emulate the pattern of any other state: not the pluralistic and coercive Knanate of Dir . . . the intricate centralized feudalism of Chitral . . . the ritual absolution of Hunza . . . or the colonial bureaucracy of British India.

Dr. Sultan-I-Rome, Administrative system of the Princely State of Swat. Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, (Lahore) vol., XXXXIII. December 2006 No. 2