A new beginning for Swat (1947)

A new beginning for Swat (1947)
This photograph shows Miangul Abdul Wadud signing the Instrument of Accession enabling Swat to join Pakistan in 1947. On the right are his son Miangul Abdul Haq Jahanzeb, his grandson Miangul Aurangzeb and the Chief Secretary of Swat, Attaullah.

Miangul Abdul Wadud was the Wali of Swat and a descendant of the Akhund of Swat. He was elected Badshah Sahib (king) of Swat by a loya jirga held at Kabal in November 1918, and was recognised by the British authorities as ruler. He ruled from 1918 to 1949, when he abdicated in favour of his eldest son, Miangul Jahan Zeb.

As late as 1931, Swat had an area of 18,000 square miles and a population of 216,000. The state was predominantly Muslim, but with a small Hindu presence. Swat’s accession to Pakistan was complicated by its occupation of Kalam shortly before 1947, which was also claimed by Chitral and Dir.

Although Pakistan refused to recognise the occupation, the Wali, hoping to garner Pakistan’s support of Swat’s claim to Kalam, was eager to accede to Pakistan. Miangul Jahanzeb, the last Wali noted that, “with the creation of Pakistan, we immediately joined the new state. We were very patriotic… I talked to the political agent Nawab Shaikh Mehboob Ali over the telephone and told him we were going to sign the Instrument of Accession.”

The Wali executed the Instrument of Accession on November 24, 1947.