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Swati, Azmaray Afghan
Published in Khyber.ORG on Saturday, September 5 2009 (http://www.khyber.org)

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Azmaray Afghan

Publishing Date: Saturday, September 5 2009

Swatis are the biggest land owning group of Mansehra and Battagram districts. Every historian has gotten his on view regarding the origin of the Swatis but the Swatis relate their pedigree to Qais Abdur-Rasheed Baba.

In the times of Mohammad Ghuri they came to Swat from Shalman in Afghanistan and defeated the Hindus to establish their rule in that valley. Sir Denzil Ibbitson is of the opinion that the original Swatis were a race of Hindu origin that once ruled the whole country into the hills of Swat and Buneer. Later on the Yousafzais expelled them from those places and drove them east and west into Mansehra and Kafristan.

The copied version of Hazara Gazetteer from Dr. Sher Bahadur Khan Pani says almost the same as far as the defeat of Swatis at hands of Yousafzais is concerned however it suggests that the Swatis are Tajiks or Tajikgeeri Moghuls. It further states that since Swatis are not Afghans and it's just that they have Afghan culture, habits and language owing to their long time affinities with Afghans.

According to a Swati tradition they ruled Swat and Bajaor for four centuries before the Yousafzais invasion that drove them to Mansehra about the end of the 17th century. The Swatis came to Mansehra, under the command of Syed Jalal Baba when the Turks ruled this territory. They ousted the Turks and captured all the hills and plains. Jalal Baba divided the whole country among the lashkar except one fourth of it, which he kept for himself.

As per another tradition of Swatis they are Yousafzais and came to Mansehra from Swat to avenge the humility their nephew Syed Jala Baba had faced at the hands of Turk soldiers. Since they came from Swat, therefore, are called Swatis.

In short Swatis of Mansehra are heterogeneous group of people and include Yousafzais, Old Swatis (The rulers of Swat) and other Afghan tribes. Syed Jalal Baba was the grand son of Pir Baba of Swat who had following in all the tribes of Swat. Moreover, Pir Baba married Bibi Maryam who happened to be a sister of a local Yousafzai Khan, Malik Dolat Khan. Therefore, there are very bright chances that lashkar of Syed Jalal Baba comprised his uncles (Yousafzais) and followers (Old Swatis).

Swatis are divided into three great clans, Ghebri, Mamiali and Mitravi of which the first claim to be Tajik, the Mamiali Yousafzai, and the Mitravi claims to be of Durrani origin. But, it's very difficult to recognize and segregate the tribes of Swatis on basis of blood except for Jahangeeris (Khans of Mansehra town) who are considered to be Old Swatis of Swat by the other Swati tribes.

The Ghebri a section of upper Pakhli occupy Kaghan, Balakot, Ghari Habibullah, Mansehra, Dhodial, Shinkiari, Batagram, Thakot and Konsh while the Mamiali and Mitravi dwell in Bherkund, Agror, Takri and Deshi. While, Allai has mosaic population from all the tribes. These groups have been further divided into many subsections and Khels. Swatis are bilinguals and can speak Hindko in addition to their mother tongue Pushto. They observe the Pathan code of honor Pukhtoonwali very strictly and call it Swatiwali.


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Swati, Azmaray Afghan
Published in Khyber.ORG on Saturday, September 5 2009 (http://www.khyber.org)