Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Swat

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Introduction

Swat district is located at 34° 09Ꞌ to 35° 56Ꞌ north latitudes and 72° 07Ꞌ to 73° 0Ꞌ east longitudes. The district is bounded by Chitral and Ghizer (Northern Areas) districts in the north, Kohistan and Shangla districts in the east, Buner and Malakand districts in the south, and the districts of Upper and Lower Dir in the west.

Figure 1.3 Gabral Valley, Swat

District at a Glance

Name of District Swat District
District Headquarter Saidu Sharif Town
Population[1] 2,309,570 persons
Area[2] 5,337 km2
Population Density[3] 430.4 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 3.2%
Male Population[5] 50.8%
Female Population[6] 49.2%
Urban Population[7] 30.1%
Tehsils/Talukas 02 Tehsils:

1.    Matta Tehsil

2.    Swat Tehsil

Main Towns/ Important Places Saidu Sharif, Malam Jabba, Madyan, Bahrain, Miandam, Kalam, Utror, Ghabral, Mataltan, Mahudan, Fatehpur, Khwazakhela, Matta, Charbagh, Mingora, and Barikot
Literacy Rate[8] 48.0%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 63.0%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 31.0%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing 50.1%

 

Community, Social & Personal Services 13.8%
Wholesale/Retail, Hotel/Restaurant 11.9%
Construction 10.8%
Transport, Storage & Communication 6.2%
Manufacturing 5.0%
Others 2.3%
Main Crops Wheat, barley, rapeseed & mustard, maize, rice, maash, masoor, moong, sugarcane, tobacco, sugarbeet, walnuts, soya bean, sunflower
Major Fruits Melons, watermelons, citrus, ber, fig, apples, grapes, pears, loquat, apricots, prunes, mulberry, almonds, and pistachios
Major Vegetables Peas, tomatoes, potatoes, turnip, okra, pumpkin, radish, carrots, chilies, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, onion, coriander, mint, various types of green beans, common mallow (Samchal), and bracken (Kwanjai)
Forests (Area)[12] 138,282 HA[13]
Metalled Road[14] 576.2 km
Shingle Roads[15] 398.2 km
No. of Grid Stations Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) looks after supply of electricity in the District
No. of Tel. Exchanges[16] 35 Telephone exchanges with 23,591 connections
Industrial Zones[17] 2 Small Industry Estates/ Training Centers: the Patti Training Center, and Woolen Spinning Center, Batkhela. The Woolen Spinning Center is now closed.

There are 157 registered and running industrial units in the district.

Major Industry[18] Marble & Chips 22 Units
Cosmetics 15 Units
Plastic & Rubber

Silk

26 Units

41 Units

Household Size[19] 8.8 persons per house
Houses (Piped Water Inside)[20] 24.5%
Houses with Electricity[21] 67.8%

Table 1.1 Swat District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census uses spatial data

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey 2014-15 (PSLM); latest available

[9] PSLM

[10] PSLM

[11] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[12] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[13] Forestry Statistics reports 165,755.6 HA

[14] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[15] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] KP Development Statistics 2018-19; for a detailed list of industrial units, please refer to the section on Industry and Manufacturing

[19] 1998 Census; 2017 census data has not been made public yet.

[20] 1998 Census; 2017 census data has not been made public yet.

[21] 1998 Census; 2017 census data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHistorical/Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions

Brief History

Swat was one of the Princely States of India that acceded to Pakistan in 1947. The location of the district is such that it was a stopping and resting place for almost all invaders coming into India, including Alexander the Great in 326 BC. These invaders left their mark on Swat’s history and socio-economic profile.

During the Buddhist period, Swat was called Udeyan or Ujiana which means garden or park. Some historians are of the opinion that from the very beginning the valley was known as Sawad which means black; this might be because of the dark soil of the area, which is extremely fertile. Over time, this name became Swat. The most plausible theory is that the area was named after tribes who went by the name of Swati.[1] This tribe came to the Swat area with Sultan Shahab-ud-din Ghori from Shalman in Afghanistan, and defeated the Hindus to establish their rule in that valley.

According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India:

The first historical mention of these countries [Dir, Swat, Bajaur and Utman Khel] is made by Arrain[2] who records that in 326 BC Alexander the Great led his army through Kunar, Bajaur, Swat and Buner; but his successor, Seleucus, twenty years later made over these territories to Chandragupta Maurya. The inhabitants in those days were of Indian origin, Buddhism being the prevailing religion; and they remained thus almost undisturbed under their own kings until the fifteenth century. They were the ancestors of non-Pathan tribes e.g. Gujars, Torwals, Garhwis etc. (v.23, p. 183)

Swat Valley was part[3] of the Gandhara civilization. During the Mauryan rule, hundreds of monasteries and stupas were erected in the region. The last Buddhist ruler of Swat was Raja Gira, whose reign lasted till 1100 AD when he was defeated by Mahmud of Ghazni.

During the rule of Emperor Ashoka Maurya, Buddhism was the State religion. Ashoka promoted Buddism to the extent of sending missionaries to China. As a result, a number of Chinese travelers visited Swat, among whom were Fahien (403 AD), Sung Yun in 519 AD and Hiuen Tsang in 360 AD. Hiuen Tsang found that Buddhism was declining in this part. The impact of the Chinese over the culture of Swat is quite clear. For example, most of the villages in Swat, Shangla, and Buner are named in Chinese style: Shing, Patan, Martung, Chinkoi, and Chinkali.

Swat was annexed to the Turki Shahi of Kabul, in 745 AD; the Hindu Shahis established their rule after the downfall of the Turki Shahi. Evidence of Swat being part of Hindu Shahi has been discovered through the inscriptions found on a hill to the north of Bari Kot.

Islam started spreading in the area after the defeat of the last Buddist king, Raja Gira, by Mahmud Ghaznavi. There were 2 tribes—Swatis and Dalazaks—in the army of Sultan Mahmud. After the occupation of Swat, these tribes settled in Swat. The Dalazaks later moved from Swat, and settled in the Mardan and Peshawar areas.

After the occupation of the valley by Muslims, various Pashtun/Afghan tribes started settling in the region, and came to be known as Swati Pukhtuns. They established their rule, and remained practically independent, and out of the sphere of the rulers of India and Afghanistan.

The Yousafzai Pathans took over the valley of Swat from Sultan Owais who was the Swati Pakhtun ruler of Swat, in the 16th century. The Yousafzais extended their occupation to Ghwarband, Puran, Chakesar, and Kanra. Swat remained independent of the Mughal Rule in India, and also during the reign of the Durranis and the Sikhs. The Yousafzais lived a nomadic life and hence did not have any form of organized government. Without a formalized governmental structure, religious leaders (pirs or moulvis) were invested with powers usually given to rulers or kings. The most prominent of these religious leaders was Abdul Ghaffur alias Saidu Baba, who earned the epithet of Akhund of Swat because of his piety. He was born in 1794. Later, he started taking part in the war/battles with the British and Sikhs. In 1835, he fought against the Sikhs at the request of the Amir of Kabul, Dost Mohammad Khan. He took part against the British in their Ambela expedition of 1863[4] as well. The British defeated the Yousafzais, and the Akhund had to flee to Buner. Later, his preaching and general reforms led to the establishment of the first government in Swat which in itself was a landmark event. In 1849 he convened a Jirga (tribal council) of the representatives of Swat, Buner, Dir, and Bajaur at Saidu Sharif in which he urged the participants to choose their own Amir in order to be able to oppose the British, who had already occupied the Peshawar Valley. Akhund Baba nominated Syed Akber Shah of Sithana as their Chief. Syed Akber Shah was, thus, the first Amir of Swat with Ghaligai as the capital of the newly-formed State. After the death of Syed Akber Shah in 1857 the State of Swat also ended. Syed Akber Shah was known as a brave leader, and even Sir Hubert Edward (Major General of the British army) is known to have said that if the ruler of the militant Swatis (referring to Akber Shah) had been alive, the ultimate result of the 1857 War of Independence would have been of a more permanent nature.

After the death of Syed Akber Shah in 1857, an organized government could not be established and Swat Valley remained a center of intrigues and factional feuds mainly because of the ambitions of the Khan of Dir, Miangul Abdul Hanan (eldest son of Akhund Baba), Sher Dil Khan of Alladand, and Umara Khan of Jandol.

In 1897 Miangul Wadood, the grandson of the Akhund of Swat, won over some of the influential political leaders, and the Chief Commissioner of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and was declared the Bacha or the Wali/ ruler of Swat in 1917. The Swat State was declared a Princely State by the British in 1926.

During his rule (1917-1949), Miangul Abdul Wadood initiated developmental works like the construction of roads, schools, and hospitals. He ensured peace and order, provision of justice to a greater number of people, and initiated policies that aimed at bringing drastic changes in the social organization of the Swat State area. He, however, retained the feudal structure of society, in which the land-owning class was held in high esteem, and in which the Khans, Malaks, and the influential Stanadars—meaning the traditional leadership, both temporal and religious—were the dominant political force and privileged group.

In 1947, at the time of the Partition of India, the Wali of Swat, Miangul Abdul Wadood, acceded to Pakistan. He had formally proclaimed his eldest son Miangul Jahanzeb as heir apparent (waliahad) earlier, in May 1923, and had consequently involved him in governmental affairs of the State. Miangul Jehanzeb became the Wali of Swat on 12th December 1949. He tried to breakaway from the feudal system, which was opposed by the feudal lords who, in turn, tried to depose him from the throne but failed. The Wali then initiated reforms in the education system which resulted in the formation of an educated middle class. In recognition of his services for the development of Swat and his people, the Wali of Swat was decorated with medals by the Government of Pakistan. He was awarded the Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam in 1959 and Hilal-i-Pakistan in 1961. In 1962, the government of Italy gave him the “Grand Official of the Order of Merit” Medal.

On July 28, 1969, the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan declared the merger of all the Frontier states, including Swat, into Pakistan. The Wali of Swat, Jehanzeb, was dethroned, and Swat was given the status of an administrative district and added to Malakand Division.

The merger of Swat State into Pakistan in 1969 created serious constitutional and judicial crises that further widened gaps between the land-holding and land-less classes (the two main social groups formalized by the Swat State in 1917). This played the role of catalyst in shifting authority from the traditional leadership to the religious class, which ultimately led to the Talibanization of the district in 2007. The Taliban are religiously intolerant; they bombed and demolished schools in the district, especially the girls’ schools.

Malala Yousafzai, born in Mingora, Swat, on 12 July 1997, began to write a personal blog under a pseudonym for the BBC in 2009, detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. She was taken to Birmingham for treatment, and recovered. She received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, and was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, which she won, becoming the youngest person to ever receive the award.

During the War on Terror (launched by the USA after terrorists attacked New Yprk’s World Trade Center in Sept 2001), the Pakistan Military fought two battles for the control of Swat district. The first battle was called “Operation Rah-e-Haq”; this began in October 25, 2007 and was fought between the Pakistani Army and Taliban-led forces. From October 25, 2007, to November 7, 2007, the militants/Talibans seized control of Swat region. On November 15, 2007, a Pakistani offensive commenced, and the Pakistan Army wrested control of nearly all of Swat district. Despite the victory by the Pakistani army, Taliban militants slowly re-entered Swat and fought battles that lasted throughout 2008. By early February 2009, the Taliban had managed to regain 80% of Swat district. On February 16, 2009 the Pakistani government announced that it would allow Sharia law (one of the demands of the Taliban) in Swat, but under the Government of Pakistan’s supervision, in return for which concession, the Taliban offered peace. However, by end April 2009, Pakistani troops and the Taliban engaged in clashes again, and in May 2009, another operation, this time called “Operation Rah-e-Raast” was launched by the Pakistan Army. This operation ended with the takeover of entirety of Swat district and other areas under attack by the Taliban, by the Pakistan Army/Government. Over 2.2 million people (a UN estimate) were displaced during the two operations. These refugees later returned home, and since then, peace has been established in the district.

Last ruler of Swat: Jahanzeb, a visionary who educated and loved his people

Figure 1.4 Miangul Jehanzeb, The last Wali of Swat

Malala Yousafzai - Wikipedia

Figure 1.5 Malala Yousafzai

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Swat district is allocated a set number of representatives in both the National Assembly and the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 2
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 10

Under the Local Government Act District Swat has 1 District Council constituted by general seats, seats reserved for women, peasants/workers, youth, and non-Muslims as prescribed under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act 2013. Swat District Council is composed of 67 general members, 22 women members, 4 peasants/worker members, 4 minority members, and 4 youth members.

Administrative Divisions

Swat district has a total area of 5,337 km2 and is divided into 2 tehsils as follows:

Matta Tehsil 13 Union Councils
Swat Tehsil 52 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Swat Administrative Divisions

[1] Swat State During 1849-1969: A Historical Perspective by Fakhr-ul-Islam.

[2]Arrain of Nicomedia was a Roman (ethnic Greek) historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the 2nd century Roman period. He is the author of the complete history of the campaigns of Alexander the Great.

[3] The following historical account of Swat has been extracted from Swat State; During 1849-1969: A Historical Perspective by Fakhr-ul-Islam and Forestry in the Princely State of Swat and Kalam (North-West Pakistan): A Historical Perspective on Norms and Practices by Sultan-i-Rome, Ph.D. 2005

[4] See Chapter on Malakand for further details

Historical/Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions

The following historical sites are being protected and preserved under Government of Pakistan Rules/ Laws:[1]

  • Barama Site, Mingora
  • Udegram Castle, Udegram, Swat
  • Butkara I, Mingora, Swat
  • Panr Site, Panr Swat
  • Leobnr Stupa, Leobnr, Swat
  • Saidu Stupa, Saidu Sharif, Swat
  • Dangram Stupa, Dangram, Swat
  • Gogdara Rock Carvings, Gogdara, Swat
  • Manglawar Stupa, Manglawar, Swat
  • Shinashah Stupa, Batura, Swat
  • Gullaki Dheri, Kukarai, Swat
  • Aligrama Site, Aligrama, Swat
  • Najigram Site, Najigram, Swat
  • Nawagai (Gumbatuna), Nawagai, Swat
  • Amlukdera Stupa, Amlukdera Serai, Swat
  • Shingardara Stupa, Amlukdera Serai, Swat
  • Nimogram Site, Village Numkot, Swat
  • Barikot Ghundai, Ancient Bazira, Barikot, Swat
  • Ghalegay Cave, Barikot, Swat
  • Butkara III, Gulkada, Babozai, Swat

The Swat Valley holds many places of interest for tourists. There is a museum housing Buddhist period relics as well as other relics. The district has been nicknamed the Switzerland of Pakistan. Some of the more frequented tourist spots of the district are:

  • Bahrain and Madyan: both towns are famous for their scenic beauty, and the surrounding areas are ideal for hiking. The mosque at Bahrain is worth seeing. Other nearby places include Bashigram Lake, Daral Valley, Mankiyal, and Utror Valley. The bazaars of these towns are full of stalls selling Swati handicrafts and antiques
  • Murghazar: famous for the Sufed Mahal or White Palace of the Wali-e-Swat
  • Miandum: a small summer resort, it is a good place for hikers. Paths follow the streams, past houses with beehives set into the walls and good-luck charms whitewashed around the doors. In the graveyards are carved wooden grave posts with floral designs, like those used by Buddhists 1,000 years ago
  • Kalam: located about 2,000 m above mean sea level. It is one of the most scenic and beautiful places in Swat
  • Malam Jabba: home to the largest ski resort in Pakistan
  • Matelton: a lush green plain with Mahodand Lake located 5 km from Matelton
  • Udegram: an historic town also known as Ora. It is believed that Alexander the Great fought a battle here in 327 BC. Mahmud Ghaznavi also fought a battle against the Hindu Shahi rulers, and built a mosque. The shrine of Pir Khushal Baba is also located here
  • Lakes worth visiting include Pari or Khapiro Lake, Kundol Lake, Bashigram Lake, Spin Khwar (white stream) Lake, and Daral Lake

Shingardara Stupa Swat : Photos, Diagrams & Topos : SummitPost

Figure 1.14 Shinshah Stupa, Swat

Figure 1.15 Statue of Buddha at Swat Museum

Mahodand Lake - Wikipedia

Figure 1.16 Mahodand Lake

Figure 1.17 Snow Capped Mountains of Swat Valley

Figure 1.18 Sufed Mahal, Murghazar

Figure 1.19 Stone Art, Swat Valley

Figure 1.20 A Rock Carving, Swat

kalam-swat-valley-1

Figure 1.21 Kalam, Swat

Figure 1.22 Mountain Inn, Malam Jabba

[1] Guidelines for Critical and Sensitive Areas Pakistan, Government of Pakistan 1997

Topography

Topographically, Swat is a mountainous area, and can be divided into 2 tracts: Swat Kohistan and Swat Proper.

Swat Kohistan

Swat Kohistan is the mountainous country on the upper reaches of Swat River as far as Ain (a village just beyond Madyan) in the south.

The mountains of Swat district are an off-shoot of Hindu Kush, the crests of which are hidden by everlasting snow. These gigantic ranges run irregularly; some run to the west while others to the east, but the general direction is north to south. These ranges enclose small but very enchanting valleys.

The chief eastern range of Swat Kohistan is the Mankial Range. This range is a spur of the Hindu Kush range of mountains and rises to a height of 5,726 m. It separates Swat Kohistan from the plain of Swat Proper. The eastern ranges form a barrier between Gilgit and Swat, as well as between Chitral and Swat. The southern extension of Mankial Range reaches Swat Proper, where they join the Shangla Ranges. The Shangla Range separates Swat Proper from Shangla district.

Other eastern ranges in the district include Karora Range, Dwasaray Range, and Elum Range (which forms a wall between Swat and Buner), and joins Malakand Range.

The western ranges of the district start from the mountains and hills of Gabral, Swat Kohistan. These ranges join the hills of Kundal (Utror Valley). In Utror Valley, these ranges meet Daral Ranges which form a border with Dir district. They run westward and are named according to the locality, for example, Lalko Range, Manrai, and Chaprai. They join the hills of Adenzee and Shamozee. Manrai Ranges include some off-shoots that extend southward.

In the north of Mankial Ranges, Falak Sar is located, which is well-known, with its highest peak at a height of 5,917 m above sea level in Swat district. Chokail (6,456 m) is another high peak in the same range, and lies to the south of Falak Sar.

Swat Proper

Swat Proper or the Swat Plains are further subdivided into 2 parts: the Bar (upper) and Kuz (lower) Swat. The Bar Swat extends from Ain to Landakay (or Landakai, located just on the border with Buner). The Kuz Swat extends from Landakay to Kalangai (which is the end point of Swat Valley).

Passes and Valleys

Shangla Pass connects Malakand district with Swat district. The Malakand Pass connects Swat Valley with Mardan district.

The many valleys of the district include the Utror Valley, Usho Valley, and Gabral Valley.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

The River Swat rises in the Shandur or Mashabar Range, making a border between Swat and Chitral districts in the north, and then flows south and southwest, dividing the district approximately into 2 parts. A large number of rivers, streams and nullahs originate from the mountains, and after draining the valley, join River Swat. Some important rivers, streams, and nullahs are the Harnoi River, Deolai Khwar, Bashigram, Gabral, Utror River, Ushu River, Anakar River, Ladu River, and Daral Khwar. Some intermittent streams of the district are Lakhar Khwar, Bargin Khwar, and Shinr Khwar.

There are important and beautiful lakes or dhands in the mountains of the district. The important one is Mahodand Lake in the Usho Valley. The Bashigram Dhand is the source of Bashigram River. The Kundal Dhand, Khaperai Dhand (Fairy Dhand), Speen Khwar Dhand, Daral Dhand, Kandol Dhand, and Izmis lake (Utror Valley) are other important lakes of the district.

File:Bahrain, Swat valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Figure 1.6 River Swat, Bahrain Valley Swat

Figure 1.7 Bashigram Lake, Madyan Swat

Figure 1.8 Spin Khwar Lake, Swat

Forests

The following table shows the area and type of forests in Swat district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Forest Area 409,951 A Resumed Land – A
Reserved Forests – A Communal Forests – A
Protected Forests 338,544 A Guzara Forests – A
Un-classed Forests[1] – A Private Plantation 70,703 A
Miscellaneous 344 A Linear Plantation – km

Table 1.3 Swat Forests

Most of the trees in the forests are Sub Tropical Scrub Forests. The flora of the forests beyond the height of 4,500 ft (1,371.6 m) consist of pines (Pinus spp.), deodar (Cedrus deodara), dewdar (variety of deodar), and byar or ber or jujube (Zizyphus spp.). Most of the lowland of Swat Mountains consists of broad leaved trees such as poplar (Populu spp.), bakain or banyan (Ficus benghalensis), and willow (Salix spp.).

The protected forests of the district include Gurnai Reserved Forest, Torwali Reserved Forest, Mushkun Reserved Forest, Chodgram Reserved Forest, and Mankial Reserved Forest. Sewagalai Game Reserve is a government-owned and protected forest. The community‑owned and protected game reserves of the district include Tang Banr, Dab Manpithai, Alam Ganj, Amluk Banr, Sigram, and Deran Pattay.

Climate

Swat falls in the Temperate Zone in the northern mountainous ranges; the weather here is affected by all the climatic factors including latitude, altitude, and rain bearing winds (cyclones and Monsoon winds). In the summer, Swat comes under the influence of the Monsoon, while in the winter, it is affected by the Cyclonic Current from the Mediterranean Sea.

The height of Swat varies from 2,500 ft to 7,500 ft (762 m to 2,286 m); the summer and winter temperatures vary according to the altitudes of the regions. The lower Swat Valley is warm in summers, while the northern parts are cool. The hottest month is June, and the coldest month is January. The winter season starts in November, and continues until March. The summer season is from April to October. During June—the hottest month—the temperatures rise to more than 32 °C in the plains (Swat Proper), but are much lower in the Swat Kohistan region. January is the coldest month of the year. The temperature, generally, remains between 2 °C and ‑2 °C.

Rainfall is received throughout the year; winter rains start in December, and last till the end of February. At higher altitudes, precipitation takes the form of snow. Spring rains are from March to May, and the summer rains start from July and end in September. These rains are sometimes accompanied by hail storms. In absence of a meteorological station in Swat, rainfall data of Dir station has been used, where the mean maximum rainfall is 1,450 mm.

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 3 of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan, which means moderate to high damage due to earthquakes.

[1] Un-classed Forests are owned by the Government

Population

The following table shows the population of the district as per 2017 census:

District Area

km2

Population Male% Female% Urban

%

Growth Rate %
Swat District 5,337 2,309,570 50.8 49.2 30.1 3.2
Matta Tehsil 683 465,599
Swat Tehsil 4,654 1,843,025

Table 1.4 Swat Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.7%
Christians Negligible %
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.3%
Schedule Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Swat Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.2%
Punjabi 0.1%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 93%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki 0.1%
Others 6.6%

Table 1.6 Swat Languages

The other languages spoken in the district include Kohistani languages like Torwali, Gojri, and Kalami.

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 census data has not been made public yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 census data has not been made public yet.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The mainstay of Swat’s economy is tourism, followed by agriculture with its allied livestock breeding, fishing, and hunting. Following are the industrial occupations of the district (1998 census; 2017 census data has not been made public yet):

  • Agriculture with its allied livestock breeding & fishing (48.6%)
  • Elementary Occupations (17.0%)
  • Service Workers/ Shop & Market Sales Workers (11.9%)
  • Craft-Related Trade Workers (6.3%)
  • Professionals (5.1%)
  • Others (11.5%)

Land Use

The total geographical area of Swat district is 533,700 HA. The following table shows the land use statistics of the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Area 533,700 HA Reported Area 506,528 HA
Total Cultivated Area 97,260 HA Net Sown 87,046 HA
Current Fallow 10,214 HA Uncultivated Area 409,268 HA
Culturable Waste 129,051 HA Forest Area 138,282 HA

Table 1.7 Swat Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

The district belongs to the Northern Dry Mountains Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. Agriculture is entirely dependent upon glacier-fed streams and rivers.

The crops of the district include wheat, barley, rapeseed & mustard, maize, rice, maash, masoor, moong, sugarcane, tobacco, sugarbeet, walnuts, soya bean, and sunflower. Fruits grown in the district include melons, watermelons, citrus, ber, fig, apples, grapes, pears, loquat, apricots, prunes, mulberry, almonds, and pistachios. The vegetable produce of the district include peas, tomatoes, potatoes, turnip, okra, pumpkin, radish, carrots, chilies, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, onion, coriander, mint, various types of green beans, common mallow (Samchal), and bracken (Kwanjai).

Livestock Breeding

The following table shows the statistics of livestock for Swat district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Cattle 253,790 Heads Buffalo 117,101 Heads Sheep 80,048 Heads
Goats 236,229 Heads Camels 256 Heads Horses 4,833 Heads
Mules 3,020 Heads Asses 17,577 Heads

Table 1.8 Swat Livestock Statistics

Hashtnagri sheep is the indigenous breed of livestock of the district.

Poultry

There are 51 poultry farms in the district.[1]

Bee Keeping

Honey is an important non-wood forest production of KP The province offers ample opportunities for the promotion of bee keeping, and the provincial government provides training to its rural population in the art of apiculture and honey processing.

There are many types of honey being produced in KP, but Sedar (ber) and acacia modesta (Phulai) honey are produced in the highest quantities. The total number of bee keeper entrepreneurs (farm) in KP is about 3,800 and the direct employment in these farms is of 17,500 people.[2]

Swat district is one of the leading producers of honey in Pakistan.

Fishing

Fishing is carried out in the Swat River. Its tributaries serve as a fishing spot during spring and summer only. The fishing activities contribute to the economy of the district. Lake Mahodand, meaning “lake of the fishes,” is a fisherman’s pride. Trout is found abundantly in River Swat and its tributaries. The government of KP has a trout fishery in Madyan. There are other smaller privately-owned fisheries in Kohistan-e-Swat.

Global Natural Beauty: Trout Fishing Point in Bahrain Swat

Figure 1.9 Trout Fishing Point Bahrain, Swat

Mining

At present, china clay, dolomite, feldspar, granite, limestone, and marble are being mined in the district. Good quality emeralds are also mined in the district. Oil and gas are not being explored.

Irrigation

The district mostly depends on rainfall for its agriculture. The main source of irrigation in the district is River Swat and its numerous tributaries. Canals have been dug to carry water from the river to the agricultural fields. The main canals are the Nikpikhel Irrigation Canal and the Fatehpur Irrigation Canal. Other smaller canals include Doaba Minor, and Samkana Branch. Private land-owners have dug small water courses to carry water to their land holdings.

The following table shows the mode and area irrigated by each mode in Swat district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Irrigated Area 85,190 HA Canal Irrigated (Private) 36,178 HA
Tube Wells 8,270 HA Canal Irrigated (Govt.) 3,814 HA
Wells 13,715 HA Lift Pumps/Others 23,213 HA

Table 1.11 Swat Irrigation Statistics

Industry and Manufacturing

There is 1 Patti Training, and 1 Woolen Spinning center in the district.

According to KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 157 registered and running industrial units in the district. The following table shows the number and type of running industrial units in the district:

Industry Number Industry Number
Adhesive Tape 02 Biscuits & Sweets 03
Cement Based 09 Chemical 01
Cosmetics 15 Feed 02
Flour Mills 03 Furniture 07
Engineering 01 Ice Factories 08
Cold Storage 01 Marble & Chips 22
Packages 05 Pharmacy 05
Plastic & Rubber 26 Rice Mills 05
Silk Mills 41 Cotton 01

Table 1.9 Swat Industries

Trade (Import/ Export)

Honey, handicrafts, industrial products, and agricultural produce (especially fruits), are the major export items of the district. Saidu Sharif and Mingora city are the chief trading centers of the district.

Handicrafts

Handicrafts include woolen blankets, shawls, rugs, silk thread embroidery, cotton thread embroidery, golden lace work on women’s, men’s, and children’s clothes, shoes (especially “panrae” or “panhay” which are old fashioned shoes made with leather for both men and women), handmade furniture, and other household items made of wood and marble.

ASTERISK: The Swati Embroidery Revival

Figure 1.10 Swati Embroidery

Figure 1.11 A Woolen Rug called “Lamsey”, Swat

[1] Table 17, Number of Commercial poultry farms and number of birds by size of Flock

Economic Infrastructure

The district has a network of black topped roads linking its headquarters with its tehsil headquarters and also other parts of Pakistan. Swat Motorway/Expressway has recently been completed (2018). This Expressway is a four lane highway with six interchanges at Chakdara, Palai, Katlang, Bakhshalay, Ismaila, and Dobian.

There is no rail connection between the district and other parts of Pakistan, but there is an airport providing an air link to the district.

Roads

According to KP Development Statistics 2018-19, the road statistics of the district are as follows:

Total Roads 974.4 km
High Type Roads 576.2 km
Low Type Roads 398.2 km

Table 1.10 Swat Road Statistics

National Highway N-95, which joins Chakdara (Lower Dir) to Kalam, passes through the district, and connects nearly all major towns of the district. Other important roads of the district are:

  • Matta-Rahatkot-Darmai Road
  • Wazirabad-Miandam Road
  • Mattah-Khwazakhela-Chamtlai-Topsin-Bar Kotakai Road
  • Mingora-Manglaur-Shangla Road
  • Barikot-Buner Road
  • Malakand-Barikot Road
  • Road connecting Lower Dir with Parrai-Chindakhora-Ningolai Ghowand-Matta

Rail and Airways

Pakistan Railways does not have train connections with Swat district. There is 1 commercially operated airport in Saidu Sharif, but there is no military airbase in the district.

Radio and Television

Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) has an AM frequency broadcasting station in the district. There is 1 privately-owned FM radio station in Swat district. The district has modern cable TV network.

Telecommunications

There are 35 telephone exchanges with 23,591 connections,[1] in Swat. Cellular phone services, with considerable coverage in all major towns, are also available.

Post Offices

There are 74 Post Offices with 1 Head Office, 16 Sub Post Offices, and 57 Branch Offices in the district.[2]

Electricity and Gas

Electricity is supplied by Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO).

[1] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[2] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[2] Small Medium Enterprise Development Authority, Honey Processing & Packaging Common Facility Center – Mingora Swat

Banking/ Financial Services

According to KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 114 bank branches in Swat district. Following banks have their branches in the district:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Al Baraka Bank Ltd.
  • Alfalah Bank Ltd.
  • Askari Bank Ltd.
  • Bank Al Habib.
  • Bank Al Islami
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • The Bank of Punjab Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Faisal Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd.
  • JS Bank Ltd.
  • Khyber Bank Ltd.
  • Meezan Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • Sindh Bank Ltd.
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

According to the List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019, by State bank of Pakistan there are 86 branches of different conventional banks and 28 branches of various Islamic banks in the District.

Education

Swat district has a literacy rate of 48%. The following table shows the number of Government Educational Institutions in the district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 780/526 Middle Schools 78/53
High Schools 82/42 Higher Secondary Schools 26/12
Mosque Schools 22 Degree Colleges 04/04
Polytechnic Institutes 01 Commerce Colleges/Institutes 01
Vocational Centers 03 Private Primary Schools 109
Private Schools (Middle to Higher Sec.) 256 Post Graduate College 03
Medical Colleges[1] 01 Engineering Colleges/University
Universities[2] 01/- Cadet Colleges 01
Homeopathic Colleges 02 Law Schools 01

Table 1.12 Swat Educational Institutes

Figure 1.23 Saidu Medical College

Health

The following table shows the Government Health Care Institutions in Swat district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Number/beds Institution Number/beds
Hospitals 10/822 Dispensaries 18/-
Rural health Centers 3/44 Basic Health Units 41/-
Mother Child Health Centers 3/- Sub-Health Centers -/-
Leprosy Clinic 3/- TB Clinics 1/-
Private Hospitals -/- Private Medical Practitioners 103

Table 1.13 Swat Health Institutes

Policing

The police department is headed by District Police Officer (DPO) Swat who supervises and controls the police force in maintaining law and order in the district. The DPO also controls and supervises the investigation in criminal cases. The DPO is assisted by Sub-Divisional Police Officers (SDPO) on the sub division level. In all, there are 20 police stations[3] in the district.

Pakistani troops fight Taliban in Swat's main town - The Globe and Mail

Figure 1.24 Pakistani Soldiers atop Baine Baba Mountain

[1] Saidu Medical College, Swat

[2] University of Swat, Saidu Sharif (Public)

[3] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

Environment and Biodiversity

Deforestation is one of the main environmental issues of the district, as well as dust from marble and chips industrial units, which contributes to environmental pollution. The government of KP is raising awareness about the need for the conservation of forests, and control of pollution in River Swat, which provides drinking and irrigation waters for the district.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

Swat district has a multitude of flora including medicinal plants/herbs. The higher altitudes (higher than, or equal to, 12,000 ft or 3,658 m) are home to permanent snow fields and cold deserts. Below these cold deserts are alpine meadows, where, due to severe climatic conditions, the dominant vegetation consists of grasses and dwarf shrubs of various species. Sub Alpine Scrub Forests are found between the heights of 9,500 ft and 12,000 ft (2,896 m to 3,658 m). Fir and birch are the dominant floral species. Low rhododendrons are also found beside the birch forests. These forests are open with occasional grasslands in between.

Between 7,000 ft to 9,000 ft (2,134 m to 2,743 m) are the Dry Temperate Conifer Forests, where deodar (Cedrus deodara), is the dominant species. Below these forests (altitude 6,000 ft to 9,000 ft or 1,829 m to 2,743 m) are the Moist Temperate Forests, which are home to 2 different types of forests. The first is the Evergreen Broad Leaved Forests, where the tree types are dominated by oaks, consisting of brown oak (Quercus semecarpifolia), moru oak or tor bunj (Quercus dilatata), bull oak or bujrat (Quercus lamellosa), and silver white oak or spin banj (Quercus incana). Various aromatic tree of Lauraceae species are found in this forest, including kaula (Machilus odoratissima), nutmeg (Litsea umbrosa), hawk tea (Litsea lanuginosa), and poinsettia (Phoebe pulcherrima). The understory features a rich assemblage of ferns, mosses, and epiphytes. On northern slopes, drier areas, and higher elevations, holm oak (Quercus ilex) is found, along with conifers representing fir (Abies), spruce (Picea), species of deodar (Cedrus), and pine (Pinus).

The other forest type is the Deciduous Forest, where the flora includes Indian horse chestnut (Aesculus indica), walnuts (Juglans regia), Asian hornbeam (Carpinus viminea), Indian alder (Alnus nepalensis), and several maple (Acer) species.

Between the altitudes of 4,500 and 6,000 ft (1,372 m and 1,829 m) are the Sub Tropical Pine Forests where chir pine and kail are the dominant tree species.

There are a large variety of medicinal plants, shrubs, and herbs found in the district; some of these are exported to other parts of the world as well. Some of these include pistachio (Pistacia integrrima), walnut (Juglans regia), bhoj pattar or birch (Betula utili), kasar bootay or smoke tree (Viburnum cotinifolium), hill toon or neem (Cedrela serrate), fig or injeer (Ficus carica), shahtoot or mulberry (Morus alba), olive or zaitoon (Olea ferruginea), and Himalayan spruce or kachal (Picea smithiana).

Fauna

Fauna of higher altitudes with permanent snow-covered mountains includes the snow leopard, Himalayan ibex, snow cock, and snow partridges. Mammalian fauna of lower altitudes include brown and black bear, musk deer, golden marmot, markhor, yellow-throated martin, grey langur, leopard, rhesus monkeys, Himalayan grey goral, markhor, pangolins, panther, fox, jungle cat, barking deer, wolves, hare, porcupines, wild boar, and hyenas.

Avifauna of the lower altitudes include golden eagle, Monal pheasants, khalij pheasants, black and grey partridges, chakor partridges, Himalayan quails, western tragopan, various types of warblers, chir pheasants, hawks, falcons, hoopoes, larks, coots, cranes, egrets, geese, herons, pigeons, sparrows, quails, doves, swallows, starlings, nightingales, crows, kites, vultures, owls, and bats. A large variety of migratory birds like pintails, mallards, pochards, rudy shelduck, shoveler, and terns visit various lakes and marshes of the district.

Various types of lizards, agamas like the Himalayan agama, Swat stone gecko, ground skink, oriental rat snake, tree snake and leopard snake, cobras and crates, and vipers are found frequently.

Figure 1.12 Pangolin, Swat District

Figure 1.13 Himalayan Grey Goral

Protected Wildlife Areas and Endangered Fauna

The government of KP has established a peasantry called Fizaghat Peasantry in Mingora. This peasantry houses 11 species of pheasants and partridge.

Following are game reserves of the district:

  • Sewagalai Game Reserve. Government-owned and protected
  • Dab Manpithai. Community-owned
  • Alam Ganj. Community-owned
  • Amluk Banr. Community-owned
  • Community-owned
  • Deran Pattay. Community-owned
  • Tang Banr. Community-owned
  • Community-owned
  • Community-owned

These game reserves provide protection to grey partridge, black partridge, chakor partridge, markhor, brown and black bear, panther, and musk deer.