Linguistically, culturally, historically, geographically and
by race, the inhabitants of Kohistan are related with the
population of Northern Areas while electorally this region
is annexed with the Province of North West Frontier.
The Greek historians Herototus (?) and Patolmi (?) have
described this Kohistani region as "Dadicae". During
the ancient times, this territory has practically or hypothetically
been included under the rule of several foreign rulers as
is proven by many rock inscriptions. The population between
Gurez and Hindukush has generally been referred to as Dardic
or Dadric race. The Russian Researcher Yuri Gangofsi (?) says,
On proof that these people lived in the seventh province
of the Kingdom of Makhamanshi, is that the Dardic lived in
the neighboring areas of Ghandara and fought many battles
as one platoon in Iranian army standing side by side with
the residents of Ghandara. It is obvious from certain rock
inscriptions of Maharaja Ashok's era that these people were
his subject. As for Indus Kohistan, the history shows that
no one was locally able to become a head or "Sardar"
and the people always lived as free tribes. The Western historians
have been describing them as anti-ruler nations.
The influence of the Tibetans, Kashmiris, Chinese and finally
the Sikhs and the English in the north of Kohistan had started
much earlier and they had also acquired an access to these
areas. The Kohistani tribes had become a headache for them.
Sometimes they would collude with the people of Chilas and
sometimes invade Kaghan. Sometimes they would take part in
the battles between Wali of Swat and Wali of Amb states and
create dangers. These people were united under a central system
of diversified groups. Therefore, they were normally safe
from the outer invaders. No one could ever conquer these areas.
But generally the external rulers considered these areas as
a part of their states. This tradition was continued until
the British time. Dr. Karl Jettmar says in the past this region
and the valley of Kunhar had been the part of Baloristan Kingdom.
These areas were beyond the reach of the English during their
reign in India. Still at another place, Jettmar says,
"The valleys on the both sides of River Indus in front
of Tagir and Daril could neither be conquered by well planned
British attacks nor by the missions of the adventurous princes.
These valleys remained out of the European military access."
Kohistan had the important political impact when the Wali
of Swat stirred by the English, took over Duber in 1938, Pattan
in January 1939 and Khandia and Sea in July 1939 and merged
the western part of Kohistan into Swat state. The main reason
for his success did a few tribes of Pattan and Duber extend
the support to him. Otherwise, the Swat Militia's defeat at
their hand at Lapar was not a secret matter. The Wali of Swat
has mentioned in his autobiography that Kohistanis usually
posed a threat to his state because any one could easily provoke
them against the State. In order to cope with these risks,
the Wali of Swat made a few local alloys by posting them on
honorary positions and granting them privileges. On the contrary
to this, the eastern part of Kohistan remained independent
or unadministered land till 1988.
The Swatis and Gujars of Allai, the Syeds of Kaghan and
the Wali of Swat himself made several efforts and conspiracies
but did not succeed in them due to the local group cohesion
and effective defense. These people enjoyed the support of
Amb State also through Kutu Malak because the Wali of Amb
was the opponent of the Wali of Swat and they created difficulties
for each other.
The following text is available in the book "History
of Northern Pakistan", "Shumali Pakistan Ki Tareekh"
on the subject of Kohistan's political affiliation:
"Historically and culturally greater part of the Kohistan
district is a part of Northern Areas. It was considered so
until late in the beginning of the present century, when the
ruler of Swat, probably with the convenience of the British
Master, raided right up to the western bank of the Indus and
advanced even to Khandia valley in order to establish his
administration control over the region. Even then the part,
east of the Indus remain Yaghistan (unadministered area).
This is confirmed by the following letter No.381 of 1913 from
S. M. Fraser, Resident in Kashmir to Lt. Col. Sir George Roose-Keppel,
Chief Commissioner of Peshawar, dated 24th February 1913....The
Jalkotis, as you are aware, are a Kohistan tribe occupying
a valley on the Indus of the south-west of Chilas and west
of Kaghan in the Hazara district. Their country is independent
territory but their political relations, so far as such relations
exist, have been mainly with Gilgit Agency.
Further I think it will be agreed that since Jalkot falls
naturally within the sphere of Gilgit Agency, by reason of
geographical position, race, language and inter-communication,
it is politically expedient for the initiative to lie with
This position is further confirmed in a letter No. Y 103/27,
dated 12th February 1928 from the Resident in Kashmir to Col.
C.P. Gunter, Director of Frontier, Survey of India, wherein
Unadministered areas, i.e. Darel, Tangir, Khandia, Jalkot,
Sazin, Shatial and Harban.
"This position remained until 1947 and even later in
1950, when with the constitution of Kohistan district the
area was separated from Gilgit Agency."
During the period before ending, the people on western bank
of River Indus dealt their matters with Swat and the people
on the eastern bank with the English in Kaghan. In case of
any attack on Kaghan or looting, the representative Jirga
was called there and advised to keep peaceful. The English
never meddled with them in person. The English author, Oliver
writes in his book "Pathan and Baluch":
"It is the land of rebellions or anarchists who deny
of orders from high officials or are care-free of them."
Mr. Emerson, ex-Commissioner, Hazara has also made such
comments in his report "Sind Kohistan" compiled
in 1931. But as it is apparent from the references given above
that these areas were administrative part of Northern Pakistan
mainly for its relations by reason of geography, history,
race and language.
The rural representatives were selected from these areas
during the reign of Ayub Khan. It was the first time that
these people joined a big national momentum. In other words,
from the British time to 1955, the area from Kolai to Jalkot
was the part of Northern Areas, while from 1955 to 1986, it
remained under the administration of the tribal tribes of
NWFP and in 1988, it was formally converted into a district
by giving the representation in the Provincial and National