All About Swabi
District Swabi is a newly created District. Originally it was part of Peshawar District and then a Sub-Division of Mardan District. It was declared District in 1988. It has four Sub-Divisions, namely Swabi, Lahor,Topi and Razzar.
It is bounded on the north by Buner District, on the east by Haripur District, on the South by Attock District of the Punjab Province and on the West by Nowshera and Mardan Districts.
POPULATION OF THE ENTIRE AREA:
Total population of this District is 1,026,804 as per Census of 1998 with an intercensal percentage increase of 64.3 since March 1981 when it was 625,035 souls. The average annual growth rate is 3.0 percent during this period.
The total area of the District is 1,543 square Kilometres.
The district is quite rich in natural resources. Marble, sandstone, gravel are available in large quantity. The same are leased out to interesting parties by the Directorate General, Mines and Mineral as per Government policy and thus a lot of money is going to the public exchequer, each year on this count.
The lime stone, sandstone and phyllite / slates are common economic rocks of the area. Limestone is used for crushers and road construction where as the sandstone and slates are used for houses.
Yousafzai is the dominating tribe of the District whose ancestors came from Ghowra Marghai, the place is some where in Western Afghanistan. Yousafzai first occupied Peshawar and gradually they occupied the present territories. Yousafzai generally have robust built stature with fair complexion. They are well known for their hospitality.
Most of the inhabitants are Yousafzai. The Major tribes in the district are as under: -
(d) Umar Khel
(e) Aba Khel
(f) Khattak (in small numbers)
All people belong to Muslim Sunni school of thought. The Muslims are staunch followers of the religion.
LANGUAGE AND DIALECTS:
Pushto is the main speaking language of the district. However Hindko is also spoken in few villages i.e. Jehangira, Tordher, Manki and Jangidher etc.
Swabi has hot and humid summers and cold winters. High temperatures are recorded during the months of June and July while the coldest months are December and January. Some areas like Mahaban are situated at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level and have pleasant weather during summers.
PLACES OF TOURISTS INTEREST / HISTORICAL PLACES
1. Mahaban is a famous mountain, which according to Dr. Stein has been mentioned in the Alexander campaign. It is about 7000 feet above the Sea Level. On the top of the ridge that stretches towards the Indus, known as SHAH KOT, old ruins of a fortress are still present at places. It is partly located in District Buner and the greater portion is in District Swabi. From here it extends into Haripur District.
It is a potential hill resort for the people of the area due to its close proximity to Tarbela Dam, Topi, Gadoon Industrial Estate and Mardan but it is utterly lacking in all infrastructures.
2. Hund is an important historical place. It has been the capital of Hindu Shahi dynasty. Changiz Khan while chasing Jalal-Ud-Din Khawarzmi came up to this point and then turned back. The most significant land mark is the crossing of Indus by Alexander at this place. For attracting tourists, a developmental scheme has been under-taken by the Public Works Department, Swabi.
The ratio of Forest in District Swabi is negligible; however, there are some areas under forests in Gadoon like Mahaban, which is protected by the Government as well as local people. A lot of work is needed for the development of forestation in the district.
Mahaban and other adjoining hills are the hunting places in the District.
There is a chain of metaled roads in Swabi District. Small roads/link roads are spread throughout the District. Farm to market roads play an important role in the development of agriculture. The project of M-1 (Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway via Swabi) has further improved communication facilities in the District.
The details of Post offices in the District are as under:
(a) Head Post Office 01
(b) Sub Post Offices 24
(c) Extra Departmental Sub Post Offices 05
(d) Branch Post Offices 56
The entire area is fertile and produces good crops. However, one of the cultivated areas is barani and under favourable weather conditions and sufficient rainfalls gives very good out put of wheat, maize, tobacco, sugarcane etc. there are a number of canals flowing in the district.
There are 7 veterinary hospitals, 24 dispensaries and 11 veterinary centers in the District. They provide health cover to 70% animals of different species for different diseases. Vaccination is done by the departmental staff as well as Live Stock Extension workers in different villages who are trained by the Department with foreign financial assistance.
Industrial Estate Gadoon Amazai was approved by the Federal Government to create job opportunities for the local people in order to stop poppy cultivation in the area. Initially 200 acre of land was developed with Provincial Government grant of Rs.24.800 Million for purchase of land and Rs.20 Million by US aid for construction of infrastructure. However from June 1986 to June 1989, no investor applied for allotment, except two.
In 1989, the Government announced special package with following incentives.
1. Tax Holiday for ten years.
2. Complete exemption from duty on import of Machinery and Raw materials.
3. Electricity at 50 % Tariff.
4. Mark up at 3 % on financing of field cast.
5. Exemption from Sale Tax on production for 8 years.
Consequently applications for allotment poured in and SDA acquired additional land of 916 acres to meet the demand. Out of 1116 acres of land 124 acres was provided for infrastructure and 602 plots were developed and allotted to investors in various sectors. Resultantly 115 units came into operation and the remaining were in the process of construction.
In April 1991, the incentives granted were withdrawn and as a result most of the investors stopped their activities. The present status is given below: -
a. Operational units 74
b. Closed units 133
c. Near operation/abandoned 22
d. Under construction 29
e. Vacant plots/abandoned 67
Total: - 325
Since wheat and maize are mostly cultivated in the area, hence people are very fond of eating the same. Rice and Chapli Kabab are also presented to the guests as sign of hospitality.
People wear the traditional pakhtoon dress of Shalwar Kameez, turban and Chaddar while Peshawari Chappal as footwear. The women wear Shalwar Kameez and Dopatta in their houses while out side their homes, they use Chaddar for “Pardah”. In upper class, women, the use of golden ornaments is popular. Ornaments made of silver (Chandi) are used by the women folk of lower class.
Marriages are arranged according to the traditions of Pakhtoon society. The parents of the boys and girls usually arrange majority of the marriages when they reach the age of 20/25 years. The engagement is followed by Rukhsati (departure) in a year or two. During this period girls strictly observe Pardah and avoid appearing before her fiancé or other close relatives. A marriage procession called Janj carrying Doli (Palanquin) visits the girl’s house on the fixed date. A meal, called Walima, is served at midday and the marriage function is over. A Maulvi holds Nikah on the following night.
The deaths ceremony is performed in sorrowful but respectable manner. The villagers jointly prepare grave and men and women assemble in the house of deceased for Taziat (mourning). Nemaz-e-Janaza (Funeral prayers) is offered at the day time fixed by family of the deceased, attended by large number of men of the society. The men / women visit the hujra / house of the deceased for offering Fatiha (condolence) up to three days. The family of the deceased gives food to the poor and relatives as Khairat.
Most of the houses are made of bricks and stones. The house generally consists of 2 / 3 rooms with veranda. The joint family system is prevalent. Each cluster of houses has a hujra where all male members gather for socializing. It is also used as a guest house. A Huqa (Huble – Bubble) is a permanent feature of Hujra. The youngsters spend their winter nights in Hujra and arrange music programmes. It is an important part of Pakhtoon culture but due to modernization, people now prefer to have their personal guest rooms and the use of Hujra as a centre of social activities is declining.
As the literacy rate is not very high, most of the people earn their livelihood as tenants on lands owned by the Khowaneen (Land-lords). However, large number of educated peoples are employed in land or abroad and thus are adding to the prosperity of the area by sending their returns to the area.
GAMES AND SPORTS:
All the popular games i.e. Cricket, Hockey, Football, Volley Ball and Basket Ball are being played in the District. Whereas the locals are also taking part in traditional games like Kabbadi, Makha and Kodda with great zeal and enthusiasm.
The following are the main Educational Institutions in the District.
1) Govt; Post Graduate College Gohati (Swabi).
2) Govt; Degree College Kotha.
3) Govt; Degree College Lahor.
4) Govt: Degree College Shewa.
5) Govt Degree College, Yar Hussain.
6) Govt Degree College, Zarobi.
7) Govt Degree College, Gandaf (Gadoon).
8) Govt; Girls College Maneri (Swabi)
9) Govt Girls College Marghuz
10) Govt Girls College Manki
11) FEF Girls Degree College, Topi.
12) FEF Girls Degree College, Zaida.
13) Govt Girls College, Shewa.
14) Govt; Commerce College Bamkhel.
15) Govt College of Technology, Swabi at Shahmansoor.
16) Vocational College Anbar.
1. Number of Government Primary Schools
2. Number of Government Middle Schools
3. Number of Government High Schools
4. Number of Higher Secondary Schools
Besides, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute for Science and Technology is also imparting higher education in the disciplines of Science and Technology.
In recognition of sacrifices rendered by the Kargal Hero, the president, Islamic Republic of Pakistan was pleased to announce establishment of Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed (NH) Cadet College at Swabi. The construction work on the same is in full swing and the college is likely to become functional in September, 2008.
The literacy ratio for male is 54.0% as against 18.3% for females. The ratio is much higher in urban areas when compared with rural areas both for male and females.
There is one DHQ Hospital, 3 Civil Hospitals, 4 Rural Health Centres, 40 Basic Health Units, 8 Civil Dispensaries and 3 Mother and Child Health Care Centres in the whole District.
Details of drinking water facilities being provided to the local populace is as under: -
1. Total Numbers of Tube Wells 109
2. Under VDO Operation 03
3. Under Deptt: Operation 103
4. Abandoned 03
DISTRICT ZAKAT AND BAITUL MAL SWABI:
Both the offices are functioning in the district very effectively by providing financial help to the poor / needy persons in the shape of Guzara Allowance / Food Support Programme, Education Scholarship, Rehabilitation Programme, Medical Assistance and Jehaiz etc.
RIVERS AND STREAMS:
Numerous streams and many smaller ravines intersect the plain area of the District. Important stream is the Naranji Khawar, which flows from Naranji hills in a southwestern direction joining the Kalpani stream in Mardan District. Another important stream is Badri Khawar, which flows from the north close to Swabi Town and joins the Indus River near village Hund. Indus River flows along the southern boundary of the District. This river emerges from the north-eastern mountains of Gadoon area at Satkatar, flowing along the eastern and western boundaries of the District and finally entering Nowshera and Attock Districts at Kund.
The district is rich in medicinal herbs. Hakims use these herbs for medical treatment popularly known as “Unani” treatment.
The area has a variety of fauna consisting of the following: -
Wild Cat Leopard
Wild Rabbit Porcupine
Wild Pigeon Other birds e.g. Sparrow, crow, Swallow, Dove, Nightingale, Mina etc.
Most of the area is plain and fertile. A variety of fruit plants are grown by local people for their own consumption but large quantity of organges and guavas are produced in villages Maini, Jhanda and Tordher on Commercial basis.
TRADE AND TRADE CENTERS:
A good section of the population is businessmen. Due to the remittances from the overseas countries, the people now prefer business. The major trading centers are at Swabi, Topi, Zaida, Karnal Sher Killi and Tordher etc. People operates big and small shops, workshops, grain stores, property centers, bargains, tobacco sale markets, petrol pumps, travel agencies, fruit and vegetable markets etc.
Local Electricity Department has been divided into two divisions. Each division is headed by the Deputy Manager Operation (PESCO). Both the DMOs are assisted by Assistant Managers Operation (PESCO) and other Technical Staff. Each division is responsible for electrification / service facilities in their respective domain.
The total No. of Telephone connections in the district are 25,404. There are 23 Exchanges functioning in the district. The main Exchange is at Swabi.
MAIN CITIES / TOWNS:
The main towns are as under
7. Yar Hussain
LAW AND ORDER:
The general law and order situation in the district is entirely up to the mark of satisfaction at the moment. However, the District as well as the Police Administration is taking all possible steps to maintain the same.
There are 56 Union Councils under the new set up.
The Revenue Administration is being headed by District Officer Revenue and Estate who is assisted by Deputy District Officer (Revenue) and Deputy District Officer (Judicial). There are 69 Patwar Circles and 157 Hadbast in the District.
Each Sub Division has Revenue set up comprising of Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars who have a number of Girdawars under each. Each Girdawar looks-after the work of several Patwaris in his Girdawar Circle. The Patwaris stay in their Patwar Halqa for the maintenance of Land Record.
JUDICIAL SET UP:
The Judicial set up in the district is headed by District and Sessions Judge. The District and Sessions Judge is assisted by Five Additional Sessions Judges, one Senior Civil Judge and 10 Civil Judges cum Judicial Magistrates. They hear criminal and civil cases. In criminal cases, the Public Prosecutors contest the cases on behalf of the state. There is well establish bar of lawyers in the District. Appeals from Session Court are heard by High Court at Peshawar. For under trial prisoners Judicial Lock Up is available at Swabi.
EXECUTIVE SET UP:
(a)DISTRICT COORDINATION OFFICER
District Coordination Officer, Swabi stationed at District Headquarter, exercises general supervision over programmes, projects, services and activities of the District Administration. He also coordinates the activities of the groups of offices for coherent planning, synergistic development, effective and efficient functioning of the District Administration, flow of information required by the Zilla Council for performance of its functions. Act as Principal Accounting Officer of the District Government. Assists the Zilla Nazim in accomplishment of administrative and financial discipline
(b) DISTRICT POLICE
The District Police Officer heads the Police Department. He supervises and controls the police force in maintaining law and order and investigation of cases of criminal nature. The Police Department operates under the Police rules. The District Police Officer is assisted by Superintendent of Police (Investigation) three Sub-Divisional Police Officers i.e. one each in Swabi, Lahor and Gadoon area. Police stations, police posts and police patrolling posts cover the whole District.
The Police Department has an efficient communication and mobilization system, which covers all Police Stations. There are 6 Police Stations in Swabi Sub-Division and 2 Police Stations in Lahor Sub-Division. Their names are as follows:-
1) Police Station Swabi.
2) Police Station Kalu Khan.
3) Police Station Zaida.
4) Police Station Topi.
5) Police Station Industrial Estate.
6) Police Station Utla.
7) Police Station Yar Hussain.
8) Police Station Lahor.
There are four rest houses in the district, which are: -
a) Irrigation Rest House Gohati (Swabi)
b) C & W Rest House Swabi
c) C & W Rest House Galla
d) C & W Rest House Beer Gali (needs renovation etc)
POLITICAL / RELIGIOUS PARTIES:
All the main National and Provincial political / religious parties have their supporters in the district.
(a)TARBELA DAM PROJECT
Power House of Tarbela Dam Project, which is one of the biggest Dams in the World, is situated in the territorial limits of District Swabi. Tarbela Dam is the back-bone of Pakistan economy and playing its role in boosting socio-economic activities in the country.
(b)GHAZI BAROTHA HYDROPOWER PROJECT
This is a foreign funded project. A piece of land measuring 13935 kanals and 12 marlas was acquired in villages Galla and Pontia of the District at a cost of Rs. 18,37,71,768/- for the purpose of Ghazi Barotha Barrage. This project is also playing its important role in up-lifting the society by providing electricity and water for irrigation purposes to various parts of the country.
(c)PEHUR HIGH LEVEL CANAL PROJECT
This is also a foreign funded project. An area of 3584 kanals was acquired for this purpose. The project was undertaken by a Turkish Company, STFA, and constructed a parabolic canal from Tarbela reservoir. The canal irrigates agricultural lands in Topi, Maini, Bamkhel, Salim Khan and Jagan Nath Irrigation Sub-Division, thus adding to the prosperity of the locals of the area.