The Yusufzai, after six years of constant warfare, drove the Dalazak across the Indus into Chach and Pakli, and thus acquired full possession of the plain country which now bears their name, and lies between the Swat cum Kabul rivers During another succeeding period of fourteen years of constant warfare with their "infidel" kindred (called Gandhari and Hindki) and the Gujar settlers, the Yusufzai pushed their conquest into the hills on the north and north-west as far as the sources of the Panjkora and Swat rivers, and the country drained by the Barandu, which is a direct tributary of the Indus.
In this twenty years' war the Yusufzais exterminated some small sections of the natives, drove others across the Indus into Chach and Pakli in one direction, and across the Kunar river into Chitral and Katar (the present Kafiristan) in the other, and subjugating the greater number to serfdom, converted them to the Muhammadan creed, and called them Hindki in distinction to the idolatrous Hindu. These Hindki were in all probability the representatives of the remnant of the native Gandhari, who were subjugated by their Jat and other Scythic invaders in the fifth century, and the real kindred of their Afghan conquerors; a supposition which is strongly supported by language and family likeness, as well as by identity of manners and customs, and quick amalgamation.
For many years after this, the tenure of their conquest was a constant source of trouble to the Yusufzai, owing to the persistent efforts made by the expelled Dalazak to recover their lost lands, until, finally, as the cause of tumult and disorder, they were deported en masse by the Emperor Jehangir, and distributed over different parts of Hindustan and Dakhan (Deccan) There are still some scattered families of this people in the Peshawar, Chach, and Pakli districts, and there is said to be a colony of about four hundred families of them settled in Dholpur In the time of their prosperity in Peshawar they were in two great factions named Gari and Gaumat; but these are not now known, though the terms point to a division of the people as to creed-profession - of Zoroastrianisrn and Brahmanism.
The Yusufzai accounts of this conquest are interspersed with many amusing incidents, and the record of some remarkable feats of bravery, together with descriptions of their arms and military engines, for, at that time, fire-aims were unknown to them. Amongst the list of their heroic exploits, it is related how one of their young warriors leapt his horse across the Gadhar rivulet, at a point where it flowed mid-plain between steeply scarped banks, and, putting to flight hundreds of the infidel crew, slew their champion who stood to fight. And, it is added, when the victor cut off his adversary's head "as much beer flowed from the cursed pagan's throat as blood"
The ruse by which the Yusufzai gained possession of Swat is graphically described by their historian and high priest, the Akhund Darweza Baba, in his Tathkira or "Memoirs." He relates how the Yusufzai sent their women and drummers with standards and tents to the foot of the easy Malakand pass to make demonstrations of forcing it, whilst their warriors entered the valley by the difficult and undefended one of Skakot The Swatis, finding the enemy in the heart of their country, fled in all directions to the fastnesses of their mountains, and from those inaccessible retreats, for twelve years, maintained an obstinate guerilla warfare; till, finally, the calamity of a dreadful famine drove them to submission, after they had for a considerable time subsisted on the corpses of their own dead. With the subjection of this people the two great divisions of the Yusufzai separated Mandar holding the plain country, and Mali the mountains The natives who remained, meanwhile, became converted to Islam, lost their identity of race, and were called Swati It was not so, however, with those of them who fled the country, for though they also subsequently became Musalmans they retained their original tribal names, as will be presently mentioned.
Whilst the Yusufzai were carrying on the war on the plain country before defined, their kinsmen and allies, the Mahmand, were prosecuting their conquest with equal success in the lull country between the Kabul and Swat rivers - in the true Gandhar They crossed the former river at Dhaka, and in the first instance established themselves in the Goshta district. Here they were soon attacked by a people called Gandh&ri (Gandharai in the singular) from the hills to the eastward. The contest thus begun proved fierce and prolonged, till at last the Mahmand, favoured by the operations of the Yusufzai in the plains on the Peshawar side, forced their way into the heart of the country to Gandhar, its principal town. The name still exists as that of a considerable village or township, as well as of the district in which it stands, and the original inhabitants are still called Gandhari in distinction to the Mahmand conquerors.
From this central seat of the natives the conquerors descended into the plain, in the angle between the junction of the Swat and Kabul rivers Subsequently they crossed the latter river, and established themselves along the hill skirts up to the Bara liver, in front of the Afridi hills In their victorious war with the natives the Mahmand appear to have acted with such fierce barbarity that the majority fled the country, and, crossing the Kunar river, found refuge and escape, among an apparently kindred people, in the fastnesses of Kama and Katar (Kafiristan), and in the valleys opening from them upon the Kabul liver as far west as Tagao.
For some considerable period these fugitive Gandhari retained their original religion and customs, and were styled by the Muhammadans Kafir or "Infidel" Gradually, however, as Islam made its slow and steady progress among the neighbouring pagan peoples, they, or at least a large proportion of them who were in direct territorial contact with Musalmans, accepted the Muhammadan creed, first passing through the intermediate stage of Nimcha, or "Half-andHalf" that is, half Kafir and half Musalman; for owing to their position between and dealings with the Musalmans on one side, and the Kafir on the other, they were Kafir to the Kafir, and Musalman with the Musalman; and this was owing to the jealousy of each for his own religion. As Islam secured its foothold, the Nimcha became strong enough to become the full Musalman without the fear of vengeance from the Pagan. So long as they remained Nimcha or Kafir, they were simply known by those terms, but when they became Musalman, they were distinguished by the original patronymics of the race. Thus, whilst the fugitive Gandhari, who still remain pagans, are known only as Kafir, distinguish-ed sometimes by the names of the localities they inhabit (such as, the Kafir Kamoji in Kama, Katari or Katori in Katar or Kator), those who have become Musalmans are distinguished by their original tribal names. Thus the converted Gandhari are now divided into two great sections, named Safi and Gandhari. Together they number about twelve thousand families, who are scattered about in small parties all over the country from Swat and Bajawar to Lughman and Tagao. In most places they occupy a dependant or servile position, and are counted faithful servants and good soldiers. Being recent converts, they are extremely bigoted and fanatical, and furnish many aspirants to the Muhammadan priesthood, in the ranks of which some of them have risen to the dignity of saints. The late celebrated Akhund of Swat - Saint and King combined - was a Gandharai, though he was generally called a Safai, because the latter name is commonly used by strangers as that of the two divisions of the people, just as the name Yusufzai is commonly used for Yusuf or Mandar, and Mali - the two great divisions of the people The now famous Mulla Mushki Alam - priest and saint of Ghazni - who has made himself so prominent a champion of the Faith against us in the Kabul campaign, is said to be an Akhundzada originally of the Safi tribe, though now he is reckoned a Ghilzai of the Andar section, owing to his family having been settled amongst them for three or four generations.