North West Frontier Province Renaming of NWFP as (KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA)
CountryISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN
Population (2008)20,215,000 (Estimate)
Density259.6 / KM
Time ZonePST (UTC+5)
Main Language (s)PASHTO (Majority)
EstablishedJULY 1, 1970
Governor ENGR. SHOUKAT ULLAH
Chief Minister CARE TAKER CM
Legislature (Seats)PROVISIONAL ASSEMBLY (124)
The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP): śhumāl maġribī sarhadī sūbha (other informal names include the Frontier, Sarhad, Pakhtunkhwa, and Afghania is one of the four provinces of Pakistan on March 31, 2010 the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms proposed a constitutional package to the National Assembly which included changing the province’s name to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - meaning "Khyber side of the land of the Pakhtuns".
NWFP borders Afghanistan to the North West, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north east, Azad Kashmir to the east, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to the west and south, and Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory to the south east.
The main ethnic group in the province are the Pashtuns, locally referred to as Pakhtuns, and other smaller ethnic groups. The principal language is Pashto, locally referred to as Pakhto and the provincial capital is Peshawar, locally referred to as Pekhawar.
The NWFP is largely located at the junction where the slopes of the Hindu Kush Mountains on the Eurasian plate give way to the Indus-watered hills approaching South Asia, and this has led to seismic activity in the past.Area wise, it is equal to the size of New England.
The famous Khyber Pass links the province to Afghanistan, while the Kohalla Bridge in Circle Bakote is a major crossing point over the Jhelum River in the east.
The province has an area of 28,773 mi² or (74,521 km²) and its districts include Hazara Division, home to the town of Havelian the western starting point of the Karakoram Highway.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is divided into three administrative regions areas: Settled Areas of NWFP, the Tribal Areas of PATA, and the Tribal Areas of Frontier Regions. There are five Frontier Regions in NWFP.
The province's main districts are Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, Bannu, Abbottabad and Mansehra. Peshawar and Mardan are the main cities.
The region varies in topography from dry rocky areas in the south to forests and green plains in the north. The climate can be extreme with intensely hot summers to freezing cold winters. Despite these extremes in weather, agriculture remains important and viable in the area.
The hilly terrain of Swat, Kalam, Upper Dir, Naran and Kaghan is renowned for its beauty and attracts a great many tourists from neighboring regions and from around the world. Swat-Kalam is also termed 'a piece of Switzerland’s there are many landscape similarities between it and the mountainous terrain of Switzerland.
According to the 1998 census, the population of NWFP was approximately 17 million of whom 52% are males and 48% are females. The density of population is 187 per km² and the intercensal change of population is of about 30%. Geographically the province could be divided into two zones: the northern one extending from the ranges of the Hindu Kush to the borders of Peshawar basin, and the southern one extending from Peshawar to the Derajat basin.
The northern zone is cold and snowy in winters with heavy rainfall and pleasant summers with the exception of Peshawar basin, which is hot in summer and cold in winter. It has moderate rainfall. The southern zone is arid with hot summers and relatively cold winters and scantly rainfall.
Its climate varies from very cold (Chitral in the north) to very hot in places like D.I. Khan. The major rivers that criss-cross the province are Kabul River, Swat River, Chitral River, Panjgora River, Bara River, Karam River, Gomal River and Zob River.
Its snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys of unusual beauty have enormous potential for tourism.
The climate of the North-West Frontier Province varies immensely for a region of its size, most of the many climate types found in Pakistan. The province stretching southwards from the Baroghil Pass in the Hindu Kush covers almost six degrees of latitude; it is mainly a mountainous region. Dera Ismail Khan is one of the hottest places in the South Asia while in the mountains to the north the weather is temperate in the summer and intensely cold in the winter. The air is generally very dry and consequently the daily and annual range of temperature is quite large.
The north, comprising Chitral District, has a typically continental steppe climate, with average annual precipitation ranging from 100 mm (4 inches) per year in the far north to 585 mm (23 inches) in Drosh in the south. Most of this precipitation from frontal cloud bands during the winter and heavy thunderstorms in the spring. Of Chitral's average 420 mm (16.5 inches) of rainfall per year, 350 mm (13.8 inches) falls from December to May.
At high elevations in the Hindukush, snowfall can be much heavier than this and consequently large glaciers are a prominent feature of the landscape. Snow also cuts off even Chitral from the outside world for most of the year. Temperatures in the valleys vary from 40 °C (105 °F) in July to as low as -10 °C (15 °F) in January. In the previous few years flooding has created problems in Mastuj tehsil.
Dir, Swat and Hazara
Further south, in the districts of Dir, Swat, and Hazara, the climate becomes more typical of the South Asia, although a considerable proportion of the annual precipitation still comes from frontal cloud bands during the winter months.
The combination of a short but powerful (owing to orography) summer monsoon with frequent winter cloud bands gives a bimodal rainfall regime in central parts of North-West Frontier Province, Dir and Hazara districts are some of the wettest places in Pakistan: annual rainfall at Dir averages 1475 mm (58 inches), of which 400 mm (15.75 inches) falls during the summer monsoon from July to September and twice that amount during the winter rainy season from December to April.
At Abbottabad further east, the annual rainfall averages about 1195 mm (47 inches), but as much as 635 mm (25 inches) falls during the south-west monsoon. In Swat, rather more sheltered the annual rainfall averages around 840 mm (33 inches), with about 430 mm (17 inches) expected between June and September. A similar climate to that of Dir, though drier, prevails in a small area around Parachinar in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
In all areas October and November are the driest months with rainfalls generally under 30 mm (1.2 inches) per month except in the most exposed areas.
Temperatures in this region are somewhat warmer than in Chitral, and even at 1,200 meters (3,900 ft) in Abbottabad the heat and humidity can be oppressive during the monsoon season. In winter, most of Swat receives significant snowfall, but in Hazara temperatures are usually around 5 °C (41 °F).
Southern North-West Frontier Province
This region, south of the Himalaya/Hindukush foothills, has the typically hot and dry climate of much of Pakistan. Temperatures in summer are quite oppressively hot, and in the south around Mardan temperatures of 45 °C (113 °F) are not uncommon, whilst in Peshawar 40 °C (104 °F) is par for the course in summer.
In winter, however, this region is both warmer and generally drier than the rest of NWFP, with temperatures being around 17 °C (62 °F) in Peshawar and over 20 °C (68 °F) in the extreme south of the province. Nights, however, can still be quite cold during the winter.
Southern North-West Frontier Province experiences little (and very erratic) monsoonal rain, with Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan both averaging around 115 mm (4.5 inches) of rain in July and August and almost nothing in June or September. Moreover, in many years no summer rain of significance occurs.
In winter, rainfall usually peaks in March but Peshawar averages less than 250 mm (10 inches) between December and May and Dera Ismail Khan less than 115 mm (4.5 inches). On certain mountain slopes such as around Kohat, winter rainfall may predominate, though this is unpredictable.
The province has an estimated population of roughly 21 million that does not include the almost 1.5 million Afghan refugees and their descendants in the province. The largest ethnic groups are the Pashtuns who form about two-thirds of the population.
Pashto is the most pervasive language while Hindko is the second most commonly spoken indigenous language. Pashto is predominant in western and southern NWFP and is the main language in most cities and towns including Peshawar. With an estimated 3.5 million ethnic Pashtuns, Karachi hosts one of the largest Pashtun populations in the world.
Hindkowans are most common in eastern NWFP, the Hazara Division, and especially in the cities of Abbottabad, Mansehra, and Haripur. Saraiki and Balochi-speakers live in the southeast of the province mainly in Dera Ismail Khan District. Bilingualism and trilingualism is common with Pashto and Urdu being the primary other languages spoken.
In most rural areas of the centre and south various Pashtun tribes can be found including the Yusufzai, Tanoli, Daavi, Khattak, Gharghasht, Marwat, Afridi, Shinwari, Orakzai, Bangash, Mahsud, Mohmand, Wazir, and Gandapur as well as numerous other smaller tribes.
Further north, the prominent Pashtun tribes are, Swati, Kakar, Tareen, Jadoon and Mashwani. There are various non-Pashtun tribes including Awan, Gujjar. The Awan are believed to be of Arabic origin and are recognizably different from the rest of Pashtun and non-Pushtun majority.
The mountainous extreme north includes the Chitral and Kohistan districts that are home to diverse Dardic ethnic groups such as the Khowar, Kohistani, Shina, Torwali, Kalasha and Kalami.
In addition, Afghan refugees, although predominantly Pashtun (including the Ghilzai and Durrani tribes), include hundreds of thousands of Persian-speaking Tajiks and Hazaras as well as other smaller groups found throughout the province.
Nearly all of the inhabitants of the NWFP are Muslim with a Sunni majority and significant minority of Shias and Ismailis. Many of the Kalasha of Southern Chitral still retain their ancient Animist/Shamanist religion.
Main article: History of North-West Frontier Province
Since ancient times the region numerous groups have invaded the NWFP including the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Kushans, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Mughals, Sikhs, and the British. Between 2000 and 1500 BC, the Aryans split off into an Iranian branch, represented by the Pashtuns who came to dominate most of the region, an Indo-Aryan branch represented by the Hindkowans who populated much of the region before the time of the Pashtuns and various Dardic peoples who came to populate much of the north. Earlier pre-Aryan inhabitants include the Burusho.
The Vale of Peshawar was home to the Kingdom of Gandhara from around the 6th century BC and later ancient Peshawar became a capital of the Kushan Empire. The region was visited by such notable historical figures as Darius II, Alexander the Great, Hsuan Tsang, Fa Hsien, Marco Polo, Mountstuart Elphinstone, and Winston Churchill, among others. According to the Mahabharatha (an Indian epic dating to 3000 BC), the Gandhara kingdom had its capital at today's Kandahar in Afghanistan. The place of Shakuni Maternal Uncle of Kauravas and their mother Gandhari's Land. Following the Mauryan conquest of the region, Buddhism became a major faith, at least in urban centres, as attested by recent archaeological and hermeneutic evidence. Kanishka, a prominent Kushan ruler was one of the prominent Buddhist kings.
“The region of Gandhara has long been known as a major centre of Buddhist art and culture around the beginning of the Christian era. But until recently, the Buddhist literature of this region was almost entirely lost. Now, within the last decade, a large corpus of Gandharan manuscripts dating from as early as the 1st century A.D. has come to light and is being studied and published by scholars at the University of Washington. These scrolls, written on birch-bark in the Gandharan language and the Kharosthi script, are the oldest surviving Buddhist literature, which has hitherto been known to us only from later and modern Buddhist canons. They also institute a missing link between original South Asian Buddhism and the Buddhism of East Asia, which was exported primarily from Gandhara along the Silk Roads through Central Asia and thence to China”
Rural areas retained numerous Shamanistic faiths as evident with the Kalash and other groups. The roots of Pashtunwali or the traditional code of honour followed by the Pashtuns is also believed to have Pre-Islamic origins. Persian invasions left small pockets of Zoroastrians and, later, a ruling Hindu elite established itself briefly during the later Shahi period.
The Shahi era
During the early 1st millennium, prior to the rise of Islam, the NWFP was ruled by the Shahi kings. The early Shahis were Afghan Buddhist rulers and reigned over the area until 870 CE when they were overthrown and then later replaced.
When the Chinese monk Xuanzang visited the region early in the 7th century CE, the Kabul valley region was still ruled by affiliates of the Shahi king, who is identified as the Shahi Khingal, and whose name has been found in an inscription found in Gardez.
While the early Shahis were Irano-Afghan and Hindus Kabulistani in origin, the later Shahi kings of Kabul and Gandhara may have had links to some ruling families in neighbouring Kashmir and the Punjab. The Hindu Shahis are believed to have been a ruling elite of a predominantly Buddhist, Hindu and shamanistic population and were thus patrons of numerous faiths, and various artefacts and coins from their rule have been found that display their multicultural domain.
The last Shahi rulers were eventually wiped out by tribes led by Mahmud of Ghazni who arrived from Afghanistan early in the 11th century.
Arrival of Islam
Buddhism and Shamanism remained prominent in the region until Muslim Arabs and Turks conquered the area before the 2nd millennium CE. Over the centuries local Pashtun and Dardic tribes converted to Islam, while retaining some local traditions (albeit altered by Islam) such as Pashtunwali or the Pashtun code of honour.
During 963–1187 AD, NWFP became part of larger Islamic empires including the Ghaznavid Empire, headed by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, and the empire of Muhammad of Ghor. It Included Afghanistan extending up to Punjab and India Subcontinent and with its capital at Lahore.
Later it was controlled by the Afghan Pashtun Muslims of the Delhi Sultanate. The "Delhi Sultanate" refers to the many Muslim states that ruled the India from 1206 to 1526.
Several Turkic and Afghan dynasties ruled from Delhi Capital instead of Lahore: the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90), the Khilji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1413), the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51), and the Lodhi dynasty (1451–1526).
In 1526 the Delhi Sultanate was absorbed by the emerging Mughal Empire and the Ilkhanate Empire of the Mongols, coming from Great Genghis Khan and his grandsons like Babur the Mughal Dynasty.
Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to the region and Islam flourished because of these Northern Afghan and Central Asian invaders.
Mughal Afghan Sikh and British maintain nominal control
The area formed part of the Durrani Empire founded by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747. Ahmed Shah Durrani was born in Multan which was at that time part of Afghanistan. The empire included Bahwalpur, Kashmir, Gilgit, and Hazara with its main city Haripur. Under tAhmed Shah Durrani and later his son Timur Shah, who ruled from Lahore and Multan, but later shifted it back to Kandahar.
The NWFP was an important borderland that was often contested by the Mughals and Safavids of Persia. During the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the NWFP required formidable military forces to control and the emergence of Pashtun nationalism, who opposed Mughals who had conquered most of North India. A leading force in inspiring Pashtun militancy was the local warrier poet Khushal Khan Khattak who united some of the tribes against the various empires around the region.
As the Mughal had lost control by 1757, the NWFP came under the control of the Amir of Afghanistan Ahmed Shah Abdali.
The Sikh Empire, 1801–1849, under Ranjit Singh ruled parts of the NWFP province from 1818 until the British took over during the Anglo Sikh war of 1849. However total control was never established, there was constant rebellion and insurgency against the authority.
The British Raj and birth of NWFP after the Durand Line Agreement
Main article: Durand Line
The British, who had captured most of rest of the Indian subcontinent without significant problems, faced a number of difficulties here. The first war with the Pashtuns resulted in a devastating defeat, with just one Dr. William Brydon coming back alive (out of a total of 14,800-21,000 people). This happened during the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1849 and later the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1876. The Third Anglo-Afghan War of 1919, was also a continuation of the fight for Reclaiming Areas of NWFP and claiming independence from British occupation efforts which the Afghans or the Pashtuns resisted with greatest zeal and effort to remain as independent nation.
Unable to enforce their rule in the region, the British changed their tactics and played a game of divide and rule. The use of religion and installing puppet Pashtun rulers and dividing the Pashtuns through artificially created regions and ruling indirectly to reduce the chance of confrontation between Pashtuns and the British. Although the smallest size province Pushtoons were divided into Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Frontier Regions (FR) and Settled Areas of NWFP and Baluchistan. NWFP was restricted to five districts.
Occasional Pashtun resistance and attacks did take place on British in NWFP, including the Siege of Malakand and Swat, both well documented by Winston Churchill who was a war correspondent at the time.
A series of conflicts known as the Anglo-Afghan Wars during the imperialist Great Game, wars between the British and Russian governments, led to the eventual dismemberment of Afghanistan into NWFP, Baluchistan and Khurasan. Divide and rule policy and the annexation of NWFP and Baluchistan region led to the demarcation of the Durand Line and administration as part of British South Asia.
The Durand line is a poorly marked 1,519-mile (2,445 km) border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. After fighting in two wars against Afghans, the British succeeded in 1893 in imposing the Durand line, dividing Afghanistan from the NWFP, Baluchistan, FR regions, FATA which were incorporated into what was then British India. It was agreed upon by representatives of both governments.
The international boundary line separating two countries was named after Sir Mortimer Durand, foreign secretary of the British colonial government, who in 1893 had negotiated with Abdur Rahman Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan, on the frontier between modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Areas annexed from Afghanistan were the FATA, NWFP and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan, the successor state of British India and the successor Iranian state of Khorasan.
In 1893, Sir Mortimer Durand was sent to Kabul by the government of British India for the purpose of settling an exchange of territory required by the demarcation of the boundary between northeastern Afghanistan, Iran and the Russian possessions.
The Amir showed ability in diplomatic argument, his tenacity where his own views or claims were in debate, with a sure underlying insight into the real situation. The territorial exchanges were amicably agreed upon; the relations between the British Indian and Afghan governments, as previously arranged, were confirmed; and an understanding was reached upon the important and difficult subject of the border line of Afghanistan on the east, towards India.
From the British side the camp was attended by Sir Mortimer Durand and Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum the, Political Agent for the Khyber Agency. Afghanistan was represented by Sahibzada Abdul Latif and the Governor Sardar Shireendil Khan representing the King Amir Abdur Rahman Khan.
While the Afghan side greatly resented the border and viewed it as a temporary development, the British viewed it as being a permanent settlement. The NWFP Province was formed on November 9, 1901, as a Chief Commissioner ruled province, the Chief Commissioner was the chief executive of the province.
He ran the administration with the help of his principal advisers and Civil servants better known as judicial and Revenue Commissioners.
The formal inauguration of the province took place five and half months later, at Shahi Bagh on April 26, 1902, on the occasion of the historical Darbar in the Shahi Bagh (Kings Garden) in the capital town of Peshawar.
It was held by Lord Curzon the Governor of the NWFP. The province then comprised only five districts after dividing annexed areas from Afghanistan into FATA, Frontier Regions and the NWFP and Southern Punjab.
NWFP districts were Peshawar District, Hazara District, Kohat District, Bannu District and the Dera Ismail Khan District.
The first Chief Commissioner of the North-West Frontier Province was Harold Deane. He was known as a strong administrator and he was succeeded by Ross-Keppel, in 1908, whose contribution as a political officer was widely known amongst the tribal/frontier people.
The Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa was raised to a full-fledged governor-ruled province in 1931 in accordance with the demand by the Round Table Conference held in 1931. It was agreed upon in the conference that the NWFP would be raised to a governor-ruled province with its own Legislative Council. Sir Ralph Griffith was appointed the first Governor in 1932 (having succeeded Stuart Pearks as Chief Commissioner in 1931).
Therefore, on January 25, 1932, the Viceroy inaugurated the first NWFP Legislative Council. The first provincial elections were held in 1937 and the independent candidate and noted British loyal civil servant Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum was elected as the province's first Chief Minister.
During the early 20th century the so-called Red Shirts led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan agitated through Non-violence for the rights of Pakhtun areas.
Following independence, the NWFP voted to join Pakistan in a referendum in 1947. However, Afghanistan's loya jirga of 1949 declared the Durand Line invalid, which led to border tensions with Pakistan.
During the 1950s, Afghanistan supported a secessionist movement called that failed to gain substantial support amongst the tribes of the NWFP known as the Pashtunistan Movement.
After President Ayub Khan eliminated Pakistan's provinces, President Yahya Khan, in 1969, abolished this "one unit" scheme and added Amb, Swat, Dir, Chitral and Kohistan to the new NWFP as PATA.
The Pashtunistan issue kept Pakistan and Afghanistan at odds for decades until the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Following the invasion over five million Afghan refugees poured into Pakistan, most residing in the NWFP (as of 2007 nearly 3 million remain).
Afghan jihad and war with Russia
During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the NWFP, the PATA and FATA served as a major base for supplying the Mujahideen who fought the Soviets during the 1980s.
The NWFP remained heavily influenced by events in Afghanistan and the civil war led to the rise of the Taliban, which had emerged in the border region between Afghanistan, Baluchistan, PATA and FATA as a formidable political force that nearly took over all of Afghanistan. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FATA and bordering NWFP became a front-line region again as part of the global "War on Terror".
Main article: Government of North-West Frontier Province The Provincial Assembly of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is unicameral and consists of 124 seats of which 2% are reserved for non-Muslims and 17% for women only.
The Provincial Administered Districts are partially controlled by the central government in Islamabad through President of Pakistan and Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa does not have full authority to implement and make laws for PATA, without consent of the President of Pakistan, through Article 247 and 246 of 1973 Constitution which governs Tribal Areas of PATA and FATA: The province consists of the following 25 districts, including 5 Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATAs):