Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Urdu: خیبر پختونخوا [ˈxɛːbər pəxˈt̪uːnxwaː], Pashto: خیبر پښتونخوا [xaibər paʂtunxwɑ], locally Pukhtunkhwa[puxtunxwɑ]), and formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country. It 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, Balochistan to the south and Punjaband the Islamabad Capital Territory to the south-east.
The main ethnic group in the province is the Pashtuns; other smaller ethnic groups include most notably the Hazarewals, Gujjar’s and Chitralis. The principal languages are Pashto, locally referred to as Pukhto, and Hindko. The provincial capital is Peshawar, referred to as Pekhawar in Pashto.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sits primarily on the Iranian plateau and comprises the junction where the slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains on the Eurasian plate give way to the Indus-watered hills approaching South Asia. This situation has led to seismic activity in the past. The famous Khyber Pass links the province to Afghanistan, while theKohalla Bridge in Circle Bakote Abbottabad 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) – comparable in size to New England in North America. The province’s main districts are Peshawar, Mardan, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Kohistan, Kohat, Abbottabad, Haripur and Mansehra, Swat,Bannu and Karak. Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Abbottabad and Dera Ismail Khan 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 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 is termed ‘a piece of Switzerland’ as there are many landscape similarities between it and the mountainous terrain of Switzerland.
According to the 1998 census, the population of the province 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 scanty rainfall. The major rivers that criss-cross the province are Kabul River, Swat River, Chitral River, Kunar River, Siran River, Panjgora River, Bara River, Kurram River, Dor River, Haroo River, Gomal River and Zhob River. Its snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys of unusual beauty have enormous potential for tourism .
The climate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa varies immensely for a region of its size, encompassing 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.
Rainfall also varies widely. Although large parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are typically dry, the province also contains the wettest parts of Pakistan in its eastern fringe. Three main climatic regions can be distinguished within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
Chitral District lies completely sheltered from the monsoon that controls the weather in eastern Pakistan, owing to its relatively westerly location and the shielding effect of theNanga Parbat massif. In many ways Chitral District has more in common regarding climate with Central Asia than South Asia. The winters are generally cold even in the valleys, and heavy snow during the winter blocks passes and isolates the region from the world. In the valleys, however, summers can be hotter than on the windward side of the mountains due to lower cloud cover: Chitral can reach 40 °C (104 °F) frequently during this period. However, the humidity is extremely low during these hot spells and as a result the summer climate is less torrid than in the rest of the Indian subcontinent.
Most precipitation falls as thunderstorms or snow during winter and spring, so that the climate at the lowest elevations is classed as Mediterranean (Csa), continental Mediterranean (Dsa) or semi-arid (BSk). Summers are extremely dry in the north of Chitral district and receive only a little rain in the south around Drosh. However, at elevations above 5,000 metres (16,400 ft), it is known that as much as a third of the snow which feeds the large Karakoram and Hindukush glaciers comes from the monsoon since these elevations are too high to be shielded from its moisture.
Central Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
|Climate chart (explanation)|
On the southern flanks of Nanga Parbat and in Upper and Lower Dir Districts, rainfall is much heavier than further north because moist winds from the Arabian Sea are able to penetrate the region and when they collide with the mountain slopes winter depressions provide heavy precipitation. The monsoon, although short, is generally powerful and as a result the southern slopes of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the wettest part of Pakistan. Annual rainfall ranges from around 500 millimetres (20 in) in the most sheltered areas to as much as 1,750 millimetres (69 in) in parts of Abbottabad and Mansehra Districts.
This region’s climate is classed at lower elevations as humid subtropical (Cfa in the west; Cwa in the east); whilst at higher elevations with a southerly aspect it becomes classed as humid continental (Dfb). However, accurate data for altitudes above 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) are practically nonexistent either here, in Chitral, or in the south of the province.
The seasonality of rainfall in central Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shows very marked gradients from east to west. At Dir, March remains the wettest month due to frequent frontal cloud-bands, whereas in Hazara more than half the rainfall comes from the monsoon. This creates a unique situation characterized by a bimodal rainfall regime, which extends into the southern part of the province described below.
Since cold air from the Siberian High loses its chilling capacity upon crossing the vast Karakoram and Himalaya ranges, winters in central Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are somewhat milder than in Chitral. Snow remains very frequent at high altitudes but rarely lasts long on the ground in the major towns and agricultural valleys. Outside of winter, temperatures in central Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are not so hot as in Chitral, but significantly higher humidity when the monsoon is active means that heat discomfort can be greater. However, even during the most humid periods the high altitudes typically allow for some relief from the heat overnight.
Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
|Dera Ismail Khan|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
As one moves further away from the foothills of the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges, the climate changes from the humid subtropical climate of the foothills to the typically arid climate of Sindh, Balochistan and southern Punjab. As in central Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the seasonality of precipitation shows a very sharp gradient from west to east, but the whole region very rarely receives significant monsoonal rainfall. Even at high elevations annual rainfall is less than 400 millimetres (16 in) and in some places as little as 200 millimetres (8 in).
Temperatures in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are extremely hot: Dera Ismail Khan in the southernmost district of the province is known as one of the hottest places in the world with temperatures known to have reached 50 °C (122 °F). In the cooler months, however, nights can be cold and frosts remain frequent, though snow is very rare and daytime temperatures remain comfortably warm with abundant sunshine.
- Chitral (PATA)
- Dera Ismail Khan
- Lakki Marwat
- Lower Dir (PATA)
- Malakand (PATA)
- Swat (PATA)
- Tor Ghar
- Upper Dir (PATA)
The province has an estimated population of about 21 million. The largest ethnic group is the Pashtun, historically known as ethnic Afghans, who form well over two-thirds of the population. Around 1.5 Afghan refugees also remain in the province, majority of which are Pashtuns followed by Tajiks, Hazaras, and other smaller groups. Despite having lived in the province for over two decades, they are registered as citizens of Afghanistan.
Pashto is the most pervasive language while Hindko is the second most commonly spoken indigenous language. It is predominant in eastern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is the main language in most cities and towns including Peshawar.
Hindko is mostly spoken in eastern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Hazara Division, and especially in the cities of Abbottabad, Mansehra, andHaripur, and also as a minority in the city of Peshawar. This language is spoken by the Hindkowanwho are an Indian ethnic group.some afghan tribes also speak hindko as a first language. The provincial government is planning to introduce Hindko-medium education in Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra districts.
In most rural areas of the centre and south various Pashtun tribes can be found including the Yusufzai, Bhittani, Daavi, Khattak, Babar,Gandapur, Gharghasht, Marwat, Afridi, Tanoli, Shinwari, Orakzai, Bangash, Mahsud, Mohmand, and Wazir as well as numerous other pushtun tribes of Hazara division •, Swati,Kakar, Tareen, Jadoon and Mashwani. There are various non-Pashtun tribes including Mughal, Turks, Gujjar, Karlal, Rajpoot, Dhund Abbasi, Syed, Kashmiri, Awan, Qureshi andSarrara. 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.
However in the southern-most district such as Dera Ismail Khan live some of the Baloch tribe: Kori, Buzdar, Kunara, Leghari, Rind and some other sub tribes of Lashari tribe. These Baloch tribes speak Saraiki as their first language. In this southern district, most of its population speaks Saraiki.
Nearly all of the inhabitants of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa profess Islam, with a Sunni majority and significant minorities of Shias, Ismailis, and Ahmadis. Many of the Kalashaof Southern Chitral still retain their ancient Animist/Shamanist religion.
District map of Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
The Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is unicameral and consists of 124 seats of which 2% are reserved for non-Muslims and 17% for women only.
The President of Pakistan appoints a Governor as head of the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is a directly-elected Provincial Assembly, which has 124 elected members (including 22 seats reserved for women and 3 seats for non-Muslims). The Provincial Assembly elects a Chief Minister to act as the chief executive of the province, assisted by a cabinet of ministers.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is divided into 25 districts, comprising 20 Settled Area Districts and 5 Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) Districts. The administration of the PATA districts is vested in the President of Pakistan and the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by Articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
|The 25 districts are:|
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dominance- Forestry
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s share of Pakistan’s GDP has historically comprised 10.5%, although the province accounts for 11.9% of Pakistan’s total population, rendering it the second-poorest province after neighboringBalochistan. The part of the economy that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa dominates is forestry, where its share has historically ranged from a low of 34.9% to a high of 81%, giving an average of 61.56%. Currently, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa accounts for 10% of Pakistan’s GDP, 20% of Pakistan’s mining output and since 1972, it has seen its economy grow in size by 3.6 times.
After suffering for decades due to the fallout of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, today they are again are being targeted for totally a different situation of terrorism. Agriculture remains important and the main cash crops include wheat, maize, Tobacco (in Swabi), rice, sugar beets, as well as various fruits are grown in the province.
Some manufacturing and high tech investments in Peshawar has helped improve job prospects for many locals, while trade in the province involves nearly every product. The bazaars in the province are renowned throughout Pakistan. Unemployment has been reduced due to establishment of industrial zones. Numerous workshops throughout the province support the manufacture of small arms and weapons of various types. The province accounts for at least 78% of the marble production in Pakistan.
The Awami National Party sought to rename the province “Pakhtunkhwa”, which translates to “Land of Pakhtuns” in the Pashto language. This was opposed by some of the non-Pashtuns, and especially by parties such as the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). The PML-N derives its support in the province from primarily non-Pashtun Hazara regions.
In 2010 the announcement that the province would have a new name led to a wave of protests in the Hazara region. On April 15, 2010 Pakistan’s senate officially named the province “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” – with 80 senators in favor and 12 opposed. The MMA, who until the elections of 2008 had a majority in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, had proposed “Afghania” as a compromise name.
After the 2008 general election, the Awami National Party formed a coalition provincial government with the Pakistan Peoples Party. The Awami National Party has its strongholds in the Pashtun areas of Pakistan, particularly in the Peshawar valley, while Karachi in Sindh has one of the largest Pashtun populations in the world – around 7 million by some estimates. In the 2008 election the ANP won two Sindh assembly seats in Karachi. The Awami National Party has been instrumental in fighting the Taliban.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has suffered from worse corruption ever since Pakistan came into being. Jobs are sold and new jobs are not announced despite the fact that several thousand seats in different sectors are vacant. There is no Body in the province that could keep a watch on corruption. The Courts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are known for their lack of decision making capacity.
Khowar folk music is popular in Chitral and northern Swat. The tunes of Khowar music are very different from those of Pashto and the main instrument is the Chitrali Sitar.Hindko and Pashto folk music are popular in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has a rich tradition going back hundreds of years. The main instruments are the Rubab, mangey and harmonium.
A form of band music composed of clarinets (surnai) and drums is popular in Chitral. It is played at polo matches and dances. The same form of band music is also played in the neighbouring Northern Areas.
The trend towards higher education is rapidly increasing in the province and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is home to Pakistan’s foremost engineering university (Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology), which is located in Topi, a town in Swabi district. The University of Peshawar is also a notable institution of higher learning. TheFrontier Post is perhaps the province’s best-known newspaper and addresses many of the various issues facing the local population.
This is a chart of the education market of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa estimated by the government in 1998.
|BA, BSc… degrees||20,359||42,773||63,132||5.31|
|MA, MSc… degrees||18,237||35,989||53,226||4.95|
Major educational Establishments
Islamia College, Peshawar
- Abbottabad Public School, Abbottabad
- University of Swat, Saidu Sharif Swat
- Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan
- Army Burn Hall College, Abbottabad
- Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad
- Ayub Dental College, Abbottabad
- Bacha Khan Medical College, Mardan
- Pakistan International Public School and College, Abbottabad
- Women Medical College, Abbottabad
- Bannu Medical College, Bannu
- Cadet College Razmak, Razmak
- Cadet College Kohat, Kohat
- Cadet College Batrasi, Mansehra
- COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad Campus
- Gandhara University, Peshawar
- Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Swabi
- Gomal Medical College, D. I. Khan
- Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan
- Hazara University, Mansehra
- Islamia College, Peshawar
- Khyber College of Dentistry, Peshawar
- Khyber Medical College, Peshawar
- Khyber Medical University, Peshawar
- Khyber Girls Medical College, Peshawar
- Kabir Medical College, Peshawar
- Kohat University of Science & Technology, Kohat
- KUST Institute of Medical Sciences, Kohat
- Military College of Engineering, Risalpur
- National Institute of Transportation, Risalpur
- National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Peshawar Campus
- NWFP University of Agriculture, Peshawar
- Pakistan Air Force Academy, Risalpur
- Pakistan Military Academy, Abbottabad
- Saidu Medical College, Swat
- Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal
- University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar
- University of Malakand, Chakdara
- University of Peshawar, Peshawar
- University of Science & Technology Bannu, Bannu