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Editor's Note



Balochistan occupies the western corner of Pakistan and is situated between 24o 54' and 32o 4' north 60o 50' and 70o 15' east. The vast arid waste of Balochistan makes up 44% of Pakistan. Although in area Balochistan spreads over 347,190 sq. kms., it has a population of only 4,332,000. It has thus the unique distinction of being the largest and yet the least densely populated province of Pakistan. Quetta, the provincial capital, with its 0.35 million population, is the most thickly populated city and the biggest business centre.


The area got the name of "Balochistan", with the arrival of the Baloch tribes from Iran. The traditional legends of their Middle Eastern origins, supposed to have been in the Aleppa region of Syria, have been further confused by cranky theories either that like the pashtuns they may descend from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, or that they originated from Babylon, since "Baloch" is phonetically similar to the names of the god Baal or the Babylonian ruler Belos.

Islam came to Balochistan in 711. Baloch migratory hordes gradually extended East from Southern Iran in and after the 7th century. Under Mir Chakar, who established his capital at Sibi in 1487, a great Baloch Kingdom briefly came into existence,which was destroyed by Civil war between Mir Chakar's Rind tribe and the rival Lasharis, whose battles are still celebrated in heroic ballads. Although the Balochs moved ahead into Punjab and Sindh, even as far as Delhi, but the authority of the Moghuls blocked them from establishing a permanent Kingdom there, the names of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP are still reminders of the Baloch Chiefs who conquered these lands in the 16th century.

The tables were turned on the Balochs by the Brahuis who succeeded in re-establishing their power in Kalat. Throughout the 18th century the Khans of Kalat were the dominant local power, with the Baloch tribes settled to the West and to the East of them being forced to acknowledge their suzerainty. With the British expansion into Western India and their disastrous first Afghan War (1839-1841) internal power struggles within Kalat prompted the first British military interference, and the signing of a treaty in 1841. A further treaty was signed in 1876 which forced the Khan to "lease" the strategic Quetta region to the British, but left him in control of the rest of his territories with the aid of a British minister.

The last ruler of Kalat Mir Ahmad Yar Khan (1902 - 1979) refused to join Pakistan in 1947 in the hope of going it alone. The brief independence of Kalat finally ended in 1948 when the Khan was forced to sign the necessary merger documents, followed by his formal removal from power and the abolition of the State's boundary in 1955. The present shape of the Balochistan was finally rounded out in 1958. In 1970, it was declared a separate provincial unit.

Physical Features

Balochistan is an isolated, forbidding territory with few paved roads. In the south, 800 kms. (500 miles) of deserted beaches stretch along the Makran coast on the Arabian Sea. The borders with Iran and Afghanistan, on the west and north, run through 900 kms. (550 miles) and 1,200 kms. (750 miles) respectively. To the east, Balochistan is divided from the rest of Pakistan by the Kirthar and Sulaiman mountains, which rise like a wall from the plains of the Indus in Sindh and Punjab. About 25% of the population is urban and 75% rural, according to the census of 1981. The important mountains of Balochistan are the Sulaiman range, the Kirthar, and the Chagai hills.

No rivers are found with a large and permanent flow of water. The northeastern part of the province is drained by the Zhob River on the east and the Pishin Loralai on the west. In Makran, the Dasht River carries off drainage to the south and the Rakhshaw, which joins the Mashkel River to the north. There are no lakes of importance. The Hamun-i-Mashkel and Hamun-i-Lora can hardly be described as such, for they fill only after heavy floods. Balochistan is known as the fruit garden of Pakistan. Its principal crops are wheat, jawar, and maize; the fruits are apple, apricot, almonds, cherries, peaches, plums, pomegranates and walnuts. In the production of natural gas, coal and minerals Balochistan makes a major contribution to Pakistan's economy.


The province has scanty vegetation, trees are few in number, and most of the hills which are not protected by other and higher ranges are bare of forest growth. Well outside the influence of the monsoons, Balochistan receives scanty and irregular rainfall-about ten millimeters (four inches) a year, while the temperature is extremely high in summer and low in winter. The important source of irrigation in Balochistan are the karez, which are underground canals. Balochistan has six divisions, Kalat, Quetta, Sibi Makran, Nasirabad and Zhob consisting of 25 districts.


North West Frontier Province, the northern most province of Pakistan, covers an area of 39,283 square miles (101,734 sq. kms) and is bounded by Afghanistan to the west and north, Jammu and Kashmir to the northeast, Punjab to the southeast and Baluchistan to the southwest.

NWFP is a mountainous region, but including the Peshawar valley and the broad riverain tract of the Indus, its climatic conditions are extremely diversified. 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 and has moderate rainfall. The southern zone is arid with hot summers and relatively cold in winter and has scanty rainfall.

North West Frontier Province lies between 31o4 and 36o 57' north and 69o 16' and 74o 7' east. It runs for over 1,100 kms (680 miles) along the border with Afghanistan. The heart of the province is the fertile vale of Peshawar, which is watered by the Kabul and Swat rivers. NWFP lies on the way from central and west Asia to the South Asian subcontinent through various passes, including the world famous Khyber Pass.

The principal crops are wheat, barley, gram, maize, rice, pulses, cotton, oil seeds and fruits like grapes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, watermelons and dates.Important minerals are gypsum, marble, limestone, sandstone and petroleum.

The province is divided into two areas of separate administrative status, the settled area governed by ordinary law and the federally administered tribal areas (FATA) governed by special law administered by the governor as agent to the president.


The early history of the North West Frontier Province relates to the ancient state of Gandhara "the Garden Land." It included the modern districts of Peshawar and Mardan, part of Kohat, the Mohmand country, Swat, Bajaur and Buner. Its capital was at different times at Purushapura (Peshawar) and Pushkalavati (Charsadda), a few miles north of Peshawar. Gandhara was annexed by the Persian Achaemenid empire in the early 6th century B.C. and remained a Persian satrapy until 327 B.C. The region then passed to the Greeks.

Alexander the Great crossed the main range of the Hindu Kush in the spring of 327 B.C. and, dividing his forces, entered the frontier hills. His armies reached the Indus by two separate routes - one direct through the Khyber Pass and the other through Kunar, Bajaur, Swat and Buner.

Within ten years, Alexander's lieutenants lost control of Gandhara, although the Seleucid Greek dynasty continued to rule in the upper part of the Kabul River valley. The Greek invasion was followed by annexation of the region in the Mauryan empire in the second century B.C. Chandragupta Maurya, the first great native ruler of India, added Gandhara to his empire, and his grandson Ashoka made Buddhism the religion of the majority of the people. Buddhism was dominant in the region for several centuries after Ashoka.

After Ashoka's death, the Greeks again moved down from their stronghold in Bactria and first Demetrius and then Eucratides ruled Gandhara. About the middle of the second century B.C., the rule of the Bactrians degenerated into a series of petty kings. These were soon attacked by the Parthians and the Sacas who came from central Asia. They finally succumbed in the beginning of the Christian era to the Kushans, whose most famous king, Kanishka, established an empire in northwestern India, centered in Peshawar valley.

The region came under Turk administration, when Sbuktigin gained control of Peshawar by A.D. 988. His son, Mahmud Ghaznavi, invaded northern India several times between 1001 and 1027, bringing a large area of the present province, excluding Hazara, into Ghaznavid empire. For more than a century Peshawar remained a province of Ghazni under Mahmud's successors. In the 15th century the Pathans of Ghor overthrew the Ghaznavis and ruled the area up to 1505 A.D. After the decline of the Ghorids, the region was held by Muslim Afghan dynasties. In the years that followed, several chieftains established their rule over different parts of the area. One of the most noted was the Afghan, Buhlul Lodi. In 1451 Buhlul seized the throne at Delhi and founded an Afghan dynasty which lasted for 75 years. The whole Afghan race shared his royal prestige, and Afghans were soon pushing down from the highlands of Afghanistan into the frontier hills and through them into India.

In 1504, Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire of India, took Kabul, and in January of 1505 launched his first invasion of India. He came down through the Khyber Pass, Kohat and Bannu, into the Derajat. In his memoirs, called the Babur-Nama, Babur describes how he destroyed a tribal ambush and both at Kohat and Hangu erected pillars of the heads of his fallen foes, according to the customs of his people. He mentioned how he took the daughter of a Yusufzai chief, Bibi Mubaraka, as his wife.

After several subsequent incursions, during which he established his rule over Punjab, Babur shattered the forces of the Lodi sultan at Panipat, near Delhi, on 20 April 1526, and established the great Mughal empire of India. Until his death in 1530, Babur retained tenuous control over the frontier. The Pathans, though defeated at Panipat, never gave up the struggle for power and continued to be in virtual control of a major portion of northern India. They deployed their forces under Sher Khan, who drove out Humayun from India and established the Sur dynasty.

In 1585, Akbar, son of Humayun, re-established imperial rule, making his Rajput general Kunwar Man Singh governor of Peshawar. The following year, the tribes, inflamed by the teachings of Pir Roshan, who had founded a Muslim sect in the frontier some forty years earlier, revolted again. The Mohmands moved south, closed the Khyber and drove Man Singh and his Rajputs out of Peshawar. In 1672 the Afridis under Aimal Khan, their leading chief, declared jihad (war) against the Mughals. Khushal Khan Khattak, a warrior and poet, who was chief of the great Khattak tribe, joined forces with Aimal and set out to try to unify the tribes to resist the Mughals.

Aurangzeb Alamgir was the last of the great Mughals. He personally led his army to re-establish his authority over these tribes. The struggle lasted for two years (1673-1675), when finally the emperor was compelled to agree to terms which left the Pathans practically independent. After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 Mughal power crumbled rapidly all over India. The successors of Aurangzeb retained nominal possession of Peshawar, and in 1738 came the surrender of Peshawar to Nadir Shah, to whom all the territory west of the Indus was ceded by the Mughals. After the death of Nadir Shah, the Saddozai Durrani dynasty established itself at Kanhar under Ahmed Shah Abdali, during whose reign Peshawar valley was brought under his control. In 1793 Shah Shuja, the last of the Saddozai, proclaimed himself king in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh had taken over Punjab and were rapidly pushing to the north and west to pick up other parts of the original Durrani empire. In 1813 the Sikhs seized Attock and began raiding the trans-Indus districts. In 1818 Ranjit Singh marched into Peshawar but left without attempting to hold the city. Dera Ismail Khan was also briefly occupied during the same year. Ranjit Singh returned to the frontier in 1823. After defeating a combined Afghan tribal force in a great battle near Nowshera, he formally took possession of Peshawar. However, he allowed the Durrani sardars (chiefs) to remain as his viceroys. In 1830 the local tribes rose against the Sikhs and captured Peshawar and managed to hold it for few months. In May of 1834 a large number of Sikh soldiers entered Peshawar. The Sardars were expelled, and a permanent garrison under Hari Singh was established.

In 1836, the Sikhs formally annexed Dera Ismail Khan. Kohat was also garrisoned but was quickly abandoned after Dost Muhammad's army appeared in the Khyber in April of 1837. Hari Singh was killed in a bitter battle near Jamrud. Ranjit Singh died in June of 1839, and the Sikh empire lost its vitality and discipline. However a garrison remained at Peshawar, and the Italian general Avitable ruled as a governor for the Sikhs from 1838 to 1842. The Sikhs continued their haphazard rule for another seven years until the British took over their sovereignty in the Lahore darbar on 30 March 1849.

Although NWFP was a border area of great importance for many years preceding British rule, its status as a frontier came into even sharper focus after the British conquest. All through the nineteenth century, as British power in India expanded, buffer zones were created in order to protect newly won territory. This process repeated itself until British influence finally reached the border of Afghanistan. The Afghan and British governments agreed on the international frontier in that area through the Durand Agreement of 1893, which established the famous Durand Line, named after Sir Mortimer Durand, who worked on its demarcation.

The North West Frontier Province was created in 1901 and included the districts of Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan., dividing the region into settled and tribal areas, the later now administered by the federal government under a separate administrative system. The settled area that constitutes NWFP enjoys the same autonomy as Pakistan's other provinces.

According to the 1981 Census, the province has an approximate population of 11.5 million, the density of population is 142 persons per sq. km., and the estimated labour force is 35,000.


The physical features of the province are full of contrasts. There are high mountains and flat plains, dry and barren tracts and lush green valleys. The province may be divided into the following three physical divisions:

a)Northern Mountainous Areas

The districts of Chitral, Dir, Swat, Malakand protected area in Malakand division, Kohistan, Mansehra and the northeastern part of Abbottabad district in Hazara division are generally the areas with high mountains. In the extreme northwest of this area, in Chitral district, lies the famous Hindu Kush range, whose highest peak is "Tirich Mir". There are several important glaciers in these mountains. From Hindu Kush several other ranges run in a north-south direction passing through the northwest. In the central part of the area is the Kohistan range and in the east the offshoots of Himalaya and the Pir Panjal ranges. The northern mountains are intersected by deep and narrow valleys. The important river valleys are those of the Chitral, Swat, Panjkore and Kunhar rivers. There are several mountain passes which permit communications in the area; Lowari, Baroghil, Shandur and Babusar. The mountains of Swat and Kohistan are generally barren and rugged while those of Abbottabad and Mansehra are covered with forests.

b)Central Hilly Areas

The hilly areas of the province cover major parts of Kohat and Bannu districts and portions of Peshawar and D.I. Khan districts. The Kohat district is a rugged tableland intersected by ridges and valleys. In the north, the hills extend through tribal areas of Kohat and Peshawar into the southern part of Peshawar district. The hills between Peshawar and Kohat districts are known as the Jowaki hills. In the south of Kohat district, these hills extend into Bannu district, surrounding the whole Bannu plain. In the southeast, these hills are known as the Sheikh Budin or Marwat range and in the south as the Bhittari range. The hills in the west are the northern end of the Sulaiman range. In D.I. Khan district the hills are found in the north, northeast and west. The hills of northern D.I. Khan are the Marwat range, and those in the northeast are the Khisor range. Most of these hills are about 1,000 meters high, with the highest point about 2,000 meters.


Peshawar, Mardan, D. I. Khan, Bannu and Abbottabad districts constitutes the plain of the province. The Peshawar plain or valley has been formed of rich alluvial soil brought by the Kabul River. It covers almost the entire Peshawar district. The Kabul River flows through the centre of this plain from west to east.

The second important plain is of D.I. Khan district. It is an arid to semi-arid plain bounded in the north by the Marwat and the Khisor ranges and in the east by the Indus River. In the west it is bounded by the hills of the Sulaiman range. The western part of this plain is intersected by hill torrents which flow from the eastern slopes of these hills.

The Bannu plain is a broad basin of the Kurram and Gambila Rivers. It is surrounded by the hills of Kohat district in the east, Sheikh Budin or Marwat range in southeast and in the west by the hills of the Sulaiman range, locally known as the Kharaghora hills. The plain is drained by the Kurram and Gambila Rivers, which flow from northwest to southeast.

The last important plain tract of the province lies east of the Indus River in Haripur tehsil of Abbottabad district. The plain starts at a point where the Dor River emerges from the hills and runs south between the Nara and Khanpur hills in the east and the Tanawal and Gandgar hills in the west. The plain is about 50 kilometers in length from northeast to southwest and about 20 km. wide at the centre near Haripur.


Climatically the region is diverse. The D.I. Khan district in the south is one of the hottest areas of the province with a maximum temperature between 480 - 500 C. The mountainous regions are temperate during summerswhile winters are extremely cold and often below freezing. There is a wide variation in precipitation (150 mm in Chitral, 250 mm in southern D.I. Khan and over 1,000 mm in the mountains north of Mansehra). The precipitation is a result of monsoons (August-September) and the western disturbances (November- March) that are also responsible for snowfall in the mountainous region.


Rainfall varies greatly in different parts of the province as well as in summer and winter. The summer rainfall, is lower than the winter rainfall in Chitral, Dir, Swat and Peshawar districts. On the other hand, summer rainfall is higher than that of winter in the districts of Kohat, Bannu, D.I Khan, Mansehra and Abbottabad. The most rainfall is received in the northeastern part of the province.

River And Streams

The Indus River enters the province at a place named Sazin in Kohistan district and flows through the province from northeast to southwest up to Tarbela Dam. The course of the river in this area is narrow and deep. From Tarbela downwards it flows mostly along the eastern boundary of the province. All streams and rivers of NWFP except the Kunhar ultimately flow into the Indus.

The second important river is the Kabul, which enters Pakistan from Afghanistan, north of the Khyber Pass along the border of Khyber and Mohmand agencies. It flows from west to east through the Peshawar plain and flows into the Indus River near Attock.

The Swat River comes from the northwest mountains of Swat and Kohistan.It flows from north to south through the middle of Swat district. After leaving Swat district it flows through Dir district between the border of Dir district and Malakand protected area and then between of Malakand protected area and Bajaur agency. Later on, it enters Mohmand agency and then passes through the northwest part of Peshawar district. A tributary of the Swat River is the Panjkora, which flows from Dir district and joins the Swat River at the border of Dir district and Malakand protected area. The Chitral river, which in its upper course is known as the Mastuj River, comes from the Hindu Kush range and crosses Chitral into Afghanistan at Arandu where it is known as the Kunar River. In the south the important river is the Kurram, which rises in the southern slopes of the Safed Koh and flows through Kurram and North Waziristan agencies and Bannu district and merges with the Indus river. To the east of river Indus is Kunhar. It starts in the mountains near the Babusar Pass and flows in the Jhelum River at Domel near Muzaffarabad in Jammu and Kashmir. Other smaller rivers are, Bara in Khyber agency, the Tochi or Gambila, in North Waziristan agency and Bannu district and the Gomal, in South Waziristan agency and D.I. Khan district.


Eighty-five percent of the total population residing in the rural areas of NWFP are directly connected with agriculture. The government therefore gives top priority to the agricultural sector for improving the quality of village life as well as the productivity of the land. The total allocation for the agricultural sector stands at Rs. 142.00 million, an increase of 18.3 percent over 1989-90. Forestry is allocated Rs. 41.00 million. There are a total of 127 schemes in both sectors, of which 75 on-going schemes have been allocated Rs. 136.06 million, or 74.4 percent. The remaining amount of Rs. 46.94 million is earmarked for 52 new schemes. The important physical targets in these sectors are the installation of 345 tube wells.

Principal Crops

Irrigation is carried out on about one-third of the cultivated land. Wheat, corn (maize), sugar cane, and tobacco are the major crops. Other crops include millet, barley, rice, and cotton. Wheat production is highest in Peshawar, Bannu, and Mardan districts, and Hazara, Mardan, and Peshawar districts are important corn-producing areas. Peshawar and Mardan districts are also important for the production of sugarcane and tobacco.

Irrigation System

The irrigation system of the province depends on Kabul River Canal, Lower Swat Canal, Upper Swat Canal, Warsak-Swat Canal, Marwat Canal, Paharpur Canal and the under construction CRBC Canal. The canals feed areas that have irrigation at an intensity varying between 134 to 170 percent. The irrigation water from canals is supplemented through tube wells, largely in Peshawar, Mardan, Bannu and D.I. Khan, either through irrigation wells or wells dug as part of anti-waterlogging measures. A large number of the wells are also in use in the barani areas of the province. The irrigation system, coupled with poor drainage of the soil and heavy cropping intensity have created waterlogging and salinity in the plains of the province. In order to improve these conditions, many drainage schemes for tube wells, shallow drains and pipe drains have been introduced under the Federal Accelerated Programme. In the non-irrigated areas of the province (barani areas) and the areas under PATA and FATA, irrigated agriculture is largely confined to the development and use of ground water. It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of the irrigated land including FATA receives water supplies from irrigation canals and 15 percent from ground water.


As compared to other provinces, the NWFP has good reserves of forests. These are mostly coniferous softwood forests with some broad leaf species growing at the lower altitudes. The principal coniferous trees include fir, deodar, blue pine and spruce.

Shrub forests are found over large areas in the foothills and plains of Peshawar, Mardan and Kohat districts. Kohat district is also famous for the dwarf palm, locally known as mazri.


The province is divided into two areas of separate legal and administrative status, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the settled districts. The tribal areas, close to the borders of Afghanistan, lie between the Durand Line and the settled districts. During British rule, these areas served as a buffer zone between British India and Afghanistan. However after Pakistan emerged as an independent sovereign state, the tribal areas became an integral part of Pakistan and were given special status. This helped to protect their profoundly Islamic socio-cultural pattern and also improved their socio-economic conditions. They are governed by special laws administered by the NWFP governor as agent to the president of Pakistan.

With its capital at Peshawar, NWFP is comprised of six administrative divisions, having two to four districts in each division. Peshawar division has Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera districts; Hazara division has Abbottabad, Mansehra and Kohistan districts; Malakand division has Swat, Chitral and Dir districts and Malakand agency; Mardan division has Mardan and Swabi districts; Kohat division has Kohat and Karak districts; and Dera Ismail Khan division has D.I. Khan and Bannu districts.

Each of these districts is broken down into several tehsils (smaller administrative units). Between the settled districts to the south and the Afghan border is the tribal area. The tribal area is divided into Bajaur (Malakand), Mohmand, Khyber, Kurram, North Waziristan, South Waziristan,and Aurakazi agencies, each of which is headed by a political agent. There are also tribal areas administered by Peshawar, Kohat, Dera Ismail and Bannu districts. The governor is the chief executive. In the directly administered areas, the provincial secretariat is headed by a chief secretary. A commissioner is in charge of each division, and the districts are headed by deputy commissioners. At the district level, judicial functions are performed by district and sessions judges; civil judges, and magistrates also perform some executive functions. In each tehsil an official called the tehsildar collects revenue and discharges judicial and executive functions.

Races And Tribes

The ethnography of the North West Frontier Province tribes forms an interesting study. The numerically strong tribes in the province are the Pathans, Awans, Gujars and Jats. Of these the Pathans are the largest.

The important Pathan tribes are the Yusufzais of Malakand agency, the Mohmands, the Afridis of the Khyber agency and of the Kohat Pass, the Orakzais of Tirah, the Turis of Kurram, the Waziris of North and South Waziristan, the Mahsuds, and the Bhitannis and Shiranis of Dera Ismail Khan. In the settled districts, the Yusufzais of Mardan, the Khalils, Mohmands, Muhammadzais, Daudzais, Gigianis and Khattaks of Peshawar district, the Khattaks and Bangashes of Kohat, the Marwats, Bannuchis and Waziris of Bannu, and the Gandapurs, Kundis and Mian Khels of Dera Ismail Khan are the more important tribes.

There are other minor tribes such as the Jaduns of Hazara and Swabi, the Shinwaris and Mullagories of the Khyber, the Babars, and the Dawars. The strongest in number are the Yusufzais, mostly found in the two border states of Dir and Swat and the adjoining district of Mardan. Next to Yusufzais are the Khattaks, mostly found in Peshawar and Kohat. The third are the Marwats, who are found almost exclusively in Bannu.

The Afridis, the Mahsuds and the Wazirs are considered to be the best guerilla fighters in the world, while the Yusufzais and Khattaks are noted for their fine physique and martial qualities. Next to the Pathans are the Awans. They are an agricultural tribe like the Pathans and have many characteristics in common with them. The Awans are scattered over the whole province.

The Jats and Balochs of Dera Ismail Khan and the Tanawalis and Gujars of Hazara do not figure much in the population of the province. The Gakhars of Hazara have been frequently mentioned in history and have occupied a position of importance in the pre-Mughal and succeeding periods.


The language of Pakhtuns is called Pushto. While there is no dispute over the name of the language Pashtuns speak, its origin is disputed. Most authors agreed that it is both in origin and structure an Iranian language which has borrowed freely from the Indo-Aryan Group, although others believe it is probably a Saca dialect from the north. The general opinion, however, is that Pushto is a branch of the original Iranian language.

The Role Of Women

Pukhtun women have a limited role in public affairs. In the tribal area, all of the women of the malik's family and other families who make a claim to social distinction observe purdah, (veil). This does not mean that upper-class Pathan women lack influence. Intelligent and aggressive within the limits prescribed by custom, these women direct the substantial domestic affairs of their men and play a large part in arranging marriages and family alliances.Sometimes directly through negotiations with female members of the other family; and sometimes through the intermediary of go-betweens.

The women also provide the practical means of implementing the demands of melmastia (hospitality), an important part of Pukhtunwali. The women are as fanatically devoted to Pukhtunwali as their men and are frequently an important factor in urging the obligations of badal (revenge) on their lazy or reluctant males. The wives of ordinary tribesmen do most of the work cooking, harvesting the crops, looking after cattle, sewing and washing and so on.

Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)

Beside the four provinces in the country, there are certain areas, which enjoy special status, with a special administration under the relevant ministries of the federal government. These areas include the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) and Azad Kashmir. The FATA comprise the tribal agencies of Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan and four frontier regions (F.R.) attached to the districts of Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat and Peshawar.

These areas, which otherwise lie within the geographical boundaries of the NWFP, are administered at the federal level by the states and Frontier regions divisions, while the governor of NWFP acts as the agent to the president of Pakistan for these areas and exercises immediate, executive authority in FATA.

FATA has a total area of 27,200 sq.km, while the population of the area was estimated at 2.199 million in the census of 1981. The tribal belt, which skirts the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a legacy left by the British, who made several abortive attempts to push forward into Afghanistan. Now many tribes inhabiting the areas enjoy certain amount of autonomy to preserve their own identity. The opening of the Karakoram Highway has given these areas additional strategic and political significance.

The Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) are spread over 72,496 sq.km with a population of 574,543, according to the census of 1981.

States And Frontier Regions Division(SAFRON)

The States and Frontier Regions Division (SAFRON) is responsible for administration and development of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), organizing material and monetary assistance for Afghan refugees, financing and control of the civil armed forces (Frontier constabulary), levies, khassadars and matters relating to former princely states.

Bajaur Agency

It is bounded on the north and northeast by Dir district, on the east by Malakand protected area, on the south by Mohmand agency and on the west by Afghanistan. It comprises five valleys: Chaharmung, Babukara, Watalai (or ut-lai), Rub and the Sur Kamar Valley. The agency headquarters is located at Khar. The agency lies between 340 - 30/ and 340/ - 58/ north latitudes and 710 - 11/ and 710 - 48/ east longitudes. The total area of the agency is 1,290 sq. kms.

The area is mountainous and inaccessible. In the northern part mountain ranges are 3,000 meters high. Towards the south the height gradually decreases, and on the southern border, peaks are slightly over 2,500 meters high. The Panjkora River flows in a southern direction until it joins the Swat River, which flows along the eastern boundary of this agency. The agency has an extreme climate. The winter season starts in November and lasts up to March. The winters are extremely cold, and sometimes the temperature falls below freezing. December, January, February are the coldest months. The summer season lasts from May to October. June, July and August are the hottest months.

The major crops are wheat, barley, rice and sugar cane. Cultivation is mostly dependent upon rainfall, which is scanty and uncertain. A very small area is irrigated by small channels. Public, or rather tribal, affairs are managed by the Jirga or assembly of the elders and in this assembly each landowner has a vote.

Khyber Agency

Khyber agency is named after the famous Khyber Pass, which is the most vital and important link between Pakistan and Central Asia via Afghanistan. The headquarters of the agency are in Peshawar (outside the agency). The agency lies between 330 - 45/ and 340/ - 20/ north latitudes and 700-27/and 710-32/ east longitudes. It is bounded on the northwest by Afghanistan, on the north by Mohmand agency, on the east by Peshawar district, on the south by Orakzai agency and the tribal area adjoining Kohat district and on the west by Kurram agency. The total area of the agency is 2,576 sq. kms.

Khyber agency is a mountainous tract with strips of narrow valleys. It is the meeting place of a series of the Safed Koh and offshoots of the Hindu Kush mountains starting from the Pamir, the roof of the world. The mountains are generally barren, and water is scarce. The Khyber Pass starts about five kilometers beyond Jamrud Fort. Most of the valleys are dry and have very little land suitable for cultivation. The area near the Bara River is, however, fertile. The Bara River flows in the southern part of the agency while the Kabul River flows between Khyber and Mohmand Agencies. The valley of the Kabul River is narrow and deep.

The agency has an extreme climate. The summer season lasts from May to October. June, July and August are the hottest months. The winter season starts in November and continues until April. December, January and February are the coldest months.

The major crops are wheat, maize, sugar cane. The main sources of irrigation are canals and surface wells. The Bara River canal scheme, which originates from the Bara River near Khajuori, is the biggest multi-purpose irrigation scheme after Warsak Dam.

In 1980-81, there were three large scale industrial units, a vegetable ghee mill and a cigarette factory in Bara and a marble factory at Pendi Lalma. The manufacture of guns, rifles and daggers is the only cottage industry. A metalled road runs from Peshawar to Torkham via Jamrud and Landi Kotal. Other important places of the agency, like Bara and Shahidmena, are also connected with Peshawar through metalled roads.

The agency is also served by a railway line between Peshawar and Landi Kotal. The principal railway stations on this line are Jamrud Fort, Shagai and Landi Kotal. It runs parallel to the highway and the famous old carvan route linking Afghanistan to South Asia.

Kurram Agency

Kurram agency takes its name from the River Kurram which flows between the Peiwar kotal in the West and the borders of Miranzai in the East. It is bounded on the north and west by Afghanistan, on the east by Khyber and Orakzai agency and on the south by Kohat district and North Waziristan agency. The headquarters of the agency are located at Parachinar. The agency lies between 330 - 20/ and 340/ - 03/ north latitudes and 690 - 51/ and 700 - 45/ east longitudes. It has an area of about 1278 square miles.

The Kurram agency is mountainous. The most famous mountain range is the Safed Koh to the north of the agency along the Afghanistan border. The range begins at Peiwar Kotal and rises steeply northwards to an average height of 4,000 metres and constitutes a natural boundary with Afghanistan. Its highest peak is Skaram Sar with a height of 4,754 metres. It remains covered with snow almost throughout the year. Apart from the high mountains, the other important geographical feature is the Kurram valley. The valley extends northwest from Thal in Kohat district to Peiwar Kotal on the Afghanistan border, a length of about 115 kms.

The climate of Kurram agency is cold in winter and warm in summer. The summer season generally lasts from May to September. The warmest months are June, July and August. The winter season starts in October and continues until April. December, January and February are the coldest months.

The major crops are wheat, rice, pulses, and maize. The main source of irrigation are water channels. These channels are fed by the snow water of the Safed Koh. The agency headquarters in Parachinar is linked with other important towns through metalled roads.

Mohmand Agency

Mohmand agency takes its name from the Mohmand tribe, who inhabits the area. This agency was established in 1951. The agency headquarters are at Ghallanay. The agency lies between 340-43/ north latitudes and 70o/-58/ and 710-42/ east longitudes. It is bounded on the north by Bajaur agency, on the east by Malakand protected area and Peshawar district, on the south by Khyber agency and on the west by Afghanistan.

It is an area of rugged mountains with barren slopes. The general slope of the area is from northwest to southeast, with an average height of over 1,450 meters. Ilazai (2,716 meters) is the highest peak, and other important peaks are Yari Sar, (1,929 meters) and Silai (1,768 meters). The Kabul River flows along the southern boundary of the agency. The Swat River passes through the eastern part and has its course from north to south. The main tributaries of the Swat River in Mohmand agency are Karzine Khawar and Ambahar river.

The climate is hot and dry in summer and cold and dry in winter. The summer season commences in April and continues until October. June, July and August are the hottest months. The winter season lasts from November to March. December, January and February are the coldest months. The major crops are wheat, sugar cane and maize. The main sources of irrigation are canals and open wells. Warsak Dam has greatly improved irrigation. The right bank irrigation canal running through a tunnel in the Mullagori hills irrigates a large area in the agency.

There is a glass factory at Ghallanay. Cottage industries include the manufacture of shot guns, pistols and daggers. Ghallanay is connected with Peshawar by a metalled road.

North Waziristan Agency

The name of the agency is derived from the famous Wazir tribe. It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan, Kurram agency and Kohat district, on the east by the tribal area adjoining Bannu district, on the south by South Waziristan agency and on the west also by Afghanistan. The Agency comprises four large and fertile valleys: In the north the Lower Kurram Valley between the Kurram Agency on the upper reaches of that river and Bannu District; The Kaitu Valley; Daur in the valley of Tochi, the most open and fertile of the four; and the Khaisura Valley in the South. The headquarters of the agency are located at Miran Shah. It lies between 320 35/ and 330 22/ north latitudes and 600 - 22/ and 700 38/ east longitudes. The total area of the agency is 4,707 sq. kms.

The agency is mountainous. The mountains of North Waziristan are geographically apart from the larger mountain system of the Safed Koh to the north and the Sulaiman to the south. The highest points are in the west along the border with South Waziristan. The important mountain ranges are the Mazdak and Laram along the border with Afghanistan in the northwest. The Tochi River flows from west to east in the central part of this agency. The Kaitu and Kurram are the other two rivers which flow in a southeast direction in the northern part of the agency.

The climate of North Waziristan is cold in winter and warm in summer. The summer season starts in May and continues until September. June is generally the warmest month. Winter starts in October and continues until April. December, January and February are the coldest months. The main crops are wheat, maize, sugar cane, dates, and persimmons. The main sources of irrigation are springs, canals, karezes and tubewells.

In 1981, a match factory and a woollen textile mill were the two large scale industrial units in the agency. There are also two industrial training/production centers for metal and woollen textiles at Miran Shah. Cottage industries includes metal work, dying of cotton/woollen cloth, carpet weaving, wool spinning, and rope and basket making. Miran Shah is connected with other important places in the agency through metalled roads.

Orakzai Agency

This agency takes its name from the Orakzai tribe. It was created after the 1972 census. The Orakzai and Daulatzai tribes were formerly included in the tribal area adjoining Kohat district. The agency is bounded on the north by Khyber agency, on the east by the tribal area adjoining Kohat district, on the south by Kohat district and on the west by Kurram agency. The headquarters of the agency are at Kalaya. It is located between 330 - 33/ and 330 - 54/ north latitudes and 700 - 36/ and 710 - 22/ east longitudes. The total area of the agency is 1,538 sq. kms.

Orakzai agency is a mountainous tract dissected by numerous dry and arid water courses, especially in the southwestern part of the agency. The height of the hills varies from over 3,000 meters in the west to less than 2,000 meters in the east. The Bara River runs along the northeastern boundary before again entering into Khyber agency. The two other major streams are the Mastura and Khanki Toi.

Orakzai agency enjoys fairly pleasant summers and extremely cold winters. Summer starts in May and lasts until October. June, July and August are the hottest months. Winter starts in November and continues until April. December, January and February are the coldest months. Most of the rainfall takes place during the months of March, April, July and August.

The major crops are maize, wheat, and rice. Most of the area is hilly and is not fit for cultivation. A very small area is irrigated by streams and water courses fed by snow water. There is no large scale industrial unit in the agency.

South Waziristan Agency

The agency derives its name from the Wazir tribe, who live in the agency. It is bounded on the north by North Waziristan agency and the tribal area adjoining Bannu district, on the east by Bannu district and the tribal area adjoining D.I. Khan district, on the south by Zhob district and the tribal area adjoining D.I. Khan district and on the west by Afghanistan. The Agency includes all the country occupied by the Mahsuds, and, the West portions of the country of the Darwesh Khel Wazir. The headquarters of the agency are at Wana. The agency lies between 310 - 49/ and 320 - 48/ north latitudes and 690 - 15/ and 700 - 28/ east longitudes. The total area of the agency is 6,619 sq. kms.

The agency is mostly a mass of rugged and complex hills and ridges. The dominating range is the Spera Ghar in the west along the border with Afghanistan. It is 3,515 meters high. The Gomal, Tak Zam and Shahur are the important rivers. The agency has a warm summer and very cold winter. However, the areas in the southwest adjacent to Bannu and D.I. Khan districts experience a hot summer. The summer season starts from May and lasts up to September. June is generally the warmest month. The winter starts in October and continues until April. December, January and February are the coldest months.

The major crops are maize, wheat, rice, and apples. The main sources of irrigation are water channels. A part of the land is irrigated by small irrigation schemes. There are two large scale industrial units for leather and footwear in the agency. The main cottage industries are wool carding, woollen durries, carpet making, weaving, finishing of cotton and woollen cloth, processing of hides and skins, and manufacture of chappals, shoes, and belts. The agency headquarters in Wana are connected with all other important places through metalled roads.

Tribal Area Adjoining Bannu District

This is bounded on the north by Kohat district, on the east by Bannu district, on the south by South Waziristan agency and on the west by North Waziristan agency. It is located between 230 - 45/ and 330 - 16 north latitudes and 700 - 13/ and 700 - 52/ east longitudes. Its total area is 877 sq. kms.

The entire territory of this tribal area is composed of hills of medium height between 450 to 1,200 meters. The highest peak (1,216 meters) of the area is located to the south of Walai. The Kharaghora is the prominent range in the souther part of the area with an average height of almost 850 meters. Three of the important western tributaries of the Indus River, the Kurram, Baran and Tochi, flow across this tribal area. The area experiences hot summers and cold winters. Summer starts in April and continues until October. June, July and August are the hottest months. Winter starts in November and lasts until March. December, January and February are the coldest months.

Tribal Area Adjoining D.I. Khan District

The territory is not compact but consists of two separate units in the north and south, separated by the southern corner of South Waziristan agency. The northern part is known as Bhitanni area while the southern part as Argha Shirani area. The northern part is bounded on the north and west by South Waziristan agency, on the east by Bannu district and on the south by Tank tehsil of D.I. Khan district. The southern part is bounded on the north by South Waziristan agency, on the east by Kulachi tehsil of D.I. Khan district, on the south by D.G. Khan and Loralai districts and on the west by Zhob district. As a whole it is located between 310 - 04/ and 320/ - 38/ north latitudes and 690 - 55/ and 700 - 35/east longitudes. Its total area is 3,229 sq. km.

The northern part of the tribal area is mostly covered by the dry Bhitanni Hills, gradually sloping from northwest to southeast. The highest point of these hills is 1,943 meters above sea level located near the northern border on the watershed of the Zia Plaiwan stream. The southern part is composed of the Sulaiman mountains in the west which are of considerable height and comparatively lower hills on the entire eastern side. A number of peaks in this range are over 2,750 meters high. Takht-e-Sulaiman is the highest point of the Sulaiman range with a height of 3,374 meters. Important streams in this part are the Tangi Khawar and Rangharar Khawar, the main tributaries of the Khora river.

The area has warm summers and very cold winters. Summer starts in April and lasts until October. June, July and August are the hottest months. Winter starts in November and lasts until March. December, January and February are the coldest months.

Tribal Area Adjoining Kohat District

It is bounded on the north by Khyber agency, Peshawar district and the tribal area adjoining Peshawar district, on the east and south by Kohat district and on the west by Orakzai agency. It is located between 330 - 33/ and 330/ - 46/ north latitudes and 710 - 21/ and 710 - 50/ east longitudes. Its total area is 446 sq. kms.

The area is composed of a variety of land forms. The western part is higher and more complex with the average height of the hills around 1,500 meters. The highest point of the area is located near the western border and is 1,918 meters high. In the eastern half, the height of the hills decreases, and hills flanking the narrow area are about 600 meters high. The area has a warm summer and cold winters. Summer starts in May and lasts until October. May, June, July are the warmest months. Winter season starts in November and lasts until April. December, January and February are the coldest months.

Tribal Area Adjoining Peshawar District

It is bounded on the north and east by Peshawar district, on the south by Kohat district and on the southwest by the tribal area adjoining Kohat district. It is located between 330 - 39/ and 340/ - 32/ north latitudes and 710 - 32/ and 710 - 52/ east longitudes. Its total area is 261 sq. Kms. The entire area is hilly and slopes in the northeast and northwest direction, from an average height of over 1,300 meters to a height of about 600 meters. The highest peak is 1,397 meters above sea level, located in the south of Jinakor. The area has warm summers and cold winters. Summer starts in May and lasts until October. May, June and July are the warmest months. Winter starts in November and lasts until April. December, January and February are the coldest months.


Punjab, the land of five rivers, is the most populous of the four provinces of Pakistan. The name Punjab is derived from the words panj, meaning five, and aab, meaning water. When Pakistan came into being in 1947, a part of eastern Punjab went to India, but most of the state became a part of Pakistan. The rivers that flow in Punjab are Satluj, Bias, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum, the tributaries of the Indus. The population has now grown to approximately 80 million. The entire area extends over 205,346 sq. kilometers (97,192 sq. miles).

Punjab a comparatively developed province is considered to be the nerve centre of Pakistan as well as its cultural capital. Punjab is known for a great variety of arts and crafts-- from the blue tiles of Multan to the woodwork of Chiniot--as well for its industry. It is a land of many games, of sturdy pehlwans (wrestlers), of cattle, of folklore and love legends and of haunting music.

The province is bounded in the north by North West Frontier Province and Islamabad, in the northeast by the Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian occupied part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. In the east and south it is bounded by India, in the southwest by Sindh province and in the west by Baluchistan, federally administered Areas and NWFP. The province lies from 270 - 40/ to 750 - 20/east longitude.


Archaeological excavations indicate that an urban civilization existed in this area from about 25,000 B.C. to 1500 B.C., when it is believed that Aryan incursions brought it to an end. Of the following 1,000 years little is known. The early recorded history of the region begins with the annexation of Punjab and Sindh to the Persian empire by Darius (518 B.C). Alexander's invasion of Punjab in the spring of 326 B.C. established only a transient rule, and the Greek withdrawal was completed by about 317 B.C. Chandragupta Maurya incorporated the states of Punjab into his Indian empire, which reached its zenith in the reign of his grandson (ruled 265-238 B.C). The Aruks of Bactria (northern Afghanistan) extended their rule to parts of Punjab in last decade of the second century B.C.

The first century B.C and the first two centuries A.D. were the Gupta period, which was shattered by the invasions of the Hephtalites in the third quarter of the fifth century. During a long period of anarchy, Punjab changed hands with Kashmiri, Kaluli and Hindu Shahi rulers.

The first Muslims to penetrate into northern India were the Arabs, who in 712 A.D. conquered south Punjab. The rest of the Punjab was conquered (1007-27) by Mahmud of Ghazni. From 1027 until the victories of Muizz-ud-Din Muhammad of Ghur between 1176 and 1193 this part of the Indian subcontinent remained fragmented. In 1206 Punjab came under the sultanate of Delhi. It was then successively ruled by the Khiljis (1290-1320), the Tughluks (1320-98), the Sayyids (1414-50), and the Lodhis (1451-1526).

The Mughals made their entry with the victory of Babur at Panipat on April 21, 1526. Under the Mughals the province enjoyed peace and prosperity for more them 200 years. The Mughals, who had strong artistic and cultural traditions, also made wide social reforms. Their power declined after 1738, and in 1747 Lahore fell to Afghan troops. According to a Punjabi saying:

Eat and enjoy whatever you can

The rest will be plundered by Ahmad Shah (Abdali)

The Afghan hold remained quite weak, giving rise to lawlessness and disorder. The Sikhs rose to power in 1799, headed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Punjab came under British occupation in 1849, after the British victory over Sikhs in the battles of Chilianwala and Gujrat. After the British annexation of the territory, Punjab was incorporated into a province that included areas northwest of the Jumna River extending to the Indo-Afghan border. There were later territorial adjustments. The North West Frontier Province was separated from Punjab in 1901, as was the Delhi enclave in 1902. The province of Punjab was given autonomy, together with other provinces, in accordance with the Government of India Act of 1935.

When the Indian subcontinent received its independence in 1947, the British Indian province of Punjab was divided into West and East Punjab, which later became known as Punjab (Pakistan) and Punjab (India). The boundary was drawn in such a way as to achieve, among other things, contiguous Muslim and non-Muslim majority areas. Thus it lacked any physical or geographical basis. Preservation of some irrigation and communication system was attempted, at a loss to Punjab (Pakistan) of areas in which there were Muslim majorities. Punjab (Pakistan) was part of the single province of West Pakistan from 1955 to 1970, when it was reconstituted as a separate province. It also included the former princely state of Bahawalpur.


The province of Punjab is pre-eminently a level plain. However, there are some mountains and hilly areas mostly in the northwest and extreme southwest of the province. There is also a plateau adjacent to these mountains known as the Potowar plateau and a desert belt in the southeastern part of the province known as Cholistan. The province can be divided into the four broad physiographic divisions given below.

a)Mountainous and Hilly areas:

One of the two tracts of the mountainous and hilly areas is in the northwest of the province. The hills in this tract consist of two important mountain ranges. That is the sub-Himalayas or Shiwaliks range in the northeast and the Salt range in the south of this tract. The mountains and hills in the northern part of Attock and the northeastern part of the Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts consists of the extension of the sub-Himalayas or Shiwaliks range. The height of the mountain ranges in this part varies from 2,000 to 2,500 meters above sea level. The hills of the Salt range are in the central part of Jehlum and northern part of Sargodha districts. They run in an east-west direction and vary in height from 500 to 1,000 meters.

The second hilly tract is in the southwestern part of the province in Dera Ghazi Khan district. These hills form part of the Sulaiman range. The height of these hills increases from the south to 3,000 meters above sea level.

b)Potowar Plateau

The Potowar plateau is bounded in the north by the Kala-Chitta and the Margalla ranges, in the east by the Jehlum River, in the south by the Salt range and in the west by the Indus River. It has an elevation of about 500 to 1,000 meters. Most of the area of the plateau slopes from north to east and drains through the Soan River into the Indus River. However, the south-eastern portion of the plateau slopes towards the east and drains into the Jehlum River. It is a typical badland, cut by deep ravines.

c)Plains Area

The plain of Punjab forms the extreme northwestern part of the great Indo-Gangetic plain. It has been formed by the Indus and its tributaries and is called the upper Indus plain. It slopes gradually towards the sea. The plain has been sub-divided by four large doabs or interfluves: Sindh Sagar doab, Chaj doab, Roehna doab and Bari doab. The central parts of these doabs are higher than the land closer to the rivers and are called bars. There are four bars in the province: Kirana bar in Chaj doab, Sandal bar in Rachna doab and Ganji and Nili bars in the Bari doab.

Apart from the plain areas of doabs, the other plains are east of the Satluj and west of the Indus. The plain east of the Sutlej River is commonly known as the Bahawalpur plain. It starts beyond the riverain tract and lies between the Sutlej River and the Cholistan desert. The Derajat plain lies west of the Indus in between the Indus and the foothills of the Sulaiman range. It is also known as the Sulaiman piedmont. The surface of this plain is either plain or undulate.

d)Desert Area

The desert area Cholistan lies in the extreme southeast of the province. It occupies parts of Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan districts along the Indian border. It is part of the great Thar desert and is known as Cholistan or Rohi. The surface of the desert is a wild maze of sand dunes and sand ridges, occasionally rising about 150 meters above the surrounding areas.


The climate of the Punjab is continental with marked temperature fluctuations both seasonal and diurnal with significant aridity. The winter season starts in November and lasts until March, with January as the coldest month. The temperature decreases from south to north. The weather in the winter season is occasionally affected by western wind disturbances which are formed along the Mediterranean front and enter Pakistan after crossing Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. There winds lower the temperature, which occasionally falls below freezing in some parts of the plain.

The summer season starts in April and lasts until October, with June as the hottest month in most parts of the province. High temperatures and aridity are the main characteristics of this season. The temperature increases from north to south. The hill stations in Murree tehsil in Rawalpindi district have comparatively lower temperatures.

Most of the rainfall in the province is caused by the summer monsoons, when the wind blows in from the sea. The monsoons start in the middle of June,gain strength in July and remain constant until the end of August. Most of the rainfall is associated with summer monsoons and is received during July-September. The rainfall is higher in the northern and northeastern part of the province and gradually decreases towards the south. The winter rainfall is caused by western disturbances. Winter rainfall is higher in the north and west and decreases towards the south and east.

Rivers And Streams

All the five rivers of the province originate from the snowy mountains of the Himalayas and pass through the province from northeast to southwest. They are perennial in nature. However, the volume of water increases during summer, sometimes resulting in floods.

The Indus is the greatest of all the rivers. In the north it flows in a deep gorge between Attock district and NWFP and thereafter flows generally along the western boundary of the province. The Jhelum enters the province near Jehlum city. It separates Jehlum district from Gujrat and Sargodha districts; passing through Sargodha and Jhang districts, it joins the Chenab River at Trimmu. The Chenab River enters the province in Sialkot near the Marala headwork. It separates Gujrat and Sargodha districts from Sialkot and Gujranwala districts; flowing through Jhang district it is joined by the Jehlum at Trimmu. The Ravi River enters the province at a point north of Shahdra. It separates Sheikupura and Faisalabad districts from Lahore, Sahiwal and Multan districts and joins the Chenab River at the junction of Multan, Jhang and Muzaffargarh districts.

The Satluj River enters the province at the Sulaimanki headwork. It separates Sahiwal, Vehari and Multan districts from Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur districts and joins the Chenab River at a point north of Uch. The combined rivers of the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej, until they merge with the Indus River at Mithan Kot are called Punjnad.

There are a few other important rivers and streams. These include the Soan River in the Potowar plateau and the Haro River north of the Kala-Chitta range in Attock district. Among the important streams, the Eik and the Dek enter the province in Sialkot district from the north. The former goes through Sialkot and Gujranwala districts and flows into the Chenab while the latter flows through Sialkot, Gujranwala and Sheikupura district before flowing into the Indus.


Despite the increase in indutrialsation the economy of the province is primarily agrarian. Punjab's chief crops are wheat and cotton. Other crops include rice, grain, sugar cane, millet, corn (maize), oilseeds, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.


The vegetation of an area generally comprises forests, shrubs and grasses. The climate of Punjab is generally too dry for the growth of natural forests. Some good reserves of forests are, however, found in the mountainous and hilly areas of Murree and Kahuta tehsils of Rawalpindi district. The principal trees in the upper reaches of these forests are deodar, biar, paluda, and barangi. In the lower hills at altitudes between 1,000 to 2,000 meters the common trees are ghir, kao, phulahi and sinatha. Further down in the plain the most common trees are shisham, tut, drek, ber and kikar.

There are also some important plantations in the plain areas of the province. These forests are found at Changa Manga in Kasur district, Chichawatni in Sahiwal district, Piranwala in Multan district, Shorkot in Jhang district, Kamaba in Toba Tek Singh district and Dafar in Gujrat district. Important trees in the forest are shisham, kikar, tut and somul. Such forests are found over a large area of the northern and northeastern foothills and plains. The main trees are farash, kangar, karir, akk, and bakain. Grasses are found in many parts of the province. The main varieties of are phatwan, sarkanda, kundar, sarut, dab, lanna, dhaman, chembar, khabbal and madhana.


The provincial capital is Lahore. The chief executive is a governor, who is appointed by the president of Pakistan. The province prepares its own budget, based on provincial receipts and central grants. The governor is assisted by the provincial secretaries, headed by a chief secretary.

The judicial function is vested in the high court of the province. Its decisions can be appealed to the supreme court of Pakistan. The province is divided into eight administrative divisions; Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Multan, Faisalabad, Deraghazi Khan, Bahawalpur and Gujranwala and has 34 administrative districts

Cultural Heritage

Arts and handicrafts in Pakistan are essentially Islamic in nature. The magnificent edifices dotting this land of ancient civilizations in the form of forts, palace gardens, mosques, and mausoleums are eloquent reminders of the great tradition of Muslim architecture. The structure of a mosque is simple and expresses a sense of openness. Calligraphic inscriptions from the Quran decorate mosques and mausoleums to create a divine atmosphere. The inscriptions on the mausoleums of Shah Rukn-i-Alam (Multan) on bricks and tiles are outstanding specimens of architectural calligraphy. The most artistic existing building in South Asia replete with enamelled tile work is the tomb of Shah Yusaf Gardezi (1150 A.D.) at Multan, which was developed on the tombs of Shah Baha-ul-Haq (1262 A.D.) and Shah Rukn-i-Alam (1320 A.D.) both at Multan. The only example of the 16th century tile work at Lahore is the tomb of Sheikh Musa Changar, with its brilliant blue dome. The Lahore tile work of Emperor Shah Jahan's reign is of a richer and more elaborate nature.

Classical music forms an important part of the cultural wealth of Punjab. Muslim musicians have contributed a vast number of ragas to the repertory of classical music and in compositions of classical ragas, indebted to such masters as Malika-i-Museequi, Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. For popular taste, light music, particular ghazals and folk songs, the names of Nur Jehan, Malika Pukhraj and Farida Khanam are well known.

Folk songs and dances reflect a wide range of moods. The rains, sowing and harvesting seasons, Luddi, Jhoomer, Bhangrah and Sammi, depict the joy of living. The love legends of Hir Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sohni Mahinwal and Saiful Maluk are sung in different styles. Among the Punjabi Sufi poets, the names of Baba Farid.Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Waris Shah, Bulhe Shah and Mian Muhammad Bakhsh are well known. Among folk singers, the names of Sain Marna, Sain Akhtar, Tufail Niazi, Pathaney Khan, Reshman and Alam Lohar are very near and dear to the Punjabi people.

Cultural Life

Martial traditions, rural romanticism, and religion form the basis of Punjabi culture. These are reflected in Punjabi literature, particularly in the folklore. Marriages are generally arranged by the parents, and while marriage is a social contract between the bride and groom, it is also considered a tie between families and a source of prestige. Punjabi parents, therefore, attach high importance to making good marriages for their children. The custom of dowry is also important, particularly in the opulent sections of urban society.

The practice of vartan bhaaji, the exchange of gifts, favours, and services, is widespread on ceremonial occasions. A woman's rights of vartan bhaaji, or visits to her parents' for receiving gifts, are almost continuous. Dress commonly consists of a long shirt and shalwar, trousers or lungi (unstitched cloth tied around the waist in place of trousers) and turban. Women generally cover their heads.


The population of the province is predominantly Muslim. They constitute approximately 97.5 percent of the total population. The important minorities are Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs and Buddhists.

Art & Craft

The local Muslim traditions of Punjab were greatly influenced by the works of Central Asian and Persian artists of the early Mughal period. Persian initiatives are evident in the works of well-known artists like Abdur Rehman Chughtai, with a style of his own, and Haji Muhammad Sharif. Among modern artists, Shakir Ali's name stands above all; a museum has been built in his memory. In calligraphy, a great heritage of Muslim art, Lahore's Agha Mirza Iman Verdy gave new dimensions to this art and was followed by the equally renowned Sufi Abdul Majid (Parveen Raqqm). Calligraphy is being revived and is becoming popular.

In the graphic arts, considerable work has been done by Punjabi artists. Representational paintings and landscapes continue to be produced side by side with more complex modern trends. The main art centres in the province are the National College of Arts, the Fine Arts Department of Punjab University and the Art Gallery, all located in Lahore.

Lahore is also the centre of hand made carpets, a beautiful blend from Iran and Turkistan. Since ancient times weavers have produced colorful silks and cottons. In spite of the existence of modern textile mills, hand-woven cottons such as the khaddar of Kamalia are still popular. In the northern areas, even woollen cloth is hand-woven. Multan is famous for beautiful handwoven fabrics, and the potter at his wheel is a common sight in every village uninfluenced by modern glamour. Bahawalpur, Gujrat and surrounding areas also produce colorful pottery, painted after firing. The blue glazed pottery of Multan dates back to the 13th century and has obvious traces of Persian influence. Chiniot, Gujrat and Lahore are famous for wood work. Chiniot is also known for brass and iron inlay. Copper and brass work is done within the walled city of Lahore.


There is a distinction between country sports and town games. The villagers excel in wrestling, kabaddi and horse racing, which are organized regularly in villages. Tent pegging is also a fascinating sport. Urbanization has lead to increased interest in squash, hocky, cricket and volleyball. Punjab has come to be known for world famous hockey and cricket players.


The universities of Punjab are Punjab University,Engineering University, located in Lahore, Agricultural University at Faisalabad, Barani Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, National University of Science and Technology Punjab has following specialized colleges:.King Edvard Medical College, Alama Iqbal Medical college Fatima Jinnah Medical College (Lahore), Rawalpindi Medical College, College of Engineering & Technology Texila, Punjab Medical College Faisalabad, Nishtar Medical College Multan, Quaid-i-Azam Medical College Bahawalpur, De-montmorancy College of Dentistary Lahore, Nishtar College of Dentistary Multan, and two Law colleges at Lahore and Multan. Besides these government-run institutions there are a number of private Law Colleges, Business Education Colleges and two Medical Colleges in the province.

There are many Post-graduate, graduate and intermediate colleges in the province which are run by the government and the private sector. There are polytechnic colleges, commercial institutes and vocational institutes.


Punjabi is the most common language spoken by approximately 90.7 percent of the population. Siraiki and Urdu are the other languages usually spoken. Balochi, Pushto and Sindhi are also spoken by a few. The main written language is Urdu, followed by English. The dominant ethnic groups which have inhabited Punjab throughout recorded history are Jats, Rajputs, Arains, Gujars and Awans.


Punjab is one of the more industrialized regions of Pakistan. The more important industries are textiles, machinery, electrical appliances, surgical instruments, metal industries, bicycles and rickshaws, floor coverings, and food processing.

Lahore is the capital of Punjab. It has been the seat of learning and power for centuries. 275 kilometers north of Lahore, Rawalpindi has an army museum. It also has a large park known as Ayub Park. It was the headquarters of the northern command of the British Indian Army and had a large cantonment. Chaklala near Rawalpindi is an international airport. Taxila, some 35 kilometers northwest of Rawalpindi, is famous for its archaeological sites dating back to the 7th century B.C. Murree and the Galis are about 64 kilometers from Rawalpindi. At an altitude of 2,286 meters, Murree is one of the most popular summer resorts in Pakistan. Murree and the Galis offer horse riding, golf, chair lifts and walks galore, with a magnificent vista of the plains and snow-capped peaks.


Sindh is the southeastern province of Pakistan. Bounded by the neighboring Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Balochistan on the north and west and India on the east and southeast, it extends along 150 miles of the Arabian Sea on the southwest and covers an area of 141,000 square kilometers, or about 17.7 percent of the total area of Pakistan. The population of Sindh was about 19 million in the 1981 census (22.59 percent of Pakistan's population), which is estimated to have increased to about 25 million in 1990.

The province of Sindh is aptly named after the great river, Indus, whose fertile plain has provided for countless people ever since the Harappans devised one of the world's first civilizations nearly 5,000 years ago. The Indo-Aryans believed the river flowed from Sinh-Ka-Bab, the mouth of a lion. Because of its huge size, they named it Sindhu in Sanskrit, meaning ocean. The Greeks Called it Sinthus, the Romans Sindus, the Chinese Sintow, the Persians, Abasin. The Arabs called it Sind, assigning the name Hind to the lands beyond in the east.


The Indus civilization, represented by the archaeological findings at Mohenjodaro, Amri and Kot Diji, existed from 2300 to 1750 B.C., after which there is a gap of more than a millennium before its earliest recorded history begins with Sindh's annexation to the Persian empire under Darius I (reigned 522-486 B.C). Nearly two centuries later, Alexander the Great stormed through the region in 326 and 325 B.C. After Alexander's death Sindh came under the domination of the empires of Seleucus Nicator (also the founder of the Syrian monarchy), Chandragupta Maurya (305 B.C.), the Indo- Greeks and Parthians (3rd-2nd century B.C.) and the Scythians and the Kushans (100 B.C.-A.D. 200). Under the Kushan emperor Kanishka (c. A.D. 78-103), Sindh embraced Buddhism. From the third to the seventh century, the area remained under the Sassanids, and Sindh came to be ruled by the Samma chiefs of the local Rai dynasty as feudatories of Persia. A Brahmin priest subverted Samma rule in 622 and brought Sindh under Brahmin rule, which ended with the Arab invasion in 712. The following is a chronological table of Sindh's modern history:

Ruled by Brahmans until conquered by the Muslims                    712 A.D.

A possession of the Khalifa of the Ummayid dynasty                   750 A.D.

conquered from them by Mahmud of Ghazni                              1026 A.D.

Sumra tribes obtained power                                                       1051 A.D.

Sammas overthrew the Sumras                                                   1351 A.D.

Conquered by Shah Beg Urghun                                                 1519 A.D.

Emperor Humayun placed Sind under contribution                   1540 A.D.

Turkhans obtained power                                                            1555 A.D.

Annexed by Akbar to Delhi                                                          1529 A.D.

Nur Muhammad Kalhora obtained the Subedarship                    1719 A.D.

Nadir Shah annexed Sind to the Persian dominions                    1740 A.D.

Became dependency of the Afghan throne                                   1748 A.D.

The Kalhora dynasty overthrown by the Talpurs                         1782 A.D.

The British conquest of Sindh                                                      1843 A.D.

The connection of the British government with Sindh had its origin in 1758 A.D. When Ghulam Shah Kalhora, on September 22nd of that year, granted a Purwanah, or permit to an officer in the East India Company's service for the establishment of a factory in the province, with a view to the encouragement of trade between the Indian territories and Sindh; later, certain immunities and exemptions from customs were also granted to the company.


The province can be divided into four broad physical divisions: the Kirthar range, lower Indus plain, Indus delta and eastern desert belt. The hills of the Kirthar extend all along the western border of Sindh province. They run in a north-south direction and vary in width from 20 to 50 kilometers. The range consists of an ascending series of ridges from east to west, which are about 1,000 to 1,500 meters high. The highest peak is 2,096 meters. The hills decrease in altitude from north to south. Towards the south they spread out in width and are known as Sindh Kohistan.

The lower Indus plain was a part of the Arabian Sea about ten million years ago. The sea bed gradually rose to a plain as a result of deposition of sand and silt by the Indus River in the sea. Now a vast plain, it is nowhere more than 100 meters high above sea level. The lower part of this plain, which starts from Hyderabad, is predominantly covered with flood silt. There are a few low limestone ridges in this plain. Some of them are near Rohri in Sukkur district, commonly known as the Rohri cuesta, which extends about 75 meters above sea level. Another such ridge is the Ganjo Takkar, a cuesta of limestone which stretches south from Hyderabad up to 25 kilometers. There are also a few depressions and lakes in this plain.

The distributors of the Indus start spreading out near Thatta across the deltaic flood plain to the sea. The even surface is marked by a network of flowing and abandoned channels. A coastal strip 10 to 40 km. wide is flooded at high tide and contains some mangrove swamps.

The desert belt lies along the eastern border of the province. It is known as the Thar desert, the major portion of which lies in India. In the north it extends up to Bahawalpur division. The desert consists of barren tracts of sand dunes covered with thorny bushes. In the extreme southeast corner of this desert in Nagar Parkar taluka of Tharparkar district, there is a small hilly tract known as the Karunjhar hills. The hills are about 20 km. in length from north to south and about 300 meters high.


The greater part of Sindh experiences a very hot summer and a cool winter with a small amount of late summer rains. In the south, the proximity of the sea makes the atmosphere humid and hot in summer. The temperature is higher in the north. The daily range of temperature also increases with distance from the sea. In winter the weather is generally clear, and the temperature is about 100C lower than in summer. The province is influenced by summer coming from the Arabian Sea and the northwest or retreating monsoon blowing towards the sea. The intense summer heat creates low pressure over the Sindh desert, attracting the southeast trade winds across the equator. These winds form the southwest monsoon and are the main source of rain in most of the province.


Rainfall is scanty. The annual rainfall is about 200 mm. in lower Sindh and less than 100 mm. in upper Sindh. Average annual rainfall is 125 mm. Most of the rain occurs from July to September.

Rivers And Streams

The Indus is the main river of the province, flowing northeast to southwest in the lower Indus plain. At several places it flows across limestone ridges which provide a firm foundation for the construction of barrages for canals. A few small streams come out of the Kirthar hills. These are mostly seasonal and run in summer. Among these streams, the Nari and the Baran drain into the Indus River while the Hub and the Liari flow direct into the Arabian Sea.

Vegetation And Animal Life

Due to scanty rainfall the natural vegetation consists mainly of thorny shrubs and bushes. Most of the natural vegetation grows along the Indus River. Trees are planted along the canals and roads. The main varieties are babul, shisham, kandi kandero and khajji. Mango, date palm, banana, guava, orange and chiku are typical fruit bearing trees. Water lilies are abundant in lakes and ponds, of lower Sindh.

Among the wild animals, sarch (Sindh ibex), urial or gadh (wild sheep), and black bear are found in the western rocky range. Deer is found in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the charakh (striped hyena), jackal, fox, porcupine, common grey mongoose and hedgehog. Among reptiles there is a variety of Lizards cobra and Lundi (viper)


Presently, Sindh is comprised of four administrative divisions, Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana and Sukkur, 17 districts, 65 sub-divisions and 79 talukas. The talukas have been further sub-divided into 230 supervisory tapedar circles. Each division is headed by a commissioner, and the district is headed by a deputy commissioner. They are responsible for the general administration, law and order, internal security and revenue collection. The divisional commissioner is assisted by two additional commissioners and two assistant commissioners on the revenue and general side.

The administrative head of the province is the governor, who is appointed by the president of Pakistan. The province has an elected legislature called the Sindh Assembly. The majority party, with the chief minister as the leader, froms the government. Law and order are maintained by an inspector general of police. For dispensation of justice and recruitment to government service, Sindh has a high court and a public service commission.


The population of Sindh has nearly tripled since the first census of Pakistan in 1951. It was 19 million in 1981 compared to 6 million in 1951. The population of the province increased by 34.4 percent during the 1972-81 intercensal period (8 years and 5? months) at an average annual growth rate of 3.6 percent, the second highest among the provinces.

Sindh has 22.6 percent of the population of Pakistan and stands second in population after Punjab but third in area, which is 140.914 sq. km. Its population is four and a half times of the population of Baluchistan and two-fifths that of Punjab. The population density is 135 persons per sq. Km. Sindh is an urbanized province, with 43 percent of the people living in urban areas including Karachi.


The majority of the people in Sindh speak the Sindhi language, which has regional variations or dialects. In addition, other languages are spoken. These include English, Urdu, Gujrati, Kathiawari, Kachi, Punjabi, Siraiki, Baluchi, Barohi, Marwari, Pushto, Hindko, Burushaski and Chitrali. Education is imparted through English, Urdu and Sindhi, and these three languages are compulsory for all students from class III up to class XII. Sindhi is commonly understood by all classes of people even in remote areas except in the city of Karachi, where the Memons (migrants from India), Brahuis, Baluchis and Parsis can easily understand it. They can also speak Sindhi with a little variation.


Health facilities are extended through 260 hospitals 1,600 government and private dispensaries, 70 rural health centres, 400 basic health units, 30 sub-health centers, 50 maternity homes and child care centres, 13 T.B. clinics and ten government dental clinics. The provincial government has a permanent department of health, which is responsible for the organization and expansion of health services administered through the directorate of health. In addition there are child health centres, midwifery and maternity services, mobile health units and facilities for the training of nurses.


The provincial department of education is responsible for policy and planning; except for the universities which are virtually autonomous, all educational institutions are under departmental control.

Efforts are being made to raise the literacy rate in Sindh through 13,000 mosque schools enrolling 24,300 students, 1600 primary schools with 1,919,000 students, 1,200 middle schools, 170 colleges with 145,000 students and 90 technical institutions with an enrollment of 13,000 students. About 200,000 additional children from 5-9 years have been enrolled in primary education. About 70,000 additional children above ten years have also been enrolled. In addition there are three general education universities, one agricultural university, two engineering universities and a college and five medical colleges.

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  2. 1981 Census Report of Punjab Province (Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan,1989).

  3. 1981 Census Report of Sindh Province (Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, 1984).

  4. A.W. Hughes, The Country of Balochistan (UK: George Beuhsons).

  5. Arshad Waheed Chaudhry, Let's See Pakistan, (Islamabad: Roshni Publisher, 1989-90).

  6. Arshad Waheed Chaudhry, Let's See Pakistan, (Islamabad: Roshni Publisher, 1989-90).

  7. Arshad Waheed Chaudhry, Let's See Pakistan, (Islamabad: Roshni Publisher, 1989-90).

  8. Asghar Khan, (ed.), Pakistan Tourism Directory 1987-88 (Karachi: Holiday Weekly).

  9. Imperial Gazetteer of India: Balochistan (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publishers, 1969).

  10. Isobel Shaw, Collins Illustrated Guide to Pakistan (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company, 1989).

  11. Isobel Shaw, Collins Illustrated Guide to Pakistan (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company, 1989).

  12. Isobel Shaw, Collins Illustrated Guide to Pakistan (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company, 1989).

  13. Isobel Shaw, Pakistan Handbook (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company Ltd., 1989).

  14. Isobel Shaw, Pakistan Handbook (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company Ltd., 1989).

  15. Isobel Shaw, Pakistan Handbook (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company Ltd.,

  16. Isobel Shaw, Pakistan Handbook (Hong Kong: The Guide Book Company Ltd., 1989).

  17. James W. Spain, Pakistan's North West Frontier Province: The Political Problems of a Borderland, (Ann Arbor: University of Micligon, 1976)

  18. Lubna Saif and Javed Iqbal, Pakistani Society and Culture (Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University, 1988).

  19. Lubna Saif and Javed Iqbal, Pakistani Society and Culture (Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University, 1988).

  20. Lubna Saif and Javed Iqbal, Pakistani Society and Culture (Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University, 1988).

  21. Masud-ul-Hasan, Pakistan: Places of Interest (Lahore, Ferozsons, n.d.).

  22. Masud-ul-Hasan, Pakistan: Places of Interest (Lahore: Ferozsons).

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  24. Pakistan 1991: An Official Handbook (Islamabad: Directorate General of Films and Publication Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of Pakistan).

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  26. Sind Annual 78, Government of Sind, Karachi 1979.

  27. Syed Abdul Quddus, The North West Frontier of Pakistan (Royal Book Company, 1990).

  28. Syed Abdul Quddus, The Pathans (Ferozsons Pvt. Ltd, 1987).

  29. Tony Halliday, Insight Guides: Pakistan (1992 APA Publication).

  30. Tony Halliday, Insight Guides: Pakistan (1992 APA Publication).

  31. Year Book of the NWFP 1955 (Peshawar: Secretary to the Government  of NWFP, Information Department).

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