North West Frontier
Province is a province of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
located on both banks of the river Indus and stretches
from the Himalayas in the north to the deserts in the
south where it is bordered by the Baluchistan and Punjab
provinces. On its western flank is the rugged terrain
of neighboring country Afghanistan, which is accessed
via the historic Khyber Pass through the mountains of
the Suleiman Range. Its borders touch or are close to
those of China, the Tajikistan and the disputed territory
of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the north. The
capital of the province is the city of Peshawar.
It covers an area of 74,521 sq. km.
According to the 1998 census, the total population of
N.W.F.P. was approximately 14 million out of whom 52%
are males and 48% females. The density of population
is 187 per sq. km and the intercensal change of population
is of about 30 percent. Geographically the province
could be divided into two zones: the northern one extending
from the ranges of the Hindukush 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 raid with hot summers and relatively
cold winters and scantly rainfall. Its climate varies
from very cold (Chitral in the north) to very hot in
places like D.I. Khan.
Its snow-capped peaks and lush green
valleys of unusual beauty attract tourists and mountaineers
from far and wide while its art and architecture no
less known than the historic Khyber Pass. Once the cradle
of Gandhara civilization, the area is now known for
its devout Muslims who jealously guard their religion
and culture and the way of life which they have been
following for centuries.
The warlike Pukhtoons, who live in
NWFP and the adjoining areas of Afghanistan, making
them a race apart, a chosen people, and no one, has
ever managed to subdue them. The Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs,
British and Russians have suffered defeat at their hands.
The Pukhtoons are divided into numerous sub-tribes and
clans, each defending its territory and honor. In addition,
the Pukhtoons serve as Pakistan's first line of defense
along the Durand Line, the border drawn in 1893 by Sir
Mortimer Durand, then foreign secretary of British India.
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