Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Bajaur

Share now

Introduction

Bajaur got the status of a Tribal District in 2018 when FATA was merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan. The newly formed Tribal District is located between 34° 30Ꞌ and 34° 58Ꞌ north latitudes, and 71° 11Ꞌ and 71° 48Ꞌ east longitudes, it is bordered by district Dir on the northeast, the Kunar province of Afghanistan on the northwest, Mohmand Agency (now Tribal Mohmand district) on the southwest and Malakand district/Protected Area on the southeast.

Bajaur District - Wikipedia

Figure 1.3 View of Bajaur District

Figure 1.4 Another view Bajaur District

Tribal district at a Glance

Name of District Bajaur Tribal District
Headquarters Khar Town
Population[1] 1,090,987 persons
Area[2] 1,290 km2
Population Density[3] 845.7 Persons /Sq. Km
Growth Rate[4] 3.2%
Male Population[5] 51.0%
Female Population[6] 49.0%
Urban Population[7]
Administrative Units 08 Tehsils with 127 Union Councils:

1.    Bar Chamer Kand

2.    Barang

3.    Khar Bajaur

4.    Loe Mamund

5.    Wara Mamund

6.    Nawagai

7.    Salarzai

8.    Utman Khel

Important Cities/ Villages Khar, Pashat, Inayat Qilla (pronounced Anat Kallay), Qazafi, Raghagan, Patak (Sadiqabad), Lagharai, Loisum, Kotkay, Haji Lawang, Jaar, Sikandaro, Utmankhel, Nawagai, Nawa Pass, Salarzai, and Barang
Literacy Rate[8] 29%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 52%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 10%
Major Economic Activity[11] Economic Activity figures for FATA are not available, but subsistence level agriculture with its allied livestock breeding and fishing is the major employer. Other activities include small scale businesses, mining, and elementary occupations. Immigration to southern districts in search of jobs or any other labour is common
Main Crops Maize, rice, jowar, sugarcane, wheat, barley, rapeseed and mustard, masoor, maash, and moong
Major Fruits Citrus, apricots, plums, peach, walnuts, almonds, persimmon, grapes, pear, and figs
Major Vegetables Turnips, onions, cauliflower, spinach, radish, carrots, tomatoes, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, chilies, okra, eggplant, spinach, tinda, and pumpkin
Forest Area[12] 29,700 HA[13]
Black Topped Roads[14] 568.1 km
Shingle Roads[15] 263.7 km
Electricity[16] Electricity is supplied by Tribal Areas Electric Supply Corporation (TESCO). There is 1 grid station of 66 KV capacity
Telephone Exchanges[17] 06 Telephone Exchanges with 1,704 connections
Industrial Zones[18] No industrial estate. There are 90 registered industrial units, out of which 52 are working
Major Industry[19] Box, Cold Drinks, Electrical Goods, Pipes, Plastic Goods 1 Unit Ea.
Flour Mills, Ice Factories 2 Units Ea.
Salt 4 Units
Steel Fixtures 14 Units
Marble Tiles 29 Units
Furniture & Fixtures 34 Units
Household Size[20] 9.1 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[21] 28.5%
Houses with Electricity[22] 56.7%

Table 1.1 Bajaur Tribal district at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 2017 Census

[3] 2017 census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social &Living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-20

[9] Pakistan Social &Living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-20

[10] Pakistan Social &Living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-20

[11] FATA Sustainable Development Plan 2007-2015, Civil Secretariat FATA, Peshawar

[12] Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Development Statistics 2018-19

[13] Forestry Statistics does not record any Statistics. But according to FATA Development Statistics 2013-14 a total of 35843 HA is under Forest Department

[14] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[15] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] Industries Survey Report 2010 FATA (latest available); KP Development Statistics do not record Tribal Districts’ Data

[19] Industries Survey Report 2010 (latest available) (Same as above)

[20] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[21] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[22] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHistoric/ Heritage Sites; Tourist Attractions

Brief History

According to popular legend, the name “Bajaur” has been derived from two Persian words “Baj” which means tribute, and “Awardan” which means to bring. Legend states that the area of Bajaur was ruled by the Chief of an Arab tribe, who either collected tribute from the surrounding area, or paid tribute to the Hindu dynasty that ruled the entire area.

The earliest known history of Bajaur recounts Alexander the Great’s invasion of this part of India in 4th century BC. He is known to have camped at a place which was later named Sikandaro.[1] He left Seleucus as his Satrapy (governor), but Seleucus was unable to hold the territories of Kunar, Bajaur, Buner, and Swat, which he ultimately surrendered to Chandragupta Maurya (321-298 BC). During the Maurya dynasty (305-180 BC), Buddhism spread to these areas. Later, this area became a part of the Greco-Bactrians dynasty (250-125 BC), the Sakas (80 BC-50 AD), Parthians (247 BC-224 AD), Kushans (30-375 AD), Sassanians (224-651 AD), White Huns (circa 450-560 AD) and Turks (7th to 9th century AD).

The next most important invasion that punctuates the history of the (Former) Agency is the invasion by Mahmud of Ghazna in 997 AD. One of his generals, Baba Utman Shamraiz, settled in Bajaur, and his descendants now form the Utman Khel tribe. Even today the Utman Khels (or Utmankhels) are the predominant tribe of the Utman Khel tehsil of the Khar subdivision of Bajaur Tribal District (former Agency). Baba Utman Khel is known to have brought Islam to this area.

The next historical record for Bajaur occurs in the early 16th century AD when Pakhtoon Tribes—mostly from around the present day city of Kandahar (also spelled Qandhar) in Afghanistan—entered and settled in this area. These tribes were fiercely independent, never having been subdued or conquered, but only restrained. Among these tribes were the Yousafzais who had settled in the lower parts of Bajaur region after expelling the Dilazaks who were the original inhabitants.

When Mughal Emperor Babar first entered the Bajaur area, it was ruled by Mir Haider Ali Gabri of the Jahangiri Dynasty.[2] Babar was accompanied by several Dilazak Chiefs, who directed Babar’s might towards the Yousafzais. Babar attacked the fort of Gabr and captured it. He killed 3,000 male inhabitants[3] of the area, and took women and children as slaves. The Yousafzais and the Sultan of Swat began guerrilla warfare against the Mughal invasion, which ended after Babar signed a peace treaty; one of the clauses of this treaty was the marriage of Babar to the daughter of the Yousafzai Chief, Malik Shah Mansoor.

After Babar’s death, none of the Mughal Emperors could fully subdue and rule these tribes. Subsequent to the Mughals, the area became a part of the Durrani Empire, and later became a semi-independent area of British India in 1849. The British, however, did not succeed in ruling the tribes, even though this region was strategically important to the British Raj, as the tribes provided some protection to them from invasion or attacks from Afghanistan. Thus the Colonial Administrators oversaw, but never fully controlled, the region. Instead, they created a system that combined British-appointed agents (called Political Agents), and local tribal elders through which they exercised some control over these areas. The population was generally free to govern internal affairs according to tribal codes, while the Political Agent held authority in what were known as “protected” (e.g. Malakand) and “administered” (or Districts) areas over all matters related to the security of British India.

Jandol or Jandul Valley of Bajaur Tribal District (now in Utman Khel tehsil of Khar subdivision) was ruled by Utman Khel tribal chiefs. In 1879, after the death of Aman Khan (the tribal ruler of Jandol), his elder son, Muhammad Zaman Khan (1879-1881) succeeded him, but Umra Khan (also spelled Umara Khan), his younger son, killed his brother, and usurped the throne in 1881. Umra Khan then raised an army and a horse cavalry, and embarked on a series of conquests. He captured Dir and expelled Sharif Khan, the then ruler of Dir. By 1892 he was in control of Dir, Bajaur, Malakand and some portions of Swat, and his influence extended up to Buner. In February 1895, Umra Khan (also known in as the Afghan Napolean by the British, and Mast Khel Tarkani by locals) entered Chitral, and captured the Drosh Fort. The British Political Agent at Chitral asked Umra Khan to leave, but he wrote back to the British Agent asking the British to leave Chitral instead, and laid siege to the Chitral fort. The British organized the (now famous) Chitral Expedition in March 1895. On realizing that he could not fight the well-armed and large British Army, Umra Khan retreated to Kabul, where he died in 1903. Umra Khan’s bravery is still revered, and his life story narrated by local historians. A number of British writers, including Sir Winston Churchill,[4] have written books on his life.

After the Chitral Expedition, Bajaur which included Jandol was made one of British India’s Princely States. The State was the only (former) Agency in now former FATA, and contained a number of “mini states” or Khanates such as the Khanate of Khar, Khanate of Nawagai, and Khanate of Pashat. These Khanates were ruled by individual Khans who owned all agricultural lands in their jurisdictions. These Khans occasionally waged war with each other to assert control of the entire region. The Khan of Nawagai was the hereditary chief of all of Bajaur.

Many famous folk tales and songs depict the events of the internal feuds as well as Bajaur’s conflicts with its neighbouring territories: Mohmand, Kunar and Dir.

After the partition of British India in 1947, Bajaur, along with the neighbouring Princely States of Dir and Swat, entered into a loose accession arrangement with Pakistan, but remained practically independent. The Nawab of Khar continued to rule Bajaur almost autonomously.

After Partition, the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were strained, as Afghanistan refused to accept that the Durand Line Treaty (which had demarcated the Indian British territories and Afghanistan in 1896) was rightfully inherited by Pakistan. In 1960, Afghan Irregulars (Afghan army troops in plain clothes) crossed into Pakistan. Their aim was to incite the populace against Pakistan and those allied with it (like the Nawab of Khar) for an independent “Pashtunistan”. The Nawab of Khar refused to side with Afghanistan. Having failed this mission, the Afghan Irregulars initiated sporadic attacks on the Nawab of Khar. These attacks continued for several months, with Afghan forces trying to depose the Nawab in favour of someone who would be more inclined towards “Pashtunistan”. The Nawab of Khar was forced to ask the Pakistan Army for help. Pakistan raised a new light infantry paramilitary unit under the Frontier Corps named “Bajaur Scouts”. The light infantry was recruited locally in Bajaur and officered by regular Pakistan Army officers. A few border posts (mostly to house the new unit) at the border were also built, and a clearing operation was started with the help of Pakistan Air Force. These steps helped clear Bajaur of the insurgents.

In 1961, the Afghan army again attacked Bajaur and was repulsed by the Bajaur Scouts. This war/ battle/ border skirmish lasted 6 days, and Pakistan Air Force, along with Pakistan Army took part in bombing Afghan army positions and destroying the machine gun and mortar nests in Kunar that were being used to target Pakistani posts. This resulted in a lasting defeat of the Afghan army and resulted in broken diplomatic relations between the two countries. These relations were resumed in 1963 with the help of the Shah of Iran.

Prior to 1960, Bajaur Agency (now Tribal District) remained a semi-independent territory, and was treated as an inaccessible area under the political jurisdiction of the Political Agency Malakand. In 1960, Bajaur Agency (now Tribal District) was declared a subdivision of Malakand Agency and an Assistant Political Agent was appointed, with headquarters at Munda in Lower Dir district to deal with the affairs of Bajaur. Bajaur was later declared an Agency (now Tribal District) in 1973, and a Political Agent was appointed with headquarters at Khar.

Since the establishment of the Agency (now Tribal District) in 1973 and during recent years, Pakistan’s government has managed to establish its rule and authority in the region which generally remain unchallenged. The Utman Khel tribe of the (former) Agency has, historically, maintained complete independence. Their area is mountainous, largely infertile, and unproductive, except for some alluvial areas on the southern bank of the River Rud/ River Bajaur.

After declaration of Bajaur as “Agency” in 1973, developmental works were started by the government. Electricity and telephone services were established in the area, and schools and rural health centers/ dispensaries were built in the main villages, as well as a communication infrastructure like roads and bridges. A medium capacity hospital, a degree college for boys, and a high school for girls were established at Khar.

After the end of the Afghan-Russia war in 1989, the remaining Talibans/ Militant groups and local anti-State elements made the Pakistan Tribal belt their home. After the attack on the World Trade Center in 9/11, and the launch of the War on Terror by the United States, Pakistan became a coalition partner of USA. By 2007 Bajaur Agency (now Tribal District) was completely controlled by the Taliban. In 2008 Pakistan launched operation Sher Dil to establish its writ in Bajaur and to retake the border crossing near the town of Loyesam, 12 km from Khar. The command and control structure of the militants was targeted and dismantled. Pakistan army built new check posts along the border. A large number of Bajaur residents were internally displaced, but repatriated back by the military after the operation was completed.

Again in 2014, at least 14 militants were killed when Pakistani border guards repelled a pre-dawn cross-border attack on a military post in the Mamund tehsil of Bajaur Agency (now Tribal District). Since then there is peace in the (former) Agency.

Siege and Relief of Chitral

Figure 1.5 Umra Khan’s Soldiers

 

Figure 1.6 A Sketch of Chitral Fort (April 1985)

Governmental Structure

The Tehsil Mayor stationed at Khar town is overall Charge de Affairs of the District. This Agent is assisted by 1 Assistant Commissioner and one Deputy Commissioner.

At the Federal level, Bajaur Tribal district is allocated a set number of representatives in both the National Assembly and the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 2
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 3

Under the Local Government Act, the Tribal District has 127 Councils, which include 120 Village and 7 neighbourhood Councils.

Administrative Divisions

Administratively, Bajaur Tribal District comprises of 8 Tehsils:

  • Bar Chamer Kand Tehsil
  • Barang Tehsil
  • Khar Bajaur Tehsil
  • Loe Mamund Tehsil
  • Wara Mamund Tehsil
  • Nawagai Tehsil
  • Salarzai Tehsil
  • Utmankhel Tehsil

[1] Derived from Alexander’s local name: Sikandar-e-Azam

[2] Jahangiri Dynasty or Gibari Dynasty was a Tajik dynasty that ruled parts of modern Afghanistan and Pakistan.

[3] The Baburnama (English translation)

[4] See for example: The Story of Malakand Field Force by Sir Winston S. Churchill, or Chitral Expedition by H C Thompson. Both books give details about the life of Umra Khan.

Historic/ Heritage Sites; Tourist Attractions

Some of the important and ancient buildings[1] that need government protection for their preservation are:

  • Bajaur Scouts Fort
  • Grave/ Tomb of Mughal governor Sakhi Arab Khan of Bajaur in Khar
  • The site of the Battle of Mughal Emperor Babar and Bajaurians, called Babu Shah in Khar
  • Sikandaro Fort
  • Nawa Pass
  • Killa of Khan of Nawagai
  • Tomb of Ghazi Baba in Utman Khel
  • Ade Sahib Mosque, Chamarkand Area
  • Mughal Mosque, Khar, in the premises of the Palace of Nawab of Khar

Other important archeological sites of the TD are:[2]

  • Dandai Sar near Khar
  • Dherai Sar at the foothills of Nazar Mena
  • Kharkai, Nazar Mena: there are some remains of a Buddhist Monastery
  • Takhat, near Khar: a number of stupas can be seen, including two Votive stupas. Monistic cells are also observed
  • Titobai near Nazar Mena: remains of a Buddhist settlement
  • Chakdaro: there is a hot water spring and remains of a Buddhist stupa
  • Khazani Sangar
  • Manzai near Gandao
  • Sheikh Baba Farm Site, near Sheikh Baba Village
  • Shinkot near Khar
  • Chorlakai near Kalan Village: the archeological remains are spread over a large area
  • Ilam Sar: has an engraved rock carving with graffiti, and images of two horses facing each other as well as other animal engravings on the rock

Following are some tourist attractions in the TD:

  • Sikandaro: the area is known for being the camping grounds of Alexander the Great and a few shrines—like those of Ghazi Baba, Sakhi Baba, Mughal Governor Sakhi Arab Khan and Mir Ali Baba—are also of both local and tourist interests
  • There are some beautiful areas like the one in Baatwar, where a stream named Gabbar Cheena flows; the banks provide good picnic spots
  • Baadisia place: at the side of Maamondo
  • Gulbela and Seeri Sar mountain, Pashat: hotels have been constructed at the peak
  • Keemor Mountain, Maamondo: the banks of the streams provide a nice location for a day long picnic

Figure 1.10 Munda Fort, Bajaur Agency

Figure 1.11 Players ready for Sports Gala in Bajaur

[1] FATA Tourism Report, by FATA Development Authority

[2] Extracted from FATA Tourism Report, FATA Development Authority

Topography

Bajaur Tribal District has an area of 1,290 km2. The District is situated in the extreme north. The hills in this region form a transition zone between the Hindu Kush Mountains, and the piedmont and lowland basins.

The terrain of the district is a diverse mix of hills, valleys, torrents, mountain passes, and fertile plains. The main topographic feature is an endless maze of dry ravines, flanked by multiple rows of rocky hills and mountains which make up around 40% of the total area.

In the northern part, mountain ranges are 3,000 m high. Towards the south, the height of the mountains gradually decreases, and on the southern border, peaks are slightly over 2,500 m high. In the central region, the height of the mountains decreases further.

A mountain spur from the Kunar Mountains (the mountains which separate the Kunar province of Afghanistan from Bajaur District) curves eastwards, and culminates in the peak of Koh-i-Mor (Mountain of Peacocks) with a height of 2,438 m. The top of this peak is visible from Malakand and Peshawar. Arrian (the Greek historian) calls the spur Mount Meros. The city of Nysa stood at its base in former times, but was conquered by Alexander the Great along with many others. The city has disappeared, but the name Meros, corrupted to Mor, remains.[1]

Totiano Kandao (connecting Kunar in Afghanistan to Bajaur tribal district (Agency), Alinagar (connecting Alinagar Laghman province of Afghanistan and Bajaur) along with Kaga, Mukha, Ghakhai Kandao, Leti Sar and Nawa Pass, are some of the small, high-altitude passes which serve as communication routes to Afghanistan.

Important Plains

In between the hills, the land area is comprised of wide valley floors and slightly undulating land and the lower slopes of foothills along the margins of the valley. The most important plains in Bajaur are those of Nawagai, Loesun, Khar, Jar, Loe and Wara Mamand, Budan, and Shinkot, as well as plains connecting Khar to Jaar and Jaar to Munda. The general elevation of these plains varies from 800 m to 1,280 m. The area is mostly broad and open, and used as agricultural land. The plains are sufficiently fertile and the land is mostly level.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

Bajaur River, also known as the Rud, flows from southwest to northeast, and is the major river draining the TD. It joins the Munda Khwar at a village called Kulala in Bajaur. Other important rivers of the TD include the River Swat, River Panjkora, and River Jandol (Jandol Khwar).

In addition to these, a large number of hill torrents originate from the mountains and provide fresh water in the TD. Chamarkand, Pipal Khwar, Mullah Sayed Khwar, Ambahar River, and Asaigai Khwar are some of these streams. Some intermittent streams of the TD include Siar Darra, Balu Khwar, Manjai Khwar, Dogai Khwar, and Ganjla Darra. A number of lakes are present in the mountains of the TD.

Forests

The TD has 7 substantially forested areas;[2] they are:

  • Batwar and Loegram Areas in Salarzai
  • Kaga and Gabari Sar in Mamund Area
  • Hashim Area in Charmang, Kamangarah Area
  • Koh-i-Mor Hills in Utman Khel Area
  • Arang Area

The following table shows the status of forests as per FATA Development Statistics 2013-14[3]:

Total Forest Area 88,571 A Man-made Plantations 65,186 A
Natural Forests 23,323 A Linear Plantations 82 km

Table 1.3 Bajaur Forests

There are 3 types of forests, each with its own floral type. These are:

  • Mountain/ hill slopes forests
  • Riparian area forests
  • Stream beds forests

The major tree species of the forests are olives (Oleo spp), gurgura or (Monotheca buxifolia), phulai (Acacia modesta), sanatha (Dodonaea viscosa), chir pine (Pinus roxburghii), ber (Zizyphus spp), chinar (Platanus orientalis), and poplar (Populous spp).

In addition, the flora of the mountains/ hill slopes forests consists of ber (Zizyphus nummularia), gandeer (Rhazia sricta), shapyanga (Withania coagulanse), Fagonia sp., sargara (Cymbopogon jwarancusa), Aristida sp., surmal (Cenchrus ciliaris), mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), and spora mollis or baza (Adhatoda vesica). Undergrowth consists of kans grass (Saccharum spontanium), sargara (Cymbopogon), and Chrysopogan sp. communities.

The flora of riparian areas includes bulrush (Typha doninanse), rushes (Juncus sp.), athel pine (Tamarix aphylla), jujube (Zizyphus muritiana), and weeds (Pteropyrum sp.).

Stream bed forest flora includes kans grass (Saccharum spontanium), ber (Zizyphus nummularia), gandeer (Rhazya stricta), barayin (Periploca aphylla), sanatha (Dadonea viscosa), and phulai (Acacia modesta).

The common, dominant species of stony plain forests are ber (Zizyphus nummularia), saxaul (Haloxylon sp.), and karer (Capparis deciduas), along with some grass species, such as Octhocloa compressa, scutch grass (Cynodan dactylon), and bluestem (Dicanthium sp.).

Soils

The soils of the Agency are fertile, varying from silty loam to loam, containing a moderate degree of organic material, allowing cultivation.

Climate

The Agency has an extreme climate. The winter season begins in November and lasts up to March. The winters are extremely chilly and cold, and the temperature can sometimes plunge below the freezing point. December, January, and February are the coldest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures in these months are in the range of 5 to 16 °C. Minimum temperature may go down to -1 °C. The summer season lasts from May to October. June, July, and August are the hottest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during this period are in the range of 23 to 36 °C, whereas the maximum temperature may go up to 45 °C.

Average annual rainfall in the Tribal District is 800 mm[4].

Seismic Activity

The Agency belongs to Zone 3 of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan which means moderate to severe damage due to earthquakes.

[1] Extracted from The Story of The Malakand Field Force: An Episode Of Frontier War by Sir Winston S. Churchill

[2] Socio Economic Profile of Bajaur Agency, by Technical Support and Planning Unit (TSPU), Tribal Areas Development Project (TADP) and Rural Development Division for USAID

[3] KP Development Statistics 2018-19 do not record any forestry Statistics.

[4] Development Profile of Bajaur Agency Now TD

Population

The following table shows the population of the Tribal district as per 2017 Census:

Tribal District Area

Km2

Population Male% Female% Urban

%

Growth Rate %
Bajaur TD 1,290 1,090,987 51.0 49.0 3.2
Chamarkand Tehsil 13 2,868
Barang Tehsil 159 76,493
Bajaur Tehsil 238 246,875
Mamund Tehsil 250 311,373
Nawagai Tehsil 216 78,494
Salarzai Tehsil 220 267,636
Utman Khel Tehsil 194 107,248

Table 1.4 Bajaur Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.4%
Christians Negligible %
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.4%
Scheduled Castes 0.1%
Others 0.1%

Table 1.5 Bajaur Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu

0.1%

Punjabi 0.1%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 99.5%
Balochi 0.2%
Seraiki Negligible %
Others[3] 0.1%

Table 1.6 Bajaur Languages

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been released yet.

[3] Other languages include Dari, Brahvi etc.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The local economy is largely pastoral with agriculture practised[1] in a few fertile valleys. Most people are engaged in subsistence level agriculture, and livestock breeding as well as small businesses conducted locally. People mostly seek employment in the southern districts or outside Pakistan.

[1] Employment by Industry numbers for former FATA are not available

Land Use

The following table shows the land use statistics of Bajaur TD as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 129,000 HA Reported Area 129,035 HA
Total Cultivated Area 77,054 HA Net Sown 56,136 HA
Current Fallow 20,919 HA Uncultivated Area 51,981 HA
Culturable Waste 10,151 HA Forest Area 29,700 HA

Table 1.7 Bajaur Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

The data on Agro-Ecological Zones of former FATA is not available. Maize, rice, jowar, sugarcane, wheat, barley, rapeseed and mustard, masoor, maash, and moong are some of the crops grown in the TD.

Citrus, apricots, plums, peach, walnuts, almonds, persimmon, grapes, pear, and figs are the fruits grown in the TD.

Some of the vegetables grown in the TD include turnips, onions, cauliflower, spinach, radish, carrots, tomatoes, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, chilies, okra, eggplant, spinach, tinda, and pumpkin.

Figure 1.7 A Famer Harvesting his Crop Bajaur TD

Livestock

The following table shows the livestock position of Bajaur Agency as per Livestock Census 2006 (qtd. in FATA Development Statistics 2013-14)[1]:

Cattle 132,274 Heads Buffalos 15,207 Heads Sheep 53,025 Heads
Goats 173,358 Heads Camels 417 Heads Horses 50 Heads
Asses 4,407 Heads Mules 129 Heads

Table 1.8 Bajaur Livestock Statistics

There are no indigenous breeds of livestock in the TD.

Poultry

There are 10 commercial poultry farms[2] operating in Bajaur TD.

Fishing

The rivers and streams that traverse Bajaur harbour a variety of fish,[3] depending on the climatic regime. Cold waters in the upper reaches are suitable for trout, while warmer waters in the lower reaches favour carp. These aquatic resources are ideally suited for the development of fisheries.

Fishing is carried out in the streams, rivers, and lakes, but most of this fish is consumed locally.

Bee Keeping

The government of Pakistan is promoting the bee keeping/ honey production industry in former FATA to help create employment, and for income generation purposes.

Minerals and Mining

The mineral resources of Bajaur Tribal District include marble, limestone, soapstone, and manganese. These minerals are being mined commercially. Emerald, garnets, and scapolite are the gemstones found in the TD.

Irrigation

The main sources of irrigation in the TD are tube wells and dug wells. There are some surface canals also. The following table shows[1] the mode of irrigation system used and area irrigated by each:

Total Irrigated Area 16,685 HA Government Canal Irrigated 910 HA
Tube Wells 6,810 HA Private Canals Irrigated 5,200 HA
Wells 1,525 HA Others/Lift Pumps/Tanks 2,240 HA

Table 1.11 Bajaur Irrigation Statistics

The Government of KP is planning to construct a number of small dams in the TD to increase irrigation area; one of these is the Raghagan Small Dam.

[1] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

Industry

There are no industrial zones/estates in Bajaur TD, but there are 90 registered industrial units, out of which 52 units are working in the region. The following table shows the number and type of registered industry in the TD as per FATA Development Authority Report on Survey-Enumeration of Industries, Service Sector Entities, Labour Force and Identifying Constraints in FATA, October 2010[4] (Latest available):

Type of Industry Number Type of Industry Number
Boxes 01 Cold Drinks/Beverages 01
Electric Goods 01 Furniture and Fixtures 34
Flour Mills 02 Ice Factories 02
Marble Tiles 29 Pipe Factory 01
salt 04 Steel Fixtures 14
Plastic Goods 01

Table 1.9 Bajaur Industries

Handicrafts

Household items made of mazri palm leaves and marble are the main handicrafts of the TD; other items include embroidery on clothes.

[1] KP Development Statistics 2018-19 do not record former FATA agencies data.

[2] Table 17: Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds according to Flock Size

[3] Sustainable Development Plan 2007-15, Civil Secretariat FATA

[4] KP Development Statistics 2018-19 do not record Former FATA data.

Economic Infrastructure

The tribal district is connected to Peshawar and thus to other parts of Pakistan through black topped roads. It is also connected to Afghanistan through a shingle road (low type road).

Roads

There are two types of roads in Bajaur Tribal District (TD) as in elsewhere in KP: High type and Low types. The following table shows the Road Statistics as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

High Type 568.1 km
Low Type 263.7 km
Total 831.8 km

Table 1.10 Bajaur Road Statistics

Important roads of the Agency are:

  • Warsak Road from Peshawar passes through Mohmand Agency to Bajaur
  • Munda-Khar-Nawagai Road
  • Inayat Kalay-Ghakhi Road
  • Barkhalozo-Mina Road
  • Umari Killi-Kharkai Road
  • Raghagan-Pashat Road
  • Haji Lawang-Pashat Road

Rail and Airways

There are no railway stations or airports in the TD.

Radio and Television

No data available.

Telecommunications

According to KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 06 telephone exchanges in Bajaur TD. These exchanges provide 1,704 connections. In addition, private cellular companies provide their services in the region.

Post Offices

According to KP Development Statistics 2018-19 there is only 18 Post Office in the TD with 1 Sub-Post Office and 17 Branch Offices.

Banking/ Financial Institutions

According to the Development Profile of Bajaur TD by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Bajaur is one of the most underdeveloped areas in Pakistan. Its economy is heavily reliant on agriculture. Main commercial banks that are operating[1] in Bajaur TD[2] are:

  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

Electricity and Gas

TESCO (Tribal Electricity Supply Corporation) supplies and distributes electricity in all Tribal Districts. Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO), and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) are responsible for power generation in the province. There is one 66 KV grid station located in Khar. Gas for domestic use is not available.[3]

[1] State Bank of Pakistan

[2] KP Development Statistics do not record data for TD

[3] Socio Economic Profile: Bajaur Agency, by Technical Support Unit (TSU), Tribal Areas Development Project and Rural Development Division for Planning and Development Department, Government of KP,

Education

The total literacy rate of Bajaur TD as per FATA Education Atlas 2013 is 17.4%. Male literacy rate is 27.9%, whereas the female literacy is 4.8%. The following table shows the number of educational institutions in Bajaur TD (KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 354/189 Mosque Schools 06
Middle Schools 33/23 High Schools 33/11
Higher Secondary 01/- Degree Colleges 03/01
Universities (Public Sector) Polytechnics 02
Commercial Training 01 Vocational Training Inst.
Cadet Colleges

Table 1.12 Bajaur Educational Institutes

Health

The following table shows the Government Health Care Institutions in Bajaur TD as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution No/Beds Institution No./Beds
Hospitals 04/503 Dispensaries 8/-
Rural health Centers 2/40 Basic Health Units 19/-
Mother Child Health Centers TB Clinics 03/-
Leprosy Clinics Private Hospitals -/-
Private Medical Practitioners

Table 1.14 Bajaur Health Institutes

Policing

The District Police Officer (DPO) is directly responsible to the District Mayor for public safety. The Police Department is headed by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). The SSP supervises and controls the police force in maintaining law and order, and investigation of cases of a criminal nature. The Police Department operates under the Police Rules. The first police station opened in Utman Khel in 2020.

The Levy Force and the Khassadars operating in the erstwhile Bajaur Agency have been absorbed into the KP Police as per the KP Levies Force Bill 2019.

Figure 1.12 Bajaur Levy

Figure 1.13 A Pakistani Soldier patrolling Bajaur Agency

Environment and Biodiversity

The ambient air quality in the area is excellent due to minimal sources of air emissions. The only source of impact on the quality of the ambient air is the rare vehicular traffic on the roads, which causes some dust emissions whose effect is localized. The main pollutants from vehicle exhaust are lead, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

Common flora of the tribal district includes kikar (Acacia nilotica), baza (Adhatoda vesica), three awn grass (Aristida sp.), Sodom apple (Calatropis procera), caper tree, leafless caper bush, kira, dela, kreeta, karir (Capparis decidua), surmal (Cenchrus ciliaris), vetivar grass (Chrysopogan sp.), sebestan plum, clammy cherry, lasora (Cordia dichotoma, Cordia myxa), sargara (Cymbopogon jwarancusa), scutch grass (Cynodan dactylon), sanatha (Dodonea viscosa), bluestem (Dicanthium sp.), hopbush, (Dodonaea viscosa), lachi (Euclyptu camaldanus), fagonbushes (Fagonia sp.), white spurry, anzirai, gunghi (Grewia tenax), saxaul (Haloxylon sp.), rushes (Juncus sp.), gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia), dwarf palm/ mazri palm, patha, mazairay, (Nannorrhops ritchiana), Indian lotus, kanwal, behi (Nelumbo nucifera), and aster (Parthenium sp.)

Fauna

Mammals found in the TD include nilgai or blue bull, Ladakh urial, blue sheep, wild boar, Asiatic jackal, wolf, jungle cat, Asiatic steppe wild cat, common Indian mongoose, striped hyena, smooth-coated otter, yellow-throated martin, leopard, Asiatic black bear, marbled polecat, common red fox, eastern barbastelle, varieties of bat, mountain noctule, Indian and Himalayan pipistrelle, least pipistrelle, varieties of shrew, hare, anteater, hamsters, palm and flying squirrel, porcupine, varieties of mouse and rats, grey heron, chinkara gazelle, markhor, lynx, and rhesus monkeys.

Avifauna of the region includes a large variety of pheasants, varieties of egrets, demoiselle crane, black and grey chakor, see-see partridges, Himalayan monal, koklas pheasant, cheer pheasant, Himalayan bulbul, Himalayan snow cock, falcons, water fowls, blue rock pigeon, swallows, wagtails, babblers, crested lark, common and black myna, kestrels, black drango, skylarks, collard dove, sand piper, hoopoe, and kingfisher.[1]

Protected Wildlife Areas and Endangered Wildlife

At present, there are no wildlife protected areas in the former FATA Region, but the GoKP (Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) has passed a law supporting the creation of protected areas in the region.

Endangered wildlife of the region includes nilgai or blue bull, snow leopard, Ladakh urial, blue sheep, Asiatic jackal, wolf, striped hyena, Indian otter, leopard, Himalayan black bear, common red fox, some varieties of bats, pygmy shrew, anteater, and flying squirrel.

Figure 1.8 A Forest in Salarzai, Bajaur

Figure 1.9 Marbled Polecat of Bajaur Agency

[1] CAMP, IUCN (2003) Status and Red List of Pakistan’s Mammals. Iftikhar (2008) Conservation of Pheasants in North West Frontier Province (NWFP, now KP), Pakistan