Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Karak

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Introduction/Geographical Details; Karak District

The district is located between 70° 40Ꞌ to 71° 30Ꞌ north latitudes and 32° 48Ꞌ to 33° 23Ꞌ east longitudes. It is bounded by Mianwali district (Punjab province) on the southeast, Lakki Marwat district on the south, Hangu and Kohat districts on the north, and Waziristan Agency and Bannu district on the west.

Karak District at a Glance

Name of District Karak District
Headquarters Karak City
Population[1] 706,299 persons
Area[2] 3,372 sq. km.
Population Density[3] 266.2 persons/ km2
Growth Rate[4] 2.7%
Male Population[5] 49.5%
Female Population[6] 50.5%
Urban Population[7] 7.2%
Literacy Rate[8] 64.0%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 89.0%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 43.0%
Administrative Units 03 Tehsils:

1.    Karak Tehsil

2.    Banda Daud Shah Tehsil

3.    Takht-e-Nasrati Tehsil

Main Towns Karak, Banda Daud Shah, Latamber, Chukara, Mianki Banda, Gurguri, Metha Khel, Sabirabad, Rehmatabad, Land Kamar, Machiki Banda, Teri, and Shakardar
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing 39.4%
Mining & Quarrying 0.5%
Manufacturing 1.3%
Construction 8.5%
Wholesale/Retail; Trade & Hotel/Restaurant 7.3%
Transport, Storage & Communication 8.5%
Community, Social & Personal Services 32.6%
Others 1.9%
Main Crops Wheat, gram, bajra, maize, all lentils, chickpeas, groundnuts, jowar, barley, millet, sorghum, rapeseed & mustard, sugarbeet, sesanum, guarseed, linseed, and sunflower
Major Fruits Mulberry, dates, and ber
Major Vegetables Chillies, onions, garlic, okra, spinach, tinda, bitter gourd, and squash
Forest (Area)[12] 35,452.0 HA[13]
Black Topped Roads[14] 333.5 km
Shingle Roads[15] 4.0 km
Electricity[16] Supplied by Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO)
Telephone Exchanges[17] 17 Telephone Exchanges, with 2,047 connections
Industry[18] There are 3 Small Industries Estates in the district:

·         Small Industries Estate

·         Woodworking Center

·         Ready Made Garments Center.

There are 5 registered industrial units working in the District.

Major Industry[19] Ice Factory 1 Unit
Flour Mills 4 Units
Household Size[20] 10 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[21] 21.6%
Houses with Electricity[22] 98.6%

Table 1.1 Karak District at a Glance

[1] 2017 census

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census uses spatial data.

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey; 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest available

[9] PSLM

[10] PSLM

[11] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet

[12] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[13] Land Utilization Statistics report 5,712 HA area under forests.

[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] KP Development Statistics 2019-19

[19] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[20] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public.

[21] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public.

[22] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHistoric/Heritage Sites; Tourist Attractions

Brief History of Karak District

The areas which now belong to Karak district were part of Kohat district as Karak Tehsil. In 1982, this tehsil was upgraded to a district level. The early history of Karak district is, hence, synonymous with the history of Kohat, and is recounted in the chapter on Kohat. Here, the history of the Barak subtribe of the Khattaks, the main tribe of the area, is being recounted.

Almost the entire population of Karak district belongs to the Barak subtribe of the Khattaks. This tribe was ruled by the Nawab or Khan of Teri which was a small Princely State with a total area of 4,185 km2. This area comprised of the following:

  • From Karak district: Banda Daud Shah Tehsil, Karak Tehsil, and Takht-e-Nasrati Tehsil
  • From Kohat district: Lachi Tehsil and Gumbat Area

The area where the Barak Khattak tribe now lives was called the Barak Tappa (a satrapy or district was also called tappa) before Partition.

The Khattaks (one of the oldest Pashtun/Afghan tribes) migrated from Afghanistan and first settled in the areas of Shawal Mountain Range in the North Waziristan area now held by the Waziri tribe. From there, they migrated and settled in present day Bannu district, and lived with the Honai and Mangal tribes (the original tribes living in Bannu). They were driven out by the Shitak tribe from Bannu in the 14th century. The Khattaks then moved to the southern portion of Kohat district, and took possession of the Teri Valley and the Karbogha village of Thall Tehsil of present day Hangu district, located northwest of Teri. Malik Akor or Malik Ako Khan, their chief, then moved in a northeastern direction, and settled at the banks of Kabul River. He founded the town of Akora Khattak, and made it the capital of his dominion which included the present day Karak (old Teri Tehsil of Kohat district), Kohat, and Hangu districts. This was the first capital of the Khattaks. Malik Akor Khan became the founder of the Akor Khel dynasty and ruled from 1550 to 1600. Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great (1542-1605), while on a visit to Peshawar, made Malik Akor Khan the governor of the area and gave him the charge of collecting tolls from the caravans crossing River Indus at Attock. The Khattak chiefs then ruled from Akora Khattak, and the Teri areas were ruled by a junior member of the Khattak family. In 1759, the Teri chief declared his independence from Akora and declared Teri as an independent State. The State included areas of the Karak district and parts of the Kohat district as detailed above.

The last Khattak ruler of Teri and Akora was Sadullah Khan alias Khan Shaheed who ruled from 1741 to 1748. Shahbaz Khan was the first ruler of the Teri State and he ruled from 1759-1799.

In 1834 the Sikhs occupied the country, but were unable to levy revenue from the mountain tribes. Ranjit Singh appointed Sultan Mohammad Khan Governor of Peshawar, and gave him the areas of Kohat, Hangu, and Teri as his jagir. Thus the Sikhs abandoned Kohat and their garrison at Teri was destroyed by the Khattak Chief Rasul Khan. From 1836 to 1842 Sultan Mohammad Khan remained Jagirdar and Ruler of Kohat. His descendants continued to rule Teri State till 1956, when the State was merged into West Pakistan under the One Unit Policy.

In 1940 the British, during the Rule of Khan Bahadur Abdul Ghaffar Khan, made the State a tehsil of Kohat district, but the chief of the State was not dependent upon Kohat, only paying a quit rent.

In 1947 the ruler of Teri, Nawab (Khan) Major Baz Muhammad Khan, who was also given the title of Khan Bahadur, signed the Letter of Accession and Teri became part of Pakistan as an independent Princely State.

Between 1940 and 1982 it was part of Kohat; on July 1, 1982, it was made an independent district with Karak as its capital.

Figure 1.3 Flag of Khattak Tribe


Figure 1.4 Darbar of Nawab of Teri

Governmental Structure; Karak district

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

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 1
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 2

Under the Local Government Act Karak District has 1 District Council constituted by general seats, seats reserved for women, peasants/workers, youth, and non-Muslims as prescribed under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act 2013. Karak District Council is composed of 21 general members, 7 women members, 2 peasants/worker members, 2 minority members, and 2 youth members.

Administrative Divisions; Karak district

Total Area of the district is 3,372 km2 (1998 Census) and is divided into 03 tehsils as follows:

Karak Tehsil 09 Union Councils
Banda Daud Shah Tehsil 05 Union councils
Takht-e-Nasrati Tehsil 07 Union councils

Table 1.2 Karak Administrative Divisions

Historic/Heritage Sites; Tourist Attractions; Karak district

There are no protected historical sites in the district.

The following areas are of interest for tourists in the district:

  • Zaibi Dam lake (Karak district0 provides a spot for fishing and a picnic area has been developed
  • Shinghar mountains; Karak district
  • Mountain range with Salt Quarries at Bahadur Khel and Jatta Ismail Khel in the north of Karak city.

Topography of Karak District

Topographically, the area is a part of the Kohat–Potowar Plateau, characterized by almost parallel ridges (chain of hills) and valleys. General elevation of the district is 600 to 1,400 m above sea level. The general trend of the hills is from east to west.

The mountains are of moderate height and they run from east to west. In the north, the highest peak is 2,060 ft (628 m). The Khattak Range forms the boundary between Karak district and the South Waziristan Agency of FATA, and runs in an east-west direction up to the River Indus. Its average height is about 1,000 m above sea level, decreasing from west to east.

Two other important hill ranges are located in the southeast of the district. The first one is the Surghar Range which is in the southeastern part of the district along the boundary of Karak and Mianwali. The other important range is the Shinghar Range located further northwest. This is an off-shoot of the Suleiman Hills. The average height of these hills is about 1,000 m above sea level. The highest peak is 1,482 m.

The general drainage of the district north of the Khattak Range is from west to east, while in the south of the Khattak Range, it is from northeast to southwest.

Generally, the valleys are narrow, except those of Karak and Loughar Algad. The largest valley is the Karak Valley. It is located between the Khattak Range and Shingar Range. There are other smaller valleys such as Banda Daud Shah and Teri Valley the drainage of which is west to east into River Indus.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes; Karak district

There is no river flowing in Karak district, but a large number of streams, nullahs, and springs flow down the mountains. Some of these are intermittent while others are perennial. Most of these streams meander their way into the River Kurram in the west. Some of the important streams of the district include Loughar Algad, Changhoos Algad, Tarkha Algad, Kashoo Algad, Silkhona Algad, and Zaibi Algad.

There are no lakes or fresh water bodies in the district.

Forests; Karak district

Forests cover only 2.1% area of the Karak district, which is the lowest figure in the province. The common types of forests are sub-tropical scrub, with a variety of acacia and wild olives. The flora of the forests includes wild olives (Olea ferruginea), which constitute dominant flora along with phulai (Acacia modesta), and gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia). Shrubs like sanatha (Dodonaea viscose) and shamshad (Buxus wallichiana) are grown.[1]

The following table shows the status of forests in Karak district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Forest Area 87,604 A Resumed Land 24,279 A
Reserved Forests 6.850 A Communal Forests
Protected Forests – A Guzara Forests
Unclassed Forests[2] – HA Private Plantation 53,027 A
Section 38 Forests[3] 2,198 A Miscellaneous Forest 1,250 A
Linear Plantation 50 km

Table 1.3 Karak Forests

There are Government-owned, community-owned, and privately-owned forests in the district. The Government-owned forests are Teri, and Isak Kumari Game Reserves; the forests of Kurd Sharif and Sho (the Kwand and Bund sacred forests) are considered sacred and thus conserved and protected as religious national parks by the local populace.

Soils of Karak District

The soil of the district is mainly silty loam, developed in sub-recent piedmont material, derived from the Sawalik rocks of the surrounding mountains.

Figure 1.5 Surghar Range, Bahadur Khel, Karak district

Climate; Karak District

The district has an arid climate with extremes of both cold and hot climates. June is the hottest month, with mean maximum temperatures of about 40 °C and 27 °C. The winter is cold and severe; January is the coldest month, with mean maximum and minimum temperatures of 18 °C and 6 °C, respectively.

During winter a cold wind called the Hangu Breeze from the west blows into the Miranzai valley and makes the winter harsh. Average annual rainfall in the district is 550 mm.

Seismic Activity/Seismicity; Karak district

The district belongs to Zone 2B of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan, which means minor to moderate damage due to earthquakes.

[1] Sacred Jungles: A Traditional Way Of Conserving Endangered Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Semi-Tribal Area, Kurd Sharif & Sho (District Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Pakistan By Amin Shah, Shahzad Hussain, Noor Ud Din, Khizar Hayat Bhatti, Ameer Khan, Sarfaraz Khan Marwat, Muhammad Zafar, Mushtaq Ahmad

[2] Owned by Government

[3] Section 38 Forests were Private lands voluntarily given up by the owner

Population; Karak District

The following table shows the population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (NWFP then) as per the 2017 Census:

District Area


Population Male% Female% Urban % Growth Rate %
Karak District 3,372 706,299 49.5 50.5 7.2 2.6
Banda Daud Shah Teshil 1,486 155,642
Karak Tehsil[1] 293,520
Takht-e Nasrati 257,137

Table 1.4 Karak Population Statistics

Religions; Karak district[2]

Muslims 99.8%
Christians Negligible %
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.2%
Scheduled Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Karak Religions

Languages; Karak district[3]

Urdu 0.3%
Punjabi Negligible %
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 99.7%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.6 Karak Languages

[1] Area of Karak and Takht-e-Nasrati Tehsils have not been recorded in the DCR Karak 1998

[2] 1998 Census

[3] 1998 Census

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity; Karak District

The industrial occupations in the district (1998 census) are[1]:

  • Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing (39.4%)
  • Mining & Quarrying (0.5%)
  • Manufacturing (1.3%)
  • Construction (8.5%)
  • Wholesale/Retail; Trade & Hotel/Restaurant (7.3%)
  • Transport, Storage & Communication (8.5%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (32.6%)
  • Others (1.9%)

[1] @017 Census data has not been released yet.

Land Use; Karak district

The following table shows the major land use statistics of the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19)

Total Area 337,200 HA Reported Area 265,202 HA
Total Cultivated Area 75,642 HA Net Sown 29,527 HA
Current Fallow 46,115 HA Uncultivated Area 189,560 HA
Culturable Waste 16,669 HA Forest Area 5,712 HA

Table 1.7 Karak Land Use Statistics

Agriculture; Karak district

The district belongs to the Northern Dry Mountains Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. Agriculture of the district is mostly subsistence level, and depends on rainfall and spate/rod kohi irrigation. Due to lack of water for irrigation, fruits and vegetables are not grown in enough quantities. Vegetables are also grown in very minor quantities.

The crops grown in the district include wheat, gram, bajra, maize, all lentils, chickpeas, groundnuts, jowar, barley, millet, sorghum, rapeseed & mustard, sugarbeet, sesanum, guarseed, linseed, and sunflower. Main fruits of the district are mulberry, dates, and ber. Chillies, onions, garlic, okra, spinach, tinda, bitter gourd, and tori are some of the vegetables produced in the district.

Livestock Breeding; Karak district

Livestock farming is a dominant occupation of the farming community with more than 15 million animal heads and about 22 million poultry birds in the province.

The following table shows the livestock position in Karak district as per Livestock Census 2006 (qtd. in KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle 212,496 Heads Buffaloes 2,054 Heads Sheep 335,456 Heads
Goats 291,325 Heads Camels 2,901 Heads Horses 60 Heads
Asses 18,450 Heads Mules 58 Heads

Table 1.8 Karak Livestock Statistics

The local cattle breed is rojhan cattle; hashtnagri sheep, and balkhi sheep are also native to the district.

Poultry Farms Karak district

According to Table 17 (Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock) there are 92 poultry farms in the district.

Fishing; Karak district

Fishing is one of the important economic activities in the district. Fishing is carried out in the Zebi Dam, Sharki Dam, and Changhoos Dam reservoirs. Most of the fish is consumed locally.

Bee Keeping/Apiary; Karak district

Honey is an important non-wood forest production Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The province offers ample opportunities for promotion of bee keeping, and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is providing training to its rural population in the art of apiculture and honey processing.

One of the most famous products of Karak district is honey, which is exported to the Middle East, United States, and Europe. Honey production is widespread in Karak. The most important indigenous flora for honey production includes ber and phulai (Acacia). Ber honey is most popular.[1]

Minerals and Mining; Karak district

Coal, gypsum, iron ore, dolomite, limestone, rock salt, and silica sand are being mined on a commercial basis in the district. The district hosts the largest uranium mines in the country, operated under the supervision of the Atomic Commission of Pakistan

Oil and Gas have been recently discovered in the Noshpa Banda, Gurguri, and Lachi circles.

Irrigation Network; Karak district

Generally, the area belongs to the Northern Dry Mountain Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan, and agriculture is mostly dependent on rainfall and water from streams flowing down the hills. Spate irrigation or rod kohi irrigation is practiced on a large scale in the district. The water from the hill torrents and rain is collected in ponds, and then used for irrigation purposes.

There are 3 small dams in the district: Zaibi Dam on Zaibi Algad, Sharki Dam on Teri Toi, and Changhoz Dam on Changhoz Algad. These dams were constructed to store rain water for irrigation and domestic uses.

The following table shows the area and mode of irrigation in the district (KP Development statistics 2018-19):

Total Irrigated Area 2,002 HA Govt. Canal Irrigated 25 HA
Tube Wells – HA Wells 1,405 HA
Others 572 HA Private Canal Irrigated – HA

Table 1.11 Karak Irrigation Statistics

Industry and Maufacturing; Karak district

There are 3 small industrial estates in the district: Small Industries Estate, Woodworking Center, and Ready Made Garments Center. There are 5 registered industrial units in the District. The following table shows the type and number of industrial units in the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

Type of Industry  Units Type of Industry Units
Flour Mill 04 Ice Factories 01

Table 1.9 Karak Industries

Handicrafts; Karak district

Handicrafts of the district include household items made with mazri palm leaves, leather goods, embroidery, wooden furniture, and readymade garments.

[1] Karak District Profile by SMEDA

Economic Infrastructure; Karak district

The district headquarters, Karak city, is connected with its tehsil headquarters in Banda Daud Shah and Takht-e-Nasrati and other towns of the district, as well as with other parts of Pakistan through black topped roads. There is either rail or air connection to other parts of Pakistan.

Road Statistics; Karak district

The Indus Highway (National Highway N-55) passes through the district. A total of 64.7 km of N-55 is located in Karak.

KP Development Statistics 2018-19, gives the road statistics of the district as follows:

High Type 333.52 km
Low Type 4.0 km
Total 337.52 km

Table 1.10 Karak Road Statistics

Important roads of Karak district include:

  • Indus Highway or National Highway N-55
  • Amazai Road
  • Bannu Road
  • Nari Panoos Road
  • Takht-e-Nasrati Road
  • Thall–Lachhi Road (connecting Banda Daud Shah to Bannu Kohat Road)

Rail and Airways; Karak district

There is no railway station in the district. The nearest railway station is at Bannu.

There is no commercial or military airport in the district. Nearest airport is at Bannu.

Radio Television; Karak district

Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) does not have any Radio Broadcasting Stations in the district, nor are there any privately-owned radio stations.

TV can be viewed through cable.

Telecommunications; Karak district

According to the KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 17 automatic telephone exchanges in Karak district with 2,047 connections.

Post Offices/ Courier Services; Karak district

There are 70 post offices in the district with 1 Head Office, 19 Sub-Post Offices, and 50 Branch Post Offices in the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19).

Banking/Financial Institutions; Karak district

There are a total of 28 bank branches operating in the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19).

Following banks have branches in the district:

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

In all there are 27 branches of various scheduled banks and 1 branch of Islamic bank in the District.

Electricity and Gas; Karak district

Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) looks after electricity distribution and transmission to all the districts of KPK. PESCO networks own and maintain KP’s electricity distribution system via 132, 66, 33 KV sub-transmission lines and sub-stations and 11 KV & 440 V low tension lines, with distribution transformers that deliver electricity to domestic and commercial users.

Educational Institutions; Karak district

The following table shows the number of Government Educational Institutions in the district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 407/335 Middle Schools 51/32
High Schools 54/29 Higher Secondary Schools 14/04
Mosque Schools 08 Degree Colleges 05/03
Polytechnic Institutes 01 Commerce Colleges/Institutes 01
Vocational Centers 02 Private Primary Schools 14
Private Schools (Middle to Higher Secondary) 129 Post Graduate College 01
Medical Colleges Universities[1] 01
Engineering Colleges Law Schools
Homeopathic College

Table 1.12 Karak Educational Institutes

Healthcare Facilities; Karak district

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

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Hospitals 08/532 Dispensaries 02/-
Rural health Centers 05/40 Basic Health Units 19/-
Mother Child Health Centers 02/- Sub-Health Centers -/-
Leprosy Clinic TB Clinics 01/-
Private Hospitals -/- Private Medical Practitioners 07

Table 1.13 Karak Health Institutes

Policing; Karak district

The district Police Officer (DPO) Karak is in-charge of policing Karak district. The DPO reports to the Deputy Inspector General Police, who in turn reports to the District Co-ordination Officer. In Karak district, there are 09[2] police stations.

Figure 1.7 A View of Karak from Indus Highway

Figure 1.8 A view of Teri Valley

Figure 1.9 Pipeline carrying oil from NASHPA Block, Karak

Figure 1.10 Lawaghar Dam Lake Takht-e Nasrati

Figure 1.11 Salt Mines, Bahadur Khel : Karak district

Figure 1.12 Khattak Dance

[1]Khushal Khan Khattak University

[2] Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Development Statistics 2018-19

Environment and Biodiversity; Karak District

Karak district is mostly a rural district, and even the urban areas of the district like Karak Teri and Takht-e Nasrati show rural characteristics. There are very few industries due to which industrial pollution is non-existent. Dust is the only pollutant.

Flora and Fauna; Karak district

Flora of Karak district

The main flora of the district is khagal ghaz or athel pine (Tamarix aphylla), milkweed or aak (Calotropis procera), ber (Zizyphus), kikar/babul (Acacia nilotica), karir (Capparis decidua), vann or peelu (Salvadora oleoides), siris (Albezia lebbeck), jungle patsan or wild jute (Cynodon dactylon), sanatha (Dodonaea viscosa), rose (Rosa indica), shisham (Dalbergio sissoo), athel pine (Tamarix aphylla), Zizyphus species and gurguri (Monotheca buxifolia), toot or mulberry (morus alba), date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), maidenhair fern (Adiantumcapillus veneris), and horse tail fern (Equisetum arvense).

Medicinal plants like paneer dodi (Withania coagulans), aloe vera (Aloe vera), harmal or Syrian rue (Peganum hermala), wild olives (Olea ferruginea), mazri or khajji palm/dwarf palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana), neeli booti (Blepharisciliaris), itsit (Trianthema portulacastrum), lana (Salsola imbricata), and sarsoon (Brassica campestris) are very common in the area.

Fauna of Karak district

Wild boars, wolves, jackals, and foxes, are the wildlife found in the area. Chakor partridges, grey and black partridges, quails, and cranes among others enjoy protection from hunting in the game reserves of the district.

Protected Wildlife Areas and Wildlife; Karak district

The protected game reserves in the district are Isak Kumari and Teri Game Reserves. These provide protection to the game birds of the area.