Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Lower Dir

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Introduction

Dir was a small Princely State in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Bordering Chitral, this State was located in the valley of River Panjkora, which originates in the Hindu Kush Mountains and joins the Swat River near Chakdara. It was located between 34° 22Ꞌ and 35° 50Ꞌ north latitudes and 71° 02Ꞌ and 72° 32Ꞌ east longitudes. It mainly comprised the terrain drained by Panjkora River and its effluents. The State was bordered by Swat district in the east, Bajaur Agency of FATA on the west, Chitral district on the north and Malakand district (then Malakand Agency) on the south. Even after acceding to Pakistan in 1948, the State enjoyed relative independence and continued to be ruled by the Nawabs/Khans till 1969, when the State was incorporated into Pakistan. The area once occupied by the State (covering 5,282 km2 area) now forms two districts of Pakistan: Upper Dir and Lower Dir.

Dir derives its name from a Sanskrit word that means “place of worship, monastery, or convent where one can live in seclusion from others.”

Lower Dir district is located in Dir Valley between 34° 37Ꞌ to 35° 07Ꞌ north latitudes and 71° 31Ꞌ to 72° 14Ꞌ east longitudes. The district is bounded on the north by Upper Dir district, on the east by Upper Dir and Swat districts, on the south by Malakand Agency and on the west by Bajaur Agency and Afghanistan.

District at a Glance

Name of District Lower Dir District
District Headquarter Timargara Town
Population[1] 1,435,917 persons
Area[2] 1,583 km2
Population Density[3] 816.8 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 3.7%
Male Population[5] 49.5%
Female Population[6] 50.5%
Urban Population[7] 2.3%
Tehsils/talukas 2 Tehsils

1.    Samar Bagh

2.    Timargara

Main Towns Timargara, Samar Bagh, Chakdara, Jandol, Munda, Toormang, Balambat, Bandagai, Ouch, Maidan, Kotigram, Darangal, Baroon, Ziarat Talash, Khadagzai, and Khall
Literacy Rate[8] 58%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 79%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 36%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing 45.8%
Construction 19.1%
Wholesale/Retail & Hotel/Restaurant 9.2%
Community, Social & Personal Services 17.3%
Transport, Storage & Communication 4.5%
Manufacturing 2%
Others 2.1%
Main Crops Wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane, tobacco, moong, masoor, maash, rapeseed, barley, groundnut, and canola
Major Fruits Apples, pears, plums, apricot, figs, melon, citrus, loquat, mulberry, peach, walnuts, and almonds
Major Vegetables Onion, tomatoes, squashes (tinda, tori), gourds (bottle and bitter), peas, chilies, coriander, and garlic.
Forests (Area)[12] 18,405 HA[13]
Total Metalled Roads[14] 1,190.1 km
Shingle Roads[15] 253.1 km
No. of Grid Stations[16] Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation looks after supply and transmission of electricity to the district
No. of Tel. Exchanges[17] 23 Telephone exchanges, with 10,851 connections
Industrial Zones[18] There is a small Wood Working Center in the district at Timergara. There are 23 running/working Industrial Units.
Major Industry[19] Cement Based 7 Units
Flour Mills 6 Units
Furniture 1 Units
Ice Factories 3 Units
Marble & Chips 2 Units
Rice 4 Units
Household Size[20] 9.3 persons per house
Houses (Piped Water Inside)[21] 32.7%
Houses with Electricity[22] 72%

Table 1.1 Lower Dir District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census

[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 released yet.

[12] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[13] Land Utilization Statistics report 77,515 HA 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 2018-19

[19] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

[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 History of Dir Princely State (Upper and Lower Dir)Governmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsTourism/ Picnic/ Archeological Spots

Brief History of Dir Princely State (Upper and Lower Dir)

Dir takes its name from the village, Dir, which served as capital of the Princely State during the Nawab era.

The Princely State contains important sites of the Gandhara[1] culture. The Gandhara region included areas to the west of Indus and north of Kabul rivers, and the valleys of Peshawar, Swat, Dir, and Bajaur, extending westwards to Hadda and Bamiyan in Afghanistan, and Taxila Valley in Punjab in the east. The first archeological site, the excavated site of Balambat, is on the west side of the Panjkora River. The excavations carried out at this site prove that the Panjkora Valley (home of the Dir Princely State) has been inhabited since 1500 BC. Fire altars have also been discovered, proving the presence of early fire worshippers in the area.

The second historical site is located in Timergara, the current headquarters of Lower Dir district. This site also shows graves and artifacts from 1500-500 BC.

Both these sites were excavated by Prof. (Dr.) Ahmad Hassan Dani, Head of Archeology Department, University of Peshawar, from 1966 to 1969.

The area is known to have been ruled by the Persians from 520 to 326 BC; Alexander the Great conquered the area in 327 BC and ruled till 302 BC. Alexander’s rule was brought to an end by Chandragupta Maurya (founder of the Mauryan Dynasty). The Mauryan Dynasty ruled the entire Gandhara region, and lasted from 305 BC to 180 BC. Dir occupied an important position as a center of Gandhara Art, and the region is therefore littered with the remains of the Gandhara Civilization, as well as the remains of Buddhist stupas and monasteries which can be seen at Andan Dheri (near Chakdara, Lower Dir), Chat Pat (Lower Dir), Amlok Darra (Lower Dir), Nasafa (Lower Dir), and Damkot (Chakdara, Lower Dir). Most of the artifacts from these stupas and sites/monasteries are displayed at the museum of Chakdara, called Dir Museum. Some of these artifacts date back to the 6th Century BC, and show that the area was the main battle ground for many intruders. The inhabitants were warriors, as demonstrated by the weapons discovered.

After the Mauryan Dynasty, the area was under the Indo Greeks (180 BC-10 AD), the Kushans (30-375 AD), the Sassanids (224-651 AD). Islam first came to the area in 1398 during the rule of the Timurids, when Amir Timur attacked the Chitral area. The area became a part of the Mughal Empire in 1519, when Emperor Babar captured Bajaur and befriended the Yusufzais by marrying strategically.

The territories belonging to the Dir State were populated by the Yousafzai Pathans who had migrated from Kabul during the reign of Mirza Ulugh Beg, the grandson of Amir Timur (Tamerlane) in 1446 AD. After their migration from Kandahar, they settled in the areas now belonging to districts Swabi, Mardan, Malakand, Bunair, Swat, and Dir. They took these lands from the Dilazaks and the Swatis (the original settlers), whom they drove out. In 1519 AD, when Babar travelled to this region, the Yusufzai’s regional limits included the lower half of Swat. The three clans, or khels, that conquered this area (in the 15th Century) were the Yousafzais, Tarkanrai, and the Utman Khel.

By the 18th century, a section of the Painda Khel, coming from the Kohan village in the valley of Nihag (a Panjkora Tributary), seized the trade routes of Chitral and Afghanistan. A member of this family, Mulla Ilyas Khan (17th century), was recognized as spiritual leader, and was given the title of Akhund Baba (scholar in Persian). He acquired a prominent position in the Malizai tribe and founded the Dir Village. His successors expanded the leadership, and the area became an autonomous political entity which later became the Princely State. The clan of Mulla Ilyas Khan took the name of Akhund Khel after their leader. Mulla Ilyas Khan became the founder of the Khan Dynasty of Dir. However, by the end of the 19th century, the dominion of the family was limited to Upper Dir.

In 1881 the ruler of Dir, Muhammad Sharif Khan, was ousted by Khan Umra Khan of Jandool,[2] who conquered Dir, Swat, and the Malakand areas. He brought all tribal chiefs under his control. Within a period of 3 years, he extended Dir up to Swat and the Malakand areas. He expelled the ruler of Dir, Muhammad Sharif Khan, from the State, who, in turn, took up residence in Mardan district. The British were alarmed at the growing popularity and influence of Umra Khan who had by then occupied a large part of Chitral, and organized the Chitral Expedition in 1895, attacking him at Chitral Fort which Umra Khan was holding. Umra Khan was defeated, and took refuge in Afghanistan where he subsequently died. As a reward for his help, the British Government restored Sharif Khan as the ruler of Dir State and also the Lower Swat region, and gave him the title of Khan. Thus, Dir became an appendage of the British Empire in 1897 and its boundaries were demarcated. Sharif Khan, the Khan of Dir, was titled Nawab. After the death of Muhammad Sharif Khan, his son Muhammad Aurangzeb Khan succeeded to the throne of Dir.

At Aurangzeb’s death, in 1925, the title passed to his eldest son, Mohammad Shah Jahan Khan, who was supported by the British Government against the small rival faction that favored his brother Alamzeb Khan. Alamzeb was exiled in 1928 because of his attempts to seize power. Jahan Khan was loyal to the British, who nominated him to Knight Commander of British Empire (KBE) in 1933.  In 1947, Jahan Khan sent his troops to support Pakistan during the First Kashmir War, and in 1948 acceded to the new Dominion of Pakistan as a Tribal Agency. He also nominated his sons (Muhammad Shah Khan Khusro, Shahabuddin Khan and Mohammad Shah) as governors of different parts of the State.

After the Independence of Pakistan, Dir enjoyed the status of an independent State, but was amalgamated with Pakistan in 1960 as a Tribal Agency. The Dir State was finally merged into NWFP (now KP) as a district in 1969.

Post-Independence

The politics of the Nawabs of Dir are described as reactionary and harsh.  An Italian anthropologist Fosco Maraini, who visited the State in 1959, reports in his book Where Four Worlds Meet: Hindu Kush[3] that the people of Dir thought that Nawab Jahan Khan (who was about 85 years old at that time) was a tyrannical leader, denying his subjects any freedom of speech and instruction, governing the land with a number of henchmen and seizing for his harem any girl or woman he wanted. Maraini also recorded the lack of schools, sewers and paved roads, and the presence of a newly built, rudimentary hospital.

As a consequence of the oppressive political climate, uprisings began. A repressed revolt in 1959 is reported in Maraini’s account. Another insurrection in 1960 led to the death of 200 Pakistani soldiers, and General Yahya (the leader of the army) decided to exile Jahan Khan, who ultimately died in exile in 1968. His throne passed to his eldest son, Mohammad Shah Khosru Khan, in October 1961, who had been educated in India and was a serving Major General of the Pakistan Army. However, the effective rule of Dir was by the Political Agent. On 28 July 1969, Dir State was incorporated into Pakistan, ceasing its existence as an independent State. The royal status of the Nawabs was abolished in 1972, at the same time as that of most other princes of Pakistan.

Due to administrative reasons, the Dir district was divided into two Districts in 1996: Upper Dir and Lower Dir, with Dir and Timergara as their respective headquarters.

Figure 1.3 Map of Princely State Dir[4]

Figure 1.4 Darbar of Nawab of Dir, 1919

Figure 1.5 Flag of Dir State[5]

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Lower Dir 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[6]
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly         5

Under the Local Government Act District Dir (Lower) 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. Lower Dir District Council is composed of 41 general members, 13 women members, 2 peasants/worker members, 2 Minority members, and 2 youth members.

Administrative Units

The Lower Dir district, with an area of 1,583 km2, is divided into 02 Tehsils as follows:

Samarbagh/Jandool Tehsil 09 Union Councils
Timergara Tehsil 28 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Lower Dir Administrative Divisions

[1] Gandhara means the land of fragrance (Gand) and beauty (Hara)

[2]Jandool was a semi-independent Frontier State now part of Lower Dir district. Originally, Umra Khan had friendly relations with the British who recognized the State of Jandool. Later, he was nicknamed “Napoleon of Pathans” by the British for uniting all warring tribes under his banner to fight them.

[3] Published by London Hamish, Hamilton in 1959

[4] http://www.khyber.org/places/2005/The_State_of_Dir.shtml

[5] This picture is black and white, but the color of the flag is green (the background) and the emblems and writings are in white

[6] 1 shared by Upper Dir

Tourism/ Picnic/ Archeological Spots

The entire district can be termed a tourist spot. The whole district is mountainous with green forests. Major tourist areas are Maidan, Shahi, and Laram. Eco-tourism, in fact, is a growing industry for the district.

  • Maidan: this is a scenic valley, and known for its lush green mountains and springs in the summer season. Kumber, the capital village of Maidan valley, is a big trade center comprised of many commercial markets
  • Shahi: located 2,300 m above sea level, on top of the mountains of Samar Bagh and Barawal. A winter sports gala is held in Shahi every year
  • Laram Hills: Located at an altitude of almost 2,591 m, Laram area is part of Adenzai Tehsil of Lower Dir district and offers its visitors towering hills, a feeling of winter in the summer season, and an opportunity to stroll above the clouds due to its high altitude
  • Bin Shahi: this is a small valley housing a lake called Shalkholas Danda, which provides an ideal scenic spot for tourists
  • Chakdara: this is an important town located on the banks of River Swat. There is a Mughal era fort, said to have been built in 1586. Dir Museum is also located in the city. This museum houses Gandhara era relics, including Buddha’s belongings
  • Churchill Picket: this is located on top of a hillock west of Chakdara Fort. This picket is so named because Sir Winston Churchill, who was a war correspondent at that time, visited it during the Great Pathan uprising of 1879
  • Chakdara Fort: this is a Mughal fort built in 1586. The British occupied it in 1895 and rebuilt it in 1896
  • Noor Mahal: located 10 km northwest of Chakdara in village Uch, Noor Mahal is a mini museum located within a mosque. The museum displays some holy relics and rare books brought to the mosque more than 200 years ago by Maulana Muhammad Nasim Siddiqui from Delhi on camels. Some of the most holy of these relics are the hair of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and some items belonging to Ali (RA) and Imam Hussain

The following archeological sites are located around Chakdara:

  • Anden Dheri (also spelled Andannd Dherai): a Buddhist site, located 7 km north of Chakdara near Uch Village. According to legend, Buddha changed himself into a great dead serpent in order to save the people from famine. The starving people are said to have cut pieces from the body to feed themselves
  • Damkot Hill: this is a Buddhist Stupa and monastery. It was excavated by Prof (Dr.) Dani from 1962 to 1965. Discoveries include houses containing pottery and jewelry (now displayed in Saidu Sharif Museum). There were signs of early Zoroastrian burial sites which have been protected and sealed with large stone slabs
  • Hindu Shahi Fort: built by Lamal Khan Chena and located near Chakdara Bridge

Figure 1.6 Chakdara Fort

In addition to the above, the district offers enchanting forests with a wide variety of wild life, and natural beauty for the nature lovers, as well as opportunities for mountaineering, and hiking.

Figure 1.7 Laram Hills Top

Figure 1.8 Maidan Valley

Figure 1.9 Shahi Winter Sports Gala

Figure 1.10 Anden Dheri

Topography

The entire district—Upper and Lower Dir—is located in the Panjkora Valley and drained by the River Panjkora. Apart from small areas in the southwest, the district is mostly a rugged mountainous terrain. The hills and mountains are a part of the range/branch of the Southern Hindu Kush and, in general, they run from north to south, with the highest peaks in the upper northern part of the district, where they reach more than 3,000 m in height. In the central part, the height varies between 1,800 to 2,000 m. In the south, at the junction of Panjkora and Swat rivers, the height shows a rapid decrease, where it is around 600 m. These ranges have been deeply cut by River Panjkora and its tributaries. It is in these narrow valleys that most of the inhabitants live and practice agriculture. The height of Timergara, the district headquarters, is 823 m above mean sea level.

Valleys

The major valleys of Lower Dir district include Timergara, Jandol, Maidan, Samar Bagh, Asban, and Adezai.

Mountain Ranges

Some of the mountain ranges are Seri Sar Ghar, Parrai Ghar, Mora Sar, Dankar Sar, and Giro Ghar. Important mountain peaks of the district include Gidaro Sar, near Dir (2,925 m), and Balakot Sar near Timergara (2,126 m).

Passes

Mountain passes include Chakhe Shahid Kandao, Katgala Kandao, and Khan Baba Kandao. These mountain passes connect various areas in the district.

Rivers, Lakes, and Streams

The main river of the district is Panjkora River (a tributary of River Swat). This river derives its name from its 5 tributaries: Gawaldai Khwar, Kumrat Khwar, Jhandrai Khwar, Biar Khwar, and Dogdarra Khwar. River Panjkora originates from Dir Kohistan (Upper Dir), and is also known as River Dir. Other tributaries of River Panjkora flowing through the district include Rishkun Khwar, Kurmai Khwar, Shilkai Khwar, Junkai Khwar, Shahur Khwar, and Shiringal Khwar.

River Panjkora enters the district in the northeast and flows southwest along the boundary with Bajaur Agency, up to its confluence with River Swat. Two of its major western tributaries flowing through the district are Kunai Khwar, and Shanelai/Jandool Khwar flowing from the northwest. Asegai Khwar joins River Panjkora in the southeast, after which River Panjkora joins River Swat which flows along the southern boundary of the district.

A large number of nullah/streams originating in the mountains join the two rivers. An important nullah is the Shewa Khwar, and other smaller nullahs/streams include Tangi Khwar, Katorzai Darra, Lalu Khwar, and Makhai Kuch Khwar.

Forestry

There are 18,405 HA of forests in Lower Dir district.

The forests of Lower Dir are coniferous forests with silver fir (Abies alba), spruce (Picea smithiana), deodar (Cedrus deodara), blue pine (Pinus wallichiana), and chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) as the main species. Dry temperate forests with gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia), wild olives (Olea ferruginea), phulai (Acacia modesta), pomegranate (Punica granatum), oak (Quercus baloot), and fig (Ficus palmate) are the most common trees. Among the undergrowth, the abundant species are hopbush (Dodonea viscosa), Malabar nut or baikar basuti (Justicia adhatoda), spin azghay or pishkanr (Otostegia limbata), indigo (Indigofera gerardiana), jabai (Plantago lanceolata), field bind weed or lehli/naro (Rumex dentatus), horehound (Marrubium vulgaris), Himalayan strawberry (Fragaria nubicola), round leafed crane’s bill (Geranium rotundifolium), laighonai (Daphne oleoides), kachmachu (Solanum nigram), and khwaja booti (Ajuga bracteosa).

The following table shows the type of forests and their area as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Forest Area 45,480 A Resumed Land – A
Reserved Forests – A Communal Forests – A
Protected Forests 23,025 A Guzara Forests – A
Unclassed Forests – A Private Plantation 17,676 A
Miscellaneous 4,779 A Linear Plantation – km

Table 1.3 Lower Dir Forests

Soils

Since the district is mountainous, agriculture is practiced on valley slopes and terraces. The soil is mostly loamy sand, sandy loam, sandy clay, sandy clay loam, loam, and silt loam. The soils of the mountain areas consist of gravel with maximum sand content.

Climate

The elevation of the district ranges from 1,200 m to 2,800 m above sea level. The climate of the district, thus, largely depends on altitude. The closest meteorological station is situated at Upper Dir.

Lower Dir district is situated in the temperate zone, and thus, the summer season is moderate and warm. June and July are the hot months. In June, the mean maximum and minimum temperatures have been recorded as 32 °C and 15 °C respectively. During the spring months, wind storms called Badama originating from the Lowari Top occur. These winds are chilly, making the evenings and nights cold.

The winter season is very cold. It starts from November and lasts till at least March. December, January, and February are the coldest months. During this period, temperatures fall below freezing point. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during January have been recorded as 11 °C and -3 °C

The district receives its highest rainfall in March (242 mm) and its lowest in July, October, and November. Snowfall starts from December to March and remains up to June and July on high mountains, adding to the beauty of the valley.

The rains are received from frontal cyclones from the west and their passage, as well as from the penetrative Monsoons period. The rains are usually accompanied by heavy thunderstorms. The winter rainfall is more than that of the summer season. The maximum winter precipitation has been recorded during the month of March, which is about 242 mm. The relative humidity is quite high throughout the year. Mean average annual rainfall in the district is about 1,420 mm.

Seismic Activity

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

Population

The following table shows the Tehsil-wise population of Lower Dir district as per the 2017 Census:

District Area

km2

Population Male% Female% Urban

%

Growth Rate %
Lower Dir District 1,583 1,435,917 49.5 50.5 2.3 3.71
Jandool/Samarbagh Sub-Division 421 838,242
Timergara Sub-Division 1,162 597,675

Table 1.4 Lower Dir Population Statistics

Religions[1]

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

Table 1.5 Lower Dir Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.1%
Punjabi Negligible %
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 99.34%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki Negligible %
Others 0.5%

Table 1.6 Lower Dir Languages

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

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

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

Forestry and Farming are the most important economic activities in the district. Other activities include daily wage laborers especially in the construction industry, and transporters. Lower Dir district is mostly mountainous terrain, and agricultural land is available only on the hill slopes and in the valleys. As such, mechanized agriculture is hardly practiced, except in areas that are easily accessible for transportation of agricultural machinery. Farming is usually carried out with crude implements like ploughs which are drawn by bullocks, the traditional method for ploughing. Agriculture depends mostly on rainfall.

The industrial occupations in the district include:

  • Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding and Fishing (45.8%)
  • Construction (19.1%)
  • Wholesale/Retail And Hotel/Restaurant (9.2%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (17.3%)
  • Transport, Storage and Communication (4.5%)
  • Manufacturing (2%)
  • Others (2.1%)

    Land Use

    The following table shows the main land use statistics of Lower Dir district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

    Total Area 158,300 HA Reported Area 142,638 HA
    Total Cultivated Area 41,004 HA Net Sown 35,832 HA
    Current Fallow 5,172 HA Uncultivated Area 101,634 HA
    Culturable Waste 15,389 HA Forest Area 77,515 HA

    Table 1.7 Lower Dir Land Use Statistics

    Agriculture

    Most of the Lower Dir district is mountainous terrain. Agricultural land is available only on the hill slopes and in the valleys. The whole Dir district belongs to the Northern Dry Mountains Agro Ecological Zone of Pakistan. This area is mostly irrigated by glacier-fed streams and rivers. Poppy cultivation was once very popular, but since its ban, people are being encouraged and supported to grow other crops.

    Wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane, tobacco, moong, masoor, maash, rapeseed, barley, and groundnut are some of the crops grown in the area.

    Apples, pears, plums, apricot, figs, melon, citrus, loquat, mulberry, peach, walnuts, and almonds are some of the fruits grown in the area.

    Onion, tomatoes, squashes (tinda, tori), gourds (bottle and bitter), peas, chilies, coriander, and garlic are some of the vegetables grown in the district.

    Livestock Breeding

    Following table shows the statistics of livestock in Lower Dir district (2006 Livestock Census) as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

    Cattle 249,007 Heads Buffaloes 16,258 Heads
    Sheep 47,946 Heads Goats 292,539 Heads
    Camels 348 Heads Horses 148 Heads
    Asses 2,980 Heads Mules 387 Heads

    Table 1.8 Lower Dir Livestock Statistics

    Achai breed of cow is native to the district. Local breeds of goats known as Pahari/jattal, as well as teddy and beatle breeds of goat also prevail in higher elevations of Lower Dir. Non-descriptive local breeds of sheep are also common in the district.

    Poultry

    The total number of poultry birds in Lower District according to the Livestock Census 2006 is 1,049,590 birds (qtd. In KP Development Statistics 2018-19).

    Fishing

    Fishing is not a trade commodity, and any fish caught in the rivers/streams is consumed locally. Fishing of Mahaseer is carried out as a sport by tourists; these fish are available in the River Swat, but due to the river’s current, catching Mahaseer is a challenge. In order to prevent fish poaching, a Government license is required to fish in these waters. Trout fishing is carried out in River Panjkora.

    Bee Keeping

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

    There are many types of honey being produced in KP, but Sedar (ber in Urdu) and acacia modesta (Phulai in Urdu) honey are produced in the highest quantities. The total numbers of the bee keeping entrepreneurs (farm) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is about 3,800 and direct employment in these farms is of 17,500 people.[1]

    Mining

    Chromite and feldspar are being commercially mined in the district, but granite (white), marble, copper, iron ore, limestone, milky quartz, and amphibolites are also present in various areas of the district. Oil and gas are not been explored currently.

     

    • Irrigation

      The district belongs to the Northern Dry Mountain Agro Ecological Zone of Pakistan. This zone is irrigated by glacier-fed streams. The district is mostly irrigated by River Panjkora and its tributaries. Small irrigation channels (mostly community-owned) have been dug to bring water from these rivers and streams to the agricultural lands. In addition, tube wells are also widely used for irrigation. The following table shows the mode and area irrigated by each mode in Lower Dir district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

      Total Irrigated Area 21,714 HA Govt. Canal Irrigated 3,284 HA
      Tube Wells 1,869 HA Wells 275 HA
      Tanks 199 HA Private Canal Irrigated 14,768 HA
      Others 1,130 HA Lift Pumps 189 HA

      Table 1.11 Lower Dir Irrigation Statistics

    Industry and Manufacturing

    There is one wood working center in the district, established by the Sarhad Industrial Development Board. There are a total of 24 registered industries in the district, out of which 23 are working and one is closed. The following table shows the type of industry and number of units in the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19):

    Industry No. of Units Industry No. of Units
    Cement Based 07 Flour Mills 06
    Furniture 01 Ice Factories 03
    Marble & Chips 02 Rice Mills 04

    Table 1.9 Lower Dir Industry and Manufacturing

    Trade

    The district trades in mineral products, especially marble and agricultural produce.

    Handicrafts

    Chitrali shawl, chadar, pakools, and knives are the famous handicrafts of the district.

    [1] Small Medium Enterprise Development Authority, Honey Processing & Packaging Common Facility Center – Mingora Swat

    Economic Infrastructure

    District headquarter Timergara is connected with metalled or shingled roads to all Tehsil headquarters. The National Highway N-45 passes through the district, and connects it to Nowshera, and from there to other parts of Pakistan. The district is mountainous, so there is no railway or airport.

    Roads

    The District Headquarters of Lower Dir (Timergara) is connected with metalled or shingled roads to all Tehsil headquarters. The following table shows road statistics as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

    Total Roads 742.8 km
    High Type Roads 678.8 km
    Low type roads 64.0 km

    Table 1.10 Lower Dir Road Statistics

    Some of the important roads of the district include:

    • National Highway N-45 connects Timergara to other parts of the province, and to Pakistan
    • Jandool Road
    • Kumbar Maidan Road

    Rail and Airways

    There are no railway stations or airport in the district. The nearest Railway Station and airport are at Peshawar.

    Radio and Television

    There is no state-owned or private radio or television station in the district. Both can be accessed through a fiber optic network.

    Telecommunications

    According to the KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 24 telephone exchanges with 6,840 phone connections in Lower Dir district. Cellular phone service is also available in the district.

    Post Offices

    There are 75 offices of Pakistan Post with no head office, but 11 sub-post offices and 64 branch offices in the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19).

    Electricity and Gas

    Peshawar Area Electricity Board was re-organized and formed into a corporation named as Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation (PESCO) in 1998. PESCO is responsible for providing electricity to all civil districts of KP, including Lower Dir.

    Banking/ Financial Services

    According to KP Development Statistics 2018-19 there are 44 branches of various banks in the district.

    According to the List of Reporting Bank Branches 2018-19 by State Bank of Pakistan, the following banks have branches in the district:

    • Bank Al Falah Ltd.
    • Allied Bank Ltd.
    • Habib Bank Ltd.
    • Khyber Bank Ltd.
    • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
    • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
    • United Bank Ltd.
    • Zarai Taraqiati Bank

    In all there are 32 branches of different conventional banks and 12 branches of various Islamic banks in the district.

    Education

    The following table shows the number of educational institutions in Lower Dir district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

    Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
    Primary Schools 710/464 Middle Schools 77/67
    High Schools 74/46 Higher Secondary Schools 31/18
    Mosque Schools 63 Degree Colleges 04/03
    Post Graduate College 01 Polytechnic Institutes 02
    Vocational Centers 03 Commerce Colleges/Institutes 03
    Private Primary Schools 157 Private Schools (Middle to Higher Secondary) 80
    Medical Colleges 1 Engineering Colleges
    Universities[1] 01

    Table 1.12 Lower Dir Education Institutes

    Health

    The District Health Officer Lower Dir is overall in-charge of all healthcare activities in the district. The following table shows the number of health care facilities in Lower Dir district as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

    Institution No./beds Institution No./beds
    Hospitals 07/767 Dispensaries 20/-
    Rural Health Centers 04/84 Basic Health Units 31/-
    Mother Child Health Centers 09/- Sub-Health Centers 02/-
    Leprosy Clinic 02/- TB Clinics 01/-
    Private Medical Practitioners 99 Private Hospitals[2] 03/37

    Table 1.13 Lower Dir Health Institutes

    Policing

    There are 13 police stations[3] in the district.

    The District Police Officer (DPO) is directly responsible to the Zila Nazim 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 criminal nature. The Police Department operates under the Police Rules. The Deputy Inspector General of Police is in-charge of Malakand Circle which includes Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Buner, Shangla, and Chitral. The DPO is in-charge of Lower Dir district. Lower Dir district is again sub-divided into 3 police circles, each with their police stations. Each Police sub-division is headed by Superintendent Police (SP). The sub-divisions are further divided into police stations each of which is headed by a Deputy Police Superintendent (DSP).

    [1] Malakand University, Chakdara Campus

    [3] KP Development Statistics 2018-19

    Figure 1.11 Tablighi Markaz, Faizabad, Lower Dir

    Figure 1.12 Timergara Bazaar

    Figure 1.13 Government High School, Badwan, Lower Dir

    Figure 1.14 A view of Panjkora Valley, Lower Dir

Environment and Biodiversity

Dir is a rugged mountainous country. Due to the district’s lack of industry, and also due to incessant rains, air pollution remains low.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

The district has various types of forests, each with its own flora:

  • Coniferous forests: Dominant species areSilver fir (Abies alba), spruce (Picea smithiana), deodar (Cedrus deodara), blue pine (Pinus wallichiana), chir pine (Pinus roxburghii)
  • Sub-tropical Pine Forests: Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) and kail (Pinus wallichiana) are the dominant tree species
  • Sub-Tropical Sub-Humid Forests: Varieties of olives (Olea), varieties of Accacia like kikar, and babool, varieties of ber (Zizyphus), varieties of hopbush (Dedonia), and varieties of gurgura (Monotheca) are the dominant species

There are a large number of medicinal plants in the district as well, some of which are native and other are exotic.

Some of the medicinal plants of the district include sumbal (Adiantum venustum), Bandakei (Equisetum arvensis Linn.), nakhtar (Pinus roxburghii), skhawaja (Acorus calamus), Ouga (Allium sativum), Jokai (Bromus japonicas), bhung (Cannabis sativa), kareza (Carthemus oxycantha), sarmay (Chenopodium album), dhania (Coriandrum sativum), zair tar botay (Cuscuta reflexa), and koti lal (Withania somnifera).

A large number of flowering plants are also found in the valley; some of these are tulips, daffodils, roses, and cumin.

Fauna

Himalayan grey goral, fox, jungle cat, leopard, barking deer, wolf, hare, monkey, brown and black bears, Himalayan field mouse, and markhor are some of the mammals found in the district. Avifauna includes kalij pheasant, black partridge, grey partridge, chakor, see-see partridge, small kingfisher, varieties of swifts, pond heron, blue rock pigeon, heron, Kashmir roller, Himalayan pied woodpecker, black winged kite, and collared pygmy.

Protected Wildlife Areas and Endangered Fauna

  • Kamrani Game Reserve (Government-owned and Protected): This is a Sub-Tropical Scrub Forest as well as a Sub-Tropical Pine Forest, and provides sanctuary to black partridge, grey partridge, chakor partridge, fox, wolf
  • Adenzai Game Reserve (Community-owned and Protected)
  • Tangi Darra Game Reserve (Community-owned)

These areas provide sanctuary to hare, monkey, fox, common leopard, jungle cat, chakor, grey partridge, and black partridge.