Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Malakand

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Introduction/Geographical Details; Malakand District

Malakand district/Protected Area is located at a strategically important position in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) as it acts as a gateway to Swat, Dir, Chitral and Bajaur. The district is located between 34° 22Ꞌ to 34° 41Ꞌ north latitudes, and 71° 37Ꞌ to 72° 14Ꞌ east longitudes. In the northeast, the district is bordered by Swat district, and on the western border are the Bajaur and Mohmand districts (former Agencies of Ex. Federally Administered Tribal Areas). The natural boundary between Malakand and Bajaur (in the west) is formed by River Swat.

The district is bounded on the north by Lower Dir District, on the east by the district of Buner, on the southeast by Mardan district, and in the southwest by Charsadda district as well as Mohmand Agency.

Figure 1.3 General View of Malakand

Figure 1.4 Thana Malakand

Malakand District at a Glance

Name of District Malakand District
Headquarters Malakand/ Batkhela City
Population[1] 720,295 persons
Area[2] 952 km2
Population Density[3] 756.6 persons/ km2
Growth Rate[4] 2.47%
Male Population[5] 50.3%
Female Population[6] 49.7%
Urban Population[7] 9.5%
Tehsils/ Talukas 02 Tehsils:

1.    Swat Ranizai (also called Dargai Tehsil)

2.    Sam Ranizai (also called Batkhela Tehsil)

Main Towns Thana, Batkhela, Malakand, Dargai, Sakhakot, Jabban, Malakand Khas, Kharkai, Baizo Kharki, Wartair, Khan Paloa, Amandara, and Dheri Allahdand
Literacy Rate[8] 62.0%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 77.0%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 46.0%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing 38.2%
Community, Social & Personal Services 20.0%
Construction 18.9%
Manufacturing 2.8%
Transport, Storage & Communication 5.8%
Wholesale/Retail Trade, Hotel/ Restaurant 11.9%
Others 2.4%
Main Crops Rice, maize, millet, sugarcane, sugarbeet, wheat, barley, tobacco, maash, masoor, moong, rapeseed, mustard, canola, and sesanum
Major Fruits Citrus, mango, banana, apple, guava, apricot, pears, plums, grapes, loquat, walnuts, watermelon, and persimmon
Major Vegetables Chilies, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, peas, okra, cucumber, radish, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, spinach and other leafy vegetables, and brinjal
Forest Area[12] 4,409 HA[13]
Black Topped Roads[14] 422.3 km
Shingle Roads[15] 78.4 km
Electricity[16] Electricity is supplied by Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation
Telephone Exchanges[17] 19 telephone exchanges with 7,667 connections
Industrial Zones[18] There is no industrial estate in the district but there are 62 registered industrial units.
Major Industry[19] Cement Based Industry 11 Units
Engineering 2 Unit
Flour Mills 7 Units
Marble & Chips 24 Units
Rice Mills 8 Units
Soap & Detergent 2 Unit
Vegetable Ghee/Oil 4 Units
Ice Factories 4 Units
Household Size[20] 9.1 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[21] 66.1%
Houses with Electricity[22] 82.02%

Table 1.1 Malakand 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] Forestry Statistics records 12,334 HA

[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 made public yet.

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

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

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHeritage Sites/ Tourist Attractions

Brief History of Malakand District

Malakand Agency was one of the Tribal Areas in the KP province until 1970. It included the Princely States of Chitral, Dir, and Swat, and an area around the Malakand Fort known as the Malakand Protected Area. In 1970, after the abolition of the princely states of Chitral, Dir, and Swat, Malakand (then known as Malakand Agency) was made Malakand Division and divided into districts: Swat, Upper and Lower Dir, Chitral, Buner, Shangla, and Malakand Protected Area (renamed Malakand district). In 2000, Malakand Division was abolished as the second tier of Pakistan Government. Despite the constitutional changes since 1970, the expression “Malakand Agency” is still used, sometimes to refer to the entire area of the former division, but more often to refer to Malakand District/Protected Area.

According to local traditions, the word Malakand is a combination of two words: “Mala” and “Kund.” In Pushto, Mala is derived from the word “aamail” (garland), and Kund means “ubo” (water). This name may have stuck due to the fact that while crossing the Malakand Pass, River Swat looks like a mala (garland).

Another possible explanation for the region’s name is that it has been derived from a combination of two words “Mullah” and “Kandao”. Mullah means “a religious saint” and Kandao means “a lofty place” and hence the name means “lofty, religious place.”

The large number of archeological remains from the Buddhist and Hindu Shahi periods discovered in Malakand Agency/ district clearly indicate that this area was part of the ancient Gandhara Civilization and was also part of the Buddhist Empire. The last Buddhist ruler of the area was Raja Gira; in 1023 AD, Mahmood of Ghazni attacked the area through Bajaur Agency, defeating Raja Gira. After Mahmood Ghazni, the Ghorids led by Sultan Shahab-ud-din Ghori (1162-1206) conquered the area, which resulted in Islam spreading in the area. The Swati and Dilazek tribes arrived in the region with Mahmood Ghazni’s army, and, after capturing Swat, these two tribes settled in the area. The Swatis later forced the Dilazeks to move to the Peshawar and Mardan Areas, and became the major tribe of the area.

Malakand Agency/ district lies at a strategically important position and acts as a gateway to Swat, Dir, Chitral and Bajaur. It is located in the Lower Swat Region, surrounded by a series of mountains. The famous Malakand Pass, which connects Mardan to Swat and Dir, starts from near Dargai or Swat Ranizai Tehsil of the district.

When the Yousafzai (also spelled Yusufzai) Pathan tribe were expelled from Afghanistan by Mirza Ulugh Beg (who was the Timurid ruler of Afghanistan from 1394-1449), they came to the Peshawar and Swat areas to settle, with Malik Ahmad Khan as their leader. They entered Swat through the Malakand Pass. The Yusafzais first tried to settle down peacefully with the Swatis, but over time, in order to try and get hold of some lands, they attacked first Malakand, and then Swat. Malik Ahmad Khan divided his force into two parts; one part attacked Swat from Moora Pass (a mountain pass at the back of village Thana Malakand), and the other part blocked the Malakand Pass. The Swatis were thus besieged from two sides and, after a long struggle, Malik Owais, the ruler of Swat, was forced to surrender, making the Yousafzais the rulers of the area. Malik Owais fled to Chitral.[1]

In 1519 AD Mughal Emperor Babar tried to occupy the Yousafzai lands, but failed. He then established an alliance with the Yusafzai tribe by marrying Shah Mansoor Yousafzai’s daughter. Shah Mansoor was the leader of the Yousafzais. This alliance allowed the Yusafzai tribe to maintain its independence, and gave Babar the much needed superiority in the region. The Mughal Emperor Akbar then tried to annex the State, and sent a military force under Zain Khan Koka and Raja Birbal in 1585. Raja Birbal was killed while fighting the Yusufzais. The Mughal force was ultimately defeated and was withdrawn, but by 1690 the Yousafzais were partially brought under the control of the Mughal Empire. Other Mughal Emperors also failed to completely subdue the area. After the fall of the Mughals, Sikh rulers tried to conquer this area but were also repulsed.

The British attempted to conquer Malakand in 1853. They first attacked the Uthmankhel territory in Prang Ghar Malakand, and were able to subdue the Uthmankhels. After defeating them, the British attacked the Ranizais (sub-tribe of Yousafzais) in the south of the Malakand Pass. In 1853, a force under the command of Lord Klaidy was sent to attack the Ranizais. At the first stage of this attack, they raided Dargai and Kharkaey which were small Ranizai villages at the bottom of Malakand Pass. The Ranizais were defeated, and agreed to pay ransom.

In 1885, some British officers and troops were besieged in Chitral by the Chitralis led by Sher Afzal and Umara Khan of Jandol.[2] In order to provide relief to these officers and troops, the British needed a route to Chitral, and thus laid siege to the Malakand Pass. The people fought bravely but their swords and guns were no match for the British artillery. On September 12, 1895, an agreement was signed between the British and the Pakhtuns, and the British were allowed to use Malakand Pass.

Once the British took control of the Pass, and to ensure the future safety of the strategically important Chitral Road, they constructed 2 forts at Malakand and Chakdara with many pickets on the surrounding hills. One of them was called Churchill piquet, named after then Lt. Churchill who was the commander of the Chitral Force and who later became the Prime Minister of Britain. After securing their position over Malakand Pass, the British appointed a Political Agent who was stationed at Malakand.

In 1897, the Second Battle of Malakand took place; this battle was a decisive one, during which even Pakhtoon women came out to fight, but resulted in the defeat of the tribes. While the British won the war, the tribes maintained guerrilla warfare against them, making it difficult for the British to exercise any form of control in the region.

Many stories recounting the bravery of the tribes’ men and women fighting the war against the British have been recorded, some of which include the names of tribesmen like Saadulllah Khan, known as Sar Tor Faqir[3] (called bear-headed Faqir or Mad Mullah by the British), who assaulted the British at Malakand Khas and defeated them. Later, the Sikhs joined the British, but this force was also beaten. The mujahideen[4] captured the British Quarter Guard and seized a large quantity of arms and ammunition. The fighting continued all night and by dawn of the next day, the battle stopped. A large number of British and Sikh soldiers were killed, while 19 mujahideen were martyred, including Sar Tor Faqir. His tomb has been built at the bottom of Elephant Pass (Hathi Darrah) to the south of Zulamkot village in Malakand.

Another important hero of the Battle of Malakand is Hazrat Sikandar Shah Shaheed. He is reputed to have carried a large red and white banner, and even though all his followers were martyred, he continued to fight alone till he fell near the British line. He is buried near the modern road built close to the Malakand Pass. The ex-political agent of Malakand, Abdul Wakil Shah, constructed his mausoleum in 1991-93. A mosque has also been constructed near his tomb; people travelling from Mingora, while passing near the Mazar/ Tomb of Sikandar Shah Shaheed offer their prayers at the mosque.

Instances of the bravery of the Pakhtoon Mujahideen have even been narrated by British writers in their reports. Captain J. Young and Colonel Sir Francis write in their book Relief of Chitral:

Of the enemy’s bravery it is difficult to speak too highly, and individual cases were conspicuous. One leader, carrying a large red and white banner, called on his men to charge the Scottish Borderers when they were half way up the hill. The charge was made, but all his followers gradually fell, till the leader alone was left. Nothing daunted, he held steadily on, now and again falling, heavily hit, but up and on again without a moment’s delay, till at last he was shot dead close to the British line. More desperate courage than this is difficult to imagine. Again, one of the enemy’s drummers, not content with taking his fair share of risks, perished in mounting on to the roof of a hut, where he showed up clear and conspicuous against the sky line, and hence cheered on his comrades. Every now and again, a bullet would find him out and he would drop to dress his wounds, and then again mounting recommenced beating his drum. At last a bullet got him through the heart, and he fell headlong a hundred yards down the cliff, and there lay stark dead, but with his drum round his neck, and his arms ready raised to strike it. (Chapter IV, para 92)

Later, the British formed a new force called Malakand Field Force to deal with tribes in Malakand. Winston Churchill, later the Prime Minister of Great Britain, was a captain in that force. He was also the War Correspondent for the Allahbad Pioneer and Daily Telegraph, and also wrote the book Story of the Malakand Field Force describing his experiences in Malakand.

The tribesmen of the Malakand Agency played an important role in the Partition also; they organized National Guards, and voted for Pakistan in the 1945-46 referendum/ elections.

Governmental Structure; Malakand District

At the Federal level, Malakand 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, District Malakand 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. Malakand District Council is composed of 28 general members, 10 women members, 2 peasants/worker members, 2 minority members, and 2 youth members.

Administrative Divisions; Malakand district

The total area of the district is 952 km2 (1998 Census) and this is divided into 02 Tehsils as follows:

Swat Ranizai (Dargai) Tehsil 17 Union Councils
Sam Ranizai (Batkhela) Tehsil 11 Union councils

Table 1.2 Malakand Administrative Divisions

[1] Extracted from Swat State during 1849-1969: A Historical Perspective by Fakhr-ul-Islam

[2] Umara Khan of Jandol was also known as the Afghan Napoleon In 1894 he was the ruler of Swat, Bajour, Dir, Chitral, Skhakot, and extended the boundaries of his state till Asmar of Afghanistan

[3] Please see history of Buner also.

[4] Arabic word used for Muslim fighters/ soldiers

Historic/ Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions; Malakand District

There are no heritage sites protected under Pakistan laws in Malakand district, but following are important cultural heritage sites in Malakand:

  • The Malakand Fort, constructed by the British on top of the pass in order to guard the pass by attack from the local Pushtun tribes. It is a historic fort. A military garrison is stationed in the fort currently; (Malakand district)
  • Graveyards containing tombs/ graves of the martyrs/ mujahideen killed in the battles of 1895 and 1897. There are 2 graveyards: Spini Shaheeds and Martyrs of 1895, and Graveyard of Britishers of 1895 (Malakand district)
  • Churchill Picket on Damkot Hill (Malakand district). Winston Churchill reported the uprising of 1897 to the London Daily Telegraph. The foundations of this picket rest on a 14th century Hindu Shahi Wall
  • Chakdara Fort (Malakand district). This fort was built in 1896 by the British on the foundation of Emperor Akbar’s 16th century fort
  • Buddhist stupa just below the top of the Damkot Hills; Malakand district). At the foot of the hill, to the west, is a local bathing place, near which stand 6 boulders with Buddhist carvings on them. The figures shown are mostly of Padmapani, the Lotus Bearer Bodhisattva, with his slim body and diaphanous robes. The carvings date from the 6th or 7th century AD

Other tourist attractions/ picnic spots in Malakand district include:

  • Amandara Headworks, or regulators installed to control the waters of River Swat to divert towards the canal
  • Batkhela, housing the main market/ bazaar of the district and also the Headworks of Upper Swat Canal
  • Thana situated at the end of Malakand Agency
  • Dargai, the main center of timber business
  • Sakhakot, the largest village in Sam Ranizai Tehsil
  • Benton tunnel constructed by the British in 1912
  • Power Houses at Jabban and Dargai
  • Gibraltar Hills, crowned by two British-made pickets: Between this hill and the Malakand Fort is located the Muslim graveyard covered with a thick wild olive forest, the firing range of the Pakistan army and the British cemetery. On both sides of the Gibraltar Hill, there are nullahs and ruins of the old Buddhist road. This was in use as late as the early period of British occupation, and until the modern road was constructed. This road was connected to the village Rang Mohallah. The same has now been abandoned after a metalled road was constructed through Piran Village
  • Malakand III Hydal Power Station
  • Chakdara Bridge: After consolidating their position at Chakdara, the Malakand Field Force carried out different operations towards Swat and Dir till their authority was firmly established. The iron girder bridge on River Swat was constructed. The bridge still exists. Now a concrete bridge has been constructed at the west side of the old suspension bridge.

In addition to the above, the Wildlife Park and Game Reserves also provide good recreational areas.

Figure 1.8 Christian Graveyard, Malakand

Topography of Malakand District

Malakand district consists of narrow valleys surrounded by hills; almost all the area in Swat Ranizai Tehsil/ SubDivision is hilly except a few areas like Thana, Batkhela, and Dheri Allahdand upto Totakan, which are irrigated lands. Major portion of Sam Ranizai SubDivision is cultivable having negligible hilly areas and is more productive than the land of Swat Ranizai.

Some of the mountains of Malakand district are:

  • Pitao Ghar, a 2,933 ft/ 894 m high mountain peak near Malakand
  • Kandao, a 4,859 ft/ 1,481 m high mountain peak near Batkhela
  • Hazarnau at an altitude of 2,727 m in Malakand Agency

The Malakand Pass connects Mardan to Swat and Dir. It starts near Dargai, and descends into Batkhela town.

Figure 1.5 Malakand Pass

Figure 1.6 A view of Mountains from Dargai

The elevation of the district ranges from 600 to 800 m in the north. The valley is surrounded by steep hillsides covering about 50% of the whole area.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes; Malakand district

River Swat enters the district about 3 km to the north of Thana village. All the main villages of Swat Ranizai (Dargai Tehsil) are irrigated by this river. The Sam Ranizai (Batkhela) areas are irrigated through a canal dug from this river, known as Upper Swat Canal, with headworks at Amandara (Malakand).

Some of the major streams/ tributaries of River Swat which flow either during rains or flow throughout the year in Swat Ranizai are Thana Stream, Dheri Allahdand Stream, Batkhela Stream/ Khwar, Chorbal Khwar, Munkar Khwar (also called Piran Killi), and Hindosar Khwar of Malakand.

Some streams of Sam Ranizai which join each other near Sakhakot and flow down to join River Kalpani in Mardan district, are Dargai Jabban Stream and Warter Dobandi Stream.

There are other numerous nullahs/streams flowing down the mountains as well.

The high mountains surrounding the Malakand Protected Area/ district have a number of lakes also called ‘dhands’ which feed these rivers. Some of these are Pitao Obo Dhand, Khairuddin Dhand, and Borhani Jor.

Forests; Malakand district

A Social Forestry Project was launched and a large number of trees were planted in plain and hilly areas. A large number of forests are privately-owned forests in Malakand. These forests are planted with eucalyptus and phulai (Acacia modesta) and chir pine. The district is mostly home to coniferous forests at higher altitudes. Silver fir (Abies alba), spruce (Picea smithiana), deodar (Cedrus deodara), blue pine (Pinus wallichiana), and chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) are the most common varieties found in these forests.

The following table gives the status of forests in Malakand district/Agency as per KP Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Forest Area 30,479 A Resumed Land – A
Reserved Forests – A Communal Forests 1,018 A
Protected Forests 1,100 A Guzara Forests – A
Unclassed Forests[1]  – A Private Plantation 17,676 A
Miscellaneous 10,685 A Linear Plantation 60 km

Table 1.3 Malakand Forests

The Village Development Corporation in Malakand Agency has afforested[2] areas in the district, some of which are Mir Akbar Shah Killi, Skha Obu, Heroshah Kalan, Manzarai Baba, Hazar Nao Site, Zarkandai, Obukhwar, Shinkai, Dabbar Tangai, Dheri Allahdand, Brah, Digger, Kandao, Sakhakot, and Totai.

Khanori, Brah, Villlage Musabad mouza Gandi Khan Khel, Sher Khanai, Bazdara, Hasare Tatkan, Zarwandi Uba, and Dheri Julagram are community-owned and protected Game Reserves of the district.

Figure 1.7 Green Mountains; Malakand

Soils; Malakand district

The soil of Malakand is sandy loam with gravel layers/ loams, developed from old/ sub-recent piedmont materials.

Climate; Malakand district

The climate here is moderately cold in winters and pleasant in summers. The hottest months are June, July, and August. The highest maximum temperature recorded during summer is 41 °C. The mean average highs and lows of summer are 32°C and 16 °C which is reached in June. The cold months are December, January, and February. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during January (the coldest month) are 11 °C and ‑2 °C.

Average annual rainfall in the district is 1,415 mm. The district gets more rains during winter than summer.

Seismic Activity/Seismicity; Malakand district

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

[1] Owned by Government

[2] Converted land into forests especially for commercial use; District Profile 1998, Malakand Agency; by Government of pakistan

Population of Malakand District

The following table shows the population of Malakand district/Agency as per the 2017 Census:

District Area


Population Male% Female% Urban % Growth Rate %
Malakand District 952 720,295 50.3 49.7 9.5 2.47
Sam Ranizai/ Batkhela[1] 304,112
Swat Ranizai/ Dargai 416,183

Table 1.4 Malakand Population Statistics

Religions; Malakand district[2]

Muslims 99.6%
Christians 0.1%
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.3%
Scheduled Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Malakand Religions

Languages; Malakand district[3]


Urdu 0.2%
Punjabi 0.2%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 98.2%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki 0.1%
Others 1.1%

Table 1.6 Malakand Languages

[1] The areas of these 2 Tehsils have not been recorded in the 1998 Census

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

[3] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity; Malakand District

The mainstay of the economy is agriculture with its allied livestock breeding & fishing with (38.2%) persons engaged in this industrial occupation. Other occupations include (1998 census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.):

  • Community, Social & Personal Services (20.0%)
  • Construction (18.9%)
  • Manufacturing (2.8%)
  • Transport, Storage & Communication (5.8%)
  • Wholesale/Retail Trade, Hotel/Restaurant (11.9%)
  • Others (2.4%)

Land Use; Malakand District

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

Total Area 95,200 HA Reported Area 52,134 HA
Total Cultivated Area 45,681 HA Net Sown 31,817 HA
Current Fallow 13,864 HA Uncultivated Area 6,453 HA
Culturable waste 1,019 HA Forest Area 4,409 HA

Table 1.7 Malakand Land Use Statistics

Irrigation Network; Malakand district

Agriculture is mostly dependent on River Swat and the streams flowing down from the mountains. The Upper Swat Canal, originating from Amandara Headworks in Malakand, irrigates a large area of the Sam Ranizai (Batkhela), whereas River Swat irrigates the lands of Swat Ranizai (Dargai). Some of the smaller irrigation canals of the district are Machai Branch, Abazai Branch, Pitcher Canal, Mehrdi Minor, Perennial Canal Minor, Shingri Minor, Pirsado Disty, Qutab Garh Minor, Jalala Distry, and Spokanda Disty.

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

Total Irrigated Area 35,580 HA Government Canals 11,120 HA
Private Canals 16,470 HA Tube Wells 2,369 HA
Lift Pumps 4,424 HA Wells – HA
Others incl. tanks 1,197 HA

Table 1.11 Malakand Irrigation Statistics

The British constructed a tunnel through the Malakand Hill towards Jabban, named Benton Tunnel in order to divert the waters of River Swat for irrigation purposes. Surplus water was directed towards the Qalangi area via Trai-Totakan while a portion of the water was diverted towards the Malakand Pass, which was then made to go through that tunnel. 2 power houses, 1 each at Dargai and Malakand Khas, are situated at the tail-end of the Benton Tunnel. Later, another auxiliary tunnel parallel to Benton Tunnel was constructed which increased the amount of water available for irrigation. Another power house has been constructed on this tunnel.

Figure 1.13 Upper Swat Canal; Opening to Benton Tunnel

Figure 1.14 Batkhela Canal; Amandara Headworks

Agriculture; Malakand District

Generally the area belongs to the Northern Dry Mountain Agro Ecological Zone of Pakistan. The district is irrigated mostly by Upper Swat Canal, and agriculture is the backbone of the district’s economy.

The crops grown in the district include rice, maize, millet, sugarcane, sugarbeet, wheat, barley, tobacco, maash, masoor, moong, rapeseed, mustard & canola, and sesanum.

Main fruits of the district are citrus, mango, banana, apple, guava, apricot, pears, plums, grapes, loquat, walnuts, watermelon, and persimmon.

Chilies, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, peas, okra, cucumber, radish, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, spinach and other leafy vegetables, and brinjal are some of the vegetables produced and grown in the district.

Livestock Breeding; Malakand district

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

Cattle 74,065 Heads Buffaloes 19,555 Heads Sheep 5,928 Heads
Goats 64,561 Heads Camels 81 Heads Horses 671 Heads
Asses 1,884 Heads Mules 73 Heads

Table 1.8 Malakand Livestock Breeding

Balkhi, Tirah or Afridi breed of sheep, as well as Kaghani breed of goat are the most common types of local breeds of livestock.

Poultry Farms; Malakand District

The total number of commercial poultry farms in the district is 36 (Table 17, Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock, by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics).

Fishing; Malakand district

Fishing is carried out in River Swat and its tributaries but most of this is consumed locally. Angling is also a major sport in the area, but neither are economically significant activities.

Bee Keeping/Api Culture; Malakand district

Honey is an important non-wood forest production; KP offers ample opportunities for the promotion of bee keeping, and the Government of KP is providing training to the 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 number of the bee keepers (farm) in KP is about 3,800 and the direct employment in these farms is if 17,500 people.[1]

In Malakand, USAID is providing economic opportunities to bee keepers.

Minerals and Mining; Malakand district

At present, chromite, dolomite, feldspar, granite, and marble are being mined in the district.

Presence of gas and oil is not being explored in the district.

Industry and Manufacturing; Malakand district

There is no industrial estate in the district, but according to KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 62 industrial units in the District. The following table shows the type and number of running industrial units in the district:

Type of Industry No. of Units Type of Industry No. of Units
Cement Based 11 Flour Mills 07
Marble & Chips 24 Rice 08
Soaps 02 Engineering 02
Vegetable Ghee/Oil 04 Ice Factories 04

Table 1.9 Malakand Industries

Handicrafts; Malakand district

Handicrafts of the district include leather goods, embroidery, hand-crafted traditional jewellery.

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

Economic Infrastructure; Malakand District

The district headquarters, Batkhela city, is connected with other parts of Pakistan and its Tehsil headquarters through black topped roads. The district is also served by railway, but there is no air connection.

Road Statistics; Malakand district

The Malakand Pass Road is the most important road in the district. This connects Malakand with Swat, Dir, and Chitral.

The area headquarters and Tehsil headquarters are connected with roads. KP Development Statistics 2018-19, records the road statistics of the district as:

High Type 422.3 km
Low Type 78.4 km
Total 500.7 km

Table 1.10 Malakand Road Statistics

Important roads of Karak district include:

  • Nowshera-Chakdara-Chitral Road, Shergarh-Chakdara Section
  • Chakdara-Thana-Landaki Road
  • Batkhela-Totakai-Qulangi Road
  • Amandara-Thana-Allahdand Road
  • Dargai-Kot Road
  • Dargai-Warter Road
  • Shergarh-Harichand Road

Figure 1.9 Malakand Pass Road

Figure 1.11 Batkhela Road in Summer

Rail and Airways; Malakand district

There is a Railway Station at Dargai, but there is no commercial or military airport in the district. The nearest airport is at Saidu Sharif and Peshawar.

Radio and Television; Malakand district

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

There is no TV station in the district, but TV can be viewed through cable.

Telecommunications; Malakand district

Telecommunication is one of the important components for communication. According to the KP Development Statistics 2018-19, there are 19 telephone exchanges in Malakand district with 7,667 connections.

Post Offices/ Courier Services; Malakand district

There are 51 Post Offices in the district with 1 Head Office, 12 Sub-Post Offices and 38 Branch Post Offices in the district (KP Development Statistics 2018-19).

Banking/ Financial Institutions; Malakand district

The KP Development Statistics 2018-19 records the total number of bank branches in the district as 46.

Following banks all have their branches in the district:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Al Baraka Bank (Pakistan) Ltd.
  • Bank Al Falah Ltd.
  • Bank Al Habib Ltd.Bank Islami Pakistan
  • Faisal Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • Sindh Bank Ltd.
  • The Bank of Khyber Ltd.
  • The Bank Of Punjab Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

According to the “List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019” provided by the State Bank of Pakistan there are a total of 35 branches of various conventional banks and 11 branches of different Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas; Malakand district

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

There are 2 power houses at Dargai and Malakand Khas, and another power house of 81 KW capacity has been installed in Dargai on the Wartair side.

Educational Institutions; Malakand 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 311/226 Middle Schools 30/31
High Schools 44/29 Higher Secondary Schools 06/08
Mosque Schools 06 Degree Colleges 07/04
Polytechnic Institutes 01 Commerce Colleges/ Institutes 01
Vocational Centers Private Primary Schools 29
Private Schools (Middle to Higher Secondary) 92 Post Graduate College
Engineering Colleges Universities[1] 01
Medical Schools Homeopathic Colleges
Law Schools

Figure 1.15 Malakand Educational institutes

Healthcare Facilities; Malakand district

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

Institution No./beds Institution No./beds
Hospitals 06/460 Dispensaries 09/-
Rural health Centers 05/50 Basic Health Units 20/-
Mother Child Health Centers 02/- Sub-Health Centers -/-
TB Clinics -/- Leprosy Center -/-
Private Hospitals Private Medical Practitioners

Figure 1.16 Malakand Health Institutes

Figure 1.17 DHQ Hospital

Policing; Malakand district

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) is in charge of policing Malakand Region which comprises of Malakand, Swat, Dir (Both Upper and Lower), Shangla, Buner, and Chitral. There is 01 police station in the District (KP Development Statistics 2018-19).

[1] University of Malakand

Environment and Biodiversity; Malakand district

The only pollutants in the district are emissions from vehicles and waste water from industries and mines. The air is generally free of industrial pollutants, with the only pollutants being emissions from vehicular traffic.

Flora and Fauna; Malakand district

Flora; Malakand district

The common flora of the area are olive or kahu (Olea ferruginea), phulai (Acacia modesta), prickly acacia or kikar/babul (Acacia nilotica), hop bush (Dodonea viscosa), a type of pistachio called kakar singhi (Pistacia integerrima), bush plum (Carisa spinarum), white cedar or china berry (Melia azedarach), kikar (Acacia nilotica), ber (Zizyphus mauritiana), jharber (Zizyphus nummularia), mulberry or toot (Morus alba), river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), chir pine (Pinus roxburghii), alder or sharol (Alnus nitida), flame of the forest (Butea mono-sperma), eastern nettle tree (Celtis tetrandra), fig (Ficus racemosa), and walnut (Juglans regia).

Some of the medicinal plants of the district include banafsha (Viola serpens), jangli chaulai (Amaranthus viridis), kachnar (Bauhinia variegata) and yellow sorrel (Oxalis corniculata), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), bugle weed or khwaja booti (Ajuga bracteosa), inca wheat or ganhar (Amaranthus caudatus), flame of the forest or palai (Butea monosperma), field marigold or ziargolay (Calandula arvensis), Indian milkweed or spalmay (Calotropis procera), bhang or hemp or marijuana (Canabis sativa), shepherds purse or bambeeza (Capsella bursa pastoris), and kutri (Achyranthes aspera).

The wild ornamental plants include sumbul (Adiantum capillus-veneris and Adiantum incisum), silk cotton tree (Bombax ceiba) and oriental plane or chinar (Platanus orientalis).

Fauna; Malakand district

The common mammalian fauna of the area is hare, wolf, jackal, markhor, monkey, fox, common leopard, jungle cat, leopard cat, rhesus monkey, deer, gorals, and brown and black bear.

Avifauna include koklas pheasant, kalij pheasant, grey partridge, black partridge, chakor partridge, king fisher, see-see partridge, pond heron, grey-bellied cuckoo, alpine swift, pied king fisher, golden eagle, rock dove, common quail, collard pygmy, Himalayan pied wood pecker, pygmy owlet, black shouldered kite, booted eagle, common hawk-cuckoo, and Eurasian scoops owl.

A variety of reptiles and amphibians are also found in the district. Any form of hunting is completely prohibited in the entire district.

Protected Wildlife Areas and wildlife; Malakand District

The following areas are community-owned and protected in Msalakand district:

  • Khanori Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Totai Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Brah Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Sher Khanai Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Bazdara Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Hasare Tatkan Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Zarwandi Uba Game Reserve; Malakand district
  • Dheri Julagram Game Reserve; Malakand district

These provide sanctuary to leopard cat, rhesus monkey, black bear, langur, jackal, fox, hare, gorals, koklas pheasant, kalij pheasant, grey partridge, black partridge, and monal pheasant.

Thana Palai is a government-owned and protected game reserve in Malakand district, providing sanctuary to black partridge, grey partridge, chakor partridge, fox, hare, and jungle cat.

Malakand Safari Park is a Government-owned and protected Wildlife Park (Malakand district) which provides sanctuary to ring-necked pheasant, wood green pheasant, silver pheasant, kalij pheasant, and golden pheasant.