Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-SWA TD

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Introduction/Geographical Details, South Waziristan Tribal District (SWTD)

South Waziristan (SW) TD takes its name from the Waziri tribe that inhabits it. The TD is located between 31° 49Ꞌ to 32° 48Ꞌ north latitudes and 69° 15Ꞌ to 70° 28Ꞌ east longitudes. It is bounded on the north by North Waziristan (NW) Tribal District; on the northeast by Bannu and Laki Marwat districts; on the east by Tank district and Dera Ismail Khan districts; on the south by Zhob district of Balochistan and Dera Ismail (D I) Khan district; and, on the west by Afghanistan.

South Waziristan Tribal District (TD) at a Glance

Name of TD South Waziristan TD
Headquarters Wana city
Population[1] 675,215 persons
Area[2] 6,620 km2
Population Density[3] 102 persons/ km2
Growth Rate[4] 2.4%
Male Population[5] 52.7%
Female Population[6] 47.4%
Urban Population[7] Nil (the entire district is rural_
Administrative Units

08 tehsils:

1.    Birmal Tehsil

2.    Ladha Tehsil

3.    Makin Tehsil

4.    Sararogha Tehsil

5.    Sarwakai Tehsil

6.    Tiarza Tehsil

7.    Toi Khulla Tehsil

8.    Wana

Main Towns Wana, Ladha, Makin, Sararogha, Azamwarsak, Angooradda, Kaniguram, Sarwakai, Tiarza, Birmal, Toi Khulla, Walma, Sholam Kot, and Kotkai
Literacy Rate[8] 35%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 54%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 10%
Major Economic Activity Economic Activity figures for FATA are not available; subsistence level agriculture with its allied livestock breeding and fishing is the major employer. Other activities include small scale businesses, mining, and elementary occupations. Immigration to other districts in search of jobs to send remittances home is a major economic activity
Main Crops Rice, maize, sugarcane, moong, rapeseed, and fodder
Major Fruits Apples, apricots, watermelon, pear, plum, pomegranate, peaches, musk melon, grapes, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts (chilghoza), olives, ber, citrus, guava, grapes, peanuts, pistachios, and loquat
Major Vegetables Potatoes, tomatoes, okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, turnip, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, chillies, and cucumber
Forest Area[11] 2,147 HA[12]
Black Topped Roads[13] 881.0 km
Shingle Roads[14] 436.0 km
Electricity Provided and supplied by Tribal Area Electricity Supply Corporation (TAESCO). Data on number of grid stations is not available
Telephone Exchanges[15] 07 Telephone Exchanges with 3,465 connections
Industrial Zones[16] No Industrial Estates; 09 registered Industrial Units, of which 06 are working
Major Industry[17] Cement Blocks 3 Units
Cold Drinks 1 Unit
Electric Goods 1 Unit
Furniture & Fixtures 1 Unit
Flour Mills 1 Unit
Plastic Shoes 1 Unit
Spare Parts 1 Unit
Household Size[18] 7.8 persons per house
Houses With Piped Water[19] 23.5%
Houses With Electricity[20] 58.7%

Table 1.1 SW TD at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census)

[2] 2017 \Census

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social & living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-2020

[9] Pakistan Social & living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-2020

[10] Pakistan Social & living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2019-2020

[11] KP Development Statistics 2020-21

[12] Forestry Statistics report 463183 A’ these statistics are from FATA Development statistics 2015-16; since KP DS do not report forestry statistics of the former FATA Agencies

[13] KP Development Statistics 2020-21

[14] KP Development Statistics 2020-21

[15] KP Development Statistics 2020-21

[16] Industries Survey Report, 2010, by FATA Development Authority (latest available) (KP Development Statistics do not record data for former FATA Agencies)

[17] Industries Survey Report, 2010, by FATA Development Authority (latest available) (KP Development Statistics do not record data for former FATA Agencies)

[18] 2017 Census

[19] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

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

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHistoric/ Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions

Brief History of South Waziristan TD

Waziristan is named after the Pashtun Wazir tribe. South Waziristan (SW) is the largest (in area) Agency of former FATA. The Wazir tribe in SW Agency has 2 main branches: the Darwesh Khel and the Mahsuds.

There are no records of the early history of the area, but since the now TD is located near the areas belonging to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and Harappa, most historians assume that the region was part of the ancient Persian Achaemenid Empire of 500 BC and that it remained part of the Mauryan Empire (324-233 BC). In 327 BC Alexander the Great, along with his Macedonian army, marched into this area via Nava Pass (now in present day Bajaur TD.  The Greco-Bactrians are known to have ruled this area. The next dynasty to rule the area was the Saka Dynasty (97 BC). Nominal control over the area was also exercised by the Kushan (30-375 AD), Hephthalite (440 to 710 AD), Kidarite (320-500 AD), and Sassanian Persian dynasties as well.

Muslim conquest of these areas began during the conquest of Persia by the Kilafat-i-Rashidun in the 7th century AD. In the 9th century AD, Yaqub-i-Laith Saffari[1] captured these areas, thereby spreading Islam into the Khyber hinterlands, of which the SW Agency was (presumably) a part. The Ghaznavids (977-1186 AD), Ghorids (1186-1215 AD), the Delhi Sultanate (1286-1526 AD) and the Mughals (1526-1857 AD) all controlled the area over time. During the declining years of the Mughal Empire, Waziristan became part of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan from 1747-1848.

South Waziristan TD is inhabited by two main tribes:[2] the Ahmadzai Wazirs (a sub clan of Waziri Tribe) and Mahsud or Maseed Tribe. The Ahmadzai Wazirs migrated from Birmal (a district in Afghanistan) at the end of 14th century and occupied Shawal as well as the Kohat border, north of River Tochi. They subsequently crossed the Tochi river, and from the hill country around Shuider,[3] they gradually spread southwards to Gomal. The Mahsud/ Maseeds branch of the Waziri tribe originally lived in the centre of the Waziristan area of FATA. In the latter half of the 14th century, they migrated eastwards, and launched a dispute with the Bannuchi and Khattak tribes who were settled in the Shawal area. The Mahsuds/ Maseeds, with help from the Wazirs, defeated the Khattaks, and pushed them toward Bannu and Kohat. Eventually, the Mahsuds settled at Waziristan in the Makeen, Kaniguram (originally the stronghold of the Ormur/ Burki tribe) and Ladha areas. Ormurs are now considered to be the close brethren of the Maseeds due to marital and other familial ties. The Ormurs were the indigenous people of former SW Agency and trace their historical origins to pre-Islamic eras. Kaniguram town is famous because of the Roshania movement of the 16the century. Pir Roshan (whose real name was Pir Bayazid Khan i.e. Saint of Light or, as his opponents called him, Pir Tarik or Saint of Darkness) is buried near Kaniguram.[4] A third tribe inhabiting the area is the Ghilzai Powindas, who inhabit Spin and Wana.

These two tribes—the Mahsuds/Maseeds and Ahmadzai Wazirsontinued to live and rule independently till the arrival of the British in 1849, after the annexation of Punjab.

The Mahsuds[5] were notorious for their bravery and independence. After the British annexed Punjab, The Mahsuds started a guerrilla war with the British. In 1860 the Mahsuds attacked the town of Tank (then in D I Khan). The British sent an expedition of the 5th Punjab Cavalry led by Saadat Khan, who was unable to defeat the Mahsuds. Later in the same year (1860) an expedition was sent, led by Brigadier General Chamberlain, to Kaniguram (Mahsud-Burki/Ormur territory). This force inflicted many losses on these tribes, but could not secure their submission and the tribes continued their guerrilla war. In 1863 a peace agreement was signed between the tribes and the British Government but its terms were not adopted, and the Mahsuds continued their attacks on the British. A major attack was carried out in 1878, when the Mahsuds attacked British-occupied Tank and burnt down the town. They continued these attacks till, in 1881, a second expedition was sent by the British. This expedition penetrated upto Kaniguram, but again failed to exact compliance as per British conditions. The British then imposed a tax on all Mahsud exports into British territory. From 1881 to 1891, there was peace, and Sir Robert Sandeman succeeded in opening the Gomal Pass. He paid Rs 50,000 annually to the Mahsuds for providing guards for the protection of the Pass.

In 1894, the Mahsuds attacked Wana led by Mullah Powinda, a religious leader, who had been given the title of Badshah-i-Taliban or King of Seekers (of knowledge) by the Mahsuds. The British sent a third expedition led by Sir W. Lockhart, who penetrated deep into Mahsud country, and severely punished those sections of the tribe that were implicated in the Wana attack. The boundary with Afghanistan was demarcated in 1894 through the Durand Line Agreement, and in 1896, former SW Agency was formed as a Political Agency with a Political Agent headquartered at Wana.

SW Aagency was the only Agency that did not take part in the Great Pathan Uprising of 1897-98; but, from July 1998 to the end of 1899, the Mahsuds renewed their attacks on British controlled areas. In 1900, the Mahsuds were completely blockaded; a Jirga[6] was called, and this Jirga accepted the terms laid out by the British. This agreement ended the blockade.

However, large scale disturbances occurred in 1904, resulting in the murder of the Political Agent and Militia Commandant at Sarwakai. A plot to murder all the British officers and thereby capturing the Wana Fort for Mullah Powindah,[7] the self-styled king of Waziristan, was discovered by the British. The Political Agent and the Commandant, on the same night, disarmed and dismissed all the Mahsuds from the Militia. A few months later, they were again enlisted, but were once again disbanded in 1906. In 1913, Mullah Powindah died and his son, Mullah Fazl Din, took his place and continued attacks on British property and posts. In 1922 a Paramilitary force called Waziristan Scouts was raised. It consisted mainly of Pathans from areas outside the SW Agency, who were mainly from the Khattak, Orakzai, Bangash, Afridi, Mohmand, and Yousafzai tribes.

Between 1919 and 1924, the British mounted operations against several of the Mahsud tribes in South Waziristan, and by October, they had mostly been subdued. Only the Abdur Rahman Khel tribe and three other supporting tribes continued to attack British army posts. In 1925, the Royal Air Force bombed villages near Wana. This action is known as Pink’s War, named after the commander of the Royal Air Force: Wing Commander Richard Pink.

Until 1895, the Deputy Commissioner of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu controlled all political matters in Waziristan; in 1895, South Waziristan was made a Political Agency and a Political Agent was appointed who was stationed at Wana.

Historically, the Wazirs and Mahsuds have claimed Afghanistan as their real home. During the British Colonial period, they supported Afghan kings in their wars against the British. On many occasions, the Afghan throne was saved with the help of the Wazirs, Mahsuds, and Burki/ Ormurs from Waziristan. Of those who fought during this time, most came back to their homeland, but those who stayed in Afghanistan were given high ranks of office, including Faiz Muhammad Mahsud, who was granted a title the equivalent of Prime Minister during the 1970s.

Former SW Agency, due to the tribes’ strong allegiance to Afghanistan, became embroiled in the Afghan War during the 21st century. The Pakistan Army conducted a military operation in the region and was successful in clearing the area of Taliban influence.

Governmental Structure; South Waziristan TD

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

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

Under the Local Government Act, the Tribal District has 97 Councils, which include 82 Village and 15 neighbourhood Councils.

Administrative Divisions; SWTD

Administratively, SW TD comprises of three sub-divisions, namely:

Ladha Subdivision 03 Tehsils: Ladha, Makeen and Sararogha
Sarwakai Subdivision 02 Tehsils: Sarwakai, and Tiarza
Wana Subdivision 03 Tehsils: Wana, Birmal and Toi Khulla

Table 1.2 SW TD Administrative Divisions

[1] Yaqub-i-Laith Saffari was the founder of the Safarid Dynasty of Sistan (Persia). He conquered many parts of modern day Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as Tajikistan as well as portions of western Pakistan and a small portion of Iraq.

[2] Ahmadzai Wazir Tribe by The Program for Culture & Conflict Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

[3] Shuidar is the highest peak in the North Waziristan Agency, reaching a height of 336 m

[4] Pir-i-Roshan was an Afghan warrior poet and freedom fighter. He founded the Roshnia Movement, which gained many followers in the 16th century Pashtunistan region.

[5] The following account of the former Agency’s history has been extracted from The Gazetteer of North West Frontier Province 1908.

[6] Local court

[7] Born Mohiuddin Maseed, he was a religious leader and freedom fighter of the Mahsud Tribe, and led a long-standing guerrilla insurgency against the British forces in the late 19th century.

Historic/ Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions; SWTD

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

  • Tomb of the warrior and hero, Mulla Powinda, in Makeen; South Waziristan TD
  • Ladda Fort built by the British, currently under the control of Frontier Corps South Waziristan TD
  • Tomb of Bayazid Pir Roshan in Kanigurum South Waziristan TD
  • Jandola Fort in Jandola South Waziristan TD

In addition to the above historical places, other sites of interest include:

  • Makeen South Waziristan TD: A beautiful valley surrounded by high mountains, with the potential for hiking and mountaineering; some parks, camping, and hiking sites are open to tourists along with a small shopping area
  • Ladda South Waziristan TD: The valley has beautiful scenery, as well as prospects for hiking and mountaineering
  • Kanigurum South Waziristan TD: The area hots thick pine forests, plain valleys, hiking, and camping sites
  • Wana South Waziristan TD: This is the summer headquarters of the Agency; it has parks, grounds, hiking, and camping sites as well as shopping areas
  • Sararogha South Waziristan TD: A mountainous area with potential for development of a resort
  • Angoor Adda South Waziristan TD: The area has scenic pine forests

[1] FATA Tourism Report, FATA Development Authority

Topography of South Waziristan TD

The former SW Agency is the largest[1] Agency (now TD) (in area) of former FATA.

The highland area of North and South Waziristan together takes the shape of a somewhat irregular parallelogram which is 258 km (160 miles) long and 97 km (60 miles) wide. The elevation rises gradually moving westward, until peaks of 3,048 m (10,000 feet) are found at the Afghan border. The elevation continues to rise in a westerly direction until the watershed dividing the Indus Basin and the Helmand Basin is reached. There are no regular mountain alignments, and hills appear to zig-zag in every direction. These hills give way, in some places, to allow the appearance of valleys. North and South Waziristan are separated by a mountain range which terminates in the Ghalimighar Mountains.

South Waziristan consists largely of rugged, rocky terrain with several peaks attaining over 2,440 m (8000 feet) in height. In the east of the TD, the Babaghan mountain range continues up to Jandola, then rises to Girni Sar and descends to the Gomal River valley above Murtaza, which is in D I Khan district. The southern boundary of the TD, as far as Khajuri Kach, is formed by hills south of the Gomal River, from where the Gomal River, moving in a westward direction to Gomandi, forms the South Waziristan-Afghan border. The Marwatti range runs along the Afghan border. The hills, for the most part, are barren and treeless. On some of the higher ranges, such as the Shawal and Pir Ghal, fine forests used to exist but these have been decimated over the years. Pir Ghal is the highest range with the highest peak reaching 3,515 m.

The major plains or valleys of the TD are the Wana Plain, the Zarmilan, the Bermand, and the Spin. Wana is the largest plain area. It is part of the inter-mountain valley system of the Suleiman Range and lies to the west of the Mahsud highlands.

According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India,

The whole area is mountainous in the extreme. The chief peaks being Shuidar (11,000 feet/ 3,353 meters), Pir Ghal (11,600 feet/ 3,535 meters), Janimela (8,400 feet/ 2,560 meters), Kundighar (8,100 feet/ 2,469 meters), Gurni Sar (5,800 feet/ 1,768 meters), Drenashtar Narai (8,750 feet/ 2,667 meters), Nomin (10,800 feet/ 3,292 meters) and Sarwar Gul (10,700 feet/ 3,261 meters). The last two are in Marwati Range which runs along the Afghan Border. (v.24, 380)

Figure 1.3 Kanigurum Valley

Figure 1.4 Shawal Area

Figure 1.5 Pirghal Mountains

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes; South Waziristan TD

There are 2 major rivers in the TD: the Gomal River and Tank Zam. The Gomal River rises in 2 branches in the eastern slopes of the western Suleiman Range. It enters the SW TD at Domandi, where it is joined by Kundar River. When Kundar River reaches Luni, its name is changed to Luni River, until it joins the Indus. Zhob River joins the Gomal at Khajuri Kech. It currently forms the boundary between SW TD and Zhob district of Balochistan. Another tributary of Gomal River is the Wana Toi.

Some important rivulets/ hill torrents of SW TD are Khaisora, Shaktu, Splitoi, Shuza, Shinkai, and Shahur.

Shahur River and Tank Zam/ Dana Khwar drain the northeastern part of TD. Some of the streams and rivulets crossing the Wana Plain are Kibbarai Algad, Dhana Khwar (also called Tank Zam), Barara Nar, Khawargai Algad, Wucha Khwar, Gargura Algad, Khawat Khwar, and Inzar Algad. Most of these are tributaries of Wana Toi. Only the Wana Toi and Kibbari Algad have perennial flow.[2]

The Dargai Algad flows north to south, on either side of which stretches the Spin Plain. Other streams/ rivulets of the Spin Plain are Suiwarai Algad and the Lakai Algad. The Lakai has a perennial flow.

Forests; South Waziristan TD

With the exception of the Bajaur and Kurram Agencies, FATA falls within the Dry Temperate Zone, experiencing predominantly arid, and semi-arid climatic conditions. Forests consist mainly of conifers and broadleaved species. Among conifers, chilghoza (Pinus gerardiana), kail or Himalayan pine (Pinus wallichiana), deodar or Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara), small patches of chir (Pinus roxburgii) and associated shrubs are found in the area. Oak (Quercus ilex, Q. dilatata) is the dominant broadleaved species, with associated species also occurring, such as ber or jujube (Zizyphus nummularia), gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia), neem (Azadirachta indica), amaltas or Indian laburnum (Cassia fistula) and walnut (Juglans regia). Dwarf palm or mazri (Nannorhops ritchieana) is grown in large areas in Serwakai region.

Main forests of the TD are located in Kotkai, Sarwekai, Wana, Kanigurum, and Sararogha. The following table shows the status of forests as per FATA Development Statistics 2016-17 (KP development Statistics do not record data for former Fata Agencies):

Total Forest Area 463,183 A Man Made Forests 51,524 A
Natural Forests 410,946 A Linear Plantation 713 km

Table 1.3 SW TD Forests

Soils of South Waziristan TD

Loamy and humus rich alluvial soil predominates the TD. The soil of Wana Plain consists of rich loam, sandy loam, and silty plain. The soils of Spin Plain are clay loam and loam, whereas the Birmal Plain consists of loam and sandy loam soil. The hilly areas of Sarwakai and Ladha Subdivisions of the TD are composed of clay loam and loam.

Climate of South Waziristan TD

The TD has an arid climate[3] for the most part and receives little precipitation. The western portion that borders Afghanistan receives more rainfall than the eastern portion which touches D I Khan. Most of the TD receives a mean annual rainfall of 10-15 inches (250-300 mm), while a small portion in the southeastern corner of the TD receives less than 10 inches (250 mm) annually. The Wana and Spin plains receive about 300 mm or 12 inches precipitation annually. The Zarmilan Plain seldom receives rain, but it snows in winter. The Zarmilan Plain experiences low velocity winds throughout the year.

Generally, the SWA is cold in winter and pleasant in summer, except for small portions bordering D I Khan, which are hot in summer and mild in winter. December and January are the coldest months with temperatures falling below freezing point. June, July and August are the hottest months with temperatures of up to 30 °C (and up to 35 °C in some areas). The western portion of the TD receives more precipitation in winter than in summer, while this is reversed in the eastern portion.

The Meteorological Department has not maintained temperature or rain gauges in the TD since 1971. FATA Agriculture Directorate staff makes estimates of monthly rainfall and temperature averages. According to these, the mean average maximum and minimum temperatures at SW TD in June are 37 °C and 16 °C respectively, while in January they are 8 °C and -6 °C respectively.

Figure 1.6 A Stream in Ladha after Rains

Seismic Activity/Seismicity; South Waziristan TD

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

[1] Extracted from Socio-Economic Profile of SWA, prepared for the Planning and Development Department FATA, by USAID, 1993

[2] Extracted from Socio-Economic Profile of SWA, prepared for the Planning and Development Department FATA, by USAID, 1993


[3] Extracted from Socio-Economic Profile of SWA, prepared for the Planning and Development Department FATA, by USAID, 1993

Population of South Waziristan TD

The following table shows the population of SW TD as per the 2017 Census:




Population Male% Female%



Growth Rate %
S W Agency 6,620 675,215 52.7 47.4 2.4
Birmal Tehsil 923 104,282 52.1 47.9 3.08
Ladha Tehsil 466 110,842 52.1 47.9 2.27
Makin Tehsil 404 58,646 52.7 47.3 3.49
Sararogha Tehsil 813 98,180 52.4 47.6 1.64
Sarwakai Tehsil 398 54,540 52.6 47.4 2.93
Tiarza Tehsil 734 45,156 52.4 47.6 0.95
Toi Khulla Tehsil 567 50,413 54.5 45.5 1.71
Wana Tehsil 2,315 153,156 53.1 46.9 2.79

Table 1.4 SW TD Population Statistics

Religions; SWTD[1]

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

Table 1.5 SW TD Religions

Languages; SWTD[2]

Urdu 0.4%
Punjabi 0.2%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 97.3%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki Negligible %
Others[3] 2.1%

Table 1.6 SW TD Languages

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

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

[3] Other languages include Brahvi, and Darri

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity; South Waziristan TD

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

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

Land Use; South Waziristan TD

The following table shows the main land use statistics of SW TD as per KP Development Statistics 2020-21:

Total Area 662,000 HA Reported Area 662,000 HA
Total Cultivated Area 19,580 HA Net Sown 16,239 HA
Current Fallow 3,341 HA Total Uncultivated Area 642,420 HA
Culturable Waste 44,950 HA Forest Area 2,147 HA

Table 1.7 SW TD Land Use Statistics

Irrigation Network; South Waziristan TD

The main sources of irrigation in the TD are various rivers, streams, dug wells, and/ or tube wells. People have dug water channels which bring irrigation water from a river/ stream to their agricultural land. The following table shows the mode of irrigation system used and area irrigated by each (KP Development Statistics 2020-21):

Total Irrigated Area 6,965 HA Government Canal Irrigated 47 HA
Tube Wells 1,354 HA Private Canals Irrigated 2,901 HA
Wells 115 HA Others + Lift Pumps 1,378 HA

Table 1.11 SW TD Irrigation Statistics

A small dam, the Dargai Pal Small Dam, located in SW TD was completed in 2010, and is providing irrigation water to a command area of 2,668 acres.

Work on the construction of the Gomal Zam Dam on Gomal River in SW TD began in 2007 and the dam became operational in 2011. This dam provides irrigation waters while its powerhouse is generating 17.4 MW electricity.

Agriculture; South Waziristan TD

The Agro-Ecological Zone data for FATA and its Agencies/ FRs is not available. The SW TD generally a barani area, and hence, mostly depends upon rains for irrigation.

The crops of the TD include rice, maize, sugarcane, moong, rapeseed, and fodder.

Apples, apricots, watermelon, pear, plum, pomegranate, peaches, musk melon, grapes, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts (chilghoza), olives, ber, citrus, guava, grapes, peanuts, pistachios, and loquat are some of the fruits grown in the TD.

Potatoes, tomatoes, okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, turnip, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, chillies, and cucumber are some of the vegetables grown in the tribal district.

Livestock Breeding; South Waziristan TD

The following table shows the livestock position in SW TD as per Livestock Census 2006 (qtd. in FATA Development Statistics 2016-17):

Cattle 139,497 Heads Buffalos 15,209 Heads Sheep 325,024 Heads
Goats 413,625 Heads Camels 9,695 Heads Horses 314 Heads
Asses 23,022 Heads Mules 1,416 Heads

Table 1.8 SW TD Livestock Statistics

Waziri, Balki and Tirahi or Afridi sheep are the native breeds of the Agency.

Poultry Farms; South Waziristan TD

Data regarding number of poultry farms in the TD is not available in Table 17: No. of Commercial Poultry Farms and No. of Birds by Flock Size.

Fishing; South Waziristan TD

The rivers and streams[1] in the TD are home to a variety of fish, depending on the climatic regime. Cold waters in the upper reaches, for example, are suitable for trout, while warmer waters in the lower reaches house carp. These aquatic resources are ideally suited for the development of fisheries.

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

Bee Keeping; South Waziristan TD

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

Minerals and Mining; South Waziristan TD

The mountains[2] of the Tribal Areas yield a variety of minerals, ranging from marble and granite to copper and gold. Since mineral extraction depends heavily on labour, the mining industry can serve as an immediate means to creating employment in the region. The TD has considerable deposits of semi-precious stones like garnets. Considering the reserves that have already been identified, the sector has the potential to become a major employer in the long term.

At present, mining activity is not being carried out in the TD, though coal has been discovered.

Industry and Manufacturing; South Waziristan TD

There are no industrial zones or estates in SW TD, but there are 09 registered industrial units, of which 06 are working. The following table shows the type and number of industrial units according to [3]FATA Industries Survey Report 2010 (Latest Available):

Industry No. Industry No.
Cement Blocks 03 Cold Drinks 01
Electrical goods 01 Furniture and Fixtures 01
Flour Mills 01 Plastic Shoes 01
Spare Parts 01

Table 1.9 SW TD Industries

Handicrafts; South Waziristan TD

Household items made of marble and leaves from the Mazri palm are the main handicrafts of the TD as well as embroidery on clothes. Some of the products made from the leaves of the Mazri palm include caps, mats, ropes, baskets, brooms, trays, hand fans, and grain baskets.

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

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

Economic Infrastructure; South Waziristan Tribal district

The TD is connected to North Waziristan TD and to Balochistan in the southwest through black topped roads. The TD is also connected to Tank district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the west, and to Shakin in Afghanistan in the east through all-weather black topped roads. The TD’s summer headquarter, Wana, is connected to other towns of the TD through high type roads. There is no railway connection, but the TD is connected through air with an airport in Wana.

Road Statistics; South Waziristan TD

There are two types of roads in SW TD: High type and Low type. The following table shows road statistics as per KP Development Statistics 2020-21:

High Type 881.0 km
Low Type 436.0 km
Total 1,317.0 km

Table 1.10 SW TD Road Statistics

Important roads of the Agency are:

  • Bannu-Isha-Razmak-Jandola Road
  • Razmak-D I Khan Road
  • Wana-Azam Warsak Road
  • Wana-Kanigurum-Tanda China Road
  • Road leading to Scout Post, Sararogha
  • Wana-Sholam Road

Rail and Airways; South Waziristan TD

There is no railway access in SW TD. The nearest station is at Zintara, in Khyber Agency. Wana Airport was inaugurated in 2012.

Radio and Television; South Waziristan TD

No data available.

Telecommunications; South Waziristan TD

According to the KP Development Statistics 2020-21, there are 07 telephone exchanges in SW TD. These exchanges provide 4,339 connections. In addition, private cellular companies provide their services in the region.

Post Offices/ Courier Services; South Waziristan TD

Pakistan Post provides a variety of services on behalf of many federal and provincial government departments. In addition to Pakistan Post Urgent Mail Service, there are several courier services working in the region.

Banking/ Financial Institutions; South Waziristan TD

There are a total of 3 bank branches, one each of National Bank of Pakistan, Bank of Khyber and United Bank Ltd. operating in the TD, according to KP Development Statistics 2020-21.

Electricity and Gas; South Waziristan TD

TAESCO (Tribal Areas Electricity Supply Corporation) supplies and distributes electricity in FATA. Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO), and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) are responsible for power generation in HP. Gas for domestic use is not available.

[3] KP Development Statistics do not record data for former FATA Agencies

Educational Institutions. South Waziristan TD

The total literacy rate of SW TD is 35%. The male literacy rate is 54%, while female literacy is at 10%. The following table shows the number of educational institutions in the TD (KP Development Statistics 2020-21):

Institution boys/girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 363/253 Mosque Schools 43
Middle Schools 55/20 High Schools 24/10
Higher Secondary 02/- Community Schools 63
Degree Colleges 01/01 Universities
Govt. Elementary College Agricultural Universities
Commercial Training 01/- Polytechnics 02
Cadet Colleges[1] 02 Vocational Training Inst.

Table 1.12 SW TD Educational Institutes: Government

Completion of Projects in Kotkai | South Waziristan-Build better than before.. جنوبی وزیرستان . تعمیر نو، لیکن پہلے سے بہتر

Figure 1.7 High School Kotkai

Figure 1.8 Cadet College, Wana

Healthcare Facilities; South Waziristan TD

The following table shows the Government Health care Institutions in SW TS as per KP Development Statistics 2020-21:

Institution No/Beds Institution No./Beds
Hospitals 10/360 Dispensaries 56/-
Rural Health Centers -/- Basic Health Units 16/-
Child Health Centers 29/- Mother Child Health Centers 02/-
TB Clinics 04/- Leprosy Clinics -/-

Table 1.14 SW TD Health Institutes

In addition, there are 126 Private Medical Practitioners[2] in the Tribal District.

Policing; South Waziristan TD

The District Police Officer (DPO) is directly responsible to the District Mayor for public safety. The Police Department is headed by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). The SSP supervises and controls the police force in maintaining law and order, and investigation of cases of a criminal nature. The Police Department operates under the Police Rules. There are no Police Stations in the District. (KP Development Statistics 2020-21).

The Levy Force, Khassadars and the Scout Troops operating in the erstwhile Orakzai Agency have been absorbed into the KP Police as per the KP Levies Force Bill 2019


[1] Wana and Spinkai

[2] KP Development Statistics, 2020-21

Environment and Biodiversity; South Waziristan Tribal District

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

Flora and Fauna; South Waziristan TD

Flora; SWTD

The flora of the TD includes chilghoza pine (Pinus gerardiana), kail or Himalayan pine (Pinus wallichiana), deodar or Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara), chir (Pinus roxburgii), olives (Oleo Cuspidata), gurgura (Monotheca buxifolia), kao or Indian olives (Olea ferruginea), sum (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides), and red cedar or tun (Cedrela toona). Common shrubs are kaner or oleander (Nerium indicum), dunal or Indian cheese maker (Withania coagulans), munja (Saccharum munja), and barri or bata (Periploca aphylla).

Several medicinal herbs are also found in the TD. Some of these are Syrian rue or harmal (Peganum harmala), dhodak or petty spurge (Euphorbia prostrate), wonder berry or mako (Solanum nigrum), bhat khattiya (Solanum surattense), jungle chulai (Amaranthus viridis) and horseweed or giddar buti (Conyza Canadensis).

The vegetation cover at higher altitudes is comprised of blue jack oak (Quercus incana), green oak (Quercus dilatata) and kharshu oak (Quercus semicarpifolia), whereas at the upper reaches of the tree line, chilghoza pine (Pinus gerardiana), blue pine or kail (Pinus wallichiana), deodar (Cedrus deodara) and partal (Abies pindrow) are common. Indian barberry, darhaldi or zarch (Berberis lyceum), kuti lal (Daphne oleoides) and soor azghay (Gymnosporia royleana) represent the dominant shrubs, while herbs like saag (Salvia nubicola), thyme (Thymus serphyllum), hooker’s iris (Iris hookeriana), and hoar-hound (Marrubium vulgare) are dominant

Fauna; SWTD

The TD is home to the endangered Suleiman Markhor, Kabul Markhor, urial, goral, jackals, monkeys, chinkara deer, gazelle, black and brown bear, leopard, wolves, and hyenas among others. The avifauna of the TD includes, among others, the endangered houbara bustard, see-see partridge, black and grey partridges, sand grouse, various varieties of ducks, snipe, cranes, geese, and falcons.

Various varieties of rock agamas, spider gecko, common gecko, house gecko, spectacled lizard, varieties of skink, and varieties of goh are the common reptiles. Data on varieties of amphibians and snakes is not available.

Protected Wildlife Areas and Endangered Wildlife; South Waziristan TD

At present, there are no wildlife protected areas in Former FATA Agencies, but the GoKP has passed a law for the creation of protected areas in the region. The fauna of the Former TD is considered endangered.