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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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خیبر پختونخوا
Flag of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Official seal of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
A map showing us where the location of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is in Pakistan
A map showing us where the location of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is in Pakistan
Map of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Map of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Country  Pakistan
Established 1 July 1972
 • Legislature Unicameral (?* seats)
 • Total 74,521 km2 (28,773 sq mi)
 • Total 20,215,000

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, previously called the North-West Frontier Province (Urdu: افغانیہ پاکستان, NWFP) is a province in Pakistan. The capital is Peshawar and it has a population of 14 million people and an area of 28,773 mi² or (74,521 km²). By area the province is greater in area than Sierra Leone but smaller than Panama. The province was created in 1901 during British rule when it was separated from a united Punjab province of the British India Empire.[source?] A referendum was held in the North West Frontier Province on 2 July 1947. The majority of voters wanted to join with Pakistan, with only a very small number voting to join with India. The NWFP became a part of Pakistan, because of this referendum.

The President of Pakistan appoints a Governor as head of the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is a directly-elected Provincial Assembly, which has 124 elected members (including 22 seats reserved for women and 3 seats for non-Muslims). The Provincial Assembly elects a Chief Minister to act as the chief executive of the province, assisted by a cabinet of ministers.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is divided into 25 districts. There are 20 Settled Area Districts and 5 Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) Districts. The administration of the PATA districts is the responsibility the President of Pakistan and the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[1]

Names of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

For over a hundred years from its founding as a province of British India in 1901, it was known as the North-West Frontier Province. Afghania is another name long considered as a replacement for North-West Frontier Province.[2][3] It was proposed first by the founding leaders of the Muslim League in 1933[3] and was at least partly chosen to represent the first "a" in "Pakistan. The need for a change was explained by the man who named Pakistan in his "Now or Never" pamphlet, Choudhary Rahmat Ali Khan, as:

"'North-West Frontier Province' is semantically non-descript and socially wrongful. It is non-descript because it merely indicates their geographical situation as a province of old 'British India' [which no longer exists]. It is wrongful because it suppresses the social entity of these people. In fact, it suppresses that entity so completely that when composing the name 'Pakistan' for our homelands, I had to call the North-West Frontier Province the Afghan Province."[4]
Pakhtunkhwa (and the other transliteration variants) is derived from Pakhtun and khwa, the former refers to the ethnic group and the latter literally means "heart".

Provincial symbols of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (unofficial)
Provincial animal Kabul Markhor Capra falconeri hepteneri.jpg
Provincial bird White-crested Kalij pheasant Kalij-pheasant Hawaii.jpg
Provincial tree Red date ZiziphusJujubaVarSpinosa.jpg
Provincial flower Calotropis procera Calotropis procera flowers.jpg


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sits primarily on the Iranian plateau and comprises the junction where the slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains on the Eurasian plate give way to the Indus-watered hills approaching South-central Asia. This situation has led to seismic activity in the past.[5] The famous Khyber Pass links the province to Afghanistan, while the Kohalla Bridge in Circle Bakote Abbottabad is a major crossing point over the Jhelum River in the east.

The province has an area of 28,773 mi² or (74,521 km²) — comparable in size to New England in North America.[6] The province's main districts are Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Kohistan, Kohat, Abbottabad, Haripur and Mansehra, Swat, Buner District, Bannu and Karak. Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Abbottabad, Dera Ismail Khan and Hangu are the main cities.

The region varies in topography from dry rocky areas in the south to forests and green plains in the north. The climate can be extreme with intensely hot summers to freezing cold winters. Despite these extremes in weather, agriculture remains important and viable in the area.

On the way to Shahi Bagh Lake, Swat valley

The hilly terrain of Kalam, Upper Dir, Swat, Naran and Kaghan is renowned for its beauty and attracts a great many tourists from neighboring regions and from around the world. Swat is popular among tourists as the "Switzerland of South Asia" as there are many landscape similarities between it and the mountainous terrain of Switzerland.

According to the 1998 census, the population of the province was approximately 17 million,[7] of whom 52% are males and 48% are females. The density of population is 187 per km² and the intercensal change of population is of about 30%.

Geographically the province could be divided into two zones: the northern one extending from the ranges of the Hindu Kush to the borders of Peshawar basin and the southern one extending from Peshawar to the Derajat basin.

The northern zone is cold and snowy in winters with heavy rainfall and pleasant summers with the exception of Peshawar basin, which is hot in summer and cold in winter. It has moderate rainfall. The southern zone is arid with hot summers and relatively cold winters and scanty rainfall.

The major rivers that criss-cross the province are the Kabul, Swat, Chitral, Kunar, Siran, Panjgora, Bara, Kurram, Dor, Haroo, Gomal and Zhob.

Its snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys of unusual beauty have enormous potential for tourism.

Former provincial seal of NWFP, before 2010
Former provincial flag of NWFP, before 2010

Other pages


[[Category:Khyber Pakhtunkhwa