Malakand District
Malakand District is a district
Districts of Pakistan
The Districts of Pakistan are the second order administrative divisions of Pakistan. Districts were the third order of administrative divisions, below provinces and "divisions", until the reforms of August 2000, when "divisions" were abolished...

 of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.

The District was formed in 1970 as a Provincially Administered Tribal Area, It had previously been a Tribal Area known as the Malakand Protected Area, part of the Malakand Agency
Malakand Agency
The Malakand Agency was one of the Tribal Areas in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan 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, following the abolition of the princely states,...

. From 1970 to 2000 the District was part of Malakand Division
Malakand Division
Malakand Division was an administrative division of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, until the reforms of 2000 abolished the third tier of government....


Malakand District lies at a strategically important position as it acts as a gateway to Swat, Dir, Chitral and Bajaur. It is surrounded by a series of mountains that were overgrown with different kinds of trees in the past though they have a barren look today. The famous Malakand Pass
Malakand Pass
The Malakand Pass is a mountain pass in Malakand District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.The pass road begins at Dargai. The road across the pass is in good condition, but is always crowded with a continuous stream of trucks. From a viewpoint about one kilometre before the top of the pass, one can...

 which connects Mardan
Mardan , known as The city of hospitality, is a city and headquarters of Mardan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe and the second most populous city in the province, located at 34°12'0N 72°1'60E and an altitude of in the south...

 to Swat and Dir is located near Dargai
Dargai is an administrative area of the Malakand District in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, located on the main highway from Peshawar to Swat, Dir and Chitral...

, where the local Pushtun tribes fought two fierce battles with the British army in 1895 and 1897.

The Swat River
Swat River
The Swat River is a river in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. Its source is in the Hindukush Mountains, from where it flows through the Kalam Valley and Swat District...

 flows through the District down towards Charsadda District where it falls into the Kabul River
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

. Malakand Districty is bounded on the north by Lower Dir District
Lower Dir District
Lower Dir is one the 24 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The district was formed in 1996, when the district of Dir was divided into Upper Dir and Lower Dir.- Administration :...

, on the East by Swat District, on the south east and south west by Mardan
Mardan District
Mardan is a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The city of Mardan is the headquarters of the district. The district also contains the famous archaeological site of Takht Bhai, Jamal Ghari and Sawal Dher.-Administration:...

 and Charsadda districts respectively and on the west by Mohmand
Mohmand Agency
The Mohmand Agency is a district in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan created in 1951. Before that, the Mohmand Tribes were administered by the Deputy Commissioner based in Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. However it was not until 1973 that the headquarters of...

 and Bajour Agencies. The area of Malakand protected area is 952 km2.


The district is represented in the provincial assembly by two elected MPAs who represent the following constituencies:
PF-98 (Malakand-1)
PF-99 (Malakand-2)
For the control of law & Order situation a local force has been raised which is called Malakand Levies
Malakand Levies
In 1920, when the Swat Levies were reorganized, Sadullah Khan, known as Khan Sahib was promoted as Subedar Major and he thus became the first Subedar Major of Swat Levies. In 1950 regular police was introduced in Swat by conversion of the Levies personnel into it...

 whose head is the commandant/DCO Malakand. Malakand Levies is the reincarnation of the Malakand Field Force of British times.

The district of Malakand is divided into two tehsil
A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....


1. Sam Ranizai:

Dargai is one of the Tehsil
A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

 of Malakand District. Dargai is located on main highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

 from Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 to Swat, Dir and Chitral. Most of the tourists going to these areas had to take Dargai route so business flourished in Dargai. Due to recent law and order situation tourists going to Swat have considerably decreased affecting people's business here. Dargai is very famous for its Timber Market.

Dargai is very famous for its battles during British rule. The British commenced their campaign against Malakand in 1853 and spread its sphere of influence to the whole Malakand since then.

There are rare scenic places and tourist resorts in Dargai like Jabban and Malakand hydro-electric project. Water passes through a three-mile long tunnel, and has a natural fall of 350 feet. There are two power houses at Dargai and Malakand Khas. A third power plant of 81MW has recently been constructed in Dargai on Wartair side. Dargai is also home to Punjab Regminent Centre located Near Dargai Railway Station.

2. Swat Ranizai:

Batkhela is the main tehsil and capital of Malakand District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. According to the 1998 census, the population of Batkhela is 38,222, and it is estimated to be 39,703 according to the World Gazetteer. Batkhela is a popular business city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province...

 is the main tehsil and capital of Malakand District, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan. During the era of Ashoka and Kanishka Batkhela was ruled by a leader named Butt hence the city has been given the name Batkhela. According to the 1998 census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, the population of Batkhela is 38,222, and it is estimated to be 39,703 according to the World Gazetteer. Batkhela is a popular business city in NWFP province. This beautiful valley is covered by tall hills from all sides and there are many fast-flowing rivers which are contribution to its wonderful landscape. One water canal that pours into a small dam in Jaban area is the main source of electricity production.
Batkhela main bazaar
A bazaar , Cypriot Greek: pantopoula) is a permanent merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers and craftsmen" who work that area...

 is more than 2 kilometers long; there are no intersections (junctions) so no traffic lights. Therefore it is the longest bazaar that has no traffic light
Traffic light
Traffic lights, which may also be known as stoplights, traffic lamps, traffic signals, signal lights, robots or semaphore, are signalling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings and other locations to control competing flows of traffic...

s or junctions (intersections) on it.
100 percent of the households in Batkhela are Pashto-speaking. As business is main source of income, therefore, livelihood of people is mainly dependent on business.


The total area of Malakand District is 952 Square Km and has a population density of 596 people per sqkm. The population of Malakand is estimated to be 567,000 in 2004-05. Most of the people are Pashtuns speaking Pashto as their mother tongue. Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

is the major source of income, the total cultivatable land being 456600 hectors.

A part of Malakand is occupied by the Uthmankhel clan of Pukhntoons (Pathans), while towards the south, at the bottom of Malakand Pass, live the Ranizais known as Sam Ranizai. Those living beyond the pass towards Swat are Swat Ranizai. This is also evident in the administration division; where one is called the Swat Ranizai and the other as Sam Ranizai.


The soil of Malakand is loamy and moist, and is irrigated by the Swat River which flows from Swat, through Kohistan and joins the river Kabul near Peshawar. The average rainfall is not enough, therefore the soil requires artificial irrigation.

There are rare scenic places and tourist resorts in Malakand like Jabban and Malakand hydro-electric project. Water passes through a three-mile-long tunnel, and has a natural fall of 350 feet. The main income-generating source in Malakand is the two power houses at Dargai and Malakand Khas. There are about 11 other suitable sites for construction of Small Hydel Power projects that needed investors attention.

Malakand as already mentioned is surrounded by high mountains rich with mineral resources which are yet to be exploited. However, deposits of chromite iron, china clay and fuller earth have been found in Malakand. There are vast chances of mineral exploration but due to poor status of the local denizens they are not in a position to invest and exploit the mineral resources in Malakand. If investors from the other districts and provinces diverted their attention towards mineral wealth they can find and get vast mineral treasures.


Historic ruins, founded at different places in the agency, indicate that this area was part of Ghandara civilization and Buddhist peoples lived here. The last Buddhist ruler, Raja Gira, seems to have ruled over there about nine hundred years ago. Sultan Mahmood of Ghazni, a Muslim ruler, came there from Afghanistan through Bajaur and defeated the Buddist ruler, Raja gira.

Later, another Afghan ruler, Muhammad Ghauri, invaded the area and Islam began to spread there. The Yousafzai Pathan tribe came to inhabit this area is the wake of the invasion. About 400 years ago, successive Mughal rulers attempted in vain to capture this area. After the fall of the Mughals, Sikh rulers tried to conquer this area but we repulsed. The British had always looked at this area with covetous eyes but dared no venture to flirt with it openly. In 1882, The British approached to the elders of Malakand Agency with the request to allow the passage of post to Chitral, which was then in the Administrative sphere of Gilgit. In 1885, the Chitral relief expedition however necessitated the British intervention in this area. British officer and troops had been besieged in Chitral by Chitralis . To reinforce their forces there, they needed a route to Chitral as the Gilgit-Chitral road, the only route at that time, was covered with snow and they had no option left except to pass through Malakand Agency. The British therefore, laid siege of the Malakand pass. The people fought bravely and offered stubborn resistance to the enemy. The British artillery particularly proving more than a match for the old and rusty guns and swords of the natives. To fortify their position and ensure the safety of the strategically Important Chitral road, they constructed two forts at Malakand and Chakdara with many piquet overhead the surrounding hills. One of them Churchill piquet, was name after Lt. Churchill who later on became the Prime Minister of Britain. Since then the British intervened in the politics of the area. A political Agent was stationed at Malakand to mediate between the British and the people of the Area.
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