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NWFP

A comparatively small but exciting section of Pakistan, NWFP is one of the most inaccessible parts of the nation. A province that varies in landscape, ranging from the desert to the fertile plain valleys and of course the Hindukush and Shandur ranges. Created as an administrative unit only in 1901, the province is still marked by disparities and divergence.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2004 11:55 IST
PTI

A comparatively small but exciting section of Pakistan, NWFP is one of the most inaccessible parts of the nation. A province that varies in landscape, ranging from the desert to the fertile plain valleys and of course the Hindukush and Shandur ranges. Created as an administrative unit only in 1901, the province is still marked by disparities and divergence.

Main towns: Peshawar, Nowshera

Geography: Mountains separate, not unite this extremely hilly and cold region. The valley of Peshawar is by far the most important, and separates the province into two main parts. The five major valleys Chitral, Dir, Swat, Indus and Kaghan are in the north, while the south has basins of Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu. Being between two climatic zones, it gets affected by both.

Economy: As agricultural is at best seasonal, most of the people follow a semi-nomadic pastoralist lifestyle. Whatever little land is available is devoted to cash crops like tobacco, sugarcane and fruits.

History: More than 10,000 years of continuous human habitation have seen layers of civilization develop in the area. From pre-Harappan sites to being part of the Gandharan and Kushan empires, followed by Ghaznavid rule, the region has seen many a ruler try to hold sway, usually without much success. The rather unsatisfactory drawing of the Durand line, which divided Pashtun areas, has left the area seething in discontent.

First Published: Jan 02, 2004 21:34 IST