Province of Pakistan; capital Peshawar; area 74,500 sq km/28,800 sq mi; population (2008 calc) 20,940,100. It was a province of British India 1901–47. It includes the strategic Khyber Pass, the site of constant struggle between the British Raj and the Pathan warriors. In the 1980s it had to accommodate a stream of refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan.
The North-West Frontier was one of the great frontiers of the former British Empire, nearly 3,200 km/1,990 mi in length, stretching from the Karakoram Mountains in the north of Kashmir to the Arabian Sea.
The North-West Frontier In the far north it is bordered by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (China); it then turns south, and for the rest of its length lies through the mountain hinterland of
the Afghan border tribes. From Chitral to Balochistan, the boundary was the ‘Durand Line’, agreed with the Afghan government in 1894. Throughout its length the frontier traverses Muslim territory. On the Kashmir side are the small Muslim regions of Hunza and Gilgit.
Early history of the North-West Frontier province It was once formed part of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, and was important because of its strategic position at the end of the Khyber Pass and commanded the main route to Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia. The area passed successively into the hands of the Persians, Greeks, Indians, Indo-Bactrians, Sakans, Parthians, and Kushans. The Turks gained control of the area in 988. Mahmud Of Ghazni invaded northern India on several occasions between 1001 and 1027, bringing a large area of the present province under his control. The region was, in the 13th century, held by the Muslim Afghan dynasties and then by the Moguls. The Sikhs gained control of the area in the early 19th century until they were overcome by the British in the Second Sikh War of 1849.
Modern history The North-West Frontier areas were then annexed by the British and formed part of the Punjab until the North-West Frontier province, administered from Peshawar, was created in 1901. The greater part of the British army in India was concentrated on the frontier or in cantonments in the Punjab. The province was not granted the degree of self-rule that was given to the other Indian provinces in 1919; but, by the Government of India Act, it was raised to the status of a governor's province in 1935 and allowed provincial autonomy. In 1947, on partition, the state became part of Pakistan. A plebiscite was held to determine whether the Afghans living in the province wished to join India or Pakistan. The result was in Pakistan's favour, and was resented by the Afghan government. A prolonged propaganda campaign has been conducted by the Afghans in favour of an independent Pushtoonistan, to include the peoples now living on both sides of the frontier. The North-West Frontier province was dissolved in 1955, became part of West Pakistan province, and regained its former provincial status in 1970. Today, the North-West Frontier province is divided into six political agencies: Malakand, Mohmand, Khyber, Kunan, and North and South Waziristan.
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a province in northern Pakistan; part of British India 1901—47; strategically important because of the Khyber Pass. 74~521 km2 Peshawar